Healthy rabbits and communicating with owners


Rabbits need species-specific care, in order to meet their health, welfare and behavioural needs. Preventative health care is imperative to help keep rabbits healthy. Advice needs to be given to owners on their rabbit's dietary requirements, and why hay and grass is imperative as the bulk of their diet. Vaccinations to help prevent myxomatosis and rabbit viral haemorrhagic disease (RVHD1 and RVHD2) should be advised for all rabbits, including house rabbits. Rabbits require adequate space and the companionship of another rabbit to live a good quality life. They should have access to an exercise area, and have the choice of where to spend their time, without the need to be picked up and moved from a hutch to a run.Many owners will look to veterinary nurses for current advice, and it is important that nurses feel confident in offering the most up-to-date information. At times, it may be that owners need to make changes to the way they care for their rabbits, and being confident in explaining why these need to be implemented, and the positive effects these will have on the rabbit's life, is vital.

Figure 1. The RWAF's owner guide, On the Hop, is full of useful information to help guide owners.
Figure 1. The RWAF's owner guide, On the Hop, is full of useful information to help guide owners.

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