Rabbits are found in many parts of the world both in the wild and in family homes as pets. Similar to cats and dogs, rabbits make wonderful pets. They each have their own personality as well as the ability to learn new tricks, show affection and play games. Rabbits are low maintenance pets but require a particular home and veterinary care needs.
Rabbits are vaccinated against a particular disease called calicivirus at 10 - 12 weeks of age and then again every 12 months to maintain immunity throughout life. Calicivirus and Myxomatosis are diseases that have been introduced in Australia in order to help control the wild rabbit population. Unfortunately, there are no vaccines available to prevent myxomatosis, rabbits should be vaccinated against calicivirus which is spread by insects.
The following are some guidelines for parasite control in rabbits and other pocket pets.
Rabbits can attract dog fleas. There are some excellent, easy to use flea control products available such as Advantage and Revolution.
Rabbits are prone to infection from either fur mites or ear mites. Fur mites are not normally itchy but usually cause a dandruff type skin condition over the shoulders of the rabbit. Rabbits with ear mites will frequently scratch at their ears and earwax may be visible.
These conditions are very uncomfortable for your bunny but are treatable, so if your bunny is showing any of these signs, you should make an appointment at your vet for a full examination.
Heartworm disease normally affects dogs and cats and so rabbits are not susceptible to it.
Rabbits have teeth that will continually grow causing overgrown incisors (front teeth) and molars (cheek teeth) if they are not living in the right conditions with the right type of diet. Rabbits with overgrown teeth is due to poor diet or hereditary factors.