Friday, September 23, 2011

Do your research for veterinary care.


We all know how important routine veterinary care for your bun is. (And if you don't... well then listen up!) A yearly trip to your veterinarian for a visit, called a "Well Bun Checkup" is really important.

First, it establishes the professional relationship with a veterinarian that will serve you well in the event that you have an emergency or serious health issue to be dealt with. Trust me -- you DON'T want to be trying to find a vet when you know something is wrong, because time is of the essence. You don't want to find out that the new vet you chose is NOT the right one for you. Remember... by the time you are aware that your bun has a health problem, it may be pretty serious. Rabbits are prey animals, and as a result are masters at masking a problem -- a problem that in the wild would bring more peril to themselves and those around them by drawing predators.

In addition, it's very helpful for your veterinarian to see your bun in their healthy state to have a baseline to compare to. And routine health care can often catch problems early, and that's very important!

Also, you'll need to think about it in advance because some research may be necessary. In smaller towns, finding a veterinarian who is well versed in rabbits may be tough; in some areas they are still seen as "exotics." Bunnies are different than dogs and cats and require some special knowledge which a vet needs to obtain through professional training, self guided research, and experience with patients. In a larger area, you may find multiple vets which provide high quality health care, but at vastly different prices.

For instance, in the Portland, OR area, someone recently sought out rates for testing for Pasteurella and E cuniculi. Three veterinarian clinics were contacted:

At vet clinic #1: P $225 and EC $244

At vet clinic #2: P $87 and EC $150

At vet clinic #3: P $42 and EC $42

(I cannot speak to WHY these prices vary so greatly; chances are there ARE some variances in the actual methods and practices used, but in every town I've lived in, you found similar wide ranges in the cost of services that were identical.)

So when was your last Well Bunny visit? Check out rabbit.org for more information about choosing a veteriarian, and what to expect and plan for with your bun's visit.

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