Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Career history

Frances Harcourt-Brown qualified from Liverpool in 1973 with the idea of a career in large animal practice. After two years working in dairy practice, she joined a mixed practice where she was also responsible for horse anaesthesia. In 1977, Frances and her husband, Nigel, set up their own practice in Harrogate. In 1996, Frances wrote a paper about the clinical conditions of pet rabbits that are associated with their teeth. It was published in the Veterinary Record and Frances was given her first award. She was invited to give lectures at major conferences and her interest in the diseases of pet rabbits developed further. In 1997, she started writing a book that evolved into the Textbook of Rabbit Medicine, which was published in 2001. After completing the book, Frances went on to finish her Fellowship thesis on 'Metabolic bone disease as a possible cause of dental disease in pet rabbits' and became a Fellow of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons in 2007. She was made an RCVS Recognised Specialist in Rabbit Medicine and Surgery in 2008 and a European Specialist in 2009 when she joined the European College of Zoological Medicine as a de facto diplomate. She is a contributor to and co-editor of the BSAVA Manual of Rabbit Surgery, Imaging and Dentistry that was published in 2013. In 2014, Frances retired from general practice, the international lecture circuit and the European College but has maintained her interest in the diseases of pet rabbits and still sees difficult cases on a referral or second opinion basis. She also has more papers to write that she hopes will reach publication.

Awards 

  • William Hunting Award 1996 for best paper in the Veterinary Record written by a practitioner
  • Melton Award 1999 for meritorious contribution to small animal practice
  • Dunkin Award 2002 for best paper in Journal of Small Animal Practice written by a practitioner
  • International Conference on Exotics 2004: Award for 'commitment to pet rabbit education'
  • William Hunting Award 2008 for best paper in the Veterinary Record written by a practitioner (for second time)
  • Fellowship of Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. Gained in 2006 for a thesis entitled 'Metabolic bone disease as a possible cause of dental disease in pet rabbits'.
  • RWAF (Rabbit Welfare Association and Fund) 2012: Award 'In Recognition of your tireless work to raise the standards of rabbit welfare and care''

Books and Book Chapters

  • Textbook of Rabbit Medicine 1st Edition (2001) (sole author)
  • BSAVA Manual of Wildlife Casualties (2003) Eds. E. Mullineaux, R. Best, J. Cooper
    • Chapter: Rabbits and hares
  • BSAVA Manual of Rabbit Surgery, Dentistry and Imaging (2014) (Co Editor with John Chitty and contributor)
    • Chapters: 
      • Neutering
      • Gastric dilation and intestinal obstruction
      • Normal dentition
      • Pathogenesis of dental disease
      • Treatment of dental disease
      • Jaw abscesses
  • BSAVA Manual of Rabbit Medicine (2014), Eds A. Meredith and B. Lord.(2014) (Contributor)
    • Chapter: Digestive diseases

Publications in peer reviewed journals

  • Harcourt-Brown, F.M. (1995). A review of clinical conditions in pet rabbits associated with their teeth. Veterinary Record, 137, 341-346. **received the BVA's William Hunting award, 1996
  • Harcourt-Brown, F.M. (1996). Calcium deficiency, diet and dental disease in pet rabbits. Veterinary Record, 139, 567-571
  • Fairham J., Harcourt-Brown F.M. (1999). Preliminary investigation of the vitamin D status of pet rabbits. Veterinary Record, 145, 452-454. 
  • Harcourt-Brown, F.M., Baker S.J. (2001) Parathyroid hormone, haematological and biochemical parameters in relation to dental disease and husbandry in pet rabbits. Journal of Small Animal Practice, 42, 130-136. **received the BSAVA's Dunkin Award for the best paper written by a practitioner
  • Harcourt-Brown, F.M., Holloway, H.K.R. (2003) Encephalitozoon cuniculi in pet rabbits. Veterinary Record, 152, 427-431
  • Harcourt-Brown, F. (2007). Radiographic signs of renal disease in rabbits. Veterinary Record, 160, 787-794.
  • Harcourt-Brown, F.M. (2007). Gastric dilation and intestinal obstruction in 76 rabbits. Veterinary Record, 161, 409-414. **received the William Hunting award for a second time for this paper
  • Harcourt-Brown, F.M., Harcourt-Brown, S.F. (2012). Clinical value of blood glucose measurement in pet rabbits, Veterinary Record 170, 674 doi: 10.1136/vr.100321
  • Thas I, Harcourt-Brown, F. (2013) Six cases of inguinal urinary bladder herniation in entire male domestic rabbits. J Small Anim Pract. 54, 62-6. doi: 10.1111/jsap.12120. Epub 2013 Aug 2.

 

Publications in other journals 

  • Harcourt-Brown, F.M. (1997). Diagnosis, treatment and prognosis of dental disease in pet rabbits. In Practice, 19, 407-421.
  • Harcourt-Brown, F.M. (2004). Encephalitozoon cuniculi in rabbits. Seminars in Avian and Exotic Pet Medicine, 13, 86-94
  • Harcourt-Brown, F.M. (2002). Causes and effects of anorexia in rabbits. In Practice, 24, 358-367
  • Harcourt-Brown, F.M. (2002) Diagnosis and treatment of anorexia in rabbits. In Practice, 24, 450-467
  • Harcourt-Brown, F.M. (2007) The progressive syndrome of acquired dental disease in rabbits. Journal of Exotic Pet Medicine, 16, 146-157 **Guest Editor of this issue of JEPM on 'Rabbits'
  • Harcourt-Brown, F.M. (2009). Dental disease in pet rabbits: normal dentition, pathogenesis and aetiology. In Practice, 31, 370-379
  • Harcourt-Brown, F.M. (2009). Dental disease in pet rabbits: diagnosis and treatment. In Practice, 31, 432-453
  • Harcourt-Brown, F.M. (2009). Dental disease in pet rabbits: jaw abscesses. In Practice, 31, 496-511

 

Presentations at international meetings for vets

  • May 2000: International Conference on Exotics, Florida

Dental disease in pet rabbits

  • July 2002: International Conference on Exotics, Florida

1. Intestinal obstruction in rabbits
2. Dacryocystitis in rabbits 
3. Surgical removal of a mediastinal mass in a rabbit

  • May 2002: Vereinigung Osterreichischer Kleintiermediziner, Austria

1. Anorexia in pet rabbits: causes and effects
2. Anorexia in pet rabbits: diagnosis and treatment
3. Common surgical procedures in rabbits

  • September 2002, WSAVA, Granada, Spain 

1. Anorexia in pet rabbits: causes and effects
2. Anorexia in pet rabbits: diagnosis and treatment

  • May 2004: International Conference on Exotics, Florida

1. Calcium metabolism in rabbits
2. Update on E. cuniculi in pet rabbits
3. Radiology of rabbits: Part 1 Soft tissue
4. Radiology of rabbits: Part 2 Hard tissue

  • May 2005: Vereinigung Osterreichischer Kleintiermediziner, Vienna

1. Causes and clinical manifestations of dental disease in pet rabbits
2. Treatment of dental disease in pet rabbits
3. Urinary tract problems in rabbits

  • May 2005: SCIVAC, Rimini Italy

1. Acute gastrointestinal disease in rabbits
2. Causes and clinical manifestations of dental disease

  1. 3. Encephalitozoon cuniculi in pet rabbits

4. Treatment of dental disease in pet rabbits
5. Anaesthesia and analgesia in rabbits
6. Chronic gastrointestinal disease of rabbits

  • April 2006: Voorjaarsdagen, Amsterdam

1. Important physiological characteristics of rabbits
2. Anaesthesia, analgesia and nursing care of rabbits
3. Common medical conditions in rabbits
4. Common surgical conditions of rabbits
5. Dental disease in rabbits
6. Infectious diseases of rabbits

  • March 2007: Danish Small Animal Veterinary Association, Copenhagen

1. Important physiological characteristics of rabbits
2. Anaesthesia, analgesia and post-operative care of rabbits
3. Infectious diseases of pet rabbits
4. Dental disease in rabbits
5. Common medical conditions in rabbits
6. Common surgical conditions in rabbits

  • May 2007: Czech Association of Zoo and Wildlife Veterinarians: Veterinary Dentistry Conference: Exotic Pets, Brno, Czech Republic

1. Calcium metabolism in rabbits
2. Metabolic bone disease as a cause of dental disease in rabbits

  • February 2008: Unisvet, Milan

1. Pathogenesis of dental disease in rabbits
2. Treatment of dental disease in rabbits
3. Rabbit laboratory medicine

  • February 2008, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University (TCSVM), Boston, USA. The 2008 exotics and your practice:“Avian and Rabbits”

1. Beyond spays: some common surgical procedures
2. Calcium metabolism and urinary tract disease
3. Causes and treatment of dental disease
4. Encephalitozoon cuniculi and other infectious diseases

  • 30th April-3rd May 2009: Czech Association of Zoo and Wildlife Veterinarians Soft tissue surgery in exotic pets. Brno, Czech Republic. 

1. Ileus in rabbits
2. Thymoma in rabbits

  • November 2009: Proveto Rabbits and Rodents conference- Amsterdam

1. Calcium Metabolism and dental disease
2. Practical interactive cases with Katherine Quesenberry
3. E. cuniculi, a big mystery?

  • November 2009: Proveto Avian and Exotics conference- Arnheim, The Netherlands

Vets stream
1. Calcium Metabolism and dental disease
2. Practical interactive cases with Katherine Quesenberry
3. E. cuniculi, a big mystery?
Nurses stream
Treatment of abscesses and post-operative care

  • March 2010 Vexotic meeting Stockholm, Sweden

1. Important physiological characteristics of rabbits
2. Diagnostic procedures
3. Acute gastrointestinal diseases
4. Chronic gastrointestinal diseases
5. Encephalitozoon cuniculi
6. Urinary tract disease

  • June 2010. 35th Annual World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) Congress Geneva 

1. Critical care in rabbits
2. Diseases related to calcium metabolism in rabbits

  • October 4-8 2010. Association of Avian Veterinarians/Unusual and Exotic Pets Conference, Hobart, Tasmania

1. Rabbit practice in the UK
2. Some important physiological characteristics of rabbits
3. Dental disease, diagnosis and treatment
4. Encephalitozoon cuniculi- the mystery disease
5. Is it bloat or is it ileus- diagnosis and treatment
6. Practice class on anatomy of rabbit skull and dentistry

  • December 2010 Finnish Veterinary Association (Fennovet) congress, Helsinki

Veterinary Stream
1. Important anatomical and physiological characteristics of rabbits
2. Dental diseases
3. Infectious diseases
4. Urinary tract diseases
5. Digestive disorders
Nurses stream
1. Feeding rabbits to prevent and treat dental and urinary tract disease
2. Hospitalisation, medication and post-operative care
3. How to handle and anaesthetise rabbits safely
4. Some special cases that require good nursing

  • April 2011. 1st Meeting of European College of Zoological Medicine (ECZM), Madrid

        Blood glucose measurement in pet rabbits

  • October 2011: Annual Congress of the Portuguese Veterinary Association, Lisbon

1. Digestive Problems: when is really an emergency.
2. Critical care in rabbits
3. Analgesia, anesthesia and surgery 

  • February 2012. Proveto, Barnveld, The Netherlands)

Meet The Specialist Wetlab: Rabbit Head Surgery

  • February 2012: Canifelis Belgian International Congress, Brussels

1. Important biological characteristics of rabbits
2. Encephalitozoonosis
3. Case reports

  • July 2012: ESAVS Ophthalmology Course, Luxembourg 
  • October 2012: II congress of Centro Veterinário de Exóticos do Porto, Porto 

1. Calcium metabolism in rabbits
2. Renal disease in rabbits
3. Urinary incontinence
4. Urogenital surgery

  • December 2012: Proveto, Arnheim, The Netherlands

       The anorexic rabbit (interactive session)

  • December 2012: PEGD-Permanente Educatie Gezelschapsdieren, Utrecht

1. My approach to cardiac disease in rabbits
2. My approach to rabbit with torticollis
3. Support of orphaned rabbit kits
4. The approach to gastrointestinal disease
5. The ins and outs of calcium metabolism

  • February 2013. Proveto, Barnveld, The Netherlands)
     
    Meet The Specialist Wetlab: Rabbit Surgery
  • April 2013. 1st International Conference on Avian, Herpetological and Exotic Mammal Medicine, Weisbaden, Germany
  • February 2014. Proveto, Barnveld, The Netherlands)
     
    Meet The Specialist Wetlab: Rabbit Surgery
  • July 2014: ESAVS Ophthalmology Course, Luxembourg 
     
    Rabbit ophthalmology

 

Presentations at national meetings for vets

  • April 1997: World Veterinary Dental Congress, Birmingham

1. A case of acquired malocclusion in a pet rabbit
2. Diet and dental disease in rabbits

  • April 1997: World Small Animal Veterinary Congress, Birmingham

Pet rabbits: A practical approach to common clinical conditions: diet, clinical pathology and radiology

  • September, 1998, BVA Congress, Nottingham. Symposium on the welfare of animals in captivity

Out of sight, out of mind

  • April 1999: BSAVA Congress, Birmingham

Dental disease in rabbits

  • February 2001: BSAVA One-Day course, Bristol. Dental Diseases of Rabbits 

1. Anatomy and physiology of the rabbit in relation to dental disease and anaesthesia
2. Progression of dental disease and related clinical conditions
3. Prognosis for rabbits with dental disease

  • February 2002: BSAVA Northern Ireland, Belfast. One day meeting on rabbits
  1. Anaesthesia and surgery
  2. Anatomical and physiological characteristics of rabbits
  3. Dental disease
  4. Infectious diseases
  5. Skin diseases
  6. The anorexic rabbit
  • February 2003: BSAVA East Anglia Region, Cambridge, One day meeting on diseases of rabbits 

1. Abscesses in rabbits
2. The anorexic rabbit
3. The rabbit with a dirty bottom

  • January 2003: Readers Update, London

Treatment of rabbit abscesses

  • March 2003: BSAVA NE, Newcastle- Afternoon meeting on 'Common Rabbit Presentations'

The anorexic rabbit
Perineal soiling
Abscesses in rabbits

  • April 2004: European Society of Veterinary Radiologists: BSAVA satellite meeting, Birmingham

1. Radiology of rabbits: Part 1 Soft tissue
2. Radiology of rabbits: Part 2 Hard tissue

  • November 2004: Rabbit Welfare Association conference, Bristol, 

Treatment options for chronically ill rabbits.

  • October 2005: British Veterinary Dermatology Study Group Autumn meeting, East Midlands Airport on ‘Felines and Furries’ 
  1. Rabbit medicine for veterinary dermatologists
  2. Management of common skin conditions in rabbits
  • November 2005: Rabbit Welfare Association conference, Newcastle

Radiology in rabbits

  • January 2006: CPD Meeting arranged by Blue Cross, Grimsby
  1. Important physiological characteristic in rabbits
  2. Anaesthesia, analgesia and post-operative care
  3. Dental disease
  4. Radiology in rabbits
  • April 2006: British Veterinary Dental Association, BSAVA satellite meeting, Birmingham

To clip or to burr: iatrogenic injury from dental procedures in rabbits

  • December 2006: BSAVA NE, Wetherby 

1. Important physiological characteristics of rabbits
2. Dental disease
3. Rabbit surgery
4. Common medical conditions of rabbits
5. Common Surgical conditions of rabbits

  • February 2007, BSAVA NW, Preston

Gastroenterological conditions in rabbits

  • April 7th 2010. British Veterinary Dermatology Study Group- Pre-congress satellite day 

Rabbit dermatology

  • April 10th 2010 British Small Animal Veterinary Association Congress, Birmingham

1.Nurses stream-rabbits.
2.Dental care and diet
3.The cheesy abscess

  • April 10th 2010. British Small Animal Veterinary Association Congress, Birmingham

90 minutes interactive session 'Why is this rabbit not eating' 

  • November 2011. British Veterinary Zoological Society, Carden Park, Cheshire

1. A novel treatment for recurrent molar spurs in rabbits
2. Blood glucose measurement in pet rabbits

  • November 2014. British Small Animal Veterinary Association East Anglia Region

    Full day on 'Rabbits: update on the top ten clinical presentations in practice'

  1. Dental disease
  2. Facial abscesses
  3. Eye problems
  4. Respiratory dises
  5. Head tilt
  6. Ataxia and paresis
  7. Urine scald
  8. Diarrhoea
  9. The rabbit with a dirty bottom
  10. The anorexic rabbit

Presentations for veterinary nurses

  • May 2002: BVNA Scottish Region meeting on Rabbits and Reptiles, Crieff
  1. The biology and behaviour of rabbits
  2. Rabbit anaesthesia
  3. Diet and nutritional diseases of rabbits
  4. Nursing the sick rabbit
  • March 2004: London, Association of Veterinary Anaesthetists congress- nurses and technicians stream

Rabbit anaesthesia

Presentations for rabbit owners

  • November 2004: Rabbit Welfare Association conference, Bristol, Lay audience stream

Treatment options for chronically ill rabbits.

  • November 2005: Rabbit Welfare Association conference, Newcastle

Radiology in rabbits

Publications for rabbit owners 

  • Sudden death in pet rabbits. Summer 2004 edition of 'Rabbiting On'
  • Dental disease in rabbits, Spring 2005 edition of 'Rabbiting On'
  • Selective Feeding. Fur and Feather, June 8, 2000