If you have a pet bunny you may be wondering how often you should take a bunny to the vet and how much veterinary care for rabbits costs. Today, our Jacksonville vets answer those questions and more as we discuss routine vet care for bunnies.
Veterinary Care for Rabbits
At our team understands that bringing your pet to see the vet can be stressful whether your pet is a dog, cat or rabbit. But starting vet visits while your rabbit is young may help to get both you and your bunny used to the process as you and your pet get to know your vet and what's involved in a routine visit.
We recommend bringing your bunny in for a checkup as soon as you first get them. This early visit will allow your vet to give your bunny a full examination checking for any health concerns such as parasites, but will also give you a chance to speak to your vet about the best way to care for your new pet. Your vet will be happy to answer any questions you may have.
Your vet will also discuss having your bunny spayed or neutered in order to prevent the arrival of any unexpected baby bunnies. Spaying and neutering are common surgeries that are highly recommended for most pets as a way to help reduce the number of unwanted animals in shelters. This surgery is generally performed on rabbits at about 6 months of age.
When To Take Your Bunny For a Routine Exam
Once you have taken your new bunny to the vet for their first checkup you will likely be asking 'how often should I take my rabbit to the vet as it grows up?'.
Provided that your pet gets a clean bill of health during their first visit you may not have to visit the vet again for another 12 months.
For young healthy rabbits seeing the vet once or twice a year for routine checkups is generally recommended.
Rabbits over the age of 5 years should begin to see the vet at least twice a year for checkups. This is also true if your bunny has been unwell or has a chronic injury.
It's important to note that rabbits hide signs of illness as a way of protecting themselves against predators. This means that your rabbit may be unwell but doing a good job of hiding it.
Routine checkups for your rabbit provide your vet with an opportunity to spot the earliest signs of developing health problems, allowing treatment to begin before symptoms become more severe.
What To Expect At Your Rabbit's Routine Exam
When you visit your vet for a rabbit routine checkup your vet will perform a comprehensive examination to check for any signs of illness or injuries.
If your bunny's teeth have gotten too long, your vet may shorten them for your rabbit's comfort and safety.
Your vet may recommend bloodwork be done as a way to help ensure that your bunny really is as happy and healthy as they appear outwardly. Bloodwork can reveal underlying illnesses that are difficult to spot with a standard examination.
Of course, as well as routine examinations your rabbit may need to see a vet if you notice signs of illness or injury. If your bunny needs to be seen by a veterinarian due to health concerns your vet may recommend x-rays or bloodwork be done to help diagnose the issue.
Signs That Your Bunny Should See a Vet
Spending lots of time socializing with your bunny is the best place to start. Spending loads of time together is more than just fun, it also gives you an opportunity to get to know their normal (healthy) behaviors, habits and personality traits. This way, it will be easier to spot when something seems a bit 'off' or not quite right.
Get to know your rabbit's typical feeding habits and watch for any sudden changes in their eating patterns. Also, keep an eye out for symptoms such as a loss of appetite or changes in your rabbit's bowel movements.
Symptoms to watch for also include:
- Sudden personality changes (aggressive or lethargic)
- Changes in eating habits
- Head tilt
- Loss of balance
- Bald patches
- Mouth breathing
- Swollen tummy
- Wet nose
- Not pooping normally (Change in litterbox habits)
- Sitting in a hunched position
If your rabbit begins displaying any of the symptoms listed above, or if you feel that something about your bunny isn't quite right, contact your rabbit vet right away.
Even if you are unsure about your rabbit's health it's always best to err on the side of caution and see your vet. Catching injuries and illness in the earliest stages can help to make recovery faster for your bunny.
The Cost of Veterinary Care for Rabbits
How much does a vet visit cost for a rabbit? The cost of veterinary care for rabbits varies greatly across the country depending upon where you live geographically and even whether you live in a city or in a more rural area. The only way to find out how much veterinary care for rabbits costs in your area is to contact the small exotic animal vet nearest you to ask. If you don't mind traveling you may be able to compare pricing between vets in your area and pick the vet that best suits your needs.
That said, it's important to remember that not all vets care for rabbits, so be sure to get to know a rabbit vet in your area before an emergency arises!
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.