Rabbits are social animals and prefer to sit together. Because rams are difficult to keep together and it is difficult to connect feeders, the best combination is a castrated ram and a (possibly also a castrated) feeder. But how does a castration or sterilization work and what should you look out for?
Sterilization and castration is a surgical procedure in which the rabbit is made infertile. This is because the hormone-producing organs (ovaries or testicles) are removed. This is done under general anesthesia.
Females / nurses
Nurses can be sterilized from 4 months. Benefits in addition to the infertility of sterilizing are; no more uterine infections or cancer, no chance of milk tumors and reduced aggression. Up to 80% of female rabbits develop cancer of the womb or milk tumors later in life. If you no longer want litters, it is better for your rabbit's health to sterilize.
Males / rams
Advantages of castrating your rabbit are; no more litters, no more spraying and no more aggressive behavior. Castration of rabbits is preferably done around 4 months. Ramies are non-castrated, difficult to assemble with other rabbits, after castration, the ram will be calmer and live together more easily.
Anesthesia with a surgical procedure always involves a small risk for the patient. Rabbits are more sensitive to anesthesia than dogs or cats. This is because rabbits are much more sensitive to stress. Vetocambre has an experienced team of veterinarians who have a lot of experience with rabbits. They make every effort to ensure that surgery and anesthesia are as safe as possible.
To estimate the risks, it is recommended that you consult your rabbit beforehand. During this consultation, your rabbit will be thoroughly examined. The vet will examine the general health of your rabbit and make a risk assessment for the treatment. During this consultation, the diet, lifestyle and history are also discussed as well as the vaccination schedule explained. (see vaccination)
The procedure itself
Vetocambre has two operating rooms and three operating tables.
Both operating rooms have high-quality monitors and materials to ensure that the operations run as smoothly as possible. For maintenance anesthesia, we work with isoflurane, a very safe anesthetic gas that ensures that your rabbit can wake up quickly.
During the anesthesia, specialized devices such as a capnograph and a pulse oximeter ensure close monitoring. All patients also receive an intravenous catheter and they wake up calmly in the recovery, which is specially equipped for this. We attach great importance to the prevention of postoperative pains.
Female rabbits remove the ovaries and uterus via an incision on the abdomen. The belly is then closed. In the male rabbits, the testes are removed via an incision just before the ball bag. This wound is being sutured.
After 10 days there is a control visit. Here the threads are removed and it is checked whether everything is ok with your rabbit.
For an appointment or additional information regarding sterilization or castration you can contact us.
When vaccinating, a bit of a weakened pathogen is injected into your pet. This ensures that your pet can build up immunity to this disease. If your pet later becomes infected with this disease, he will hardly get any symptoms. His immune system will recognize the disease and your pet is protected against this pathogen.
Thanks to the vaccinations, there are diseases that almost no longer occur in Belgium. Nevertheless, they remain extremely important, as stopping vaccination can ensure a very rapid return of these diseases and, in particular in rabbits, some diseases are very fatal.
Spring is the best time to have your rabbit vaccinated, because from then on insects (which can spread the diseases) are more common. Rabbits can be vaccinated when they are 5-10 weeks old, depending on the vaccine being used. A vaccination schedule will then be drawn up with you. For some types of rabbits, different advice sometimes applies. For more information, contact your doctor.
Myxomatosis is caused by a virus (Myxomavirus). Myxomatosis is mainly spread by stinging insects such as fleas, mosquitoes and flies. Contamination through direct contact with infected animals or materials is also possible. The time between infection and the first symptoms is a few days to 2 weeks. The disease is characterized by swelling of the eyelids, mouth and anus. These swellings can become so severe in one day that the animals can no longer see. Eating and drinking becomes progressively more difficult and the animals usually die within 12 days.
Unfortunately, few rabbits survive myxomatosis, which is why it is important to have your rabbit vaccinated annually and to take measures to prevent the disease from spreading. You can further reduce the risk of infection by protecting your rabbit from biting insects. Treat your rabbit regularly with a flea medicine and, if necessary, cover the pen with a mosquito net.
VHS viral haemorrhagic syndrome
VHS is an extremely contagious disease that causes high mortality among rabbits. The disease is only contagious to rabbits and is harmless to humans and other animal species. VHS has two virus types. The symptoms can therefore be different. Some rabbits with VHS die without showing any symptoms, others develop a fever, difficulty in breathing or problems with the nervous system. The virus is spread directly through contact between rabbits, but also indirectly through infected stools, urine and blood and through food containers, shoes and clothing.
Rabbits that do not come outside or are in a place where they do not have direct contact with other rabbits can also become infected. It is a persistent virus and therefore it is important to have your rabbit vaccinated every year.
Your rabbit's teeth and molars continue to grow throughout life. The incisors grow 2-2.4 mm per week. With normal teeth, the upper teeth and lower teeth are well on top of each other and the incisors wear neatly on top of each other. Growth and wear are in balance with each other.
When growth and wear of the teeth and molars are not balanced, problems arise. Unfortunately it often happens. Dental problems are one of the most common problems in rabbits.
Symptoms of dental problems are; not being able to eat, cramming food, spitting out food, fluid from eyes and nose due to inflammation, poor fur and condition, diarrhea or blockage and weight loss. If this is the case, your rabbit needs treatment.
The treatment is done under anesthesia. Anesthesia always involves a risk and rabbits are more sensitive than cats and dogs. It is advisable to consult beforehand if your rabbit is not yet known to us. During this consultation you can look at the overall condition of your rabbit. This is important to be able to estimate the risks with regard to treatment and anesthesia.
Anesthesia with a surgical procedure always involves a small risk for the patient. Rabbits are more sensitive to anesthesia than dogs or cats. This is because rabbits are much more sensitive to stress. Vetocambre has an experienced team of veterinarians who have a lot of experience with rabbits. They make every effort to ensure that surgery and anesthesia are as safe as possible. To estimate the risks, it is recommended that you consult your rabbit beforehand. During this consultation, your rabbit will be thoroughly examined. The vet will examine the general health of your rabbit and make a risk assessment for the treatment. During this consultation, the diet, lifestyle and history are also discussed as well as the vaccination schedule explained. (see vaccination)
For an appointment or additional information regarding our services you can always contact us.
E.cuniculi stands for Encephalitozoan cuniculi. It is a common infectious disease in the rabbit. It is found all over the world. The parasite forms spores and these end up in the environment through the urine of the rabbit. The infection is transmitted via these spores. The spores of the parasite enter the body through the intestine and then go through the bloodstream and lymph lanes to multiple organs. The parasite usually locates itself in the kidneys and brain, and sometimes in the lungs, liver and heart muscle. The parasite can also be passed on through the placenta if the rabbit is pregnant, so that the young are already infected in the womb.
The most important symptoms are neurological problems such as; paralysis, a crooked head and falling over. But it can also go without symptoms. Very rarely have there been cases where E. cuniculi caused an infection in humans, but only in people with reduced immunity.
If you want to know more about this parasite or suspect your rabbit, but here an appointment.
External parasites are parasites that live on the outside of the animal.
There are many types of mites, the best known mites in rabbits are ear mites and fur mites. Mites are arachnid insects that cannot be seen with the naked eye. Many rabbits have mites without being bothered by them, only when the resistance diminishes will there be complaints. The infection of mite can be caused by other animals or the hay and straw. The mites live in the skin and are difficult to control. Most anti-mite remedies do not kill the eggs, so repeating the treatment is very important. Symptoms include white flakes, skin irritation, scratching, bald spots and scabs. If you want more information about mites, please contact us.
Ear mite lives in the rabbit's ear canal. In the initial phase, a white, wax-like earwax is formed. If the ear mite is there for a longer period of time, thick, black-red, grainy discharge is created and the earcup becomes full of scabs. The rabbit is itchy, he will shake his head and scratch the ears. The earcup becomes thicker and redder. If the ear mite remains untreated, it can even spread to middle ear infection or meningitis. Your rabbit will have scabs on the ear, bald spots around it and suffer from excessive ear wax.
Fleas are the small black insects that live on the rabbit's blood. Fleas can easily jump from animal to animal and lay eggs in the environment. You can go to vetocambre for more information.
Always pay attention, some flea and dog fleas are harmful to the rabbit. So always be well informed.
Lice also suck blood and irritate the skin of the rabbit. Lice lay white eggs in the fur of the rabbit, in a dark fur they are clearly visible. Because unlike the flea, the louse lays its eggs in the fur, infection of other animals is less likely. During treatment, it is important that the lying area and the fur are properly cleaned. Fleas and lice can transmit other diseases, so correct control is important.
Outside rabbits can suffer from ticks. Ticks fill with your rabbit's blood. The tick will blow up and you can find it in your rabbit's coat. Ticks can transmit diseases, therefore control of the coat is important.
Wet fur with skin damage or relief from the rabbit's butt are a breeding ground for the blue-green fly. The fly lays its eggs in the wounds or in the fur in the fur. As soon as the eggs hatch, the larvae crawl under the skin of the rabbit. It is very painful and can lead to death.