Sunday, 13 September 2015

15 emergency reasons to see a vet NOW!

15 things you need to see a rabbit savvy vet about NOW 1 -Not moving around / sitting hunched up 2 – Change of food preference or loss of appetite 3 – Smaller, fewer or no poos 4 – Broken bones / legs 5 - Collapse 6 – Mouth breathing 7 – Runny eyes/ nose/coughing/sneezing/ wheezing 8 - Flystrike 9 – Blood in urine 10 – Dribbling / wet fur around mouth 11 – Haemorrhage 12 – Fitting 13 – Screaming 14 – Diarrhoea 15 – Significant wounds

Friday, 21 August 2015

Vaccination announcement

MSD Animal Health will be experiencing a temporary supply shortage with Nobivac Myxo-RHD for the period end of August to the end of October. This is due to an unexpected production delay. They apologise sincerely for the inconvenience this may cause but wished to give some advance notice to practices to facilitate practice planning and so that they are in a position to appropriately inform those rabbit owners that may be affected. No other MSD Animal Health vaccines are affected by the supply issue and this issue not related to any quality, safety or efficacy issue with vaccine being used currently. MSD are working to improve this timeline and as an interim solution they are looking to provide an alternative multiple dose presentation of the same product from mid-September. Whilst we appreciate that this may be less than ideal it should ensure with appropriate planning that rabbit vaccines will continue to be available over this period to allow sufficient availability to provide essential cover for vulnerable rabbits. Your veterinary practice should be receiving communications from MSD about this, and will be in the best position to advise owners due vaccines for their rabbits in their area over the next few weeks as to how and when they can get their rabbits vaccinated It is important not to bring your rabbit's vaccinations forward in the short term since adequate product is expected to be available to ensure coverage of the population in the short term. Vets may have to prioritise vaccination of young and high risk rabbits in the short term but it is anticipated that there should be sufficient product available to cover demand once the alternative supply of product is expected to become available in mid-September Practices will be best placed to advise on other ways of reducing the risk of infectious disease - stringent biosecurity and parasite control to reduce the opportunities of infection are particularly vital at this time. Take steps to ensure your rabbits are kept well away from potential sources of infection such as wild rabbits, and discuss with your vet how best to manage the risk of fleas and flies during this period. MSD apologise for any inconvenience caused, and are communicating with practices to address the issues, doing all they can to provide an alternative. Since the alternative product has to be used within a few hours of opening, it is likely that many practices will be offering vaccination clinics to ensure that as many rabbits can be vaccinated as possible. To this end good communication between vets and owners will be needed to make sure the maximum number of rabbits benefit. Communication between rabbit organisations to group together rabbits for vaccination at practices may greatly help. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS MYXOMATOSIS AND RHD Q: What are Myxomatosis and RHD? A: Myxomatosis is a disease of rabbits caused by infection with myxoma virus. It is typically spread by blood sucking insects – in particular fleas and mosquitoes. The virus can also spread from rabbit to rabbit if the animals are housed together. Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease (RHD), also known as Viral Haemorrhagic Disease, is caused by a calicivirus which is spread by direct contact between rabbits (both wild and domestic) and by indirect contact. Possible indirect contact can be through people, clothing, contaminated hutches and bedding, as well as insect vectors such as fleas or flies. Q: Why isn’t there a vaccine available? A: We buy our rabbit vaccine from the manufacturer, MSD Animal Health. Unfortunately they are temporarily out of stock of their Nobivac Myxo-RHD vaccine and this has led to a general shortage of this type of vaccine. MSD Animal Health is doing everything possible to produce the vaccine as quickly as possible and your rabbit will be revaccinated against this disease once vaccine is available again. Q: What can I do to protect my rabbit from myxomatosis and RHD in the meantime? A: While vaccination is an important way of protecting your rabbit(s) there are a number of measures you can take to minimise exposure to the disease, in particular by reducing and risks from contact with wild rabbits and by attending carefully to parasite control (please see accompanying guidance). Q: What signs should I look out for? A: Given appropriate precautions it is unlikely that your rabbit will succumb to these diseases. Nevertheless it’s wise to be vigilant and contact us should you suspect illness. Signs of myxomatosis to look out for in your rabbit include swollen, almost closed eyes and other localised swellings around the head, face, ears, lips, anus and genitallia, which can appear within a few days of infection. Infected rabbits become very lethargic with a high fever and often develop discharges from eyes and nose with breathing problems Signs of RHD to look out for include lethargy, collapse, difficulty in breathing, convulsions, high body temperature, and bleeding from the nose. Q: When will the vaccine be back on the market? A. The manufacturer is expecting some product to be back in supply by mid-September, with full supply resumed at the end of October. Q: Will I have to start a full course of vaccines again once the product becomes available? A. A single dose is all that is required for both an initial course or a booster

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Vision for Rabbit Welfare in the UK

The RWAF, along with RSPCA, BRC and PIF have formed the working group called 'Rabbit Welfare Group' which is working on the Health & Welfare Strategy for rabbits for the UK. The first stage of this has been to agree a 'Vision for rabbit welfare' which is listed below. The 10-point vision is based on the recommendations from an RSPCA-commissioned University of Bristol study into rabbit welfare in the UK, which concluded that the welfare needs of many companion rabbits are not currently being met. It includes, for example, the vision that all rabbits sold or rehomed are to be kept in compatible pairs or groups and that all rabbits should live in an environment which meets their physical, social and behavioural needs. The next stage will be to develop a roadmap to achieve the vision. The Rabbit Welfare Vision Statement states that: All companion rabbits enjoy a good life in which they can experience positive welfare (i.e. good physical and psychological health) as well as being protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease. All rabbits have access to an appropriate diet, known to optimise animal health and minimise the risk of disease. This includes having continual access to both good quality fibre-based material (e.g. hay or fresh grass) to eat and fresh, clean water. All rabbits live in an environment which meets their physical, social and behavioural needs (e.g. to run, jump, graze, dig, rest and stand up on their hind legs without their ears touching the roof). All rabbits are sold or rehomed to be kept in compatible pairs or groups. All rabbits are bred, reared and kept in a way known to minimise their chances of developing fear of handling and other stimuli. All rabbits are given regular preventative health care as recommended by veterinary experts, e.g. vaccinated against myxomatosis and RHD (Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease: a virulent and fatal viral disease of rabbits) (according to current vaccine licence recommendations). All rabbits are given appropriate and timely veterinary treatment to protect them from pain, disease and suffering. All those working with rabbits (including vets, retailers, breeders, rehoming organisations) undertake effective training programmes and have resources available to them on current good practice in housing and husbandry, the promotion of health and welfare, and the management of disease and welfare risks. All rabbit health and welfare advice and recommendations are based on international scientific knowledge and professional experience. The veterinary professions offers up-to-date expertise in recognition, management and prevention of disease and in practices to promote good welfare. The number of rabbits requiring rehoming (both privately and via rescue organisations) is minimised. The organisations will now seek for this vision to be incorporated into a Defra Code of Practice for rabbits in England, under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 (a code for rabbits already exists in Wales and Northern Ireland). Vision for Rabbit Welfare in the UK was created by the University of Bristol, the British Rabbit Council, the Pet Industry Federation, the RSPCA and the Rabbit Welfare Association & Fund (RWAF). It has also been endorsed by the Blue Cross, the British Veterinary Nursing Association (BVNA), the National Office for Animal Health (NOAH), PDSA, Wood Green the Animal Charity

Monday, 26 January 2015

Barry M Bunny Cam in conjunction with Heat Magazine and Anim-mates rescue

Hop over to Heat Magazine to see Barclay and Freida on the webcam with Elizabeth from Anim-Mates, inconjunction with Barry M

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

2 new signings to the retailer charter – please welcome them and support them if you can. Handmade-Hutches-4u Please welcome Handmade- Hutches-4U to the retailer charter. This is what Beverley told us: Rabbits need to be able to have plenty enough room to be able to exercise, play, sleep, relax and go to the toilet but most of all they need to be able to feel safe. Rabbits need to be able to rest, sleep, eat and drink in comfort. Exercise, play and feel safe. Shelter from all types of bad weather and the hot sun too. Having a good size Hutch and run and having lots of love and time for your rabbits is the first stage on making a suitable health happy environment for your Rabbit. We support 'A Hutch is not enough' campaign because their priority is to make sure rabbits are treated the same as their owners would expect to be treated. Afterall a human would not like to be left in a small box and just thrown food and drink once a day so why should rabbits and every other animal too be treated like that. Beverley Lees They can make anything bespoke so get in touch if you have something in mind! They are based in York and can only offer local delivery at present. Manor Pet Housing
The latest signing is Manor Pet Housing, who offer a range of delightful hide outs and enrichment items. There is sure to be something that you love! This is what Liz told us: Manor pet housing specialise in bespoke craftsmanship to create good quality products that are built to last as pet homes. We have many of our own designs, but are also happy to work with you to create an exact made to measure home/setup/enclosure to fit into the space you have. We currently do not keep rabbits ourselves, however when I was a child I was guilty to owning a rabbit that was kept in just a hutch!……. If only I knew then what I know now, that rabbits life, could have been so If only I knew then what I know now, that rabbits life, could have been so much more!! With that in mind we are now building these rabbit hideouts and enrichments to help you as rabbit owners create a more suitable environment for your pet, one that promotes the rabbit to have the ability to perform natural movements such as hopping, jumping and stretching out, foraging behaviours such as digging, and places to hide from things that scare them. We want to work with existing owners, perspective owners and the RWAF organisation to increase awareness that rabbit welfare is extremely important. To be able to educate people that if you do not fully research a rabbits requirements they will be indirectly causing pain, suffering, injury and disease through poor husbandry skills and lack of knowledge. Rabbits are intelligent animals, therefore if allowed to get bored and lonely with nothing to do, their health will suffer. That is simply the reason as to why Manor Pet Housing chooses to support ‘A Hutch Is Not Enough Campaign’ A website is coming, but in the mean time please check out their facebook page!

Saturday, 3 January 2015

Time to Make Your Rabbit Resolutions!

We can all be a bit critical of New Year’s resolutions but some do stick, so here are some resolutions for anyone who wants to help pet rabbits – amongst the most neglected and misunderstood pets. Please take a look at the below and make some rabbit resolutions! And yes, some resolutions do only last a month, so we’ve included some January specific ideas too! Please share! 1. Order a 'Hop To It' booklet and give it to someone you know who has a bunny, they could use some extra advice and information. 2. Raise money for the RWAF’s “A Hutch is Not Enough” campaign at no cost to you by using Give as You Live when you shop on-line. Or use Easy Fundraising, which does exactly the same thing: Or The Giving Machine: 3. Adopt a bunny! If you have a single rabbit then think about adopting another. Sociability is a huge part of a rabbit’s make-up so every bunny needs some bunny to love. Rescues have been inundated this winter and most are full and not able to help any more. Please check out or to find a rescue local to you, and talk to them about adopting a friend for your bun. 4. If you can not adopt, then you can support your local rescue by offering to help clean out, or donate hay and food. 5. Spread the word - during January please pledge to share one of our posters or messages every week. Help us educate lots of other rabbit owners about good diet, housing, companionship and health issues because sadly, many owners don’t know what their rabbits need to live happy and healthy lives. Please share this post for starters and keep an eye out for future postings and get busy with that share button! If and when we share a poster, please print it off and ask a local pet shop, garden centre, school or place of work to display it. 6. Change your cover photo to our 'A Hutch is Not Enough' image (attached to this posting) for a month. 7. Order one of our “A Hutch is Not Enough” car stickers for only £2 and help spread the word! If you don’t have a car then any window will do! 8. Look for the leaping bunny logo: and make sure any cosmetics and household products you buy are not tested on bunnies (or any other animals). M&S, Superdrug, Co-op, Sainsbury and Barry M are among the brands that all offer cruelty free options. 9. If you are not already a member then please join us! You will love Rabbiting On Magazine. We do our best to keep our members up to date on the latest health, behaviour and welfare issues and use recognised experts, so you can trust us. And of course there are plenty of pictures of our favourite pets too! Why not check out our Winter issue, which has been our most popular yet: Or Join up on a subscription and get all 4 issues as they come out each year. Please note these links are for UK delivery only, for outside of the UK please contact us at 10. Last but by no means not least – please remember to always give your bunnies the lives they deserve. They need plenty of space, the right diet, companionship, health checks and an enriching environment to allow them to display their natural behaviours. Let them be rabbits! Thank you everybody, have a fantastic new year!