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Is a rabbit right for your family?

Rabbits tend to receive extra attention around Easter, but they are proving to be a popular choice for a pet year round. Rabbits are often seen as the perfect pet for young children due to their cute and cuddly appearance. A key concern with pet rabbits for young children is the fact that it’s human nature for a child to express affection through cuddling, however, for the rabbit there can be serious consequences. 

Too many veterinarians have seen broken backs in rabbits when children try to carry a rabbit and the rabbit struggles to get away.  Their hind legs are much stronger than their spines and when they kick and twist at the same time, they can fracture their spine.  The vertebrae of the lower back are elongated to allow for flexion during their normal hopping movement, but it does also mean they are susceptible to spinal fractures. The result is often paralysis in the hind end with problems defecating and urinating.  Inevitably this leads to euthanasia of the bunny and a very sad family.  This video further explains that rabbits don’t necessarily want to be cuddled despite their appearance. The take-home message is that rabbits, like any other pet requires the proper care to ensure its welfare. Purchasing a rabbit should not be purely an emotional decision.


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