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Posts Tagged ‘rabbit’

Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease 2 – what you need to know!

Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease is a serious disease in rabbits, and can be fatal. It is also known as Viral Haemorrhagic Disease or Rabbit Calicivirus.

There are two strains of Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease – strains 1 and 2. Vaccines protecting against Strain 1 have been used in the UK for many years. The first case of RHD2 was noted in December 2014, and there is now a vaccination available for this strain in addition. We have sadly recently confirmed an RHD2 case at Milton Keynes Veterinary Group.

The virus can be transmitted through direct contact with an infected rabbit via its oral, nasal or conjunctival secretions, as well as urine and faeces. It may also be transmitted via contaminated objects such as enclosures, ground, cloth and infected hay or other foods. Fleas and mosquitos are also another factor that can contribute to spread of the disease.

High risk rabbits may include show rabbits, shelter rabbits or those recently adopted. Low risk rabbits will be indoor rabbits who have no contact with other rabbits (wild or domestic).

This disease has a high mortality rate, and with most cases it is fatal in unvaccinated rabbits. The disease is also highly contagious and just one infected rabbit will rapidly spread this virus to others in the area.

The RHD2 strain is less aggressive than RHD1, with rabbits becoming ill over several days rather than sudden onset. Symptoms, although rare, can include fever, lethargy, loss of appetite and spasms.

Unfortunately there is no treatment for this disease, and this coupled with its sudden onset means it is unlikely we will see a good outcome.

Fortunately this disease can be prevented. Through routine yearly vaccination, both strains of RHD can be prevented for your rabbit. However, although vaccination is a big preventative measure against this disease, there are other factors that should be considered to minimise further risk. This includes reducing the risk of infection from other animals by preventing contact with wild rabbits, birds or rodents. If you have any questions regarding this disease, please contact the practice for further advice.
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Obesity in your older bunny

When our rabbits become older they lead a slower pace of life, unless we monitor and adjust feeding patterns accordingly, there is a higher risk of pets gaining weight and becoming obese.

Obesity can be a contributing factor in the case of other conditions such as arthritis, heart disease and pododermatiitis.

It can also be dangerous in cases of anorexia as they will metabolise fat which can be lead to hepatic lipidosis.

Rabbits should have a diet of high fibre pellets, add lib grass, hay and greens to prevent obesity and to lose weight.

Follow this link for a good guide on rabbit body condition scoring.

If you are concerned about your rabbit’s weight in their older age, why not book in for a geriatric check with one of our nurses. These appointments are available for rabbits over the age of 7 years old and are running during the month of November only.
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Dental disease in our ageing bunnies

Our older bunnies can suffer with ‘age-related’ conditions the same as other species. One common problem is dental disease, which can present in a number of ways, such as abscesses, malocclusion and tooth root conformation. Malocclusion may occur in an older rabbits due to a tooth root abnormality or missing opposing tooth.

Overgrown teeth in older rabbits is common and can penetrate the gums, cheeks, tongue and lips, which can cause ulcers or even oral abscesses. Rabbit’s teeth are continuously growing around 2-3mm a week. Therefore it is best to keep the diet as natural as possible to grind down their cheek teeth effectively. If your rabbit is not eating properly or losing weight, we recommend they are checked for abnormal dentition.

During November, we are offering free health checks for rabbits over the age of 7 years. These clinics are available with one of our veterinary nurses, at our Walnut Tree, Stoke Road and Willen branches. Call our reception team today to book an appointment for your rabbit.
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Rabbit Awareness Clinics

Join us for our Rabbit Awareness event at Walnut Tree.

During June, we are supporting Rabbit Awareness by offering FREE RABBIT HEALTH CHECKS. Our nurses would love to see your bunny friends. Availability on selected days.

Please call us on 01908 397777 to book an appointment.
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Great News! – Healthy Pet Care Plans now available for Rabbits

WE NOW PROVIDE A HEALTHY PET CARE PLAN FOR RABBITS!

This plan includes:
  • Your rabbit’s Myxomatosis and Rabbit Viral Haemorrhagic Disease (RVHD1) ANNUAL BOOSTER
  • 50% DISCOUNT off Rabbit Viral Haemorrhagic Disease (RVHD2) annual booster
  • 8 MONTHS PARASITE CONTROL during March – October
  • 15% DISCOUNT off all CONSULTATIONS
  • 10% DISCOUNT off DENTAL procedures
As well as many more benefits such as microchipping, nail clips with one of our veterinary nurses and discount on food and waiting room items.

All this for £7.50! (plus a £10.00 joining fee initially)



Click here to find out more or contact one of our team on 01908 397777
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