Back to Bird & Exotics Veterinarian homepage
CARING FOR YOUR RABBIT
Rabbits are herbivores (plant
eaters) so a diet high in fibre is required.
Provide a diet of 80% fresh grass, good quality meadow or oat hay (not
lucerne), and 20% vegetables and herbs (eg broccoli, endive, beet and
carrot leaves, brussel sprouts, Asian greens, chickory, kale, parsley,
dandelion, coriander, basil, dill and mint). Only feed celery and
lettuce in limited amounts as they are of little nutritional value.
Commercially available pellets can make up a maximum 10% of the diet
Seed, nut, and chaff mixtures are not ideal and should not be offered
Water is best offered in a bottle and all food and water should be fresh
and changed daily.
A vaccination against calicivirus (a disease spread by mosquitoes that
can cause sudden death) is required at 8-10 weeks of age, a booster at
12-14 weeks and again with a regular health check every 6-12
months for life.
Desexing is recommended for female rabbits at 5-6 months of age
to help prevent unwanted litters and the development of uterine cancer
which occurs in 50-80% of rabbits over 4 years old.
Desexing is recommended at 4-6 months for male rabbits to reduce
aggression, territorial behaviour (including inappropriate soiling) and
Overgrown back teeth leading to the inability to eat is a common,
life-threatening problem and so teeth need to be examined at regular
Rabbit-safe flea and mite prevention should be used monthly. This
includes Revolution™ and Advantage™ (for cats). There are no rabbit
specific products. Discuss their appropriate use and dose with your
Rabbits in Australia
can not be vaccinated against myxomatosis. To protect your rabbit from
this insect-spread diseas keep them inside at dawn and dusk, cover
outdoor enclosures and make sure your rabbit is up-to-date with flea and
Rabbits can be kept indoors or outdoors provided they are protected from
the extremes of heat and cold. They are extremely sensitive to
heatstroke as they can neither pant nor sweat and temperatures above
26ºC should be avoided.
If living in a hutch, ensure that the floor is made of solid material
such as plexiglass or wood with a thick layer of regularly changed straw
or hay to prevent foot trauma. A concealed area is also important to
allow the rabbit to feel secure.
Rabbits can be trained to use a litter box and this should be changed
daily to prevent urine scalding.
Rabbits should have access to unfiltered sunlight on a regular basis and
given the opportunity to exercise – daily supervised periods in the
garden are ideal.
only all-bird and exotics veterinarian in Sydney
Content © Copyright Bird Veterinarian
All care has been taken to ensure that the
information contained on, and accessed through, this web site is correct but
Bird Veterinarian accepts no responsibility nor liability for, and makes no
representations with respect to the accuracy or completeness of the information
on this web site. The information contained on the Bird Veterinarian web site
is intended as a general guide only and should not be relied on in place of
professional veterinary consultation.