How to Choose a Rabbit Veterinarian
It is important that you go to a rabbit-knowledgeable veterinarian for any medical issues with your rabbit. While many veterinarians may be very good at treating cats and dogs, they may not be knowledgeable in exotic care as rabbits are not usually among the species covered in veterinary medical school. Rabbit physiology and tolerance to medications is very different than cats and dogs and cannot be treated in the same manner. Incorrect treatment can easily be fatal.
If you cannot find a rabbit-savvy veterinarian within a reasonable distance, find a dog/cat veterinarian that will be willing to consult a specialist over the phone to properly diagnose and treat your rabbit. Otherwise, it may be wise to reconsider pet rabbit ownership if no acceptable nearby resources are available.
Rabbit Veterinarian Listings
- Association of Exotic Mammal Veterinarians
- American Board of Veterinary Practitioners, Find an ABVP Diplomate - Look for either Avian or Exotic Diplomates.
- Rabbits Online, LIBRARY: Rabbit Savvy Vets: By Location
- RabbitVet.net, World Rabbit Veterinarians
- PetBunny Veterinarian List
- BunSpace.com, Search for a Vet or Animal Hospital
- Rabbit References, Rabbit Veterinarians
- Flickr, Bunny Lovers Unite, JoJo's Guide to Bunny Rabbit Savvy Vets around the world!
- Rabbit Vets
- Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons
- Happy Hoppers Rabbit Forum, Finding A Rabbit Savvy Vet & Member Recommendations
- Rabbit Welfare Association & Fund, Rabbit-friendly vet database (for members only)
In the case that you are unable to obtain enough money due to extenuating circumstances, can provide a proof of income, and are still willing to take your pet to the veterinarian, explain your financial situation to the vets that you contact and see if you can mutually work something out. Often, vets may have some sort of charitable account or will be able to work out a payment plan for you. Otherwise, contact local shelters and rescues to see if they can help subsidize your bill or direct you to a fund that will.
See the links below for more information about organizations that can help with medical costs.
- House Rabbit Society, Resources to Help Pay Veterinary Bills
- San Diego House Rabbit Society, Organizations That Assist with Medical Costs
- Catnip & Carrots Animal Bunch, Assistance - Assists with veterinary and spay/neuter costs in Ohio and California.
- PAWS for SJACS, General Resources
- Coastal Humane Society, Financial Assistance for Pet Owners
- The Humane Society of the United States, Having Trouble Affording Veterinary Care?
- ASPCA, Financial Help With My Vet Bills
- In Memory of Magic
- Angels 4 Animals
- For the Love of Alex, Inc. - A nonprofit corp dedicated to funding charitable, life-saving veterinary care for pets in need whose families cannot afford the care.
In the case that you have no local rabbit-savvy vets available, an amenable local non-rabbit-savvy vet can instead call one of the listed veterinarians below for a consultation to help diagnose your sick rabbit.
- Dr. Carolynn Harvey – Northern California – (510) 654-8375
- Dr. Jeff Jenkins – Southern California – (800) 379-6842
- Dr. Stewart Colby – Georgia – (770) 569-7298
Some of these professionals charge a fee for consultations, and others do not. It will be up to your veterinarian to ask in advance.
Do not try to contact these veterinarians yourself. These veterinarians will only speak to another veterinary professional as a professional courtesy.
- The Bunny Bunch S.P.C.R., Choosing the Right Veterinarian for Your Pet Rabbit
- Rabbit Adoption and Information Network, Choosing a Rabbit Veterinarian
- House Rabbit Society, FAQ: How to Find a Good Rabbit Vet
- Patti Henningsen, Selecting a Qualified House Rabbit Veterinarian
- Rabbit Welfare Association & Fund, Veterinary Care
- San Diego House Rabbit Society, How to Choose a Vet for Your Rabbit
- House Rabbit Resource Network, How To Find A Good Rabbit Vet
- House Rabbit Network, Astrid M. Kruse, DVM, How to Find a Rabbit Vet
Below are some experiences showing why it is important to find a rabbit-savvy vet.
- RabbitRescue & Rehab, Thump, February 2010, Jane O’Wyatt, Robert’s Near-Spay Experience (page 8)