The Complete Rabbit Care Guide
"Discover Everything You Need To Know About Your Pet Rabbit!"
by Andrea Austin

Previous Rabbit Guide Page (34)


Myxomatosis vaccines can be administered to rabbits beginning at 6 weeks. Thereafter, rabbits should get an annual booster shot.

VHD vaccine can be administered starting at 10 weeks. Again, the rabbit should get a booster shot annually.

It is important to note that both vaccines should not be given at the same time. Rather, they should be spaced out, with at least half a month in between vaccinations.


Teeth

As I have mentioned, rabbits teeth grow continually throughout their lives, and its important to pay attention to your pets dental health to ensure nothing goes awry. Keep your rabbits mouth healthy by feeding him a healthy diet, with plenty of chewy substances to help grind down the teeth (hay, chew toys, etc.).

Take your rabbit in for a yearly dental checkup to ensure that his mouth stays healthy and to avoid dental disease from occurring in the future.

Have your vet trim your pets teeth regularly, and perhaps even show you how to do it yourself. If you do the trim on your own, be very cautious, as improper trimming can cause serious problems.

Malocclusion, or a misalignment of the teeth, can be quite problematic, preventing the rabbit from eating properly. If untreated, a rabbit with a malocclusion may starve to death. If you see that your pets teeth are misaligned (if the top row of incisors is not fully in front of the bottom incisors), consult your vet.


Hairballs

Rabbits shed, and they also like to chew. The combination of the two factors can result in hairballs, an accumulation of hair in the stomach. This is especially problematic for rabbits with long hair.

You can help prevent this issue by brushing or combing your pets coat regularly, which removes excess hair so that your rabbit does not ingest it. Also, a healthy diet with plenty of roughage will help keep the intestinal tract clean.


Surgeries

Rabbits may have to undergo a number of surgeries, including common procedures like neutering and spaying. Ironically, some of the worst effects of surgeries can come from improper preparations or post-operative care, not from the surgery itself.

Some vets who do not know better will recommend that you do not feed your rabbit for a day before the surgery. This may sound normal to you, since this is what is commonly recommended for humans in the same situation. But, in fact, this is very dangerous for rabbits! I have already mentioned how sensitive rabbits are to changes in routine, including dietary routine. If you starve your pet in preparation for surgery, he may experience intestinal discomfort, and that could cause complications later on.

After the surgery has been completed, your rabbit may be sulky or reluctant to get back to normal eating habits. Be gentle and try to get him back on schedule right away. Encourage him to eat, offering treats if necessary. If a rabbit does not eat for a few days, it could be fatal, so call your vet if your rabbit does not get back to a normal eating schedule quickly (two days at the absolute most).


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