Take action to keep your pet rabbits free of disease

Latest advice from Simon Caple of Alnorthumbria Vets.

Monday, 10th June 2019, 10:00 am
Pet rabbits should be vaccinated and wormed.

Spring and summer are great times of the year. Plant life is growing and our gardens may feel consumed by the speed at which the lawn grows, not to mention the weeds.

Animals are rearing their young, but we all too often get well-meaning members of the public bringing in what they think are abandoned or orphaned animals.

Often these animals have not been abandoned and their parents are still looking after them. We know that it’s hard and people have the best intentions, but often leaving wild animals alone gives them a better chance of survival as being picked up and transported to a surgery is very stressful for them.

Please see the advice from the RSPCA at www.rspca.org.uk/allaboutanimals/wildlife/orphanedanimals

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It is also Rabbit Awareness Week. We advise that pet rabbits are vaccinated against myxomatosis and viral haemorrhagic disease. We have already seen myxomatosis in a wild rabbit this year and this disease is nearly always fatal. Rabbits should be wormed routinely and also treated to prevent fly strike.

Something else that we see at this time of year is adder bites. Most commonly dogs get bitten on the face or feet as they rush through the undergrowth and inadvertently disturb these shy animals. Bites can cause significant swelling and pain so if you suspect that an adder has bitten your dog, please phone your surgery as soon as possible.

Hopefully, we will all enjoy some sunny and warm weather this summer, but please remember don’t leave your pets in your car. The temperature rapidly rises inside a stationary vehicle and every year we see someone’s beloved pet rushed in as an emergency, having been left in a car and suffering from heat stroke that can all too often be fatal.

We should exercise pets during the cooler hours of the day to reduce the risk of exercise induced heat stroke.