Preserving Health Data: The Rabbit Health Database
Preserving Health Data
In addition to promoting safety, we try to learn all we can to prevent illness in our rabbits. We read health articles in various media and share information with each other on the web, passing on answers from our veterinarians.
Online discussions of your bunny’s current health problems can be highly beneficial, and you may also hear of problems not yet encountered. But unless you have a superb memory or all your email is indexed by health topics, you may not be able to retrieve this information easily when you need it. Another option is to enter the information into HRS’s Rabbit Health Database, which will always be literally at your fingertips.
From spreadsheets to apps
We began requesting rabbit health records from our readers twenty-five years ago—long before we knew how we were going to disseminate the information we collected. Although we did not ask the right questions at the time, some of the original information survived many migrations and remains in the database to this day. We entered data into spreadsheets, then into early desktop databases, and then onto a web server. The latter, however, presented two new problems: security and speed. Even with super fast connections, you still have to wait for a page to download, fill it out, then submit it back to the server.
Next came the era of apps. A downloadable runtime app is our latest solution for the Rabbit health Database. It’s fast and flexible. After you download it to your desktop and unzip it, you can browse, sort, search and enter data. All records for any rabbit are linked (related) so that you can follow a rabbit through a lifetime.
Or you can see and compare multiple rabbit-records in sections containing certain kinds of information, such as surgeries or titers. If you enter your own rabbits’ records, they will always be stored where you can find them. There’s even a section called Home Care, where you can keep a journal of your support care and observations at home. A printout of your bunny’s home history can be a great help to your veterinarian in diagnosing your bunny’s problems.
Enter and share
When you are ready to enter data, ask your veterinarian for copies of your rabbit’s exam records and all diagnostic test results, such as blood panels or cultures. Then follow the database Help instructions to type them in. You can keep your records on your own computer or email them back to us to become part of the master file. Your contributions to the master file will help other bunnies, so we encourage you to send them.
A big button is supplied on every page that collects the records you want to send into email attachments. Just paste in our email address: HealthDB@rabbit.org and hit your “send” button. You can do this as many times as you’d like, even with minor changes. And feel free to contact us with any health-data question/comment.
Once you download the new Rabbit Health Database, you will see its potential. All we need are thousands more records. We know they are out there, but we need help in rounding them up and getting them entered into the database.
HRJ Vol. 5, No. 7, Winter/Spring 2011