ABSTRACT: There are an estimated 1.5 million pet rabbits in the UK, when compared to cats (11 million) and dogs (9.4 million) this figure may seem small; however, rabbits have been domesticated for a relatively shorter period of time and their population is rapidly increasing in comparison. Rabbits rise in popularity as pets has caused an increase in presentation in veterinary practice. Rabbit owners expect the same high standards of care that dogs and cats receive in veterinary practice, therefore it is essential that veterinary professionals achieve a better understanding about the species to provide efficient care. Rabbits being a prey species often conceal their illness until they are in critical condition, posing a significant challenge to both owners and veterinary professionals in early recognition of clinical signs. Therefore it is essential that registered veterinary nurses (RVN’s) and veterinary surgeons (VS) are confident in identifying changes in rabbit behaviour which includes eating habits and faecal output. Recognising symptoms early will aid in implementing treatment and reducing mortality rates.

Keywords: rabbit; gastro-intestinal; stasis; prokinetics

Author: Jennifer Duxbury FdSc RVN

Jennifer completed an FdSc in Veterinary Nursing in 2017 and is currently working at Vets4Pets in Accrington. She has a special passion for rabbit welfare and husbandry and has ambitions to continue her studies into an exotic nursing qualification.
Email: jennyd089@hotmail.co.uk

To cite this article: VNJ (2021) Volume 36 (1) January pp24-29

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