Bunny diet question

Discussion in 'Health & Wellness' started by Ani, Aug 23, 2019.

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  1. Aug 23, 2019 #1

    Ani

    Ani

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    So I wanna give a bit of info as to what I experienced at the vet and hopefully someone can give me some insight here. I recently went to the vet to get my new bunny a checkup. I didnt really like how they handled her, the vet said she was acting abnormal since she wasnt allowing them to restrain her and the vet assistant didnt really know how to handle her at all. They also decided it was best to hold her by the scruff and support her bottom. Although I heard this wasnt good to do to a bunny, but he did say to support the bottom so I'm not even sure cause this is the first time I go to a vet for a bunny. This vet seemed experienced since he was pretty knowledgable about rabbits for the most part. I just know from the research I've done that hes at least somewhat knowledgable... I was also told he was experienced but he was mostly savvy with reptiles. I was pretty horrified at how they handled my bunny having to squeeze her onto the table but it's the first time I'm going to the vet for a bunny so I wouldn't know what the right way is. They also kept dropping her onto the table and she kept slipping away from their grasp. I mean at this point I'm freaking out thinking they're gonna kill my bunny in front of me Im super anxious and i get up to pick her up for them. She doesnt even like being picked up by me but still let me do so this time. So they did some fecal tests and checked for ear mites and everything seemed fine. The only thing was that shes a bit underweight since shes a relatively young bunny. They told me they dont know her age yet but I would assume shes around 5 months. So for her diet they recommended that she goes on an unlimited pellet diet he recommended Sherwood adult pellets and mainly hay for the diet and small quantities of greens and fruits. So he pretty much said greens were also to be used as treats along with things like fruits. Now my concern is that now that she has unlimited pellet diet she now doesnt bother with eating her hay or using her litterbox at all. Everytime shes hungry she'll go to her pellets and munch on those completely ignoring the hay despite how fresh it is. Her previous diet was pretty standard; Unlimited Timothy hay/orchard hay, small amount of pellets once a day a cup of fresh greens twice a day and 2 small snacks/treat throughout the day.

    This diet doesnt seem right if it's the only thing shes eating and keeps her from hay. Hoping someone can give me some advice on this situation since I'm not very experienced with bunnies. I'm also hoping to switch vets soon for the next time she goes in.
     
  2. Aug 23, 2019 #2

    Theo

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    Welcome to the forum!

    First, is this an exotic vet? Second, I wouldn't like them to hold my rabbit like that either. And third, do they have a towel that they wrapped her up in? Normally at vets they have a towel that they will wrap the animal up in so that it is more comfortable.
    About the diet, that seems like a very stupid diet. I think that the diet that she was on before is just right. It is what my rabbit gets every day. And you may want to increase the amount of pellets that she gets everyday, but don't let her only eat pellets. She will get over weight which is worse than under weight. When you start to remove the amount of pellets she gets everyday don't make it significant changes in the amount, do it gradually.

    I hope I have been of some help to you! I didn't really know anything when I first joined the forum since I was also a new rabbit owner. But all of these people on here are so smart and they will teach you so much!

    P.S. My rabbit doesn't like to be handled either so I guess they are both abnormal!
     
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  3. Aug 23, 2019 #3

    Blue eyes

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    What pellets? Did you get the Sherwood pellets they recommended?
     
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  4. Aug 23, 2019 #4

    Ani

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    Ty for the replies!
    -The vet was exotic yes. But he didnt use a towel or even put her onto anything soft they literally picked her up from the carrier and then it was like they were holding onto slippery soap and couldn't even get her out.
    -I did get the pellets they recommended. They had recommended Sherwood timothy based pellets for adult rabbits. So that's what shes on now and its unlimited. He told me these pellets were created by some vet that specializes and studies the rabbit digestive system to create the perfect food for them. He said that rabbits in the wild dont normally have access to fruits or vegetables all the time but they do like to graze a lot on hay. The pellets are made from all sorts of hays but the first ingredient is alfalfa hay. Even though its Timothy based? Dont know about that either.
     
  5. Aug 23, 2019 #5

    Blue eyes

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    Sherwood pellets are well formulated. His site explains the science behind his product. He has pellets made for those rabbits that refuse to eat hay (blue bag) and also for rabbits that do eat a good amount of hay (red bag). I have not read through all of his info, but what I have read seems sound. (I didn't think Sherwood was a vet but he does have a PhD in molecular biology.)

    I was actually surprised that you said that the vet recommended Sherwood. That's pretty advanced in my book. Unfortunately, I can't account for your vets physical handling of your rabbit. Was it just the assistants? Was the vet any better?

    Here's a link to look more into Sherwood:
    https://community.sherwoodpethealth.com/home
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2019
  6. Aug 23, 2019 #6

    Ani

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    Ty for the reply. I actually got the blue bag of Sherwood pellets maybe that's why she doesnt touch her hay anymore? XD As for the vet the way he handled my bunny it was like she kept slipping from his hands he eventually was able to hold her onto his stomach and then that's when he placed her onto the table they had her spread out on the table and just holding her there in place. It was awful to see. But since it's the first time I go to a vet for a bunny I'm not sure how they're supposed to handle bunnies. And like I said he also mentioned to grab by the scruff and support her bottom and I just thought it was wrong to do it that way from what I've read about it.
     
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  7. Aug 24, 2019 #7

    Lauren Kiernan

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    My rabbit loves Sherwood. We use the red bag as he is a great hay eater.
    Our vet/ vet tech used the bunny burrito as my guy was very wiggly
     
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  8. Aug 24, 2019 #8

    Niomi

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    If you go back to that vet, tell the vet that your rabbit does not like to be handled and that needs a blanket to feel secure and less stressed. Bring your blanket with and have it ready. The vet techs where I go weighs my rabbit on a slippery table, and I always throw a blanket on the table and insist that they use it. If the vet ignores your request, I would start looking for another vet.
     
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  9. Aug 28, 2019 #9

    Ani

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    He said that 1% of bunnies will act that way. Which is weird to me. Idk but something about them splaying her on the table and squeezing her down didnt seem right at all. And also the fact they wanted to hold by the scruff. My bunny since that day has not wanted to be held at all in any way. She would always allow me to pick her up for a few seconds if I had to remove her from an area to another but I cant even do that anymore. Shes kinda traumatized.
     
  10. Aug 30, 2019 #10

    Niomi

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    Ani, I would definitely find a new vet. He may not be as knowledgeable as he tries to appear. Knowing of a good rabbit diet, doesn't always mean he know rabbits.
     
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  11. Aug 31, 2019 #11

    Ani

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    Yea I don't think I could go back to that vet the way they handled such a tiny bunny was just scary. It kinda reminded me of like 2 police men trying to restrain a toddler or something... she was terrified and shes still traumatized been like 2 weeks now.
     
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  12. Sep 1, 2019 #12

    Mommy-of-Tenoch

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    No! Find a new vet. Goto www.rabbit.org they have a list of rabbit vets.

    I would of asked if I could hold my own rabbit. Tenoch is my baby so we do not even let anyine watch him. We go on vacation he goes with us.
     
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  13. Sep 1, 2019 #13

    Camilla

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    Talking bunny food my rabbits has fresh Timothy hay and Timothy pellets and fresh water every day with fresh greens an fruit but he has full roam 24/7 in a large garden hes never locked in his pen so he has roam for any time of day or night so my question is if he eats fresh grasses and leaves every day does he actually need hey? Or if he does how much when He has the habit of wild rabbit nibbling on most plants(all safe for bunnies) inc my rose Bush leaves lol I've not had to cut my grass yet this year I cant seem to find a vet that can answer this question I also forage for my bunnies we have wild fruit trees near us he loves damsons an wild apple (no seeds) an other leafy plants that are safe if anyone can do this it's great for kids you can make pie with the fruit an it's free nibbles for bunnie always take care on what you pick make sure it's safe for your bunny and your family if in doubt don't pick
     
  14. Sep 1, 2019 #14
    No more then 1/4 cup of pellets per day. That whole 5 months guess is more then old enough to limit pellets to encouragr hay eating.
    Your old diet was way better.
     
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  15. Sep 1, 2019 #15

    TreasuredFriend

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    Talk to as many people as you can who have gone to a certain clinic. More than 15 years ago I took my girl in for a spay and she came back traumatized, and a 2nd opinion DVM diagnosed suspected fracture lines in her back and legs via the xrays. The DVM kinda danced around the fact that she incurred an injury in his hands or with the techs.

    He was listed on the rabbit.org list (15 years ago), but has since been removed. I won't repeat the words that ring in my ears when he attempted a cryptorchid neuter surgery on a rescue dutch male. He was a dog and cat person; NOT a bunny person.

    That DVM and clinic got blacklisted in a hurry as guardians mentioned their experiences.

    There may be other DVMs not listed who are cognizant of rabbit's wary nature, and have great bedside manner and expertise. I ditto what forum members are saying: Find a different vet.

    I hope your girl will gradually learn to trust again. I stay with my buns for blood draws, even PTS decisions with a catheter placement to ease their stress and show them love. I constantly let our current vet know my concerns. No decent vet should be scruffing a rabbit.
     
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  16. Sep 1, 2019 #16

    Whiterabbitrage

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    Vet visits are traumatic. Next time insist that they do a bunny burrito. You can show them online how to do it. It’s less stressful for everyone and much safer for the Rabbit.

    As for hay, take a look at smallpetselecet.com They have so many types of hay and even have a sampler box! They grow all the plants right there on their own farm and they have so many kinds. Maybe there is one that will tempt your bun
     
  17. Sep 1, 2019 #17

    Ani

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    I've actually been doing a bunny burrito for my bun since the vet visit it's the only way I can pick her up at the moment. Little by little she has let me pick more of her up. I can now lift her up by her chest. So far only the front legs I can lift up not the hind legs. As for the hay I actually buy small pet select she gets orchard and Timothy. Timothy is her favorite and she hasn't been eating it since switching her diet to pellets. I'm trying to slowly give less pellets so she can eat more hay. One thing I will say about this pellet brand is that her poops have been way better than they were with my old diet. Her poops are all regular all have the same shape. Before they were irregular with different shapes and sizes. I did get her the blue bag of Sherwood pellets which its formula is made for bunnies that dont want to eat hay so I'm thinking that may be the reason she no longer feels the need to eat hay. I got her a different formula of the same brand and I'm trying to ween her off the old pellets and also trying to give a bit less pellets everyday since she has gained weight.

    As for the vet I did talk to a friend that owns rabbits and since high school she has been going to this same vet. She says they treat her bunnies well and that she did go to the same vet I went to and they also scared her so she decided to switch.
    If anyone is curious the vet I went to is riverside animal hospital in Jacksonville Florida and the vet that handled my bunny is Dr. Rossi. He is also the only one that is supposed to be experienced with rabbits and other small animals.
     

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