This post may contain affiliate links. Read the full disclosure here.
I’m kind of on the fence about vet checkups. My rabbits do get vet checkups, but if i wasn’t also having them vaccinated, I probably wouldn’t religiously stick to a one-yearly checkup.
It really depends on your rabbits though. If I had one that wasn’t particularly good at eating their hay, I’d definitely make sure they saw a vet regularly, and it’s a good idea to get older rabbits checked out.
How often should rabbits get a vet check up?
I’d stick to an annual visit, unless your rabbit is prone to dental issues, in which case you may need to go more often.
If you like to get the vet to trim their nails, then you’ll need to be going more often than once a year, depending on the surface that your rabbits live on (concrete, for example, will wear claws down well).
We probably clip Holly’s nails every three months and Daisy’s every four, but how fast they grow really depends on the rabbit.
Holly’s nails should wear down faster than Daisy’s because she’s so much more active, but they don’t.
I don’t know why, and I guess it doesn’t matter.
Perhaps Daisy’s dad as very slow-growing nails.
Some rabbits never seem to need clipping. We had a Dutch rabbit who always had short nails, but his IDENTICAL litter mater needed hers doing every few months. I cannot explain it. Perhaps he’s a biter.
What to expect/ask for at a vet checkup
A lot of vets don’t offer standardised rabbit checkups, so if I want something specific, I ask when I book the appointment.
Our rabbits get vaccinated every year for RVHD (1 & 2) and Myxomatosis. The RVHD 1 and Myxomatosis is a combined shot, and they get RVHD 2 a couple of weeks later.
Whilst they’re there, I ask them to give them a check over (and do nails – why not, whilst we’re there?). This usually involves a general all-over pat down to check for lumps and bumps, and a look in their ears and a look in their mouth.
You can also ask them to check their scent glands if your rabbits have been particularly stinky.
How to prepare for a vet checkup
Give them a brush – not only will it reduce the volume of fur released on the unsuspecting vet, but you’ll get the chance to feel for any weird lumps or bumps. May as well find them now!
Make a list of anything you want to ask about. If you’re anything like me you’ll forget when you’re in the office trying to pin your rabbit to the table as they try to bite the vet.
Try to avoid a circus when getting your rabbit into the carrier. Put the carrier into the pen an hour or so before you’re due to leave. Put a few pellets in. Let bunny hop in and out. Only close the door when they hop in conveniently close to the time. If they don’t hop in, I’ve found that getting the pen and blocking off any other hidey holes works infinitely better than picking them up and wrangling them in.
I prefer a hard carry case because they’re safer, but we have a fabric one. I couldn’t get one big enough to fit our old french lop in, so I had to go for a soft one.
If you go for a dog crate, make sure your rabbit can’t fit their head through the bars. The reason I don’t use one is I’m scared a pnicked rabbit will get stuck, which could be catastrophic. I’ve not found one that I think has close enough together bars, but if I find one, I’ll let you know.
How much does a vet checkup for a rabbit cost?
It will vary a lot from vet to vet. It’s it’s very expensive and your rabbit is in great health, I’d probably save the money in a separate account and use it for any necessary vet trips.
We pay between £100 and £150 for a checkup and both vaccinations for two rabbits, but the bulk of that is the cost of the vaccinations.
Do rabbits need check ups?
I think it’s a great idea to make sure your rabbit has regular checkups BUT I understand that it isn’t always possible. So whilst I encourage it, I’m not going to insist on it. My vet is close by and quite reasonable, but I know that that isn’t always the case.
I think it’s important that rabbits are vaccinated, so my buns get a checkup at the same time, but I know that not everyone has access to vaccinations for rabbits (or even needs them).
I think it’s better that you learn how to properly care for your rabbit, and keep a close eye on their heath yourself, than to rely on the vet for everything.
This sounds contradictory, because I advocate getting your rabbit to the vet if they seem the slightest bit unwell, and I stand by that. But if money is tight and your rabbit is in rude health, you can definitely put off a vet check-up for a few months.