Two small rabbits

Weird things rabbits do

Have you noticed your rabbits doing something strange?
The 2nd – 10th June is Rabbit Awareness Week. Our bunnies can bemuse us with their strange behaviour. Our vets answer 7 common questions about the odd things our furry friends do:

‘Why do my rabbits lick me?’

Does it seem like your rabbits are trying to clean you, just like they groom their bunny pals? That’s exactly what they’re doing! It’s how they show their love and bond with you.

‘One of my rabbits has started to scratch and bite me. Why?’

Your rabbit could be in pain or it could be their hormones creating the problem. A trip to your vet will rule out pain or illness and your vet can tell you more about how neutering could help.

Your rabbit could also be bored. A good sized run – with room for at least three hops and for your rabbits to stand up on their back legs – and plenty of toys will keep them busy.

Tips to stop bunny boredom.

‘Why do my rabbits rub their chins on the furniture?’

Rabbits have scent glands under their chin and rub against things to mark it as theirs. If you notice your rabbit doing this, it’s a sign they’re making themselves at home!

‘Help! My rabbits are eating their own poop!’

Don’t worry if you spot your rabbit eating their own poo – it’s perfectly natural and helps keep them healthy! They only eat a certain type of poo called a ‘caecotroph’. This is a shiny, sticky dropping and is full of important nutrients. They often eat these straight from their bum.

About your rabbits diet

‘Why do my rabbits thump their feet?’

It doesn’t just happen in films – rabbits really do thump the ground with their feet. It’s a way of communicating with the rabbits around them. Thumping could be a danger warning.

‘One of my rabbits has started to walk around me and nibble my feet. What’s going on?’

Your rabbit’s flirting with you! They’re probably feeling hormonal and sexually frustrated. It’s time to take a trip to the vet to talk about neutering.

‘Why do my rabbits grunt at me?’

This is a warning from your rabbits. Maybe they’re not happy to be picked up or they’re feeling protective of their food. Have a think about what you’re doing when your rabbits grunt at you and see if you can work out what they’re trying to tell you.

Happy Christmas to all our cats. dogs, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, gerbils, ferrets, degus, owls, budgies, parrots, snakes, fish, hedgehogs (apologies if I’ve missed any) and their owners.

Be Careful this Christmas

Watch out for potential hazards to your pets this Christmas, as findings released by the British Veterinary Association (BVA) reveal that in the North West 80% of vets saw at least one case of toxic ingestion in pets during the last festive period.

Across the UK, chocolate poisoning in dogs remains the most common cause of toxic ingestion at Christmas, with 74% of vets seeing at least one case. Raisin or sultana poisoning is also prevalent (54%), with vets reporting a significant increase in cases over the last two years.

Several vets in BVA’s ‘Voice of the Veterinary Profession’ survey said that, despite owners’ best intentions, their pets had been poisoned after gifts or festive treats containing chocolate or raisins were placed under the Christmas tree, with the owner unaware of the potential peril for their pet lurking beneath the wrapping. Many cats also suffered toxic ingestion last Christmas, with a quarter of vets treating cats for antifreeze poisoning.

BVA President John Fishwick said:

‘Christmas is typically a fun and chaotic time for families, but the presents, treats and decorations can often prove dangerous for our pets if we are not careful. Many pet owners are aware of the risks of chocolate or other festive foods being toxic for their pets but, as our survey shows, it’s easy to be caught out by a kind gift left under the tree which curious animals can find hard to resist. Our advice is for present-givers to tell owners if there is anything edible in gifts and to keep such presents safely out of reach of your pet. If you suspect your pet may have eaten something it shouldn’t, please contact your local vet immediately.’

Keeping your pets safe

To keep Christmas merry for the whole household, Withy Grove recommends you ensure your home is safe for four-legged friends by following these five simple tips:

  1. Protect your pet from poisons – a number of festive treats and traditions are toxic to cats and dogs. They include;
  • Chocolate and liquorice (common Christmas gifts)
  • Raisins and sultanas (used in Christmas cake recipes)
  • Certain nuts (especially peanuts and Macadamia nuts)
  • Xylitol-sweetened foods
  • Onions, avocados and grapes
  • Alcohol
  • Plants including poinsettia, holly, mistletoe, lilies (and daffodils)
  • Cleaning and DIY products such as white spirit and lubricating oils
  • Car anti-freeze
  • Human medicines

Substances with low toxicity that could cause drooling, vomiting or diarrhoea include:

  • Blu-tack or other similar adhesives (used to put up decorations)
  • Charcoal and coal
  • Cut-flower and houseplant food
  • Expanded polystyrene foam (used for large present packing)
  • Matches
  • Wax candles and crayons
  • Silica gel (found in packaging)
  1. Keep decorations out of reach – ribbons, wrapping paper, baubles, tinsel and tree lights can all prove irresistible to cats and dogs but can be very dangerous if broken, chewed or swallowed. Batteries for Christmas gifts also need to be kept safe as, if ingested, they may cause severe chemical burns to the mouth, throat and stomach.
  2. Forget festive food for pets, we all enjoy a richer diet over Christmas, but fatty foods and Christmas dinners shouldn’t be shared. They can trigger, sickness and diarrhoea or other conditions from gastroenteritis to pancreatitis, so try to stick to your pet’s regular diet and routine. Bones including turkey bones should not be given to pets as they can splinter and puncture the digestive tract (see my next blog for an example!). Make sure any bones are disposed of in a bin that your dog won’t be able to access.
  3. Give toys not treats, we all want our pets to share the fun and many of us include a gift for our pet on the shopping list. But too many treats can lead to fat pets which can have serious consequences for their health, so consider opting for a new toy, or a long walk (usually enjoyed more by dogs than cats!) if you want to indulge your pet this Christmas.
  4. Know where to go, even with all the care in the world, animal accidents and emergencies can still happen. Make sure you’re prepared, all vets must have a 24 hour emergency cover, phone our normal number , 01772 330103, if you need assistance and you will be put through to our on call service. The only two days we don’t have a surgery at Withy Grove are Christmas Day and Boxing Day. If you are away from home, use the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons ‘ Find a Vet’ facility at www.findavet.org.uk

For more information on pets and poisons download the free Animal Welfare Foundation ‘Pets and Poisons’ leaflet at www.bva-awf.org.uk/pet-care-advice/pets-and-poisons

cat waiting area at vets in preston

Withy Grove Vets Open Evening — the hottest ticket in Preston

We’d love you to pop into the Withy Grove Vets Open Evening on Thursday 14th September 2017 from 7-9pm.

Premium pet healthcare has always been our priority.

But you have to see our superb new facilities before believing the best vets in Bamber Bridge just got even better.

You’ll be sure of a warm welcome — we’re excited to show off all the improvements we’ve made.

We’ve organised lots of exciting activities so you’ll definitely have a night to remember:

  • Goodie bags for all guests
  • Practice treasure trail
  • Guess the weight of the dog (without lifting it up)
  • Charity raffle — all proceeds go to worthy local causes
  • Refreshments — quench your thirst while you roam around
  • Meet friendly staff — including our awesome animal therapist Donna

Mix and mingle

You’ll rub shoulders with fellow pet owners and meet the cream of local pet businesses like Mucky Paws pet shop, Mutz-Cutz groomers and the K9 club.

So by the time you leave you’ll be plugged into Preston’s premier pet healthcare network.

Get the date in your diary today, we can’t wait to see you.

We’re sure our launch night will be a fantastic and informative night out— miss it and miss out.

Call 01772 330103 today for more details

If you know you and your family are going to attend, feel free to let us know so we can make sure you get a goodie bag! Email us at info@withygrovevets.co.uk

See you soon!


Contact us

17th – 25th June is Rabbit Awareness Week!

Withy Grove Vets are hopping to hay this year and promoting the importance of feeding hay in rabbits’ diets

This year’s Rabbit Awareness Week (RAW) campaign, organised by Burgess Pet Care, is focused on raising the importance of feeding hay in rabbit diets, after findings in the PDSA Animal Wellbeing 2016 report showed that 30% of rabbit owners report their rabbits don’t have constant access to fresh water and hay.

By taking part in this year’s RAW and raising awareness on rabbit welfare needs, we hope to reach out to more rabbit owners and ensure the needs of their pets are being met.

A rabbit’s diet should consist of up to 85 – 90% feeding hay. Many owners don’t know the difference between feeding hay and bedding hay. By encouraging more rabbit owners to come into the practice during RAW 2017, we hope we’ll be able to address more of these needs and encourage more responsible ownership when it comes to looking after rabbits.

Dr Suzanne Moyes MVB MRCVS, Technical Director at Burgess Pet Care, one of the UK’s leading pet food manufacturers, is optimistic that the involvement of so many veterinary practices will lead to rabbit owners taking more responsibility when it comes to ensuring the correct nutritional needs of their rabbits are being met.

“It’s fantastic to see so many veterinary practices throughout the UK getting involved with this year’s RAW campaign. This year’s PDSA report highlighted 30% of rabbit owners don’t provide constant access to fresh feeding hay and water for their pets. The PAW report also identified inappropriate diet as the number one issue that needs to be addressed in rabbit ownership.”

“85 – 90% of a rabbit’s diet should consist of feeding hay, with the rest being made up of nuggets and fresh vegetables. It’s important that rabbit owners are aware of the dietary needs of their pets, and thanks to the involvement of so many veterinary practices throughout the UK, we hope to increase awareness as part of this year’s campaign.”

RAW is an annual event that brings together vets, pet retailers, welfare charities, manufacturers and consumers to raise awareness about rabbit welfare issues and to encourage responsible pet ownership.  Official RAW partners include: Agria Pet Insurance, RSPCA, RWAF, Wood Green The Animals Charity, PDSA and Blue Cross.

Withy Grove is a Silver Award Rabbit Friendly Practice

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

As part of our upgrade this year we now have a rabbit specific ward. This allows rabbits to be housed totally on their own (rabbits are ‘prey’ species so do not like being anywhere near cats or dogs), they are also housed at ground level which most rabbits find preferable.We have a dedicated ‘Rabbit Advocate’ nurse and all our staff are trained in handling rabbits to keep them as stress free and safe as possible.

You can request to wait in a quiet area if you turn up for an appointment and our waiting room is busy, ask any member of our team.

 

For the latest news and information on this year’s RAW, visit http://www.rabbitawarenessweek.co.uk/