PROFESSIONAL CARE FOR PRECIOUS PAWS
Rabbits can make very good pets, as they are both friendly and intelligent. However they do have some important husbandry needs to keep them happy and healthy. Their average life span is 6-10 years, with a record age of 15 being reported.
Just like cats and dogs, rabbits need preventative healthcare to keep them fit and well.
Each tooth in a rabbit is constantly growing. The usual rate is about 2mm per week but this can be increased when there is dental disease present. To prevent overgrowth there must be a constant wearing down of the teeth by chewing. For the wear to be even, and prevent sharp spikes and spurs developing on the teeth, it is important that the teeth are perfectly aligned.
Even if your rabbit’s teeth start off perfectly aligned problems can occur later in life. It is common for a pet rabbit’s diet to be deficient in which case the jaw bones become soft and the teeth can move slightly out of position. This means that the wear becomes uneven and spurs appear.
Diarrhoea in Rabbits
Diarrhoea is a common problem in pet rabbits. It can be a very serious condition as dehydration can develop rapidly so veterinary advice should be sought immediately. Some gastrointestinal infections that result in diarrhoea can be fatal in less than 24 hours. It is normal for rabbits to produce softer droppings at night, which they then eat. This is an important part of the rabbit’s diet.
E.Cuniculi in Rabbits
E.cuniculi is a tiny parasite, which has to live inside a host cell in order to survive. E.cuniculi primarily infects rabbits and is a significant cause of disease. It is also important to rabbit owners as just occasionally it can infect humans, especially if they are immuno-compromised.
Insuring Your Pet Rabbit
If your rabbit is unwell the last thing you want to worry about is how to pay for treatment. We recommend that you consider pet insurance for all of your pets.
Neutering of both male and female rabbits is recommended unless you wish to breed from them.. Rabbits become sexually mature between 4 months (in smaller breeds) and 6 to 9 months (in larger breeds). It is recommended that young rabbits are separated into single sex groups at 4months of age.
Feeding Your Rabbit
The most important part of a rabbit's diet is good quality hay together with fresh grass. This is what they eat naturally, so it should make up the bulk of the diet and be offered all the time. A small quantity of pellets (nuggets, rather than muesli type mix), and fresh greens can also be added to their diet.
A guide to feeding your rabbit is:
Good quality hay. Your rabbits should get at least their own body size amount of good quality hay each day. As a rule, either fresh hay or growing grass (not grass clippings) should always be available.
Fresh greens. An adult-sized handful of suitable fresh greens should be fed morning and evening.
Pellets or nuggets. A good general rule is to feed a maximum of 25 grams of pellets each day for each kilogram that your rabbit weighs.
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