Anyone visited the vet lately?

Help Support RabbitTalk:

hotzcatz

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 15, 2010
Messages
618
Reaction score
47
Location
Hawaii
We don't really have any nearby veterinaries who will treat rabbits so it's not been much of a direct issue with the herd here. However, there's been a huge demand for rabbits this year and we are sending more of them out to new homes. They all fly since there's no other way to get them to their new homes.

This year, I've gotten reports back of rabbits doing an emergency trip to the vet. The vet says they have multiple infections, they went into cardiac arrest, they are on an IV drip, etc. etc. One of the new owners reported that the vet said the rabbit was underfed and malnourished as well. This was a six month old doe who had just been sheared the day before so she would be able to fly without a heavy angora coat on her. I had my hands all over that rabbit - the day before! - and it wasn't 'underfed and malnourished'. Let alone the other six 'diseases' he 'found' on the rabbit. The new owner took the rabbit to the vet for a 'wellness check' (the day after it arrived because it didn't want to eat the petshop 'treat' they were trying to feed it) and they got a laundry list of problems from the vet. That wasn't an unhealthy rabbit! However, they are a vet and I'm just an un-certified person, so my word and experience means nothing.

How has everyone else's experiences at the vet gone? Is this typical that rabbits get diagnosed with all sorts of things?

When the person called to tell me about the problems with the rabbit, there were screaming kids and a barking dog in the background. Made me cringe and I wasn't even there. It's pretty quiet here so how much of the problems with the rabbit would be stress and shock from the changed situation the rabbit found itself in?

What can be done to get rabbits relocated without new owners taking them off to the vet for 'wellness checks' and 'emergency' visits when the rabbit doesn't want to immediately eat whatever it is they're offering it? I'm thinking a lot of this is issues with the owner being nervous, but it's hard on the rabbits, too.
 

Zass

Well-known member
RabbitTalk Supporter
Joined
Oct 6, 2013
Messages
6,395
Reaction score
9
Location
northwest PA
You can tell by just the stars on your profile, you've been a member of RT for 10 years. I would say, you definitely know what a healthy rabbit looks like!!!

Did you see any of the paperwork, or have any direct communication with the vet?

Asking this, because you aren't the first person I've seen flabbergasted this year with a buyer who have claimed that a vet diagnosed their rabbit with a ton of issues, and then asked for a refund, AND vet fees immediately after receiving their rabbit.

I'm afraid it may be a new scam.

-- Mon Sep 21, 2020 8:12 pm --

It's possible that stress could make them go off feed during transport, stress-related diarrhea or refusal to drink could potentially cause dehydration and a feeling of thinness, at least, it might look like that to a vet who doesn't know the difference between malnourishment and dehydration.

I actually trust experienced raisers over a vet any day when it come to rabbits. I've read too many accounts from people's who's bunnies were "vetted to death" by vets were never taught that rabbits aren't just long eared cats. <br /><br /> -- Mon Sep 21, 2020 8:19 pm -- <br /><br /> The only way I can think of is to protect yourself with a contract that clearly states that you are not responsible for any problems found in the rabbit after it leaves your care.
 

Preitler

Well-known member
RabbitTalk Supporter
Joined
Feb 15, 2014
Messages
910
Reaction score
52
Location
Austria
Well, stress sure can trigger things, I get some sneezing now and then when a rabbit is stressed - like after the 3rd accidential litter, almost back -to-back, or when my 8 yo Fury is in heat, hyperactive dominant and digging. Young buck sneezed for 3 weeks when I got him, he settled in and is fine now.
That's not something I would bother a vet with, that bug, if it is even one, is in all rabbits in the area, and it's predictable.

I read on some pet boards too (Living alone and no TV or smartphone makes for some alternative pastimes) , there's a lot of insecurity about health things- understandable for new owners - and it's kind of an echo chamber. If someone asks if this or that is a problem most answers will be "This could be this or that, see a vet, and demand this and that test done!", it's always easier to argue on the cautious side than saying "C'mon, chill out, it might be ok in a few days". Also, predominantly negativ news get posted, one can get pretty paranoid when taking that as a proper representation of reality.
Many new to rabbits have no idea what stresses their rabbit, and what a big factor stress is.

Can't tell about the vets in the US, apart that they seem very expensive and those experienced with rabbits rather rare - here I have appr. 10 to chose from within an hour drive, the next one 5 minutes away. And the most I ever paid for an emergency visit with a rabbit (Herr Hase has athrosis in the hip) was 80€, including meds and x-rays. I go to the vet about 2 times a year, mostly when one of my keepers or pets stops eating and I can't sort it out within a day, it might not be absolutly necessary, but what the heck, vet has some good stuff. Only real ill rabbit is Herr Hase (free range house bunny together with his spayed cuddlebun Dotty) , when his athrosis got acute I really feared he might just give up.
Anyway, what I read on these pet boards vets run tests I have never heard of, or were never thought relevant by my vet, and with long drives ( for me, 1h is very long, perception of that seems different somewhere else, "let's make a quick trip to NY, it's just 4h, practicly in the neighbourhood" :D) stress can be an issue.

I know, it's not very smart but I myself avoid doctors when I don't have a pretty clear idea about what I have and know a doctor can help - like bleeding profoundly, but I don't go there because of a flu. As the saying goes, "healthy" just means "not examined thoroughly enough". Assuming that with all that social media and liability issues today some vets might tend to just be on the safe side to not be accused of having overlooked something. I'm not even imputing financial reasons there, like, if you can sell a test and meds, why not?
Irrelevant things that only have the potential to cause issues in rare cases and possible false positives can make a quite impressive diagnose list for a basically very healthy rabbit.

Then there's the issue with some people obsessed by the idea that breeders generally are evil, sigh, I got kicked from boards because of not lying about what I do, not that I boast about it, just mentioning to have litters in some context was enough. Very few keyboard warriers spouting their agenda are enough to fuel prejudice. That is actually worse on german boards.
 

hotzcatz

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 15, 2010
Messages
618
Reaction score
47
Location
Hawaii
Zass":ttx4xa4p said:
You can tell by just the stars on your profile, you've been a member of RT for 10 years. I would say, you definitely know what a healthy rabbit looks like!!!

Did you see any of the paperwork, or have any direct communication with the vet?

Asking this, because you aren't the first person I've seen flabbergasted this year with a buyer who have claimed that a vet diagnosed their rabbit with a ton of issues, and then asked for a refund, AND vet fees immediately after receiving their rabbit.

I'm afraid it may be a new scam.

-- Mon Sep 21, 2020 8:12 pm --

It's possible that stress could make them go off feed during transport, stress-related diarrhea or refusal to drink could potentially cause dehydration and a feeling of thinness, at least, it might look like that to a vet who doesn't know the difference between malnourishment and dehydration.

I actually trust experienced raisers over a vet any day when it come to rabbits. I've read too many accounts from people's who's bunnies were "vetted to death" by vets were never taught that rabbits aren't just long eared cats.

-- Mon Sep 21, 2020 8:19 pm --

The only way I can think of is to protect yourself with a contract that clearly states that you are not responsible for any problems found in the rabbit after it leaves your care.


Is that what those stars mean! I'd not clued into that before. Has it been ten years already? Doesn't seem like that long at all.

Nope, no direct communication with the vet, no paperwork. Later on I was wondering if it was a scam. It was a $75 rabbit, plus airfare, kennel, etc. although they were only asking for refund on the rabbit. What with this digital interconnected world, I didn't want it to be assumed that rabbits from here were diseased or anything so I told her after awhile - she was getting semi-hysterical - that I'd refund the price of the rabbit with the caveat that it in no way meant there was anything wrong with the rabbit. She called while I was at work so I wasn't able to really talk all that long and partly it was to get off the phone. She had wanted another rabbit from me later when it got older, but I'm not sending her any more rabbits.

Would a seller be in any way responsible for vet fees?

Maybe I'll have to figure out some sort of sales policy. Usually, I try to only sell the rabbits to fiber homes where they are going to get their wool harvested to make yarn. Rabbits that have gone to those homes haven't had problems.

Do you sell your rabbits with a sales contract? <br /><br /> -- Mon Sep 21, 2020 11:36 pm -- <br /><br />
Preitler":ttx4xa4p said:
Well, stress sure can trigger things, I get some sneezing now and then when a rabbit is stressed - like after the 3rd accidential litter, almost back -to-back, or when my 8 yo Fury is in heat, hyperactive dominant and digging. Young buck sneezed for 3 weeks when I got him, he settled in and is fine now.
That's not something I would bother a vet with, that bug, if it is even one, is in all rabbits in the area, and it's predictable.

I read on some pet boards too (Living alone and no TV or smartphone makes for some alternative pastimes) , there's a lot of insecurity about health things- understandable for new owners - and it's kind of an echo chamber. If someone asks if this or that is a problem most answers will be "This could be this or that, see a vet, and demand this and that test done!", it's always easier to argue on the cautious side than saying "C'mon, chill out, it might be ok in a few days". Also, predominantly negative news get posted, one can get pretty paranoid when taking that as a proper representation of reality.
Many new to rabbits have no idea what stresses their rabbit, and what a big factor stress is.

Can't tell about the vets in the US, apart that they seem very expensive and those experienced with rabbits rather rare - here I have appr. 10 to chose from within an hour drive, the next one 5 minutes away. And the most I ever paid for an emergency visit with a rabbit (Herr Hase has athrosis in the hip) was 80€, including meds and x-rays. I go to the vet about 2 times a year, mostly when one of my keepers or pets stops eating and I can't sort it out within a day, it might not be absolutely necessary, but what the heck, vet has some good stuff. Only real ill rabbit is Herr Hase (free range house bunny together with his spayed cuddlebun Dotty) , when his athrosis got acute I really feared he might just give up.
Anyway, what I read on these pet boards vets run tests I have never heard of, or were never thought relevant by my vet, and with long drives ( for me, 1h is very long, perception of that seems different somewhere else, "let's make a quick trip to NY, it's just 4h, practically in the neighbourhood" :D) stress can be an issue.

I know, it's not very smart but I myself avoid doctors when I don't have a pretty clear idea about what I have and know a doctor can help - like bleeding profoundly, but I don't go there because of a flu. As the saying goes, "healthy" just means "not examined thoroughly enough". Assuming that with all that social media and liability issues today some vets might tend to just be on the safe side to not be accused of having overlooked something. I'm not even imputing financial reasons there, like, if you can sell a test and meds, why not?
Irrelevant things that only have the potential to cause issues in rare cases and possible false positives can make a quite impressive diagnose list for a basically very healthy rabbit.

Then there's the issue with some people obsessed by the idea that breeders generally are evil, sigh, I got kicked from boards because of not lying about what I do, not that I boast about it, just mentioning to have litters in some context was enough. Very few keyboard warriers spouting their agenda are enough to fuel prejudice. That is actually worse on german boards.

I read some of the pet boards, too, although mostly just for the entertainment factor. Some of them are pretty off the wall and you're right that the word 'breeder' is enough to send them into a frenzy. Try the word 'Hasenpfeffer' and that will really light them up. :mrgreen: :popcorn:

I'm not sure if we even have ten vets on the island! Maybe about that many, but there's only one I know of who treats rabbits and he's an hour and a half away. The other thing is that these are livestock and not necessarily pets. 80€ is about 95$ US and it's doubtful it would be less than that any time a bun went to the vet and that for a scheduled visit. An emergency trip starts at $500, is what my friend said her vet said. None of the bunnies here have a value that high and if things get that bad, well, they are edible.

I love your line of - healthy" just means "not examined thoroughly enough" - that makes a lot of sense when applied to this situation.
 

ladysown

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Dec 26, 2009
Messages
7,738
Reaction score
53
Location
near London, Ontario
I had this as well. People take rabbits to vets and suddenly you learn you have x,y, and z illness in your herd when you've had ZERO symptoms of said illnesses showing up.

I don't cover vet bills. I'm clear with people about that. 24 hour health guarantee (written in my care sheet) for HOMESICK related issues only. Sometimes when rabbits move to a new home they completely shut down. I can't predict what bunny will do that so I'm clear with people about what that looks like and what it means. I'll take that bunny back and then give a choice of my next available bunnies (again something I've learned to be REALLY clear about so they don't think they can just pick ANY bunny from my rabbitry...I've had people try).

Since I've bred against stressy rabbits I have only had ONE of those in the past two years and I traced it back to a stressy gramma. :)
 

hotzcatz

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 15, 2010
Messages
618
Reaction score
47
Location
Hawaii
I've never heard of a homesick rabbit, but I'm noticing that the 9 to 12 week olds seem to just bounce around happy and it's the older buns that seem to not automatically thrive. Could it be 'homesickness'? What does that look like?
 

ladysown

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Dec 26, 2009
Messages
7,738
Reaction score
53
Location
near London, Ontario
they shut down and don't want to do anything. if you don't watch them close they'll get gut stasis.

It's like what you see in kids when they are homesick just translated to bunny. :) (Kids will cry and be clingy with a trusted adult, rabbits will sit in a corner and not interact with the world). I'm sad, I'm scared. I'm just not going to do anything. I won't eat the pellets I'm used to and hay is a foreign thing. I see it mostly in buns in the 9-12 week age bracket, and then in the over two years old bracket.

I actively breed against it because some folks in the past were determined to "see it through" and then lost their bunny. Get angry that I sold an unhealthy rabbit when it wasn't...it was a bunny in shock from moving and not getting the support it needed.

With adult bunnies who do the "homesick thing" I wet down their feet and dump them on grass for an hour every morning while I do chores. Seems to kick start them out of their "I'm in a new place thing". I REFUSE buy young rabbits in the 9-12 week stage as it's more risk than I want to take on. I've lost one too many youngster.....
 

hotzcatz

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 15, 2010
Messages
618
Reaction score
47
Location
Hawaii
Here it's been just the opposite with the older buns (six months) not being outgoing and the younger ones out bopping around being happy. They have to be 9 weeks to fly inter-island so most of the buns are around that age when they relocate, although there's been such a demand for bunnies this year that even the older ones are going to new homes. The younger ones have been pretty okay about relocating.

Can folks interact with the homesick bunny and get them out of their slump? Bribe them with tasty bits?

We feed a lot of forage, so I tell the folks to give them a ti leaf or two if they won't eat since that's one of our bunny treats around here and it would be a familiar food for them. Plus ti leaves are everywhere so folks can get them. BOSS and oatmeal (dry, unflavored) are other common foods that other folks can get so getting the baby bunnies used to sunflower seeds and oatmeal gives the new people something they can offer their new bunnies that don't want to eat whatever else is being offered. I think a lot of these new owners buy bunny food at a pet shop instead of feed at a feed store. GOK what's in the pet shop food.

A friend of mine got some bunnies that had only been fed pellets and hay. They didn't want anything else other than that specific brand of pellet and hay. Sometimes it seems that bunnies won't eat anything except what they had before, especially if they were on a really limited diet. For that reason, I try to introduce all sorts of foods to them as youngsters so when they go to a new home they will be used to unfamiliar foods.

It's also helpful when the feed store is out of bunny pellets, such as they were yesterday. The bunnies are now eating the sheep's alfalfa pellets (bigger than bunny pellets) mixed with rolled barley. Today I'll give them that along with a pile of forage to hold them over until tomorrow when the feed store had pellets again.

I think the last ones that haven't thrived have been because of chaotic households and they just weren't used to that level of noise. Although, how can one ask "are there noisy kids running around" when someone wants to buy a rabbit?
 

ladysown

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Dec 26, 2009
Messages
7,738
Reaction score
53
Location
near London, Ontario
yes, but most people around here by into the houserabbit society policy of no greens until six months, lots of hay and pellets. they often think they know better than the person they got the rabbit from....

so I do my best to give a highly varied diet so the buns can adjust well.
 

michaels4gardens

Well-known member
RabbitTalk Supporter
Joined
Dec 6, 2013
Messages
2,650
Reaction score
15
Location
Piney Flats ,Tn.
JMHO,
I have never taken a rabbit to "a vet" ..
I wouldn't even consider such a thing.
A couple of times when the vet was making his rounds at my "hog farm",
I did invite him "walk by" the rabbits.
It was a chance for him to look at, and ask me questions about rabbit diseases, and "treating rabbits"..
He was an excellant vet..
----------------
I have talked to more than a few vets, about rabbits.
Most vets know very little about rabbits, and will cause more harm, than help..
I have also met the "emotionally challanged" vet ,who attempts to project all of their
emotional problems onto the amimals they care for.
Although I have met 2 or 3 very good "rabbit vets", they are very hard to find.
 

hotzcatz

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 15, 2010
Messages
618
Reaction score
47
Location
Hawaii
ladysown":3sdwaw1r said:
yes, but most people around here by into the houserabbit society policy of no greens until six months, lots of hay and pellets. they often think they know better than the person they got the rabbit from....

so I do my best to give a highly varied diet so the buns can adjust well.

No greens until six months? What sort of idiocy is that? We start them on greens at about fourteen to twenty days old. They start nibbling on soft greens before they're even weaned. Far as I figure, it helps take the nutritional load off the doe if the babies can start eating things other than milk. Hmm, probably the house rabbit society doesn't approve of breeders, either?

Given a choice between hay and green grasses, do bunnies prefer hay? I can't afford hay since a small 50# bale is around $38 and it mildews before they can eat much of it so we never bother with hay. <br /><br /> -- Mon Oct 05, 2020 11:17 am -- <br /><br />
michaels4gardens":3sdwaw1r said:
JMHO,
I have never taken a rabbit to "a vet" ..
I wouldn't even consider such a thing.
A couple of times when the vet was making his rounds at my "hog farm",
I did invite him "walk by" the rabbits.
It was a chance for him to look at, and ask me questions about rabbit diseases, and "treating rabbits"..
He was an excellent vet..
----------------
I have talked to more than a few vets, about rabbits.
Most vets know very little about rabbits, and will cause more harm, than help..
I have also met the "emotionally challenged" vet ,who attempts to project all of their
emotional problems onto the animals they care for.
Although I have met 2 or 3 very good "rabbit vets", they are very hard to find.

I talked to a vet about rabbits (we were at the vet for heart worm medicine for a border collie) and she said she won't treat them because by the time the rabbit shows up at her office, it's too far gone to save and it gives her a bad rep when all her rabbit patients die. She seemed a pretty straightforward person and if she would have treated rabbits AND if I were ever to take a rabbit in to the vet, I would have considered taking it to her. But I can get more rabbits for basically free since we breed them. They can be sold for $50 (males) and $75 (females) without much effort, so that's pretty much the price point at where it's even economical to take a rabbit to a vet or not. These are livestock, not pets.

I always wonder about folks who pay more at the vet than the replacement cost of the livestock. If it's a meat mutt rabbit, wouldn't eating the rabbit with a broken leg or whatever make a lot more sense than taking it to the vet?
 

ladysown

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Dec 26, 2009
Messages
7,738
Reaction score
53
Location
near London, Ontario
hey, i've talked to pet rabbit people who would rather pay a vet to euthanize a rabbit then have me do it for nothing. Cause the vet can do it "painlessly". Not quite so, but there it is.

In my herd the order in which foods are preferred

greens
mixed grains
pellets
hay
 

hotzcatz

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 15, 2010
Messages
618
Reaction score
47
Location
Hawaii
I'm not sure about how 'painlessly' it happens, they seem to like to take them in the back out of sight for the process. I suspect a lot of 'painless' procedures are more wishful than not. A friend of mine took a Schipperke puppy in to the vet to get the tail docked expecting anesthetic and surgery procedures. The vet picked up the puppy and handed him over and said "here, hold him" and then grabbed the tail with forceps and twisted it off. I suppose it was effective, but it was extremely traumatic to my friend. Every Schipperke puppy they had after that had a long tail.

I'd think, with a rabbit, a trip to the vet would be much more traumatic (into a carrier, into a car, into a strange chemical smelly place) than a stranger coming to visit, pet them and then *poof*. Still traumatic in a very literal sense, but of a much shorter duration without any fuss beforehand.

Hmm, maybe there's differences in nutrition among greens. I've had bunnies stop eating greens and go for pellets when given a choice. Their pellets are usually mixed with grains and sunflower seeds, so they could be preferring the grains or seeds. They also seem to prefer some greens over others. Ti leaves are universally and enthusiastically eaten, some bunnies like banana leaves, some don't. Some like grapefruits, some don't. All of them will eat assorted grasses. All of them like mulberry leaves. So preferring pellets to greens could also be the type of green at the time.

So if you don't take your bunnies to the vet where do you get the information you need to do the bunny maintenance yourself?
 

golden rabbitry

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 20, 2017
Messages
336
Reaction score
22
Location
California
People try and pull stuff like that all the time and that's why I fill outa physical a day before selling and have the buyer sign it along with a policy stating they can't choose a sick rabbit and blame me (I've never sold a sick rabbit but people try anything) and they can't get a return either. If there is no vet diagnosis and you don't directly talk with the vet, it's probably a lie. Then you pay the "vet bills" and they made a sweet $100+ and a rabbit
 

hotzcatz

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 15, 2010
Messages
618
Reaction score
47
Location
Hawaii
Refunding the price of a rabbit is one thing, but paying vet bills incurred by someone else is something else entirely. That would be a flat and absolute 'no'. They didn't even ask, I don't know if I would have hung up on them or not, but the answer would probably have become very much less than polite.

Frequently, I'll never actually meet the buyers. Most of the population in our state is on islands other than the one I'm on, so most of the bunnies fly off to other islands. None of the airlines will allow bunnies to fly in the cabin so they have to go via cargo no matter if someone comes to pick them up or not. Which means I don't really have any face time with these folks to figure out what sort of folks they are.

So far in the ten years of selling bunnies, there's only been the one person who has asked for a refund and I'm still thinking it was some sort of scam. There have been a surprising number of bunnies, though, who don't survive their new owners for various reasons. One bunny got eaten by their dog within the first twenty minutes after they got it. There's been one person who has tried multiple times to have a bunny and something always seems to happen to it. It's always something different each time, too, so it's not like he's doing the same thing and expecting different results. He at least eats them when they succumb to the latest event. He was doing well, had two pairs and had gotten several litters and things were looking like he'd gotten things figured out and then there was a roaming pack of dogs that destroyed the metal hutch he had. He's now decided to grow cotton to get fiber instead of keeping bunnies, that's probably a good idea.

Yesterday I had an interesting conversation. Someone was staying overnight with us since her house was being tented for termites (it's a Hawaii thing, a house is covered with tarps and then a gas is pumped inside to kill off termites, obviously the people have to be somewhere else during this process) and another friend called to talk about bunny things. I'd had my bunny friend on speakerphone and we were chatting while looking up Merck manual online and trying to figure out the best method of helping her bunny. My other friend kept chiming in about 'take the bunny to a vet' as sort of a default answer. Which then brought the conversation around to bunnies at the vet and my bunny friend was telling me about the time she took her bunny to the vet (she breeds small pet bunnies) and the vet took the bunny into the back and was taking awhile. During the wait time, the vet tech assistant was telling my friend how the vet was petting the bunny and holding the bunny on his lap while looking things up online.

Seems to me, someone who is much more aware of the history and conditions of the bunny can also look things up online and make the same determinations. We won't have the same experience base for all species as a vet would have, but in the narrow realm of 'just bunnies' it would seem to me that we can provide comparable level of care in many instances. We obviously can't do a lot of the testing that a vet can do or some of the surgeries, especially the internal ones, but there's a lot of routine care we can adequately manage without the knee jerk reaction of "take the bunny to the vet". After the call, I tried explaining to my other non-bunny friend some of the realities of taking a bunny to the vet and it just wasn't sinking in. She was pretty certain that the only answer was to take the bunny to the vet. She then went on to complain about vet costs for her cat, I did try to suggest she try to manage her cat's care herself but that wasn't something she was gonna consider, ever. Fleas to me don't seem to be something that requires a vet, but there was no changing her opinion.

There was also a weird flip side to her opinions to where if the animal wasn't going to go to the vet, then some sort of natural remedy or therapy would have to be the only answer. Penicillin or Ivermectin would not be a valid answer in her worldview while some sort of penny royal oil or apple cider vinegar would be something she would have accepted as a treatment. It's probably a good thing that she defaults to taking her cat to the vet.
 

CO Int

Active member
Joined
Aug 12, 2020
Messages
28
Reaction score
3
Location
Pretoria, South Africa
Well on "bunny vets" I cannot comment as my experience with them is too short but I can comment to death on equine vets.

In general I think people forget that a vet comes at different levels. Just because they passed vet school does not necessarily make them a good vet. Twenty years of experience as a vet can mean nothing if they don't care about their job. The thing that makes a good vet is one that has an understanding of what makes an animal tick. And what makes an animal tick depends on the species.

Unfortunately for most vets (who became vets because they wanted to help animals) they also have to deal with people and often the problem is with the owner and not the animal. It makes it even more difficult if the animal is taken in to the practice and you cannot see the circumstances the animal is kept in.

An experienced person in a specific species will always beat a vet when it comes to knowledge. Also - as an owner you know your animals. Even within species behaviors can differ. Unless the vet grew up with that type of animal they will not be able to differentiate between what is normal and what is not. However, a clever vet will be able to tell if the owner is talking sense or nonsense and will have to make conclusions there.

I'm a practical person, so I think if you own an animal you should be able to do the day to day routine care that the animal needs - so taking an animal to the vet for fleas boggles my mind.

I can give you a personal example with a dog that had me ranting and raving about useless vets. I got a Rottweiler puppy at 8 weeks old. I have always had female dogs and I could see that this puppy had a problem when she peed. She would pee, walk a couple of steps and pee a few more drops. The giveaway was she had yellow mucus coming out with the pee as well as a slight temperature. The most obvious diagnosis would be a bladder infection. Standard treatment is 10 - 14 days of antibiotics with a urine test done about a week after the antibiotics have finished to establish that the infection was gone. If the infection did not go away and some other issue was at work further investigation would be necessary. There were two things that I checked with this puppy before I even took her to the vet - the first was that she had control of her bladder (she could stop mid flow if startled) and that she didn't "leak", leaving little wet spots when she sat or slept. I mentioned all of this to the vet.

Her response to this was: "I will give her 5 days of antibiotics but need to refer her to a specialist because she most likely either have a patent urachus or some other form of bladder abnormality". This was from a vet who was less than a year out of vet school. So by that time I was furious - the protocol for treating UTI's is actually really straight forward. And, even if I didn't mind taking the dog for expensive scans what does that do to the dog? So to make a long story short I pretty much argued the vet into giving me 10 days of antibiotics. I took the puppy back after a week to have her urine tested and the infection was gone. If I had listened to her I would have spent a fortune and traumatized my dog for only 10 days worth of antibiotics. Mad. :evil:

With most of the newer vets I see coming out of vet school I feel that they can only read machines. They want to perform a million tests and have a machine tell them what's wrong. If the machine can't tell them they are lost. Very few of them can look at the animal itself and diagnose off symptoms - for all the advances made in treating diseases a lot of animal care has gone out the window.

Good vets are hard to find.
 

michaels4gardens

Well-known member
RabbitTalk Supporter
Joined
Dec 6, 2013
Messages
2,650
Reaction score
15
Location
Piney Flats ,Tn.
JMHO,
rabbits are a very unique animal,
most vets are not trained to treat rabbits,[IE: exotic animal specialty, with rabbit specific training]
so--
most vets without "rabbit experience" try to treat rabbits like they would "other pets".
Rabbits in pain or distress, exhibit symptoms completely different than cats or dogs.
Rabbits have extremely sensitive GI tracts, and are super sensitive to mold and environmental toxins.
I have seen so many "pet rabbits" die later, after being given an antibiotic, with no probiotic..
Taking a rabbit to a normal "small animal" vet ... usually doesn't work out very well.
------------
Rabbits require long stem fiber in their diet,
rabbits often chew nestboxes, or cage wood to compensate.
Rabbit pellets are low on long stem fiber.
Each rabbit is unique in it's feed requirements..
The older the rabbit is, the more fiber they will need to keep The GI working right.
Providing a variety of "feed materials" is the best way to let the rabbit adjust its nutrient
consumption to fit it's needs.
Having raised tens of thousands of rabbits, I realize they know more about their needs than I do..
 
Top