Department: Pathobiology and Population Sciences
Campus: Boltons Park
Vet Compass Project Type: Rabbit
We aim to deepen understanding of the animal welfare impacts of dental and ear disease in rabbits, and to identify breed related risk factors for these. We plan to use the new information to improve rabbit welfare by raising awareness of any dental and ear health implications from selecting for rabbit with extreme morphology.
Initial evidence has shown that rabbits with artificially selected extreme morphological traits of lop ears and brachycephaly experience reduced welfare through a higher prevalence of painful ear and teeth problems, a cause for concern as lops and dwarves are the most popular pet rabbit breeds in the UK. This study aims to determine the prevalence of these diseases in UK pet rabbits using VetCompass data that represents approximately 30% of UK practices.