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Keeping your pets safe at Easter – Chocolate

Milton Keynes Veterinary Group
During the next few weeks there may be an abundance of chocolate in our households, pets eating chocolate has serious effects on their health. Make sure you keep your chocolate stash away from your pets and anyone else you don’t want getting their hands on it!

Chocolate contains a substance called theobromine which can be poisonous to our pets.

All types of chocolate whether it is white, milk or dark chocolate can contain Theobromine but at different quantities. In the situation, where you pet has managed to get hold of any chocolate, please contact your veterinary practice and it is always useful to have the chocolate packaging to show or discuss with your vet.

Signs of chocolate toxicity can include restlessness, vomiting, diarrhoea, increased thirst, elevated heart rate, increased blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythm, tremours or increased body temperature.
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How can I help keep my rabbit healthy?

Milton Keynes Veterinary Group
Our pets rely on us to keep them fit and healthy, some ideas to help our rabbits say active can include:
  • Provide your rabbits with items to play with. They will happily play with cardboard boxes, untreated logs or suitable toys to keep them busy.
  • Rabbits also love to dig! Why not provide them with a tray with potting compost and let them have a play.
  • Make outside space for them, provide them with an outdoor run. They love to hop around, rummage and graze on days with good weather.
Rabbits benefit from a diet that is as natural as possible:
  • Provide them plenty of access to hay each day, this is important for healthy teeth and digestion.
  • Give them fresh vegetables, morning and evening but be careful which type. Carrots contain a high level of sugar which are bad for their teeth so these should be given as a treat. Ideally provide plenty of green leafy vegetables.
  • Rabbit pellet food can be provided in small amounts they do not need a large quantity of this.
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Is your rabbit at a healthy weight?

Milton Keynes Veterinary Group
Do you ever wonder if your rabbit is at a healthy weight? Your pet’s weight can depend on their breed, sex and age and therefore it will be individual to each animal.

We can assess whether our smaller pets are over or under weight by first looking at their overall size, look at your pet from the side and from above. You should be able to see a waist, if the waist is pronounced your pet may need to put on a few pounds or if the waist is not defined your pet may need to lose a few pounds.

You can also assess by feeling under your pet’s tummy, their tummy should go in and not bulge out.

By running your hands over the side of your pet, you can assess if the skin moves freely over their ribs and should be easy to feel under a thin fat layer.

You can also run your hands along their back, you should be able to feel their hips and spine easily under a thin fat later. For rabbits, check the area of the base of the tail also where the tail joins the spine, there should not be any build-up of fat here.
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