Why "Rabbit-Savvy"?

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!)

How to Find a Rabbit-Savvy Vet

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:

How to Prepare for the Vet Visit

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.

Local Rabbit Vet Listings

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
(416) 261-3322

Animal Hospital of High Park
3194 Dundas St W, Toronto
(416) 763-4200

Avian & Exotic Medicine Service
OVC Health Sciences Centre
Ontario Veterinary College, U of Guelph
28 College Ave W, Guelph
(519) 823-8830

Beaches Animal Hospital
2304 Queen St E, Toronto
(416) 690-4040

Burloak Animal Hospital
3060 Lakeshore Rd W, Oakville
(905) 827-1171

Downtown Animal Hospital
579 Church Street, Toronto
(416) 966-5122

Greenwood Park Animal Hospital
1041 Gerrard St E, Toronto
(416) 778-6666

House Calling Vet
Dr. P. Brar
(416) 953-4781
brarmobile@yahoo.com
(Dr. Brar also works at the Broadway Animal Hospital in Orangeville)

KingWest Vets
36-1029 King St W, Toronto
(416) 345-8888

Links Road Animal & Bird Clinic
41 The Links Rd, Toronto (Yonge & 401)
(416) 223-1165

Milliken-Bridlewood Animal Clinic
2770 Kennedy Rd, Scarborough
(416) 292-7804

Spadina Animal Hospital
125 Spadina Ave
(416) 506-0100

Wellesley Animal Hospital
8 Wellesley St W, Toronto
(416) 966-1830

Yonge St Animal Hospital
2722 Yonge St, Toronto
(416) 483-3511

24-Hour Emergency Vets

Campus Estates Animal Hospital
1460 Gordon St S, Guelph
(519) 837-1212
(519) 837-1214 after-hours emergency number

Willowdale Animal Hospital
256 Sheppard Ave W, Toronto
(416) 222-5409

The following vets were not necessarily recommended as rabbit-savvy, but they are open 24-hours and do receive rabbits in an emergency with the idea that they can provide basic emergency care until your rabbit-savvy vet opens.

Toronto Veterinary Emergency Hospital
21 Rolark Dr, Scarborough
(416) 247-VETS(8387)

VEC Veterinary Emergency Clinic
920 Yonge St, Toronto (entrance on McMurrich)
(416) 920-2002

Veterinary Emergency Hospital
2285 Bristol Circle, Oakville
(905) 829-9444

VETS Toronto & Kingston Road Animal Hospital
1025 Kingston Rd, Toronto
(416) 690-0625

Other Sources

More rabbit vet listings can be found on these websites: