Your vet will carry out a ‘nose to tail’ MOT when your rabbit is given its booster vaccinations.
You can play a role too, by following our six tips below to keep an eye on your rabbits’ health and help them to stay in tip top condition and live a long and healthy life: if you have any concerns, then contact your vet.
- Look out for changes in your rabbit’s food consumption, drinking and toilet habits. Do they have less energy or are they slower in getting up or jumping? Monitor your rabbit’s faeces for colour and consistency.
- Rub your hands over your rabbit’s body including their head, legs and feet to check for any lumps or bumps or anything stuck in their feet. Check claws, crusting of fur (which may indicate dental problems, especially on forelegs) matts or caked-on faeces, abnormal odour or foot pain. Also keep your eyes open for evidence of fleas and other parasites. Check your rabbit’s coat quality and whether any dandruff or hair loss is evident. Is your rabbit scratching, chewing or biting excessively?
- Check your pet’s nose, eyes and ears for any abnormalities or discharge. Your rabbit’s nose should be moist, the corners of his eyes should be free of discharge and his ears should be clean
- Watch out for flystrike - a potentially fatal condition which occurs when flies lay their eggs around a rabbit's anus. The eggs then hatch into maggots which mature and eat away at the surrounding flesh. In the summer, this whole process can take as little as a few hours, so check your rabbits at least twice a day
- Regularly examine your rabbit’s mouth for signs of disease and overgrown teeth
- Monitor your rabbit’s body condition by running your hands over their ribs and backbone. The Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association (PFMA) have a useful tool called a Size-O-Meter that can help. If they have any unexplained weight loss or are overweight, then have a chat with your vet.