Rabbit Nursing Care Plans

Week 1
Nutrition and Husbandry at Home

  • Dietary requirements
  • Environmental needs
  • Incorrect feeding problems
  • Obesity
  • Tempting rabbits to eat hay

Learning objectives

  • We will discuss the nutritional requirements of rabbits and why these are important
  • Recognising problems related to incorrect or poor diet and the implications these have on health and welfare
  • Rabbits need large enclosures, which allow them to exhibit normal behavioural patterns.  These are important from a health and welfare perspective. We will examine what rabbits need to be happy
  • Obesity and how to implement a weight loss programme for rabbits
  • Methods to encourage picky rabbits to eat hay!

Week 2
Preventative Healthcare

  • Neutering – when and why
  • Vaccination – myxomatosis, RVHD1 and RVHD2
  • Endo and ectoparasites
  • Flea treatment
  • Worming treatment

Learning objectives

  • When is the best time to neuter rabbits – why we should be neutering all rabbits – health, welfare and behavioural benefits
  • Latest vaccination information and background on these fatal viruses
  • Which endo and ectoparasites can affect rabbits and the clinical signs
  • If rabbits require prophylactic flea and worm treatment and if so when

Week 3
Implementing Rabbit Clinics and Client Evenings in Practice

  • Setting up rabbit clinics
  • Running client evenings
  • What to discuss
  • Health checking
  • Benefits to the practice

Learning objectives

  • Client education is imperative but there is more than one way to deliver this
  • Discover the benefits of both rabbit clinics and clients evening
  • What should be discussed and the clinical examination to help detect problems
  • Why being a rabbit friendly practice is of benefit to you!

Week 4
Common Medical Diseases

  • Gastrointestinal stasis and blockages
  • Dental disease
  • Urinary tract disease
  • E. cuniculi
  • Myxomatosis and RVHD

Learning objectives

  • Common conditions that rabbits are presented to veterinary practices for and require hospitalisation
  • Ascertaining if a rabbit has gastrointestinal stasis or a blockage – differences and treatments
  • The clinical signs and causes
  • Treatment options
  • Preventative measures to help ensure rabbits remain healthy

Week 5
Rabbits in the Practice

  • Reducing stress
  • Hospitalisation
  • Gold standard rabbit nursing
  • Medicating
  • Fluid therapy and blood sampling
  • Supportive feeding

Learning objectives

  • Everything that we do to rabbits whilst they are hospitalised induces some degree of stress.  There are ways to reduce this, which is easily achieved in practice
  • Hospitalised rabbits can require in-depth care which can be daunting. Learn how to effectively nurse rabbits to ensure optimum care
  • Being able to medicate rabbits in an effective and safe manner is imperative, as well as how to syringe feed, deliver fluid therapy and acquire successful blood samples with minimal stress to the rabbit or nurse!

Week 6
Rabbit Anaesthesia and Analgesia

  • Signs of pain
  • Analgesia options
  • Making rabbit anaesthesia safer
  • Monitoring under general anaesthesia

Learning objectives

  • Anaesthetising rabbits can be overwhelming, but doesn’t need to be. We will recap rabbit anaesthesia and how you can help build up your confidence, including pre op, intra op and post op care
  • Rabbits do demonstrate signs of pain – although these can be missed. Learn what clinical signs rabbits show, to use with the Rabbit Grimace Scale, and the analgesics used in rabbit medicine
  • Signs to be monitoring under anaesthesia – including CO2, SPO, reflexes, HR, RR and BP readings

The course will be fully tutored by Claire Speight and will consist of 15 hours of CPD given in various formats, including tutorials, tasks, case scenarios, forum discussions and quizzes.