Rabbits should have a routine health check approximately every 12 months. Usually this happens at the same time as their vaccination is given. Routine health checks will help identify many diseases at an early stage so that they can be prevented allowing your rabbit to have a happier life.
Rabbits should be transported to the surgery in a pet carrier. If they are part of a bonded pair it is a lot less stressful to bring both rabbits. Pet carriers are preferred over carrying by hand so rabbits are less frightened in the reception area. Preventing heat stress is especially important in rabbits. Make sure they are never placed directly in the sun in a carrier without good ventilation or left in a car, especially during sunny weather.
When does your rabbit need to see a small mammal veterinary surgeon
Signs of illness can be very subtle in rabbits. Often severely ill rabbits will just stop eating and sleep more than normal with no other obvious signs of illness. Not eating can be associated with pain, stress, teeth problems, gut stasis or an obstruction. Rabbits that are either not eating, sleepy, weak, have a distended tummy or are in obvious pain should be examined as soon as possible.
Your rabbit will be examined by one of our three small mammal veterinary surgeons. 40% of our patients are rabbits, and we also also see many rabbits that are referred to us for investigation and treatment of complicated disease problems, so we are very familiar with these gentle, inquisitive, social animals. We will usually be assisted by a qualified veterinary with extra specialist training in small mammal nursing.