The following is a list of veterinarian hospitals in the San Diego and southwest Riverside counties that we know to treat rabbits on a regular basis. We have listed names of vets with whom we are familiar, however there may be additional vets at that location who do see rabbits. Please ensure that when you make an appointment, you ask to see a vet with extensive rabbit experience.
This list is provided only for your convenience and in no way should be considered an endorsement by San Diego HRS of any vet or clinic listed. San Diego HRS cannot guarantee your satisfaction with any vet.
San Diego HRS cannot guarantee your satisfaction with any vet. Please call and talk to the vet and/or their staff before making your initial appointment. If you need advice on what questions to ask please review the article, "How to Find a Good Rabbit Vet."
San Diego County VetsVCA ACACIA ANIMAL HOSPITAL AND PET RESORT*
Scharlet Kelly, Medical Director
655 W. Citracado Parkway (just off I-15), Escondido, CA 92025
Note: This hospital also offers holistic services, including acupuncture, veterinary orthopedic manipulation (VOM), laser therapy, and herbal medicines. Open 6 days a week with urgent care hours, Monday through Friday till 9 p.m.
ALL PETS ANIMAL HOSPITAL*
Brian Loudis, DVM
Theresea Murillo DVM
149 South El Camino Real Encinitas, CA 92024
* This clinic now offers acupuncture!
AVIAN & EXOTIC ANIMAL HOSPITAL, INC.
Jeffrey Jenkins, DVM
Amandine Gillet, DVM
1276 Morena Blvd. San Diego, CA 92110
Avian & Exotic Animal Hospital, Inc.
DISCOVERY VALLEY ANIMAL HOSPITAL*
Lee Young, DVM
997 West San Marcos Blvd., San Marcos, CA 92078
GRAND ANIMAL HOSPITAL* Kevin Scoggin, DVM
1033 Grand Avenue, San Diego, CA 92109
Note: This clinic offers HRS-referred "low cost" community service rates for spay & neuter
MISSION ANIMAL & BIRD HOSPITAL*
Kathleen Rohan, DVM
Carla Bernal, DVM
655 Benet Rd. (corner of Benet and Hwy 76), Oceanside, CA 92058
PALOMAR ANIMAL HOSPITAL*
Linda Knox, DVM
Jennifer Nissen, DVM
Aleksandra Canseco, DVM
2331 South Melrose Drive, Vista, CA 92081
PET HOSPITAL OF PENASQUITOS
Thomas Boyer, DVM
Brian Mendez, DVM
9888 Carmel Mountain Rd, Suite F, San Diego, CA 92129
PET EMERGENCY & SPECIALTY CENTER*
Todd Cecil, DVM
Chelsea Dillon, DVM
5232 Jackson Drive, Suites 102-105, La Mesa, CA 91941
*Note: General medicine and spay/neuter services, Monday through Friday. The clinic also sees rabbits on an emergency basis, 24 hours per day, 7 days a week.
*Dr Cecil provides a 15% discount to SDHRS members at his daytime rabbit clinic only. Must present a valid SDHRS membership card (get at SDHRS Bunny Store).
RANCHO SAN DIEGO ANIMAL HOSPITAL
Rosanne Brown, DVM
Jake Hare, DVM
2988 Jamacha Rd, (off Hwy. 94), El Cajon, CA 92019
Note: This location offers acupuncture and chiropractic.
SUNSET CLIFFS ANIMAL HOSPITAL
Christy Berg, DVM
4862 Santa Monica Ave., San Diego (Ocean Beach), CA 92107
COMPANION ANIMAL WELLNESS CENTER OF CARLSBAD
Carmine Bausone, DVM
2626 El Camino Real, Suite B
Carlsbad, CA 92008
This location offers accupuncture.
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Riverside County Vets
VCA CALIFORNIA OAKS*
James Wentzel, DVM
40575 California Oaks Road, Suite D7, Murrieta, CA 92562
LA SIERRA VETERINARY CLINIC
Laura Schrader, DVM
3410 La Sierra Avenue, Suite A, Riverside, CA 92503
NEED ASSISTANCE WITH MEDICAL CARE COSTS?
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Low Cost Spay & Neuter
The list below includes clinics that we know to regularly spay or neuter rabbits and offer lower-cost options to the public as a community service.
San Diego County
Grand Animal Hospital, Pacific Beach (858) 272-1320 *Tell them "HRS sent me."
Discovery Valley Animal Hospital, San Marcos (760) 744-0032
ABC Veterinary Hospital, San Marcos (760) 471-4950
SpayLowCost.com - Escondido, get information online
SpayLowCost.com - Murrieta, get information online
Ramona Humane Society, San Jacinto (951) 654-3110
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How to Choose a Rabbit-Experienced Vet
The time to find a veterinarian is now, not when your rabbit is sick and you are forced to take what you can get. A good place to start in finding your rabbit's veterinarian is to ask for recommendations from pet shop personnel, other rabbit owners and rabbit special interest groups (such as the House Rabbit Society). Then move on to interviewing the veterinarians. The secret here is not to ask "Do you see rabbits?" but, rather, "Who in town should I take may rabbit to?" If the vet volunteers "We see rabbits," jot down his or her name. Take the time to call around in a radius from your home that you feel would be close enough to take your rabbit in case of a problem. Select two or three and call for an appointment to meet them. Most hospitals charge for an office visit, but some waive the fee for a quick non-medical consultation. Don't be afraid to ask questions.
You need to have a way to discern his or her level of knowledge and experience with rabbits and, just as important, your ability to communicate with each other. A good rabbit veterinarian will have a working knowledge of rabbit anatomy and physiology, nutrition and the common diseases and syndromes of rabbits. Rabbits should make up a sizable part of the vet's practice. Unless you find a specialty practice, it is unlikely that rabbits will make up a significant portion of the patients, but 10 percent would be an acceptable minimum.
Ask what special equipment and services the hospital offers for rabbits. The "standard of care" should include the use of sevoflurane anesthesia, the ability to trim incisor teeth using a dental drill (not toe-nail trimmers) and, preferably, the ability to house the rabbits away from barking dogs and the odors of cats. When seeking details, ask open-ended questions. For example, don't ask, "Do you use sevoflurane?" Instead ask, "What type of general anesthesia do you use for rabbits?" "How would you fix overgrown incisor teeth?" "What housing arrangements do you have for rabbit patients in your hospital, particularly in relation to other animals?" A critical questions is "What oral antibiotics do you commonly prescribe for rabbits?" If the answer ends in "-cillin" (amoxycillin, ampicillin, etc. ), beware. Oral (but not injected) "-cillins" are deadly to rabbits and you need a vet who knows that. Finally, ask about prices, but don't let this be a deciding factor. Finding a knowledgeable veterinarian with whom you feel confident and who can communicate well with you can be worth paying the extra price.
After finding a vet, your next goal is to maintain a relationship with this doctor. Although rabbits don't require regular vaccinations, they should have an annual physical exam. This exam can help detect problems early and help you plan health management as your furry companion ages. Unless you've adopted through the House Rabbit Society, which provides companion animals who are already spayed or neutered, you will need a vet to perform these non-emergency surgeries. Male rabbits should be neutered (also called orchectomy or castration) to alleviate urine marking and sexual mounting (mounting may recur intermittently as a behavior to demonstrate dominance). Female rabbits have a high incidence of uterine cancer, hence they should be spayed (also called ovariohysterectomy or OVH). This procedure is safer and easier on the rabbit if performed while she is young. We recommend surgery between the ages of four months (when most rabbits become sexually mature) and one year. Rabbits may be spayed at an earlier age; however, no studies have been done to show the effects of spaying prior to sexual maturity. Whomever you choose as your veterinarian, for the sake of your companion rabbit, be sure that vet has a good knowledge of rabbits.Visit our local, recommended veterinarian list.
For lists of veterinarians around the world and additional medical articles, visit the international House Rabbit Society webpage at www.rabbit.org
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