Got a Rabbit?… Get a check-up!
To help ensure pet rabbits in NY stay healthy, as a rabbit veterinarian in NY for the past 20 years, I recommend annual examinations for all bunnies by a rabbit veterinarian. I see many rabbit owners in NY, CT, and NJ wait to bring their pets rabbits to the veterinarian until they are sick and don’t realize that rabbits should have regular check-ups to detect developing problems early, before they become life-threatening. Rabbits are prey species, so they hide sickness to prevent being eaten by predators.
Our NY Rabbit Veterinarians Know
By the time rabbits are showing signs of illness, they are often very ill. Common diseases in rabbits such as gastrointestinal stasis (a slowing down of the passage of food through the stomach and intestines due to a change in the normal intestinal bacteria), teeth problems, ringworm (loss of hair from infection with a skin fungus), uterine cancer, infection with Encephalitzoon cuniculi (or E. cuniculi, a parasite that attacks the brain and nervous system of rabbits, causing abnormal neurologic behavior), and ear infections, are just among a few of the diseases an experienced rabbit veterinarian can pick up during a thorough examination.
An Experienced NY Rabbit Veterinarian
A well-trained bunny veterinarian also should review rabbit nutrition, housing (including caging, bedding, and rabbit-proofing), and behavior during a check-up. To keep a rabbit healthy and happy, there is quite a bit to know, and an educated rabbit vet should be able to answer any questions you might have about rabbits, as I did on the Martha Stewart Show at Easter time, http://www.lauriehessdvm.com/video/.
Besides having annual examinations, pet rabbits should go to the veterinarian to be spayed and neutered after they are 6 months old. If you have both a male and a female, you must neuter them, or even after a couple of months of age, they can breed, and you’ll end up with many more than just two! Unneutered male rabbits often spray to mark territory and will commonly “hump” everything in sight when they are sexually mature – an unpleasant behavior, especially if they are humping your leg! In addition, unlike many other species, female rabbits are very prone to developing uterine cancer, with some studies reporting that more that 80% of unspayed female rabbits develop this disease after age 3. So whether your rabbit is a mating machine or is simply not yet neutered, spaying is critical to preventing this fatal disease.
Help ensure your bunny lives a long and healthy life. Call your vet today for a check-up!