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Black spots on hay

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pani

Bunny servant Lotte
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Hey guys,

The hay I've been purchasing recently isn't of the highest quality, unfortunately - it's from a nearby pet store and tends to vary between sweeter and greener, to browner and drier. The current bag I've got is a very brown bag (and I plan on going to a pet store a bit further away ASAP to get a higher quality bag) with several seed heads in it. I noticed that a few of the strands (only a few!) are covered in black spots. They're not raised and can't be scraped off. There's no white or black dust and no other signs of problems. So far my bunnies haven't experienced any problems, but I just noticed this tonight. Would you say this is safe or not? I image searched 'moldy hay' but I'm having trouble finding an image similar to what I'm seeing.
 

pani

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Drat, thanks. They're on the dregs of the last hay tonight until I can pick more up tomorrow. Probably won't get more from that place.

Thank you!
 

pani

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Should I be looking out for anything wrong with my buns if they've been eating from this bag for the past few days?
 

pani

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I'll watch out. They both seem alright, Felix did a few smaller poops tonight but they were consistent and otherwise okay so hopefully just a one-off. I'm so upset about this. :( I used to import Oxbow hay until my state began a $50+ quarantine fee for it. I feel so guilty about this though.

Paranoid me couldn't sleep so I got up and cleaned their cage of all scraps of that hay. Gave them extra pellets since they'll have far less hay available until I can pick a bag up tomorrow. :( I hope they'll be okay until then.
 

bellaterra214

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That hay has mold and show be thrown away, or returned to the store you purchased it at. Rule of thumb I have with food, if I have any doubts about it, I just don't give it to them. Mold can cause a whole slew of problems if constantly feed to rabbits. I don't think you have much to worry about in your situation. They have only had it a few days and rabbits have a great nose for picking out only the best pieces. Here's some info on mold for future knowledge.

"The Problems with Mold

Some molds produce a dangerous aflatoxin, which can cause abdominal upsets and death, especially in younger animals. Long-term low doses can cause liver damage and liver cancer. Animals will go off feed and water, get dehydrated and lethargic. You might even notice jaundice.

Other molds cause enteritis, acute kidney and liver damage, and death.

Ergot is another toxin that some molds produce. Ergot cuts off circulation by constricting blood flow. Ergot can cause abortions, gangrene, and pain in the extremities.

Moldy sweet clover can cause Vitamin K deficiency, resulting in spontaneous hemorrhaging. If severe, excessive bleeding results in death."

Here's the complete website in regards to mold and hay. There are also respiratory issues that can come with hay.

http://www.raising-rabbits.com/moldy-hay.html

Hope this helps
 

pani

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Picked more hay up from another store nearby and there are pieces like this in it, too. Argh!!!

Is it safer for me to restrict their hay for the next couple of days until I can get a good bag (like Oxbow) instead of the random plastic bag from the pet store, or is it better if I pick around the moldy strands? There aren't too many of them, but I'm still just so concerned. I don't know how they can even sell it like that at a pet store. I'm already mad enough that both stores didn't even seem to be very well educated about rabbit needs, selling things like rabbit shampoos and not mentioning hay in the 'bunny needs' section.
 

pani

Bunny servant Lotte
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The final update no one asked for: managed to get to the breeder tonight where I got my furbabies from, and thankfully she had some lovely fresh hay, free of mould. :) Crisis averted. Thank you everyone!
 

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