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Old 03-06-2013, 01:58 PM   #1
Meagan
 
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Default My rabbit won't eat

Hi I just signed up and I have a Q
I have a three year old rabbit that I just had fixed about two weeks ago.
His name is Rico Sauve and he is very small (compared to ther rabbits I have seen). I believe that he is a silver Martin. He is very energetic and when I first got him when he was a baby, I lived in an apartment where he had his own room to run around in. When I moved back in with my parents I had to keep him in a cage (dads rules) but I have started bunny proving the living room in my house so he can run around ( with supervision).
Anyways there's his history and here is the problem/q..
So my rabbit for the past 2 years will st eating pellets Somtimes, and he will drink a lot less water, but he will still be super energetic and playful. He does not act lie he is sick or feels bad in fact there will be almost no difference in his behavior. His poops will be smaller and dryer, and he will do this any where from a few days to a week or so. What I do is try to get him to eat more kale cuse that's the ONLY veggie he will eat, and I'm wondering why he is doing this and what I can do to either prevent it or help him when it happens and also what it is. The vet says its not GI.. And it happens often enough that I think maybe stress? I've tryed to keep a log and Somtimes when he does it he went through some sort of stress right before.
He eats pellets, Timothy hay, cranberry, and kale..
He eats treats like yogurt drops dryer bananas and he chew on wood toys, he also chews on anything and everything he can reach.
Sorry for so much info.. Or too little(?)



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Old 03-06-2013, 02:05 PM   #2
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This is Rico..
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Old 03-06-2013, 03:12 PM   #3
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How much are you feeding him of everything? Generally speaking it is recommended that an adult rabbit eat 1/4-1/2 cup pellets(plain pellets not seeds or dried fruit in them) per 6lbs, unlimited hay, and 1-2 cups veggies per 6lbs every day.

The only things I can suggest diet wise would be to try to encourage him to eat a larger variety of veggies (Here's a list Rabbit.org - Fruit & Veggies). And while yogurt drops are marketed for bunnies I've been warned against using them as a treat. It's basically icing, sugar and dairy, which bunnies don't process as well. A small bit of fruit makes just as good of a treat and it's healthier (has fiber).

It sounds like you're doing the right thing when he goes through his hunger strikes by pushing more veggies (and hay). I've heard that salt licks can encourage water drinking but I've never tried one myself. It could be stress related and the fact that he's confined more lately.

I was not so helpful >.<

Hopefully someone else will know a little more about this.

Edited to add: What a cute boy you have!

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Old 03-06-2013, 04:12 PM   #4
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You were helpful! Lol
I will try and ween him off the yogurt drops
But he Is such a picky eater and I have a super hard time getting him to eat new things (that aren't what he considers treats) like the with the cranberry, it took me atleast 4 days of offering it to get him to try it. And he loves them but he will eat one and then hoar the rest. I guess I'll have to try and mix up his diet a bit. If any one else has anymore suggestions I would be grateful. He weighs about 4 pounds. He loves kale to death but I've heard If u give them too much that it will also make them sick. Is there any truth to this? Also I have put a salt lick in his home but he shows no sign of interest in it at all. Lol
Thank u very much I really appreciate ur response!

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Old 03-06-2013, 04:32 PM   #5
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Have you noticed when he goes through these periods any shedding? Bunnies like to eat their own hair when they shed, and this can do things like make poops smaller (can also lead to fur getting stuck and them not eating). During sheds, make sure you are getting rid of as much hair as possible.

How much hay is Rico eating? The more he eats, the more will pass through his system and his poops will be bigger. If you find that he isn't going for just the Tim hay as much, you may want to incorporate other types of hay into the Tim hay to get him to eat it. I'd also really try to push dark greens like romaine. Even if you mix them with the kale you are giving him or sprinkle the pellets on top of the lettuce to try to encourage him to eat it. As Bunnywabbit said, veggies are the key. Roughage and fibre are a bunny's digestive system's best friend. Definitely try to take the yogurt drops out. Bunny tummys don't like dairy, even though the bunnies themselves do. Try to decrease the sugar and up the greens and hay in any way you can.

Also, Rico is adorable!

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Old 03-06-2013, 04:49 PM   #6
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I've heard conflicting things about kale. Some people think it should only be fed at most 3 times a week and others think its fine everyday. I've seen it debated a lot. If you've been feeding him kale everyday for years now and he hasn't had bladder or mushy poo problems then it seems like he can handle it alright. I would push other veggies just because variety is always good but I wouldn't stress too much about the kale if it hasn't caused any problems for you at this point.

I was thinking, have you tried herbs? Like cilantro, parsley, mint, and so on? They can be enticing to a bunny that doesn't like many other greens.

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Old 03-06-2013, 06:44 PM   #7
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How do your rabbits poops look normally? Are they normally irregular sizes and shaped, or are they the normal round ones and all about the same size? What the smaller than usual poops indicate is a gut slowdown, and with rabbits this can be a dangerous thing as it can then lead to a blockage, which at times can be fatal. I've had two rabbits that have had GI stasis. One unfortunately, died from it, and the other came through it after two weeks of hand feeding and meds. So, it is something to be concerned about, and something you will want to try and correct so that it doesn't get any worse.

You first need to try and figure out what could be the possible cause. The most common has to do with excess sugars and carbs in a rabbits diet. Every rabbit is going to be different. Some rabbits can have treats and never present any digestive trouble. Others are very sensitive and can have very limited, to no treats. My rabbit that came through the stasis, gets zero treats. He can't even have pellets as that will cause him to go into stasis again. He gets hay and some leafy veggies. So for a rabbit with a sensitive digestion, you will either need to eliminate or limit treats, and sometimes the pellets as well. Some other causes of stasis are specific veggies causing gas and discomfort, ingested foreign matter(ex. carpet fibers, cat litter), health problems, sudden changes of food, molting and ingesting hair, not getting adequate hay and fiber in the diet, environmental stressors, or changes in the rabbits life causing it stress. So you will want to pay attention to when your rabbit starts having the small poops and try and pinpoint what may have happened just previous to the gut slowdown to cause it. Did he just have a treat, does it always happen right after he eats his pellets, is he molting, did you just rearrange his cage, did he get spooked by something, did you just have visitors and he was nervous, did you just take him somewhere, did he just rip up a piece of carpet, etc? I realized with my rabbit, that everytime after I just fed pellets, he would either sit in the corner squinting his eyes, or he would lay down with his butt pressed into the air and his belly pressed to the floor, because his stomach was bothering him. So I knew it was the pellets causing the problem. Since I stopped the pellets, he hasn't had anymore stasis episodes.

Water is really important also, in helping to keep a blockage from occurring. If your rabbit drinks from a bottle, then try a water dish, as rabbits generally drink better from a dish. If you can get him to eat more leafy greens like green leaf lettuce or cilantro, that will help. Always introduce new foods in small amounts and one at a time, so you can see if it causes digestive problems, and also to give the digestion time to adjust to the new food. Avoid the veggies that are prone to causing gas. Kale can sometimes be one of those veggies, so try and see if he starts having any of his digestive problems after feeding the kale. What kind of pellets do you feed? Do they have treat pieces mixed in them? You also may want to consider reducing pellet amounts to see if that helps. It will also get him eating more hay, which helps prevent gut slowdowns. And also cut or eliminate treats to see if those may be causing the problem. I know they love their treats, but if you ever have to deal with a rabbit in stasis, you realize it's not worth the risk for rabbits with sensitive digestions. If you find that the gut slowdown isn't food related, then treats can be brought back, but no need to take the risk until you are sure.

This article explains GI stasis really well, and was very helpful to me when my rabbit was first having problems with stasis.

http://www.bio.miami.edu/hare/ileus.html

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Old 03-06-2013, 06:48 PM   #8
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Here are some more pictures, I feel like he is a little smaller than most rabbits. I think he is a silver margin.. When I got him I was told he is a Dutch, which I'm pretty sure he is not. And he usually only sheds a lot twice a year.. When the major them pasture change like from winter to spring and summer to winter. And I will use a pet comb to try and get most of the hair. I went and bought some parsley, Papaya, kale, bananas, one bell peppers and mint. He already ate kale but the others he wasn't sure about.. He is a super picky eater like I said and it takes work and time to get him to try new things. And I thought that adult rabbits were supposed to mostly eat Timothy hay, but I guess not. He has a bit of an attitude problem, if he doesn't think ur watching him he will be destructive. But he will contunie to glance back at u to see if ur watching. Somtimes I feel like his eating problem is a combination of stress, his pickiness of food, and change of the environment around him. Such as I just recently have started letting him run around the house for large periods of time. He is litter trained and will ONLY want to use his litterbox. If he can't find his cage or litterbox he will let u know by tugging on tugging on ur clothes.. And as soon as u take him to it he will use it and I ideally do a few laps around his home and the want out. Anyways as soon as I started letting him have this freedom.. He started with the whole not eating! So am I to think that all these things are a part of this eating "cycle"? Maybe he is just super sensitive to the environment around him?? Thanks again guys for all ur responses. I feel like I'm finding new things out and I'm gonna to try them, and I'm confident. More comments, responses, and/or helpful info would be much appreciated. The picture of him with the stuffed bunny.. That's his "girlfriend" although since he was fixed his interest in her has most def. faded. But I spent literally months teaching him it was only ok to do "that" with this toy, eventually he only would do his business with that and he completely stopped taking his frustration out on me, my mom, sister, and female cat! I just read the above post, and yea I usually keep his food bowl full all the time, so I will limit that as u suggested. But I a very surprised about the water bottle v.s a water bowl!! I guess that since when I got him I was told to use a bottle, it wasn't until my boyfriend got a Flemish giant and he used a water bowl.. And at that point I just assumed Rico was too small. So I would like to try th bowl.. BUT he as ALWAYS only used a water bottle so my q would be how should I make the transfer? Since I think he is very sensitive to changes? Should I leave both his home for a whileso he can slowly adjust to the change? Or would just switching them out completely would be better?

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Old 03-06-2013, 06:49 PM   #9
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Old 03-06-2013, 06:53 PM   #10
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Rico again , is he a little smaller than most other rabbits?



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