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Companion animal practice
Approach to preventive health care and welfare in rabbits
  1. Ian Sayers

    Ian Sayers graduated from Liverpool in 1992, after which he worked in mixed practice in Devon and spent some time studying cheetahs in Serengeti National Park, in Tanzania. For the past nine years, he has worked at Bristol, where he helped to set up and run the Rabbit Welfare Association and Fund's rabbit referral clinic. He has lectured nationally and internationally, and works with zoological collections in the south west of England. He holds the RCVS certificate in zoological medicine and has recently opened a firstopinion, multidisciplinary referral practice in south Devon.


Rabbits are the third most popular mammalian pet in the UK, with an estimated population of two million. Common problems, including dental disease, ileus, perineal soiling and obesity, often result in significant compromises in the health and welfare of this species. This article discusses some key areas, such as good hygiene and husbandry, that can help to prevent frequently encountered conditions in rabbits. In each case, it highlights the importance of establishing and treating the underlying cause to ensure a successful outcome.

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