We’re proud to announce that Pride Veterinary Referrals has achieved Gold Rabbit Friendly Status awarded by the Rabbit Welfare Association & Fund (RWAF).
The team see over 300 rabbits a year, making them the most popular creature to visit the exotic department at Pride Veterinary Referrals.
Sara Dias DVM MSc DipABVP-ECM DipECZM-SM MRCVS American Specialist in Exotic Companion Mammals and European Specialist in Zoological Medicine heads up the Exotics service at Pride Veterinary Referrals.
Sara explains: ‘Rabbits are undeniably complex creatures and require specific knowledge and equipment that not all the vets have access to. We recognise that rabbits require a safe, calm and settled environment, and for that reason we have a dedicated wing just for exotics, with a specific ward for prey animals, where rabbits can stay comfortable, away from noise, smell and presence of predators (like dogs, cats, ferrets, and others).
What did you have to do as a team to achieve Gold Rabbit Friendly Status?
To achieve a Gold Status, a high level of qualification of the person responsible for the service, like specialist status, is needed. Continuous CPD of the entire team is also necessary in order to offer the best service to our rabbit clients. A separate ward, prep room, and waiting area are also required.
What work has gone into the application to achieve gold status?
The application is not an easy process as they investigate the credentials of the team, the facilities, and the caseload. An extensive questionnaire, photos of the facilities, and a long bureaucratic process proceed the accreditation.
How does the exotics department cater for rabbits?
To treat rabbits, specific CPD and knowledge is necessary, as they are different from dogs and cats. Specific diet, equipment and facilities are recommended. A calm environment is also necessary to guarantee that rabbits feel safe and happy whilst in the hospital.
What sort of measures have you put in place within the department specifically for rabbits?
We have a specific ward just for prey animals, where they can stay in a very calm and relaxed environment, away from other animals, where they can develop normal behaviour and recover from disease. We guarantee that the entire team is comfortable handling rabbits, they know their biology and behaviour/diet.