Pet Rabbits: Finding the Right Vet


If you currently have pet rabbits, or are considering bringing rabbits into your home, you should have a relationship with a good veterinarian who is very familiar with treating domestic rabbits. Because not all vets do treat rabbits or know how to deal with rabbit-specific problems, it’s very important that you find a vet before you need one, so that you know where to go when your rabbit is injured or ill.

You need a vet, first of all, who is familiar with pet rabbits. While most vets who treat family pets do see rabbits, you want to make sure that your vet is very comfortable with rabbits, understands the problems that rabbits encounter and how to deal with them, and sees a lot of rabbits. You should talk to vets in person and find out how many rabbits they see, whether they can advise you on diet and other areas of rabbit care, whether they trim nails and teeth.

Ask how many neuter operations they perform on rabbits in a month, if you’re planning to have your rabbit neutered. You need a vet with a success rate in neutering of at least 98%. Some rabbits do die during neutering, but it should be extremely uncommon. You do not want a vet with a loss rate of more than 2% doing neuter surgery on your rabbit. You should find a vet with more experience and success in this operation.

You also want to make sure that your vet has hours that are appropriate for you to take your rabbit in for routine medical care. Most vet offices stay open early and late for drop-off and pickup even when the vet is not on duty; you should look for one that allows you to leave your rabbit for minor care if necessary, or that has hours that allow you to easily take your rabbit in during business hours.

And most importantly, you should choose a vet that you trust and like. While some vets are quiet and more social with animals than people, you should leave the office with a good feeling about the vet you’ve chosen for your pet rabbit’s care. You should never feel uncomfortable, personally, with your vet, or feel that your rabbit would be getting better care elsewhere.

Fees and location are important; you need a vet you can afford, close to your home. But the most important factors in choosing a vet are making sure that the vet has the experience and knowledge to treat your rabbit well, and that you are comfortable with the vet and feel he would give your rabbit the best care. Keep in mind that this is not unlike finding a pediatrician for your child or a personal physician for yourself. You need to find someone you feel is absolutely the best match for your family pet. The best way to find a vet like this, if you do not have one, is to ask at pet stores, ask friends, and talk to other rabbit owners in your area, perhaps through a rabbit club or online rabbit forum for your area.

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