Finding a veterinarian for your rabbit can be a challenge as not all vets are created equal. Rabbits are considered small animals and fall into the exotic category of pets. Not all veterinarians will have the expertise of dealing with small animals. Your rabbit depends on you finding the right person to suit their needs.
How Do I Start the Search?
Start your search early. Don’t wait until your rabbit is sick to find a veterinarian.
- Perform a Google search for veterinarians in your area. If they have a website check it out and see if they have any information listed about vets that take care of exotic animals. From my experience the majority of Animal Clinics or Hospitals won’t have anything listed except for cats and dogs.
- If you have no luck looking at veterinarian office websites, pick 5 places that are in your area and give them a call. This information might show up on Google Maps or the Yellow Pages. Ask them if they deal with exotics, specifically rabbits. If they do not, then ask if they know of a vet or clinic that does.
- With more than one vet in your area that caters to rabbits, it might be a good idea to call and ask about pricing for check-ups and other services.
Questions to Ask
Once you’ve narrowed down your list there are some specific questions you want to ask:
- How many rabbits are seen at the clinic in a week?
- How many years of experience does the veterinarian have with treating rabbits? Around 10 years is a pretty good answer for this one.
- Ask about gastrointestinal (G.I.) stasis and how to prevent it? You want an answer that tells you that your rabbit should have unlimited access to hay, balanced diet and exercise, and a good brushing.
- If you are thinking of spaying/neutering your rabbit, ask how much it costs and what the recovery period is like.
Things You Shouldn’t Do
Veterinarian visits are expensive for exotic animals.
- Pick your vet based on how close to home they are, unless they have the expertise to treat small animals
- Never give your rabbit antibiotics, it can kill them.
- Don’t treat them like cats or dogs, no flea powder or fur ball medication.
Mokona’s vet is very far away, so it can be a pain to take them when he’s sick. It’s not cheap for a visit either. Make sure and take the time to find a veterinarian that is right for you and your bunny. Once you find one that accommodates your needs don’t be afraid to ask them questions. You and your bunny will be happier when you know what to expect from your vet.
What tips and questions do you guys recommend to ask a vet?