June is Rabbit Month at Ryder-Davies & Partners with Rabbit Awareness week running from 17th-25th June. So here is some great advice by Head Nurse Becks from our Woodbridge surgery.
Hutches are very enclosed so can become very hot during the summer. Ensure it is placed somewhere in the garden where it will be protected from the midday sun and have plenty of shade. There are specially designed covers available that help keep the hutches cool (there are winter covers too, so make sure you purchase the right one). These covers come with a fly screen which is a huge benefit as this helps to keep flies out and will in turn help prevent Myiasis (fly strike).
Myiasis is a parasitic infection caused by flies laying eggs on an animal. These eggs will rapidly turn into maggots which will eat their way through a live animal. Prevention is always better! Regularly clean your rabbit’s hutch. A deep clean should be done at least once a week, but areas where they urinate and defecate should be cleaned daily.
Check your rabbits back end twice daily as maggots hatch very quickly and can cause life threatening damage. If your rabbit has a dirty back end or any signs of Myiasis contact your vet immediately (day or night).
Most water bottles have a metal tip. These can become too hot for your rabbit to drink from. Ensure the water bottle is full and kept in the shade.
An outside exercise space is important. Ensure the run has ample shade at all times throughout the day. Remember to put water and food in the run. A rabbits’ diet is made up of 90% hay/grass and only 10% commercial pet food. The nugget type food provides everything in one kibble, where as the muesli style encourages selective eating, meaning your rabbit will only eat the tasty pieces rather than the healthy pieces so choose your food carefully. An average size rabbit only requires a very small amount of rabbit food, not a full bowl, remember hay and grass make up 90% of the diet.
With these handy tips hopefully you and you rabbit will have a healthy, happy summer.