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Preparing For Vet Visits and What To Expect

Preparing For Vet Visits and What To Expect
Rabbits
,
General Care
Share this article
Preparing For Vet Visits and What To Expect
Preparing For Vet Visits and What To Expect
Rabbits
,
General Care
Preparing For Vet Visits and What To Expect
Share this article
Preparing For Vet Visits and What To Expect
Visiting the vet is an important part of pet rabbit ownership. Vet visits include routine health checks, vaccinations, sterilisation, as well as support and treatment if your rabbit becomes unwell. Your vet will help your rabbit stay in the best health and be happy. But for rabbits, visiting the vet can be stressful, whatever the reason for the trip. Rabbits are prey animals and don’t cope well with confinement or travel. Preparation is important to reduce stress as much as possible.

Choosing the right travel carrier

Choose a rabbit-safe, secure, non-collapsible, well-ventilated carrier that is large enough for your rabbit to comfortably lie down and turn around in, without hindrance. Ideally, choose a carrier that has more than one access door to make it easier to get your rabbit in and out of the carrier.

Don’t choose carriers made from wire mesh, fabric or wicker, or use cardboard boxes. Carriers that can trap limbs, be chewed through, or destabilise when wet are not secure so should not be used.

Do familiarise your rabbit with their carrier in advance and create a positive association with its presence. Have the carrier available in their living space and encourage them to explore it by including a familiar-smelling blanket, some toys, and their favourite veggies.

Don’t bring the carrier out only for vet visits or when your rabbit is poorly as this will likely create a negative association of stress and fear.

What else does your rabbit need for travelling?

  • Water is essential to keep your rabbit hydrated on their trip. Use portable non-spill bottles or bowls, but keep to whichever rabbit is used to for familiarity.
  • Plenty of hay - Rabbits need constant access to food to ensure their digestive system stays healthy and to prevent the risk of gut stasis. Unlike with cats and dogs, NEVER starve your rabbit, even if they are going for a procedure at the vet's.
  • Pack a lunch if your rabbit is likely to stay at the vet clinic. Include plenty of hay, their usual pellets, and their favourite veggies to ensure they continue eating and recover quicker.
  • Familiar bedding and toys should be included in their carrier. Familiar smells have a calming effect.
  • Newspaper is a good carrier lining to soak up any urine and provide a non-slip surface.
  • Companionship is key. If your rabbit lives with a friend, they should always travel with them. Rabbits being prey animals, are nervous in isolation. Travelling with a friend eases anxiety, provides reassurance and also prevents problems with reintroduction later as both rabbits will have the clinic's scents on them after the visit.
  • A blanket to cover the carrier provides some cover to help your rabbit feel more secure, it also muffles the sounds of a busy vet waiting room helping keep them calm.

Getting your rabbit into the carrier

Ensure you have everything you need before putting your rabbit in their carrier to minimise the length of time they are cooped up and worried.

Use gentle, confident movements to help your rabbit into the carrier. Avoid forcibly pushing your rabbit into the carrier and use treats to tempt your rabbit into the carrier instead. Always handle your rabbit close to the ground to avoid accidentally dropping them, as falls could result in catastrophic spinal or limb fractures. Covering their eyes can help if they’re particularly worried.

Using natural herbal calming sprays (e.g., valerian) can help soothe your rabbit and help encourage them gently into their carrier.

Considerations for the car

  • Avoid travelling in the hottest part of the day in summer, rabbits don’t cope well with heat.
  • Ensure the car is as cool as possible and avoid placing carriers in direct sunlight.
  • Secure the carrier safely in the car and drive carefully.

At the Vets

The waiting room

Keep your rabbit away from predators like cats and dogs, consider waiting in the car after checking in at the reception. If it is unavoidable to share a busy waiting room with other animals, keep your rabbit carrier off the floor. Raising the carrier above the level of potential predators and keeping it covered with a towel can reduce stress and keep them calmer.

The Consult room

Whether for a wellness exam or if your rabbit is poorly, your vet will perform a clinical exam. This involves a full check over from nose to tail, checking teeth, abdomen, limbs, skin, ears, and eyes. Your vet will also check your rabbit's temperature and weight. Examining faeces in the carrier can give an indication of health also. Once the exam is completed, you will have an opportunity to ask questions before your vet gives any recommendations, carries out any necessary further tests or provides treatment.

Veterinary visits are essential in caring for your pet rabbit, involving routine health checks, vaccinations, sterilisation, and treatment of ailments. Going to the vet is stressful for rabbits so prepare well with a safe carrier full of familiar items, food, water, and companionship.

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Visiting the vet is an important part of pet rabbit ownership. Vet visits include routine health checks, vaccinations, sterilisation, as well as support and treatment if your rabbit becomes unwell. Your vet will help your rabbit stay in the best health and be happy. But for rabbits, visiting the vet can be stressful, whatever the reason for the trip. Rabbits are prey animals and don’t cope well with confinement or travel. Preparation is important to reduce stress as much as possible.

Choosing the right travel carrier

Choose a rabbit-safe, secure, non-collapsible, well-ventilated carrier that is large enough for your rabbit to comfortably lie down and turn around in, without hindrance. Ideally, choose a carrier that has more than one access door to make it easier to get your rabbit in and out of the carrier.

Don’t choose carriers made from wire mesh, fabric or wicker, or use cardboard boxes. Carriers that can trap limbs, be chewed through, or destabilise when wet are not secure so should not be used.

Do familiarise your rabbit with their carrier in advance and create a positive association with its presence. Have the carrier available in their living space and encourage them to explore it by including a familiar-smelling blanket, some toys, and their favourite veggies.

Don’t bring the carrier out only for vet visits or when your rabbit is poorly as this will likely create a negative association of stress and fear.

What else does your rabbit need for travelling?

  • Water is essential to keep your rabbit hydrated on their trip. Use portable non-spill bottles or bowls, but keep to whichever rabbit is used to for familiarity.
  • Plenty of hay - Rabbits need constant access to food to ensure their digestive system stays healthy and to prevent the risk of gut stasis. Unlike with cats and dogs, NEVER starve your rabbit, even if they are going for a procedure at the vet's.
  • Pack a lunch if your rabbit is likely to stay at the vet clinic. Include plenty of hay, their usual pellets, and their favourite veggies to ensure they continue eating and recover quicker.
  • Familiar bedding and toys should be included in their carrier. Familiar smells have a calming effect.
  • Newspaper is a good carrier lining to soak up any urine and provide a non-slip surface.
  • Companionship is key. If your rabbit lives with a friend, they should always travel with them. Rabbits being prey animals, are nervous in isolation. Travelling with a friend eases anxiety, provides reassurance and also prevents problems with reintroduction later as both rabbits will have the clinic's scents on them after the visit.
  • A blanket to cover the carrier provides some cover to help your rabbit feel more secure, it also muffles the sounds of a busy vet waiting room helping keep them calm.

Getting your rabbit into the carrier

Ensure you have everything you need before putting your rabbit in their carrier to minimise the length of time they are cooped up and worried.

Use gentle, confident movements to help your rabbit into the carrier. Avoid forcibly pushing your rabbit into the carrier and use treats to tempt your rabbit into the carrier instead. Always handle your rabbit close to the ground to avoid accidentally dropping them, as falls could result in catastrophic spinal or limb fractures. Covering their eyes can help if they’re particularly worried.

Using natural herbal calming sprays (e.g., valerian) can help soothe your rabbit and help encourage them gently into their carrier.

Considerations for the car

  • Avoid travelling in the hottest part of the day in summer, rabbits don’t cope well with heat.
  • Ensure the car is as cool as possible and avoid placing carriers in direct sunlight.
  • Secure the carrier safely in the car and drive carefully.

At the Vets

The waiting room

Keep your rabbit away from predators like cats and dogs, consider waiting in the car after checking in at the reception. If it is unavoidable to share a busy waiting room with other animals, keep your rabbit carrier off the floor. Raising the carrier above the level of potential predators and keeping it covered with a towel can reduce stress and keep them calmer.

The Consult room

Whether for a wellness exam or if your rabbit is poorly, your vet will perform a clinical exam. This involves a full check over from nose to tail, checking teeth, abdomen, limbs, skin, ears, and eyes. Your vet will also check your rabbit's temperature and weight. Examining faeces in the carrier can give an indication of health also. Once the exam is completed, you will have an opportunity to ask questions before your vet gives any recommendations, carries out any necessary further tests or provides treatment.

Veterinary visits are essential in caring for your pet rabbit, involving routine health checks, vaccinations, sterilisation, and treatment of ailments. Going to the vet is stressful for rabbits so prepare well with a safe carrier full of familiar items, food, water, and companionship.

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Receive a digest of the latest events and offers for you and your pet every month.
Visiting the vet is an important part of pet rabbit ownership. Vet visits include routine health checks, vaccinations, sterilisation, as well as support and treatment if your rabbit becomes unwell. Your vet will help your rabbit stay in the best health and be happy. But for rabbits, visiting the vet can be stressful, whatever the reason for the trip. Rabbits are prey animals and don’t cope well with confinement or travel. Preparation is important to reduce stress as much as possible.

Choosing the right travel carrier

Choose a rabbit-safe, secure, non-collapsible, well-ventilated carrier that is large enough for your rabbit to comfortably lie down and turn around in, without hindrance. Ideally, choose a carrier that has more than one access door to make it easier to get your rabbit in and out of the carrier.

Don’t choose carriers made from wire mesh, fabric or wicker, or use cardboard boxes. Carriers that can trap limbs, be chewed through, or destabilise when wet are not secure so should not be used.

Do familiarise your rabbit with their carrier in advance and create a positive association with its presence. Have the carrier available in their living space and encourage them to explore it by including a familiar-smelling blanket, some toys, and their favourite veggies.

Don’t bring the carrier out only for vet visits or when your rabbit is poorly as this will likely create a negative association of stress and fear.

What else does your rabbit need for travelling?

  • Water is essential to keep your rabbit hydrated on their trip. Use portable non-spill bottles or bowls, but keep to whichever rabbit is used to for familiarity.
  • Plenty of hay - Rabbits need constant access to food to ensure their digestive system stays healthy and to prevent the risk of gut stasis. Unlike with cats and dogs, NEVER starve your rabbit, even if they are going for a procedure at the vet's.
  • Pack a lunch if your rabbit is likely to stay at the vet clinic. Include plenty of hay, their usual pellets, and their favourite veggies to ensure they continue eating and recover quicker.
  • Familiar bedding and toys should be included in their carrier. Familiar smells have a calming effect.
  • Newspaper is a good carrier lining to soak up any urine and provide a non-slip surface.
  • Companionship is key. If your rabbit lives with a friend, they should always travel with them. Rabbits being prey animals, are nervous in isolation. Travelling with a friend eases anxiety, provides reassurance and also prevents problems with reintroduction later as both rabbits will have the clinic's scents on them after the visit.
  • A blanket to cover the carrier provides some cover to help your rabbit feel more secure, it also muffles the sounds of a busy vet waiting room helping keep them calm.

Getting your rabbit into the carrier

Ensure you have everything you need before putting your rabbit in their carrier to minimise the length of time they are cooped up and worried.

Use gentle, confident movements to help your rabbit into the carrier. Avoid forcibly pushing your rabbit into the carrier and use treats to tempt your rabbit into the carrier instead. Always handle your rabbit close to the ground to avoid accidentally dropping them, as falls could result in catastrophic spinal or limb fractures. Covering their eyes can help if they’re particularly worried.

Using natural herbal calming sprays (e.g., valerian) can help soothe your rabbit and help encourage them gently into their carrier.

Considerations for the car

  • Avoid travelling in the hottest part of the day in summer, rabbits don’t cope well with heat.
  • Ensure the car is as cool as possible and avoid placing carriers in direct sunlight.
  • Secure the carrier safely in the car and drive carefully.

At the Vets

The waiting room

Keep your rabbit away from predators like cats and dogs, consider waiting in the car after checking in at the reception. If it is unavoidable to share a busy waiting room with other animals, keep your rabbit carrier off the floor. Raising the carrier above the level of potential predators and keeping it covered with a towel can reduce stress and keep them calmer.

The Consult room

Whether for a wellness exam or if your rabbit is poorly, your vet will perform a clinical exam. This involves a full check over from nose to tail, checking teeth, abdomen, limbs, skin, ears, and eyes. Your vet will also check your rabbit's temperature and weight. Examining faeces in the carrier can give an indication of health also. Once the exam is completed, you will have an opportunity to ask questions before your vet gives any recommendations, carries out any necessary further tests or provides treatment.

Veterinary visits are essential in caring for your pet rabbit, involving routine health checks, vaccinations, sterilisation, and treatment of ailments. Going to the vet is stressful for rabbits so prepare well with a safe carrier full of familiar items, food, water, and companionship.

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