A recent post made me think it would be helpful to start a thread of info. on finding a vet, especially when they're tough to find.
Here's some basics:
1. EXOTICS: A vet for rabbits usually lists themselves as "Exotics", meaning animals that are not dogs or cats. This may include rabbits, chinchillas, ferrets, lizards, iguanas, snakes, rats, mice, geckos, etc. In your yellow pages under veterinarians, look for the word EXOTICS in their name or ad.
2. The Yellow Pages: is the best resource for a list of all vets nearest to where you live, at least in the US. Please reply with the names of the equivalent book of listings in your country for our members to know.2. A dog or cat vet may also be educated about other animals, including rabbits. Call the office of a vet near you and ask if there is a vet on their staff that does. A bigger practice or an Animal Hospital may have a specialist. www.yellowpages.com
3. Great place to start is the list of vets, both USA and International, on the House Rabbit Society website: www.rabbit.org. These vets names have been submitted by rabbit owners who are pleased with their care. The HRS goes into detail on the parameters of their list. Just use your zip code or City/State to locate one nearest to you. If it's still too far, call the nearest one and ask for a recommendation of a colleage that's closer.
4. Bird Vets often are more knowledgeable about rabbits and other exotics than dog or cat vets. Mine specializes in both Birds and Exotics, and lists herself that way. So if you see a Birds vet listed, call and ask if they see rabbits, too.
5. In case of an emergency you can Always take your rabbit to a vet that only works with dogs or cats. All vets are trained in basic animal care, and a vet who is not a specialist is still better than none in an emergency. Be sure to ask at that practice for another vet nearby that they can recommend that knows about rabbits. They know each other and may be able to refer you.
6. Vets do consult each other over the phone. If you have a vet who is baffled, not a rabbit expert or needs more help, info. or supplies, ask them to call a specialist that may be hours away. You can find exotics on line who are too far to travel to see, but will consult with your vet.
7. Your local animal shelter or rescue. Often they have rabbit vets on staff or as volunteers who do their care and speuters. Call to ask if they take in rabbits and if so, do they have a vet on site you can see or be directed to. Some rescues give a better price on a spay/neuter because they do so many, and want you to have it done rather than risking an Oops! litter because you waited.
8. To find a rescue, check online, check the yellow pages, or check www.Petfinder.com. It is a site that lists animals up for adoption, searchable by zip code or region and type of animal. Once you find the list of rabbits adoptable nearest you, go to that shelter to ask if they have or can recommend a vet. And if you want another bunny, Adopt! They're all listed on Petfinder by legitimate organizations.
7. If you know another list of websites for searching for vets, such as a professional vet association, please post it here as well. Here's one: www.avma.org
9. Do a Google search: exotic rabbit vets + zip code (ADDED by ADMIN: This simple tip came from our forum leader Beka. Thank you)