Its is vital to find a vet that is knowledgeable and experienced with rabbits, or to find one that is okay with rabbits but that has a real interest in learning more, putting in time working with you the bunny owner as someone who knows their rabbit well (and who may have good knowledge themselves), and one that is prepared to keep up with modern rabbit veterinary care.
Generally it is not a good idea to use more than one veterinary practice e.g. a cheap one for vaccinations and then another for emergency work because they are more knowledgeable. A good working relationship with your vet is essential to head off any health issues that might be due to deterioration over time, which won't be spotted if you only visit your savvy vet when things are so bad it has become an emergency. A good rabbit vet will carry out a full health check routinely when vaccinating, so it's a good time to pick the vets brain, ask about things that have been bugging you and get your full moneys worth!
Apart from anything else, the vet who has seen your rabbit most recently may have made observations and noted them on the animal's history, something that a new vet won't have access to immediately if it's the first time you have gone there. Histories can be requested from your original vet should you wish to change vets, but it's not entirely professional for one vet to comment on anothers work unless asked to do so as a second opinion by the first vet.
Finding a rabbit vet that will know what to do in an emergency is something to do right now, before you actually need to use him or her. Finding one when you are worried sick, in the middle of the night, and have a very sick rabbit is going to be near impossible.
So if you are new to rabbits and looking to choose a vet for your new family members, or have rabbits and never seen a vet, or simply want to find one that is 'rabbit savvy', where do you start?
The best way to find a really good rabbit vet is to get various recommendations from people who use their vets regularly or have done for a while. A recommendation should ideally be backed up by some examples of why they think the care is so good, and not just that the vet 'is lovely' or 'friendly' or cheap. Lists of vets held by charities/organisations/websites don't necessarily mean that the vet knows their stuff, because again, the person who has suggested them for the list may just like the vet/think they have a good bedside manner rather than know if they are good or not.
If you have a reputable local rescue near you, ask them who they use. (For a list or reputable rescues please visit Pledge a Pound ) A busy rescue will probably see the vets every week, and will routinely have spays, dental work and possibly even diagnostics done. Ask them what they like about the vets and how successful the treatments are (not all rescues use good vets either).
Finding a vet yourself
Most vets are lovely, approachable people and may be great with cats and dogs, but many just do not know where to start with rabbit care and what to suggest for good husbandry. Good husbandry can be at the core of a healthy rabbit so vets should be able to give you the basics on how to keep a rabbit well e.g. suitable diet, exercise and cleanliness.Some veterinary practices have several vets in their clinics and generally each with have their preferred specialism, such as orthopaedics, neurological, heart, and of course exotics (rabbits are classed as exotics), or small mammals.
When you make enquiries, at a vet practice, rather than register straight away you may want to say you are shopping around and have some questions to ask and hopefully the reception staff you speak to should be able to help you by giving you the information you need.
As recommendation is often the easiest way to start out on your search for an ideal rabbit vet our members have recommended their own vets and they are listed below. (Please note that as an organisation we have not checked out these practices and cannot be held responsible for any problems arising out of you following the recommendations. We strongly advise you to use the questions and answers with ANY new vet, recommended or not.)