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BUNNY 911 – If your rabbit hasn’t eaten or pooped in 12-24 hours, call a vet immediately!  Don’t have a vet? Check out VET RESOURCES 

The subject of intentional breeding or meat rabbits is prohibited. The answers provided on this board are for general guideline purposes only. The information is not intended to diagnose or treat your pet.  It is your responsibility to assess the information being given and seek professional advice/second opinion from your veterinarian and/or qualified behaviorist.

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Forum HOUSE RABBIT Q & A How to find a Vet for rabbits

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    • RabbitPam
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       A recent post made me think it would be helpful to start a thread of info. on finding a vet, especially when they’re tough to find.

      Here’s some basics:

      1. EXOTICS: A vet for rabbits usually lists themselves as “Exotics”, meaning animals that are not dogs or cats. This may include rabbits, chinchillas, ferrets, lizards, iguanas, snakes, rats, mice, geckos, etc. In your yellow pages under veterinarians, look for the word EXOTICS in their name or ad.

      2. The Yellow Pages: is the best resource for a list of all vets nearest to where you live, at least in the US. Please reply with the names of the equivalent book of listings in your country for our members to know.2. A dog or cat vet may also be educated about other animals, including rabbits. Call the office of a vet near you and ask if there is a vet on their staff that does. A bigger practice or an Animal Hospital may have a specialist. http://www.yellowpages.com

      3. Great place to start is the list of vets, both USA and International, on the House Rabbit Society website: http://www.rabbit.org.  These vets names have been submitted by rabbit owners who are pleased with their care. The HRS goes into detail on the parameters of their list. Just use your zip code or City/State to locate one nearest to you. If it’s still too far, call the nearest one and ask for a recommendation of a colleage that’s closer.

      4. Bird Vets often are more knowledgeable about rabbits and other exotics than dog or cat vets. Mine specializes in both Birds and Exotics, and lists herself that way. So if you see a Birds vet listed, call and ask if they see rabbits, too.

      5. In case of an emergency you can Always take your rabbit to a vet that only works with dogs or cats. All vets are trained in basic animal care, and a vet who is not a specialist is still better than none in an emergency. Be sure to ask at that practice for another vet nearby that they can recommend that knows about rabbits. They know each other and may be able to refer you.

      6. Vets do consult each other over the phone. If you have a vet who is baffled, not a rabbit expert or needs more help, info. or supplies, ask them to call a specialist that may be hours away. You can find exotics on line who are too far to travel to see, but will consult with your vet.

      7. Your local animal shelter or rescue. Often they have rabbit vets on staff or as volunteers who do their care and speuters. Call to ask if they take in rabbits and if so, do they have a vet on site you can see or be directed to. Some rescues give a better price on a spay/neuter because they do so many, and want you to have it done rather than risking an Oops! litter because you waited.

      8. To find a rescue, check online, check the yellow pages, or check http://www.Petfinder.com. It is a site that lists animals up for adoption, searchable by zip code or region and type of animal. Once you find the list of rabbits adoptable nearest you, go to that shelter to ask if they have or can recommend a vet. And if you want another bunny, Adopt! They’re all listed on Petfinder by legitimate organizations.

      7. If you know another list of websites for searching for vets, such as a professional vet association, please post it here as well. Here’s one: http://www.avma.org

      9.   Do a Google search:  exotic rabbit vets + zip code   (ADDED by ADMIN: This simple tip came from our forum leader Beka. Thank you)

       


    • Sarita
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      Great post Pam…but does anyone but my Mom even read the Yellow Pages anymore :~)


    • RabbitPam
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      I know.
      But in an emergency, sometimes you want to grab it while holding a bunny you’re worried about so you can just pick up a phone. You can’t always fire up the computer, or count on the cell battery being charged, and start searching online.

      All methods are good to try, depending on the time factor.

      Always keep a phone book in the bunny’s room. It makes a safe toy for bunny because it is made of paper and soy-based ink.
      Plus you’ll always have one handy if you need to use it!


    • Sarita
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      LOL, true it’s a great toy for bunnies. I have to be honest though, I don’t remember the last time I actually got a yellow pages delivered to me…

      I think RabbitPam makes a great point though – I would research for a vet and an emergency vet BEFORE you have an emergency. It can be way too stressful to be fumbling around when you are in a desperate situation and stressed out and your bunny is in need.


    • RabbitPam
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      OK, Miss 21st Century Smartypants! (Or should I say SmartPhone?)

      Here’s the online link to it: http://www.yellowpages.com.

      There. I just inserted this link above, along with linking the HRS and the American Veterinarians Association. 


    • Huckleberry
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      Posted By RabbitPam on 12/21/2011 05:49 AM

      Always keep a phone book in the bunny’s room. It makes a safe toy for bunny because it is made of paper and soy-based ink.
      Plus you’ll always have one handy if you need to use it!

      Hopefully your bun doesn’t eat the vet section hahaha

      Great post, though! Very helpful and much needed!!! Thanks, RabbitPam.


    • Sarita
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      Thanks for the link RP!

      I would also recommend that you ask your vet who they recommend in case of an emergency, most vets work with an emergency clinic or can give you recommendations.


    • Beka27
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      Great info!

      Often, the first thought when people hear that rabbits require vet care is “No vets treat rabbits!” And that’s just simply not true. Even if there are no specialists in your area, you should at least try to seek out a “regular” vet who is comfortable working with rabbits. And then continuously be on the lookout for an exotics vet (people relocate) or a vet school or rescue that might be able to help. Having someone is better than no one.

      For people who don’t yet have a rabbit, you should be looking for a vet prior to getting your bunny. This is right up there with preparing your house and a habitat. If for some reason you cannot come up with a rabbit vet regardless of where you look/who you talk to, I would honestly reconsider getting a rabbit. Every rabbit is going to need vet care at some point. For some this is just the spay/neuter surgery. Others have chronic conditions. I would suggest holding off on the rabbit and continuing your search for an exotics vet.


    • RabbitPam
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      Vet schools, yes!!!

      Great additional important info. to the topic, Beka. Thanks for pinning it.

      Please see BB’s post near this one on Rabbit Savvy Vets. It has a dozen links to resources. https://www.binkybunny.com/FORUM/tabid/54/a…fault.aspx


    • LoveChaCha
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      Great topic! Thanks RabbitPam!


    • Stickerbunny
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      The method I used to find mine was: Google search for vets in the area. Read reviews of said vets. Find ones that listed reviews for exotic pets. Call them up and ask them questions about rabbit care – spaying procedure, fasting before surgery, which antibiotics are toxic, etc. A lot of the vets in my area _claimed_ to be exotics vets and _claimed_ to know about rabbits, but when quizzed actually had no clue. House rabbit society has a great questionnaire (http://www.rabbit.org/faq/sections/vet.html), I would suggest anyone use it even if the vet says they are great with rabbits – several of the ones in town who said they “see rabbits all the time” couldn’t answer even the most basic questions. And any vet that doesn’t know what is toxic to my pet is not touching my pet.


    • bunnyfriend
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      This is great! It can be so confusing sometimes, especially when you’re first starting out.

      I’ve found a good way to start out is by talking to a local shelter/rescue and asking them who they take their rabbits to. Also the vet I take my cats and dogs too were very honest and told me that they did not see rabbits often, they also recommended a vet (which happened to be the same one the humane society uses). The rabbit.org questions really helped me out. Also, a good vet who is not just after your money will sit down and explain to you the costs of their services BEFORE the services are used, especially breaking down what costs what with high price things like spays and without you having to ask them first.


    • RabbitPam
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      Stickerbunny, I had a bit of trouble with the link to the screening questions, and I agree that they are really important, so went into their site and copied the questions here to make it easy for the members. Thanks so much for thinking of them!

      What screening questions should I ask?

      * Ask how many rabbits are seen at the clinic each week.

      * Ask how many rabbits are spayed or neutered each week.

      * Ask if they know which antibiotics are dangerous for rabbits (amoxicillin and most of the “…cillin” drugs like penicillin. Also see below).

      * Casually ask about preventing hairballs. Q: “What’s the best way to prevent hairballs?” A: “Provide your rabbit with hay every day, preferably 24 hours a day. Provide daily exercise and brush frequently”

      * Ask if food has to be removed the night before surgery. The answer should be “no”. Rabbits should never be fasted.

      * You might also want to ask which conferences they’ve attended lately that had talks about rabbit medicine and what journals they read. We want our veterinarians to be up on the latest in rabbit treatment.

       If you don’t get the “right” answers to the above questions, continue your search.

      What shouldn’t I do?

      * Do not make your choice based on how close the veterinarian is to your home (unless that veterinarian is the clear “winner”). Paying money to a veterinarian who does not know anything (or very little) about rabbits is just throwing your money away and can cost the life of your companion.

      * Don’t assume that just because a veterinarian works with breeders or local 4-H clubs, that they are experienced with house rabbits or the medical needs of older rabbits. Unfortunately, such veterinarians often tend to approach rabbits as stock animals rather than as beloved companions. They may never have done a spay or neuter and “treatment” of any difficulty may amount to euthanasia (when dealing with stock or show animals, the financial bottom line may be the primary consideration).

      Antibiotics that should never be given to rabbits. Even one dose of the following can be deadly: Amoxicillin, lincomycin, clindamycin.

       Primary Author(s): Kathleen Wilsbach and Sandi Ackerman, Sources: HRH, variousarticles from the HRJ, RHN, Last Modified: 3/3/96


    • SirThumpsey
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      Great topic! Lots of great info!


    • AnnaNutBread
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      Probably another idea is to check out http://www.yelp.com or ask your local bunny rescue! House Rabbit Society gave me their favorite vet and that’s where we’re headed!

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Forum HOUSE RABBIT Q & A How to find a Vet for rabbits