We remain open to provide care for your pets. We are following the direction of government and regulatory authorities and have implemented hospital and visit protocols to keep both you and our team safe. For regular updates on our hours and visit protocols, please follow our social media platforms.

780.539.0636

Things to Know Before You Get a House Rabbit

Rabbits can be great housepets! However, they require a lot of care and training. It may include preventing them from accidentally injuring themselves, ruining your possessions and training them to keep clean and build a healthy bond. This snippet of rabbit care will help prepare you for bringing home a new rabbit.

First things, first! You need to make sure your home is prepared for a curious rabbit. Rabbits love to eat things like electrical cords, plants, wooden furniture, baseboards, drapes and rugs. The potential of injuries from eating these items make relying on training alone very risky. Make sure you secure, raise or wrap electrical cords with something to prevent the rabbit from electrocution and or burns.

Bunnies are very sensitive, and it does not take a high voltage to harm them. Many houseplants are poisonous to rabbits and should be kept completely out of reach from them. Some plants are safe for rabbits, but until you know for sure, you should assume it is not safe for them. As for the furniture, the majority of rabbits love to burrow, and a perfect place to build one is in the bottom of your couch and chairs. An idea to prevent your rabbit from doing this is to block off furniture (and baseboards too!) with wooden planks or small boxes underneath.

House bunnies often have free run of the house when their owners are around. It is best when you bring your bunny home for the first time to keep them confined in a smaller area until you get to know each other. It can be a large crate, a rabbit-proofed room or a large cage/condo. Make sure they have a dark spot to hide, either an overturned box or a towel draped over one side of a cage with help with this. Offering a litter box in the area your rabbit uses as a bathroom can also encourage litter box training. Once you have the rabbit roaming the house, they will find a litter box to use. When training your rabbit in good and bad behaviours, it is always best to use positive reinforcement. Praise them when chewing on things you want them to and when they try to chew on other things redirecting them to something you want them to chew on.

There are some health problems that can arise seemingly suddenly. It is a great idea to find out which of your local veterinarians see rabbits before you experience any medical concerns. Here are a few major issues that as a rabbit owner, you should be aware of:

  • Gastrointestinal Blockages – This can be wood or plastic pieces they chewed, hairballs from grooming themselves. Rabbits cannot vomit, so once something gets in the only way out is through the intestines. If the blockage is severe enough, they can develop what we call GI stasis which can be fatal.
  • Infections – These can be seen as sneezing, coughing, diarrhea, eye goop or redness, swollen or hot wounds. It is important to take your bunny to a vet if you notice any of these signs as they can indicate an array of diseases/infections. Rabbits are very sensitive to infection, and it does not take long to make them feel down.
  • Gastrointestinal Bacterial Imbalance – When a rabbit experiences any diseases, GI upset, stress or partial blockages, it gives an opportunity for one type of bacteria to take over and causes a worse upset.

It is extremely important not to force rabbits to interact with people and take your time to get to know your rabbit. Rabbits are naturally shy but curious animals but still need the patience to build a strong relationship with them. While you have them in a smaller area, this is a great time to sit back and observe your bunny. Watch and learn their behaviours and personality; in the meantime, they will get used to you being around. Eventually, they may come over to check you out and if they had been handled previously then may even nuzzle your hand. Offering treats and goodies during this time will also help reinforce them not to be afraid of you. It helps to be quiet during the first little while, but you may also speak quietly once the bunny is less shy of you.

If you have any questions, give us a call at 780.539.0636.

Written by: Bailey Nadeau, RVT

Category:

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COVID-19: Additional measures we are taking

Dear Clients,

Due to the close contact that our work requires, we have taken additional measures to protect you and our team while providing care for your furry family members.

The following changes are effective as of Wednesday, March 18, 2020:

1. We are currently operating a "closed waiting room" policy to protect our clients and staff. When you arrive, please remain in your vehicle and use your cell phone to call us at 780-539-0636. We will bring your pet into the hospital for an examination with the veterinarian. The veterinarian will then call you to discuss our recommended treatment plan. After your appointment, a technician will return your pet to your car and take care of any needed medications and payment.

2. We are continuing to accept appointments for urgent or sick pets, as well as time-sensitive puppy/kitten vaccinations. All other services will be scheduled for a later time. However, if you're unsure whether your pet needs medical attention, please call us to discuss your situation.

3. We are still OPEN with the following hours: Monday to Saturday 8:30 am - 5:30 pm

4. If you are ordering food or medications, please allow 2-4 business days as our suppliers are dealing with increased demand and are trying to fill orders as quickly as possible. We will advise you as soon as your order arrives. Please call us when you arrive to pick up your order, but do not enter the hospital. Our staff will bring your order to your car. You can also use our online store and have your food delivered directly to your home. To sign up for the Online Store, please visit our website.

5. For the time being, we are not accepting cash as payment. Credit cards and debit card payments are still available.

6. Following the recommendations of our government and medical experts, we are doing our best to practice social distancing within the constraints of our jobs. We have taken these measures to avoid both contracting and facilitating the spread of this disease.

Thank you for helping us be diligent for everyone's safety. As we have heard from all levels of government, the situation is fluid, and any updates will be provided as changes occur.

- Your dedicated team at Animal Medical Centre North