Rabbit Vaccinations, Desexing, Worming and More
Rabbits live for five to 10 years and throughout their life, they’ll need to take trips to the vet for a variety of reasons.
Just like a puppy or kitten, your rabbit should have vaccinations administered by a Vet. Rabbit vaccinations protect against the deadly Calicivirus, which is highly contagious and spread by mosquitoes and fleas.
Your rabbit’s vaccination schedule will generally be as follows, and costs will vary depending on the veterinary clinic you visit:
10-12 weeks of age
4 weeks after first vaccination
Annually after second vaccination
It is highly recommended your bunny is de-sexed at around four to six months of age as it can prevent pregnancy (which can occur from four months old) or help manage various health and behavior issues.
De-sexing may not change the personality of your rabbit however it can help to reduce the onset of many undesirable traits due to increased hormone levels. De-sexing will also allow your (neutered) male and (spayed) female rabbits to live together comfortably.
After your rabbit has been desexed, keep them warm, dry and regulate their temperature. This means they will most likely need to spend a few days indoors with you, post-operation. Providing your small family member with an igloo they can hide away in is a great option for keeping them feeling secure and comfortable.
Check your rabbit’s stiches regularly and keep a close eye on them to ensure they’re eating and drinking normally. Offer your rabbit fresh food and water straight after you return home from the Vet. If you notice your pet has stopped eating or has become lethargic, call your Vet immediately.
Worming your Rabbit
Rabbits need to be wormed every three months from eight weeks of age, with either a spot on treatment or an oral liquid or paste.
Some signs associated with worm infestation include:
- An increased appetite
- Diarrhoea (blood/mucus can also be present)
- Weight loss
- Dull coat
Left untreated, worms will cause your rabbit’s condition to deteriorate, leading them to becoming severely unwell and eventually resulting in death.
Fleas and Mites
Like dogs and cats, rabbits can also be affected by fleas and mites. As they say, prevention is better than the cure so it’s essential your rabbit’s flea and mite treatment is kept up to date all year round.Fleas: Small parasitic insects that feed on the blood of mammals and can be found on the surface of the skin.
Mites: Microscopic parasites, mites can be found in the hair follicles and ears of rabbits, but can also burrow deep into the skin.
Your rabbit should be administered with a monthly flea and mite treatment from eight weeks old. However if a mite infestation has occurred, treatment will need to be repeated two to four weeks after the initial dosage.
In severe cases of mite infestation, veterinary attention may be necessary.
Signs of flea/mite infestations include:
- Visible 'dandruff’ in cases of mites
- Visible fleas
- Flea dirt (spots of dried blood)
- Hair loss
- Pale gums (caused by anaemia, as a result of large flea infestations)
- Scaling of the skin
If left untreated, rabbits can develop a hypersensitivity to flea bites, resulting in excessive self-biting and scratching which leads to lesions on the skin and skin infections. Your rabbit may also then experience anaemia, caused by blood loss.
Cutting Your Rabbit’s Nails
Your bunny’s claws continuously grow like their teeth, and our own fingernails. Check your rabbit’s claws regularly and trim as necessary with a special pair of nail trimming scissors.
When cutting your rabbit’s nails, be careful not to trim too far down. On examination, you’ll see a distinct color change in your rabbit’s nail from white to pink. Be sure to only cut the white part of the nail to avoid causing injury and bleeding.
If you’re unsure, or not confident in cutting your rabbit’s nails, make an appointment with your Vet who will happily do this for you.
Rabbits are known to be fastidious about grooming and cleaning themselves, just the same as cats.
If your rabbit gets himself into an extra messy situation, you may want to give them a gentle bath with a rabbit shampoo. Be extra careful when doing this as your bunny’s skin is very delicate, especially when wet. Ensure you dry your bunny thoroughly with a towel, but avoid using a hairdryer as this may irritate the skin or cause overheating.
Rabbit breeds with a long, fluffy coat (like Angoras), may require regular gentle brushing. Their coats are easily tangled and matted, so this is vital to keep their coat healthy.
Our Recommended Products
Nibble & Squeek Small Animal Cube
- Perfect for your small animal to play or nap in
- Clips let you connect to the cage
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Aristopet Small Animal Worming Treatment
- Used for the treatment of roundworms in small animals
- Pleasing taste, making administration easy
Aristopet Mite and Mange Spray
- Safely controls lice and mites on guinea pigs, rabbits, mice and rats
- Can be also used to treat their environment.
Pet One Small Animal Grooming Kit
- Help keep your pet happy, healthy and looking great
- Contains one slicker brush, one bristle brush, one flea comb and one small animal/cat clippers