Rabbits are very popular as pets and just as with other pets, they need regular vaccinations and health checks to keep them fit and well. They can be vaccinated against two infectious diseases:
Myxomatosis – is a viral infection spread by blood sucking insects such as fleas and mosquitoes. The virus multiplies on the skin leading to blindness and difficulty in eating. Rabbits become very ill and sadly many die from this distressing condition.
Viral Haemorrhagic Disease – can be spread directly between rabbits or indirectly, via contaminated such as hutches, bedding or food. Symptoms include loss of appetite, nose bleeds, lethargy and even death.
Rabbit dental problems – a growing issue!
You may be surprised to learn that one of the most common health problems in rabbits is dental disease. Rabbits have continuously growing teeth, with both the cheek teeth and the incisor (front) teeth growing by as much as 1-2 mm per week! This enables wild rabbits to graze all day on grass and other abrasive foods without wearing out their teeth.
The incisor teeth should meet, thereby ensuring that as your rabbit chews, they will wear down. If they become misaligned they will continue to grow, and will grow over each other (pictured on the left) leading to eating problems.
The cheek teeth, are grinding teeth, however if they become overgrown, they frequently develop sharp spikes which can lacerate the tongue and cheeks, making eating very painful. Signs commonly include “slobbers” with saliva wetting around the mouth and chin, a decreased appetite and often marked weight loss.
So what can be done to help? Feeding your pet rabbit the correct diet is very important. Their ideal diet includes plenty of hay or grass (high in fibre), together with a selection of fresh food and a small amount of commercial rabbit food. High fibre diets promote dental health, reduce obesity and keep them occupied for several hours each day!
Commercial diets are now available as extruded pellets and this helps to avoid the problem of rabbit’s selectively feeding – leaving vitamins and minerals uneaten. If you are worried about your rabbit’s teeth, we would be pleased to check them for you and also advise you on diet regimes aimed at promoting optimum dental health.
Housing – rabbits thrive inside, but as outdoor pets it is important to ensure that all hutches are warm, dry and clean and have plenty of hay and bedding. Water bottles should be changed daily.
Neutering can help rabbits become more social pets and live happier together. Un-neutered male rabbits for example, do not live well with other rabbits. Please make an appointment if you wish to discuss this with a vet.
Pet Health Club for Rabbits
We are now offering a payment scheme for rabbits at £6.99 a month
50% discount will be given for signing up at the time of your rabbit’s vaccination and the scheme includes worming treatment, 6 month health check, unlimited nail clips and 10% off all our products and services
Kennel Cough – Is your dog vaccinated?
With the onset of warmer spring weather, our pets get out and about more – however, wherever dogs meet they run the risk of picking up Kennel Cough. This is a highly infectious cough that affects dogs, rapidly causing symptoms of severe coughing and breathlessness as well as high temperatures, sore throats and loss of appetite.
This condition is caused by a mixture of viruses and a bacterium – Bordetella bronchiseptica. We recommend that dogs are vaccinated against kennel cough before going into kennels, attending training classes/shows or at any time the disease is rife.
Don’t forget the van is available for vets to do home visits during the week and free deliveries on our products (within a 5 mile radius) on a Wednesday afternoon. Call for further details.
Jessica Upchurch went on maternity leave in the middle of January. Her baby is due anytime now so we will keep you posted on any news. We have a lovely vet called Joana Dias who will be covering Jess until her return in late 2017.
Repeat Prescriptions Online
You can now order your pets repeat prescriptions simply by clicking here. Also on our website you can register new pets, shop from our thousands of products and keep up-to-date with our latest news and advice.
Insurance – Is Your Pet Covered?
With continual advances in veterinary medicine and surgery, we can now diagnose and treat more conditions than ever before. But how prepared are you? Pet Plan are one of the largest pet insurance companies and we have teamed up with them to offer all dogs and cats under 1 year old; 4 weeks free insurance with every veterinary health check. Please ask at reception for more details.
Meridian Pet Health Club
The benefits of being in our Pet Health Club (healthcare plan) include:
- Annual vaccinations
- Flea and worm treatment
- A six month health check-up
- Unlimited nail clips and anal sac expressions with the nurse
- 50% off micro-chipping (which became law for dogs in April 2016)
All of this in an affordable monthly payment annual renewal plan! Plus, all our Pet Health Club members get 10% off everything. Yes, everything!
This means every time you visit us at Meridian and have to pay for treatment not covered on the healthcare plan, you will get 10% off your bill. The plan starts from just £10.99 a month for cats and £11.99 a month for dogs, depending on size. We have now included rabbits from £6.99 a month.