The rabbit is a very tender and affectionate pet, capable of creating a profound relationship with its pet parents.

It is possible to teach them to be house trained with a litter box. Some tend to have a little snacking habit as well but it is possible to 'educate' your rabbit and therefore allow them to spend most of their time outside or inside, but free to roam.

Contrary to 'classic' pets such as dogs and cats, rabbits are herbivores and should be managed a little like a miniature horses. This means that the basis of their diet should consist of hay or even dry grass, granules and carrots, with other foods only complementing this base. It is necessary any food capable of fermenting, as just like a horse, rabbits' digestive tracts are fragile and subject to colics and spasms. Any sharp pain or anxiety can lead to spasms and then anorexia. Anorexia is therefore an emergency in rabbits and should be treated immediately.

For more details on a rabbit's diet, read this article.

Spaying or neutering a rabbit

When you only have one rabbit, it may not always be necessary to sterilise them, though males are often real Casanovas an attempt to mate with anything they meet: cats, slippers, teddybears...

As soon as you have more than one rabbit, it is preferable to sterilise them all in order to avoid any conflict or unexpected pregnancies. Even if they are domesticated, rabbits that spend time in the garden can have 'surprise' pregnancies from wild rabbits.

Rabbits and vaccination

There are two serious diseases in rabbits for which there is no specific treatment and therefore can often prove mortal: myxomatosis and viral hemorrhaging septicemia.

The transmission of these diseases is not necessarily due to contact with another diseased animal, as it can be passed on by flies, stinging insects or even food.

Any rabbit that goes out into the garden is particularly at risk but no rabbit is completely safe, even if they live in an apartment.

Vaccination can be effected with one injection and a top - up every year. This can be an occasion for your veterinary to verify the general state of your rabbit: teething, claws, genital organs. This can also be an opportunity for them to advise you as to giving your rabbit a long and happy life.

Even if your rabbit is particularly anxious, the vaccination will not be traumatizing - they will be weighed and examined, but also tenderly and gently.

On this occasion, your veterinary will provide you with a vaccination diary in which you can note any concerns.

Anti-parasitic treatments for rabbits

It is very important to note that anti-parasitic treatments for dogs and cats are toxic to rabbits. You will need a product that has been specifically designed for them. In case of a large amount of earwax stuck in the ears, this could be a sign of aural scabies which, if not treated, can cause further complications.

Don't hesitate to ask your veterinary for advice.

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