Not all veterinarians are trained or experienced in treating rabbits. In many critical ways, rabbits are very unlike cats and dogs. An inexperienced vet, though well-intentioned, can easily do serious, even deadly harm to a rabbit.
There are many ways treatment can go wrong. The vet might miss signs of illness and falsely declare your rabbit healthy. They might misinterpret normal traits as signs of illness, and administer unnecessary and dangerous treatments. Or they may diagnose the problem correctly, but administer the wrong treatment — especially if any medicine is involved.
It's important to find a "rabbit-savvy" vet, which means a vet who understands rabbit biology and medicine. Sometimes, these vets cost more than other vets; that's because they've had to take extra training to learn about rabbits — they may also have paid for specialized equipment and supplies. Considering we're talking about your rabbit's health and wellbeing, the extra cost is well worth it, and you should budget for the extra expense — it's a necessary part of rabbit care, just like food! (For help with your rabbit budget, check out our Rabbit Finances!)
If you're looking for a new vet and you live in the GTA, check out the Local Rabbit Vet Listings below. The next step is to evaluate the vets on your own. The vets listed below are user-submitted recommendations, not professional endorsements. Even if you do find a vet endorsed by a trusted source, this is something you must do for yourself because, at the end of the day, your bunny is your responsibility and no one else's.
First of all, you can always check your local regulatory body to make sure the vet is licensed to practice. In Ontario, that's the College of Veterinarians of Ontario; you can search their directory here. Otherwise, here are some online resources that can help you learn how to evaluate a vet for rabbit care:
Vet visits are usually stressful for rabbits. Although some vets will be fully prepared for your visit, some will not be. Until you know what to expect, it's a good idea to bring along everything you might need to make the experience as comfortable as possible for your bunny.
For example, bring a towel or blanket to place on top of the exam table; that cold slippery metal is no fun for a bunny's feet.
If you know or suspect that your rabbit will be staying at the vet's for any length of time, bring along food and hay. If you find out unexpectedly that your bun will be staying, make sure to ask if they have food and hay, and go get some if they don't. Remember that rabbits do not and should not fast before surgery, and they should normally have food/hay available to them immediately upon recovery. (I know, this sounds like something a vet should obviously have on hand. Do NOT take ANYTHING for granted. Never forget that you are your rabbit's sole protector and advocate.)
Also consider the trip itself!
Put a towel or blanket in the carrier, along with a nice big pile of hay. Maybe bring along a small treat for after the visit, like a blueberry or bite of carrot.
Bring along some water in case you're gone for a long time and your bun needs a drink. And consider the weather for the outdoor parts of your trip, too! Keep the carrier out of the sun on hot days, and drape a towel over the carrier on cold ones.
The following vets were recommended by local rabbit companions and/or by the vets themselves. You can also find these vets on the Toronto Rabbits Local Listings Map. To add another vet to the list, please contact us.
Amherst Veterinary Hospital
3206 Eglinton Ave E, Scarborough
Animal Hospital of High Park
3194 Dundas St W, Toronto
Avian & Exotic Medicine Service
OVC Health Sciences Centre
Ontario Veterinary College, U of Guelph
28 College Ave W, Guelph
Beaches Animal Hospital
2304 Queen St E, Toronto
Burloak Animal Hospital
3060 Lakeshore Rd W, Oakville
Downtown Animal Hospital
579 Church Street, Toronto
Greenwood Park Animal Hospital
1041 Gerrard St E, Toronto
House Calling Vet
Dr. P. Brar
(Dr. Brar also works at the Broadway Animal Hospital in Orangeville)
36-1029 King St W, Toronto
Links Road Animal & Bird Clinic
41 The Links Rd, Toronto (Yonge & 401)
Milliken-Bridlewood Animal Clinic
2770 Kennedy Rd, Scarborough
Spadina Animal Hospital
125 Spadina Ave
Wellesley Animal Hospital
8 Wellesley St W, Toronto
Yonge St Animal Hospital
2722 Yonge St, Toronto
Campus Estates Animal Hospital
1460 Gordon St S, Guelph
(519) 837-1214 after-hours emergency number
Willowdale Animal Hospital
256 Sheppard Ave W, Toronto
Toronto Veterinary Emergency Hospital
21 Rolark Dr, Scarborough
VEC Veterinary Emergency Clinic
920 Yonge St, Toronto (entrance on McMurrich)
Veterinary Emergency Hospital
2285 Bristol Circle, Oakville
VETS Toronto & Kingston Road Animal Hospital
1025 Kingston Rd, Toronto
More rabbit vet listings can be found on these websites: