Veronika Pipe MVDR. NZNVE
In recent weeks we have been presented with several cases of rabbit haemorrhagic diseases. This is a viral condition which is unfortunately deadly to pet bunnies. The infected bunnies either arrive very sick and unresponsive or die suddenly at home with minimal symptoms.
Rabbits can get infected via direct contact with a sick, often wild rabbit. The virus can also be carried by the wind, mosquitoes or even fleas proving to be very dangerous to our outdoor pet bunnies. Most outbreaks happen in winter or early spring, as high temperatures reduce the spread of the virus.
Vaccinating your bunny can prevent this highly contagious and often deadly infection. We vaccinate bunnies from 8 weeks of age, with one or two injections (depending on the starting age) and ideally yearly boosters. Prevention is the best and actually the only cure when it comes to rabbit haemorrhagic disease, so we recommend that all bunnies are vaccinated.
Dental disease is the most common health problem in pet bunnies. Their teeth are kept in shape by the continual process of growth and use. They often do silent chewing (the mouth is actually empty) in order to maintain the shape of some of their teeth.
Good quality nutrition plays very an important role in keeping rabbits’ teeth healthy. Rabbits need to eat lots of hay, some greens and a very small amount of plain pellets to wear down their teeth well without ongoing problems.
Picky bunnies that are reluctant to eat hard foods such as hay may actually be in a lot of pain from dental disease. We can assess your bunny’s teeth, decide if any intervention is needed and advise you on the best diet for your pet bunny.