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Survey of the husbandry, health and welfare of 102 pet rabbits
  1. S. M. Mullan, BVMS, CertWel, MRCVS1 and
  2. D. C. J. Main, BVetMed, PhD, CertVR, DWel, MRCVS1
  1. 1Department of Clinical Veterinary Science, University of Bristol, Langford House, Langford, Bristol BS40 5DU

Abstract

One hundred and two pet rabbits were examined and their husbandry, health and welfare were reviewed. The most common breed was the dwarf lop (n=38). The most common problem was dental disease, which affected 30 rabbits although only six of their owners were aware of the problem, which was significantly associated with feeding a rabbit mix. All the rabbits were housed in ‘hutches’ at some stage, but 89 had access to the outside and 47 came inside the home at times. Hutches bought at pet shops were significantly smaller than home-made hutches. Forty-five of the rabbits were housed alone; the relationships between rabbits with rabbit companions were described by their owners as ‘very friendly’ for 84 per cent of them and ‘quite friendly’ for the rest.

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