Although rabbits are an increasingly popular household pet, they still retain their wild instincts. From the veterinary surgeon's point of view, the most important of these is the tendency of rabbits to hide signs of illness – critical for the survival of a prey species, but unhelpful in a consulting room. Consequently, any rabbit noticed as being ‘sick’ by an owner is often a much more critical patient than a dog or cat with similar problems. This article describes the steps that must be taken when a critically ill rabbit is presented for treatment, and provides some examples of the type of emergency cases that might be seen.
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