“I wish I knew what to do!”

“I wish I have the answer!”

“I wish I found out earlier!”

These are some common sentiments of owners when their pet rabbits fell sick and they wish they could do more to prevent. There is, in fact, a very critical step in ensuring the health of your rabbit. However, not many owners are aware of its importance. That is accurate diagnostic care.

‘My rabbit is eating well and looking ok. Why should I run diagnostics on him?’

As prey animals, rabbits eat to survive and will hide their discomfort to defend against predators. It’s not uncommon to find a healthy-looking rabbit to have an enlarged heart, weak lungs or infected liver. By not conducting diagnostics, you may miss the treatment window and compromise their care.

‘What diagnostic do you recommend as part of preventative care for my healthy rabbit?’

For a healthy rabbit, we recommend a wellness check at least once a year. During this check, you should consider a blood panel test to monitor key organs such as the kidneys and liver. For rabbits with weak dentistry, X-rays can also be taken to monitor any deterioration invisible to the eyes.

‘if my pet is already sick, why should I test more?’

Without diagnostic testing, vets will be going in with limited data that may not ensure effective treatment. For example, vets cannot see inside the gums unless Xrays or Ct scans are taken. They cannot understand extent of parasitic infections without a blood test. They also cannot monitor organ abnormality without ultrasound imaging.

‘All these tests are expensive! How do I know the vet is not asking me to do for profit sake?’

Unnecessary testing can inflate the cost of vet care. This is why you need a rabbit-savvy vet to prescribe effective treatment that is not based on ‘trial and error’. It is also why it is important to see a vet at least once a year to build trust so you can place faith in them when the time comes.

Due to poor breeding culture, more rabbits are falling sick at a young age. As owners, you have the responsibility to look out for their health. If you like to learn more, popular small animal vet, Dr Chan of The Animal Doctors, Singapore, will be guiding us through this topic in our Nov 23 workshop. To attend, register here: goo.gl/Wp4msA. Thank you!