Sunday, 30 October 2016

Rabbit 101 - Neutering

Neutering rabbits is very important for many different reasons and should definitely be considered if you would like your rabbit to live a full, fun and happy life. 

Although putting a rabbit under aesthetic has its risks, as with any other animal.
But rabbits due to their size and having a sensitive system, rabbits should never be starved / should never fast before an operation. If a vet asks for you to do so, then please consider using a different rabbit savvy vet, as rabbits are classed as exotic animals and if starved then they can get gut statis and need to see a vet immediately as it can lead to further complications and death, so make sure they are eating right up to the point they go in for their operation and that you find a vet that you can trust.

Although rabbits are very cute! especially baby rabbits, without being neutered they can multiply frequently; with a sexually mature female being able to have up to 11 litters a year. A typical rabbits litter will contain 4-6 kits, although they can have as many as 8. Their pregnancies typically last around 31 days, so a rabbit can produce as many as 88 kits a year. There are already thousands of rabbits being mistreated, over flowing rescue centres, please don’t bring anymore into this world, if you have room to keep more and provide a perfect home for anymore, please consider rescuing or rehoming one that is already in need of a loving home.

Spaying a female rabbit can significantly reduce their chances of getting cancer later on in life, as there is a high percentage of female rabbits over the age of 3 that eventually get uterine cancer.

Phantom pregnancies are common in female rabbits that haven’t yet been spayed; they typically start with the female starting to be a little grumpier, change in appetite and pulling fur out from their chest to start building a nest, you may also catch them running around with hay in their mouth, gathering nesting materials. This can be very stressful for both rabbit and us humans to watch; they can last a couple of days to a full month and may only happen once or keep reoccurring. Spaying your female rabbit usually stops this behaviour and they can focus on other things.

Although it may look very cute when your rabbit/s runs circles around you, making a honking or buzzing noise, this is hormonal behaviour and mounting teddies and other things is also part of their hormones. Humping can also be a sign of dominance and your bunny trying to show you who is boss but in un-neutered rabbits it is generally an urge they have, they cannot help it, it can also cause them a lot of stress, having urges to hump and spray with other behaviour issues.

Spraying is where your rabbit may aim and spray urine at you, sometimes when you hold them, other times when you least expect it, in your face! They also tend to mark their territory with urine to let others know that, that is their area and not yours, so if you have an indoor area for them, be careful to keep an eye on your walls and furniture.

Every rabbit deserves to have a friend and must be bonded correctly, when both rabbits are neutered it is much easier for them to live harmoniously together and have a pal for life. (You can attempt bonding after 6-8 weeks after neutering, once bunny has healed)

Neutering has so many benefits and pros, including making it easier to litter train them and usually helping with any behavioural issues - so if you are questioning whether you should or not, it might be worth considering all of the above and booking an appointment with your vet to discuss it further.

Male rabbits can generally be castrated between 4-6 months, when they reach sexual maturity and their testicles are visible. (Costing around £40-£50)
Female rabbits can generally be spayed between 5-6 months, depending on the size and weight of your rabbit. (Costing around £70-£90)

Best of Luck!

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Microchipping your pet

What is Microchipping?
An animal microchip is roughly the size of a large grain of rice and uses radio frequency to transmit a 15 digit number to a microchip reader, to be able to identify your pet. The microchip is safely, quickly and simply inserted under the skin of your pet, the procedure only takes a couple of seconds but should last a lifetime, apart from the odd occasion where it may fail or come out, but if inserted correctly by a vet or trained microchip implanter it is likely to last a lifetime.

The cost of Microchipping. Why Microchip?
Microchipping is usually around £10 but there are several schemes and rescues that often offer microchipping for free, it will ensure that if your pet is found then it is likely to be reunited with you as soon as possible.

Various animals can be microchipped including cats, rabbits, birds and even bearded dragons, so it is worth looking into if you have a pet. It is law in the UK as of 2016 that you MUST microchip your dogs, regular checks take place.

Microchipping vs Not Microchipping
If your animal is found and taken to a vet or professional to get checked for a microchip and no chip is found, they have 7 days for the owner to come forward, if no owner comes forward then the animal can be rehomed.

If your animal is found and taken to a vet or professional to get checked for a microchip and a microchip is found, then the 15 digit number is checked on the pet log data base, where the registered owners details should be and you will be contacted and hopefully reunited with your beloved pet.

If your details however are not up to date or they are unable to reach you on the number provided, then you will have 30 days to get in contact, after the 30 days your pet can be rehomed. So it is extremely important to keep your details up to date!

So if you find an animal that you believe may be lost or stolen, then please take it to your local vets or rescue, then hopefully they can be reunited with their owners.