Rabbit and Small Mammal Care
While dogs and cats are by far the most common household pets, rabbits, ferrets, guinea pigs and other small mammals are also extremely popular. In recent years, the number of people choosing these pint-sized furry friends as pets are increasing. However, many owners fail to realise that receiving the right veterinary attention is just as important for them as it is for dogs and cats, if their smaller pet is to live a long and happy life too.
Caring for rabbits and small mammals isn’t all that different to their larger counterparts, but our team has the specialist knowledge and experience to be able to treat your pet with the love and attention that they deserve.
Typical Veterinary Care for Rabbits and Small Mammals
While the exact care that each pet needs is personalized for their individual health and wellbeing, some of the typical aspects of their wellbeing that we can help to look after include:
Rabbits can be just as prone to illness as any cat or dog, and vaccinations form a vital part of your pet’s care. All rabbits should be annually vaccinated against Myxomatosis and Viral Haemorragic Disease (VHD), both of which can be fatal if contracted.
Other small mammals do not require regular vaccinations, but we would be happy to speak to you about other forms of disease prevention.
Female bunnies can produce as many as 8 litters each year, with each litter producing anywhere an average of 6 babies. When you consider that a rabbit can start breeding from the age of 6 months, you start to understand the scale with which they can potentially reproduce – and why we use the phrase ‘breeding like rabbits’!
Overpopulation is a serious problem for many household mammals, and rabbits are no exception. Neutering can help to reduce the overpopulation problem and encourage prospective pet owners to choose to rehome rather than take on a specially-bred baby. It can also improve the behavior of your bunny and protect your females from uterine cancer. We can neuter male rabbits from four months of age, and female rabbits from five months.
It is also possible to neuter other small mammals such as gerbils, ferrets and chinchillas, and doing so offers the same behavioral and health benefits. Make an appointment with us so we can assess your small mammal’s suitability for neutering.
Rabbits have teeth that continue to grow throughout their lifetime, with their incisors (front teeth) capable of growing several millimeters every week! Even the back teeth can grow up to 3mm each month. There are several ways in which you can help to keep your rabbit’s teeth short and healthy, including feeding them the right diet. However, we do see many rabbits who suffer from dental disease whereby the teeth are too long or look irregular, and this is often due to a lack of hard things to gnaw on and keep their teeth in check.
Dental problems can also occur in other small mammals, and in particular in chinchillas and ferrets. Dental problems that are left untreated can cause a range of other health complications for your pet. We support owners by performing regular checks of your furry friend’s teeth and give you personalized advice on how you can help keep them clean and healthy at home.
If your pet spends any time outdoors, there is always a small risk that they may escape, run away or even be stolen by an opportunist thief. Although many pet owners believe that microchipping is only for dogs and cats, it can also be applied to smaller mammals including rabbits and ferrets. Each microchip contains a unique reference number that correlates to your personal details, which are held on a secure database that can only be accessed by veterinary professionals. By choosing to microchip your pet, you are increasing the likelihood of being reunited with him should you ever become separated.
Our team has extensive experience in treating a wide range of pets. If you have a rabbit or other small mammal, rest assure that we can give him the best possible veterinary care. Contact us and schedule an appointment at our offices today to get a baseline check of your pet.