Dear Dr. Baum —
Does my bunny need checkups? When is it best to neuter/spayed? Do rabbits get vaccinations? Can my rabbit have fresh vegetables? How can I get him to stop jumping on the couch and urinating in the same spot?
Ashley S, Los Angeles, CA, USA
Dear Ashley —
The first and most basic procedure would be to schedule an appointment to assess the general health of the rabbit and discuss the basics of husbandry in light of the the environment that you are able to provide. This would apply to a new arrival.
For a rabbit that you have had for a long time, if he or she is thriving just keep doing what you are doing.
Basically rabbits need rabbit pellets and hay, mostly timothy hay, and water and a cool (thermally) place to stay. You can give some fresh veggies but watch their stools. Should they soften and lose their pelleted shape, then cut back.
No vaccinations are needed.
From Dr. B: You need to start training and restricting activity to prevent a stinky couch. Have you tried litter box training?
From Ashley: I did buy a litter box, with the litter pellets. I tried putting his own pellets in it and a piece of paper he urinated on, but he just hops right out. When he starts to urinate, I tell him no and take him to the litter but he’s normally done by then.
From Dr. B: Restrict him to the area with the litter box. Give a treat when he goes in the box.
Dr. Baum has been the owner and Chief of Staff at Center-Sinai Animal Hospital, Los Angeles, California since 1979. The hospital has been serving the Los Angeles community for over thirty years.