Call on veterinary schools to teach rabbit medicine as a requirement
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Rabbits are the third most popular pet in Western culture, and continue to grow in popularity. Despite this, veterinary education and clinical practice still refer to them as "exotic" pets, a label that is both outdated and harmful. Too many veterinarians feel unqualified to touch a rabbit unless they have received special training in exotics, which is left at the mercy of elective courses in the current veterinary curriculum. The limited enrolment, scope, and duration of such courses cannot possibly prepare most veterinary graduates to treat rabbits with the same level of knowledge and skill as dogs and cats. Many rabbit owners do not live anywhere near an exotic vet and do not have the option of seeking such care. Many animals suffer and die without it. This situation devalues the lives and health of rabbits, erodes public trust in the veterinary profession, and leaves out a considerable number of owners who are ready and willing to become clients. A change in the veterinary curriculum to include rabbit medicine among required courses is long overdue. Parallel to this, there should be a greater number and variety of continuing education courses on rabbit medicine for veterinarians already in practice.
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