What is RAW?
Rabbit Awareness Week (RAW) is about mentoring people with rabbits, or those who would like them, about their needs and sharing our recommendations on neutering to ensure they live happy, healthy lives.
Hopping off on the right foot
You’ve made the decision to get rabbits, you’ve read up on the basics, so what’s next? How should you prepare for their arrival? How will you make sure they settle in well?
This handy ‘Hopping off on the right foot’ guide will help you get set up and get into good habits when it comes to looking after your bunnies and keeping them happy and healthy.
Better Bunnies Programme
Despite being the UK’s third most popular pet, many rabbits are neglected and given the incorrect diet, unsuitable housing and no companionship. The Better Bunnies Programme helps bunny owners to step up and make changes, so they give their bunnies’ a better and happier lifestyle. Download and print out the Better Bunny Programme sheet to optimise your bunny’s welfare needs.
There are many benefits to your bunnies’ health if you decide to neuter. Neutering can be carried out in males as soon as the testes are descended. Neutering is often advised from 6 months onwards in females, but from approximately 16 weeks may be preferable.
From general anecdotal feedback, a mixed sex pair is the easiest to bond and keep together. However, all rabbits kept together must be neutered, and it is much easier to bond them initially if they have already been neutered.
Mixed sex groups which have not been neutered will breed. This is a strain on the doe and may result in cannibalism of the kits if unexpected and she does not have an area to make a nest. This contributes to the huge number of unwanted pet rabbits out there.
Female rabbits who are not neutered are at a very high risk of developing mammary, and especially, uterine problems.
Castrating male rabbits is mainly advised to allow them to live in socially compatible groups, for good welfare, but there are health advantages too, preventing testicular and prostatic tumours, although these are rarer and more easily treatable than the tumours female rabbits may get.
There are 3 viral diseases of rabbits endemic in the UK, which are fatal, but can be vaccinated against.
Myxomatosis has been present in the UK since it was introduced from South America in the 1950s. It killed a very high percentage of the wild rabbits, and still kills many every year, although there is some immunity present in the population. As it is in the wild population, and domestic rabbits can easily catch it, it is an ever-present worry for pet owners.
Rabbit Viral Haemorrhagic Disease 1 and 2 are spread by direct contact, but mainly by inanimate objects. Vaccination with Nobivac Myxo-RHD PLUS is required annually, as above. Additional protection is by good biosecurity: changing footwear after walking in the countryside in areas with wild rabbits present; using a disinfectant footdip if changing footwear is not possible; ensuring that any foraged wild foods are from RVHD free areas, i.e. those without rabbits present, or above the reach of rabbits, in hedgerows etc. Rabbit Viral Haemorrhagic Disease 2 is now the dominant strain of the virus throughout the UK.
An ideal diet, neutering and regular veterinary checks including vaccination are the main methods of minimising the risk of health problems in rabbits. For £9.25/month, you could have your rabbit’s preventative health care covered, and more!
membership provides your pet with:
Rabbits: Myxomatosis, Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease
PLEASE NOTE: The discount is available to clients for the stated procedures undertaken exclusively at our practice, and at no other clinics. Private cremations, out-of-hours consultations & referrals are not eligible for discount.
10% discount on:
How do I join?
JOIN THE MOUNT ACTIVE PET HEALTH CLUB
Your Mount Active Pet Health Club membership is a twelve-month contract. If you decide to terminate the membership early, you will be liable for any costs in full which were claimed as part of your membership plan, minus the membership fees you have already paid. Terminating your Mount Active Pet Health Club membership means no benefits under your plan can be claimed thereafter, and any additional costs implicated by the COVID-19 lockdown period, e.g. restarting your pet’s vaccination course, will not be covered and you will be liable for these costs.