Bunny Basics: Keeping your rabbits healthy
Prevention is always better than cure – and there are lots of simple things you can do to help keep your rabbits healthy.
It’s also a good idea to give them a regular health check. Once you get to know how your rabbits behave, you’ll notice if them seem under the weather. If you’re worried about your rabbits' health, speak to your vet.
Day-to-day health care
Our vets recommend taking these simple steps to help keep your rabbits healthy:
- Register your rabbits with a vet.
- Get them vaccinated and neutered, which will help to prevent some really serious illnesses.
- Brush them regularly to keep their coats healthy.
- Check them every day for any signs of illness or injury.
- Rabbits can suffer from flystrike. When the weather is warm, check them twice a day to make sure their bottom is clean and there is no sign of maggots or fly eggs. If your rabbit has a dirty bottom, you will need to wash and/or clip the fur to prevent flies being attracted.
Grooming your rabbits
Most rabbits will groom themselves, but regular brushing keeps their coats healthy and prevents fur balls. It’s also a great opportunity to get your rabbits used to being handled and check their general health and weight.
- Use a rabbit grooming brush with gentle strokes in the same direction that the fur grows.
- Groom rabbits from an early age so that they become used to it.
- Groom long-haired breeds every day.
- Groom short-haired breeds once a week.
Rabbit vaccinations give peace of mind for you – and give protection for your rabbits against life-threatening diseases. They can protect your rabbits against:
Sadly, these diseases are almost always fatal but vaccinations can give your rabbits a fighting chance of survival. Read more about why vaccinations are really important.
Fly strike is caused by flies laying their eggs on dirty fur, usually around your rabbit’s bottom. These hatch into maggots which burrow into the flesh. This is a serious condition and can kill a rabbit in a few hours.
- Minimise the risk: clean out your rabbits’ hutch and living area regularly to help your rabbits keep themselves clean.
- Check under the tail twice a day in the summer, as rabbits are most prone to flystrike in warmer weather.
- Visit your vet if your rabbits don’t groom properly and allow their bottoms to get dirty, as this can be a sign of other health problems.
- Ask your vet about treatments to help prevent fly strike.
Dental problems in rabbits
Your rabbits' diet is really important to their general health, especially to keep their teeth and gut healthy. Your rabbits' teeth grow constantly and need to be worn down naturally by eating the right kinds of food. Without this, your rabbits could start suffering from dental problems which can be really painful and might cause other health problems.
If your rabbits are having trouble with their teeth, or aren’t grooming properly, speak to your vet and get their teeth checked.
Neutering your pet
Find out how neutering can help protect your rabbit from serious illness as well as preventing unwanted litters.