Maybe you picture dogs that spend their days playing with their owners and vegging out on the coach. Or perhaps you have a thing for cats, the kind of pets that worm their way into your heart and stay there for the rest of your life.
What about rabbits?
Rabbits may not be the most popular pet in the world, but they hold their own. According to PDSK (The People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals), there are a reported one million pet rabbits in the UK. There were five million rabbits “living as pets” in the USA in 2002, a number released by the HRS (House Rabbit Society) in 2014. Chances are, the total has changed significantly since then.
The old stereotype about rabbit meat is old hat, at least in Canada. Rabbit owners don’t have to sit back and brush off the snide comments anymore (“Do they only eat carrots? Do they just sit around in their cage all day? Did you get your rabbit from the Easter bunny?”). In fact, these days, they will make it clear just how much they adore their pets.
It’s true that some veterinary clinics won’t have anything to do with rabbits, holding fast to the stereotypes. Some people don’t bother to call a vet (in Markham or elsewhere) because they believe they won’t get the help their rabbit needs. This isn’t just ignorant, it’s wrong for a veterinarian to hold back care for any animal.
They’re not just a pet for little girls or sickly individuals, either. Even U.S. marines love these furry creatures, with one running a sanctuary in Texas for the abandoned and surrendered. People of all ages and backgrounds can fall victim to a rabbit’s charms, adding them to their family with no problems. And no, they don’t always name them Thumper or Bugs.
Yes, you read that right. Rabbits can be abandoned and neglected, too. They can be abused and left in poor condition before saviors come to help. They can require extensive care from a veterinary clinic to recover from a bad situation, just like any dog or cat would.
Rabbits and Horses have some in common
Rabbits are so common, in fact, that calling them an exotic pet would fail to do them justice. They aren’t strange or unusual – at least, not anymore.
These animals have personalities all their own, and while some like to compare them to cats, horses may be more accurate. In fact, in the past, cats were treated much the same way as far as vet care goes.
It’s time to make a change.
Most veterinarians do not learn much in vet school about how to care for rabbits. That is a pity. It’s important to find a veterinarian who is versed with the unique requirements for rabbits. Some medications that are safe for most animals can be deadly for rabbits. Make sure you ask if your vet has experience with rabbits. If they don’t they should be comfortable if you switch over to the Animal Hospital of Unionville.
Things won’t change by tomorrow, of course, or even next year. But, if we get the wheel turning, no doubt the benefits will make themselves known in the near future.
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