01254 53622(24 hour emergency)

Two lovely rabbit in-patients

Rabbits together face on
Rabbits together post op
Rabbits in kennel
Rabbit castration2
Rabbit Spey
Rabbit castration

Sara and Harith are two lovely little rabbits that visited the practice today for neutering. As they are sister and brother, to prevent unwanted pregnancies, Sam advised that both rabbits should be neutered.

This can be a daunting thought for owners, as many believe that rabbit anaesthetics are unsafe. It is true that there are risks, but here at Daisy Street Vets, we pride ourselves on our rabbit care.

We have very skilled, qualified nurses who are used to looking after rabbits. Rabbits needs are very different from those of dogs and cats. They require a much greater volume of anaesthetic and other medications. Did you know that a 2kg rabbit may need the same amount of pain killer as a 10kg dog! They also require skilled veterinary surgeons to anaesthetise them and place an endotracheal tube (the tube that is placed into their airway to deliver oxygen and anaesthetic gases) and then perform the tricky, tiny surgery - we are dealing with very small operation sites and rabbits skin is paper thin – have you ever tried stitching two pieces of tissue paper together without it ripping!

Our nurses, monitor the rabbits breathing rate and heart rate and use several pieces of equipment, such as a pulse oximeter (which measures the pulse rate and oxygen levels) and a Doppler (which makes a sound every time the heart beats). The simple things such as temperature control are very important in the rabbit too. These small animals can very quickly become too cold and so we use a heated pad, foil blankets and even bubble wrap to keep them warm. Even the position they are in is very important. As rabbits have such large intestines this can press on their diaphragm and make breathing difficult. So we place them in a slightly tilted position to help this. We also give our rabbits warm fluids under their skin which improves their recovery.

Nursing care after any anaesthetic is most important. Rabbits can undergo a phenomenon called "gut stasis" following any stressful situation or illness. If their intestines stop working they can very quickly become dangerously ill and can die due to this. If your rabbit ever stops eating for several hours or a day, please remember this is an emergency and give us a call  on 01254 53622 to make an appointment with one of our vets.

We keep our rabbits cosy and warm as they are waking up from their operation. As soon as they are able, we start to syringe feed them special rabbit recovery food. We then offer fresh grass, dandelions and complete rabbit food, as well as often some of our own lunch such a banana or pineapple chunks. It is a wonderful feeling when a rabbit starts eating and is happy and comfortable after its operation.

For more information on neutering your rabbit and the questions you need to ask yourself before you book your rabbit in - see our page on "Rabbit Neutering" or call us for further advice on 01254 53622, or ask the vet next time you are in the practice.

Sara and Harith went home none the worse for their little stay with us and we wish them a long, happy, healthy life with their loving family.

Sam Purcell BVSc MRCVS
Daisy Street Veterinary Centre,Blackburn.
3rd February 2016, 17:26
Page updated 14th Oct 2016, 11:01
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