Rabbits should be vaccinated against Myxomatosis and Viral/Rabbit Haemorrhagic disease. Both these diseases can be rapidly fatal, with rabbits becoming unwell very quickly. These diseases can be spread by biting insects, so house rabbits need vaccination too.
Vaccines can be given from 5 weeks old. Older rabbits need a single vaccine (ideally in the spring) and this should be given each year.
The Ash Regulars Preventative Healthcare Club covers rabbits and will allow you to save money on your vaccinations and preventative healthcare. You can find out more about it here.
Rabbits become sexually active from 4 months old, so male and female rabbits should be castrated and spayed at 4 months old.
This is an operation reformed under general anaesthetic and allows rabbits to live together without the risk of pregnancy or aggression which often happens with entire male rabbits who are kept together.
All female rabbits should be spayed, even if they do not have any contact with male rabbits as there is a high risk of cancer of the uterus and ovaries in unspayed female rabbits.
Males should be castrated. 2 castrated males can live together, 2 entire males cannot because they will fight. 2 females can live together, but should be spayed to prevent cancer.
If you would like your rabbit to be neutered, please make an appointment for a free health check and we can discuss this and other aspects of rabbit care with you.
Rabbits are pregnant for 30-32 days and can get pregnant almost straight away after giving birth – the male rabbit should be removed before kittening if you don’t want more bunnies.
Rabbits should be fed mainly hay, with approximately an egg cup full of pellets eg excel.
They should have greens such as apples, asparagus, banana, basil, brussel sprouts, cauliflower leaves and stem, celery, chicory, dill, fennel, green pepper, kale, mint, oregano, parsley, savoy cabbage, spinach, turnip, watercress, red leaf lettuce, Romaine lettuce (avoid cos and iceberg)
The can also have willow or fruit tree sticks to chew on, occasional small pieces of fruit as treats.
Avoid Apple pips, avocado, carrot, potato, rhubarb.
You can find more information about the diets of rabbits here.
Rabbits should be treated with Rearguard every 10 weeks through the summer to prevent fly strike (maggots). Find out more about the unpleasant and dangerous condition that is fly strike here.
They can have Advantage to prevent fleas (and should be used monthly if sharing a house with dogs and cats). Worming products are also available for rabbits. Information on how to apply Advantage can be found here.
Rabbits need to be able to move around properly. They should not be kept in just a small hutch, but should have a run and objects of different heights. They also like to hide, so give them tunnels or boxes to get into.
Rabbits are sociable animals and need company, so make sure that they have a friend to spend time with. Find out more about company for your rabbit here.