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All Creatures Healthcare Veterinary Practice

All Creatures Healthcare is an independent veterinary practice set up by Louise Rayment-Dyble and her husband in 2009.

Last year, they obtained a silver rabbit friendly award and have just extended the practice to meet the growing needs of their rabbit owning clients, with the addition of a rabbit waiting area and rabbit-exclusive ward.

Getting involved with RAW

Last year, All Creatures Healthcare did more than just run a RAW week: they ran a RAW month, extending free health checks for rabbits and all small rodents too, including chinchillas, guinea pigs and degus.
They’ve previously promoted their activity with SMS messages to clients in the past. For RAW 2017, they also sent information as part of their email newsletter and frequently updated their website and social media feeds on Facebook and Twitter.

Louise’s top tips for a successful Rabbit Awareness Week

  • Plan in advance
  • Make people aware of your offer in as many ways as possible –newsletters, texts, letters, social media – all of these can be used to your advantage
  • Make sure the staff giving advice are competent, confident, and most importantly: enthusiastic!

Helping owners understand the nutritional needs of their rabbits

Inappropriate diet has been consistently identified by the veterinary profession* as the number one issues that needs to be addressed in rabbits in each [PDSA] PAW Report since 2011’1. Louise notes that some of the most common issues they hear from rabbit owners is that they’re feeding too much of the wrong items – with many owners overfeeding vegetables such as carrots that are very high in sugar and not enough feeding hay and grass, which should make up between 85-90% of their diet.

“Some owners feed too much and too cheap. They put poor quality hay in front of their rabbits which they’ll avoid eating. As a result, some owners are under the wrong impression that they don’t actually like hay so will stop offering it, when in fact, they should just be feeding better hay.”

The benefits for practices taking part in RAW

Taking part in RAW is an opportunity to raise awareness of the welfare issues facing rabbits and other small furies whilst promoting responsible ownership. It also provides practices with an ideal opportunity to show clients what they have to offer and can lead to an increase in footfall.

“We did lots of VN clinic-led health checks and some led to vaccinations for both Myxo/ VHD1 and VHD2, some people signed up to our health plan and we saw a few rabbits for dental treatment and dietary improvements. It’s not that expensive to keep your rabbits healthy and happy for longer – we offer a rabbit plan for £6 a month and you can get insurance for the rest!”