Above is a beautiful friend of ours and her name is Peaches.
Domestic rabbits make gentle, quiet, affectionate pets with lifespans ranging from 5-8 years or more. Like any pet, they require lots of social interaction and a time commitment to stay healthy and happy.
An excellent resource for rabbit husbandry is the House Rabbit Society @ www.rabbit.org.
Rabbits should always have clean, fresh hay available both as bedding and as a food source. Timothy, oat or local grass hay is best. Commercial rabbit pellets can be added in small amounts, measured daily. Of course, fresh water should be available at all times. Fruits and treats should only be offered in small amounts and any diet change should be made gradually as rabbits have very sensitive stomachs.
We recommend that all pet rabbits are spayed or neutered around 4 to 6 months of age. By spaying female rabbits, you eliminate the chance of uterine cancer which is a common type of rabbit cancer in older female rabbits. A neutered pet also makes a much happier companion and pet rabbits are less likely to spray or become aggressive if they are altered. Pet overpopulation is also a constant concern as shelters are full of pets including domestic rabbits that are looking for good homes.
Some common rabbit health issues include respiratory diseases, urinary tract problems, head tilt, sore hocks, dental disease involving overgrown teeth, diarrhea, heat stroke, and parasitic infections. Please be sure to never use any over the counter flea product without first checking with a veterinarian. Some common dog and cat flea products have caused fatalities in pet rabbits. Rabbits do not vomit, and hairball accumulation in the stomach can sometimes lead to surgical removal. Talk to our veterinarians about ways to eliminate hair accumulation in rabbits (trichobezoars). You should also avoid all antibiotics and medicated ointments in pet rabbits unless prescribed by a veterinarian who is experienced in rabbit medicine. The wrong antibiotic if given to your pet, can kill off all of the good bacteria in their intestinal tract which is rapidly fatal.
An annual check up will help to keep your rabbit on the right track to living a long, healthy and happy life.