I am a firm believer that if you have the knowledge and ability that you need to vet your own animals. This is assuming that you know when you NEED to take them to the vet. So how do you know? What can you do on your own? Let’s talk about vetting your rabbits.
Knowing When to Ask for Help
I grew up on a farm, I was well used to seeing my dad with a bottle of penicillin or some other medication, taking care of the cattle. He took care of our goats, rabbits and ponies too. BUT when he needed help: a cow with a rough calving, a bull with a broken leg, a calf who squished it’s head, a displaced uterus, and other problems that he needed help with. The vet was always just a phone call away. They would come out and lend a hand, dad would pay the bill, and off they’d go.
A needle couldn’t help a cow who needed her uterus placed back in, or with a calf turned wrong. A vet and their skill was needed.
It’s the same with any animal. Know your own skill level and then ask for help when the situation surpasses it.
What can a rabbit owner do?
There is a lot that a rabbit owner can treat.
Sometimes the treatment is to cull. Your goal should be the quick alleviation of pain and suffering. Letting an animal suffer when there is no hope is not acceptable.
Often the treatment is the judicious use of plants.
- pumpkin seeds are a natural dewormer
- thistles help with gut issues
- oil in the ear to get rid of ear mites
- diatomaceous earth takes care of fur mites
- chives help with intestinal worms
- Papaya helps with wool block
Over the counter medication is the solution other times. What you can and are able to use, depends on where you live and the rules surrounding medications. Sometimes you need to use meds labeled for cattle or chickens and just change the dosage amounts. This list is not exhaustive.
- penicillin for vent disease
- pepto bismol for diarrhea
- ivermectin for blood sucking parasites
- panacur for worms
Who to ask for help?
Good, rabbit-savvy vets are few and far between. When you find one… use them well! Help them to help you. My local vet will get me meds as long as I do the research and tell them exactly what I need. Not everyone is so fortunate.
So who do you talk to if you have no vet?
Part of vetting your rabbits is talking to other rabbit breeder people. I am part of two excellent groups for rabbits. One is Rabbittalk and the other is Backyard Rabbits. Backyard Rabbits is on facebook, go look them up. 🙂 Both groups help asking owners find solutions for their problems. There is nothing new under the sun when it comes to bunnies, and someone will be able to help you through it. Admittedly sometimes arguments happen, but that’s part of being in a community, folks have different experiences with what works and what is worth treating.
Going to pet rabbit boards has people only suggesting taking your rabbit to the vet, but sometimes it’s a place to learn new techniques that vets are now employing.
Others in This Series
- American Fuzzy Lop.
- Baby Bunnies.
- Culling well.
- Discussing Death.
- Errors in Judgement.
- Feeding Rabbits.
- The G’s of rabbits.
- Holland Lops.
- Interesting facts about rabbits.
- The Joy of Bunnies.
- Choosing Rabbits to Keep.
- Leaping Lagomorphs.
- The Scoop on Poop.
- Not Wanted Rabbits.
- Over the Hill.
- Educating Pet Rabbit Buyers.
- Rescues and Breeders.
- Shelving Babies.
- Travelling with Rabbits.
- U asked.
- Vetting Your Rabbits.
Letter U Link Up
Each week we will be linking up with the hosts of Blogging Through the Alphabet. Please visit some of these other blogs to get things like book lists, vegan recipes, and wonderful places to visit, just to name the topics I can think of off the top of my head.