Fat bunny anonymous part 3!

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Anaira

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Rubey doesn't hump them either; he views them with pure hatred. Unfortunately, the neighbours cats seem to thrive on it, and the more he thumps, nips, and growls, the further they annoy him...they've taken to sleeping in BOTH our beds now. I've given up trying to chase them out. :/
 

LakeCondo

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Fraggles would eat the rat food, so Reuben wouldn't get any & your problem is solved.

Seriously, what do your parents say & how old is the sister. If she's stealing the rats' food, your parents should be concerned.
 

Anaira

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She is 23, or thereabouts. Yep, old enough to know better. :/ It's not really much good going to mum, as any time 'food' and 'Reuben' are mentioned together, her automatic response is 'You're starving that rabbit, Ariana'. Seriously, they think I underfeed him....does he look it??
 

MiniLopHop

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This is an article from the house rabbit network, do you think they would read it?

Weight Watching for Rabbits
by Astrid M. Kruse, DVM
Your rabbit friend is, in essence, an adorable bundle of fur and personality wrapped around a most immense and complex digestive system. Because the rabbit gut is so specialized and eating is so central to the rabbit's life and well-being, a healthy diet is key to a healthy rabbit. A whole 40% of the rabbit's digestive tract consists of the cecum, a large fermentation vat where all fibrous food is processed into useable energy (the human appendix is the pathetic remnant of our glorious evolutionary ties to a common ancestor). The rabbit's digestive system is evolved to eat only grass and vegetable matter- the farther you stray from its design specifications, the more trouble the bunny gets into. Plenty of good quality hay for roughage should be the major portion of your rabbit's diet, and many rabbits can live well with just hay to eat. Sounds boring, so we add in tons of greens and veggies, pelleted diets, and sneak in treats like Cheerios and fruit.

As a result, the most common GI problem in rabbits is obesity, which causes a number of health difficulties in rabbits. First, an unhealthy (and unnatural) diet leads to chronically softer stools, as the gut is not good at handling the refined foods being fed. In addition, the rabbit has a difficult time eating cecotrophs (fermented feces from the cecum, important for their vitamins and healthy gut bacteria) directly from the anus, tipping over as they try to reach around. This results in smeared floors and is one of the causes of the affliction kindly known as "poopy butt". Female rabbits will also grow an enormous dewlap, which may become chronically wet from drinking and develop skin infections. Some rabbits suffer from arthritis with age, and being overweight only makes the problem come on earlier and with greater severity. Luckily, it does not seem that rabbits are susceptible to the endocrine disorders humans develop in obesity, like type 2 diabetes. However, maintaining a healthy weight will help your rabbit live a longer, healthier and happier life.

Ideally, you should weigh your rabbit every month or so, and note any weight changes. Steady weight gain points to a needed diet change, while unexpected weight loss can be an indicator of illness. Having lived with a bunny that weighed 19 1/2 pounds at one point, I have intimate experience with scrubbing floors and bathing a kicking bunny's derriere. However, by eliminating pellets and feeding only hay, a dinner salad of greens, and some vegetables as a treat, my adorable sweet bunny lady managed to drop down to the fit weight (for a Flemish Giant) of 14 pounds. She had more energy, the floors and her bottom were clean, and she could finally see her feet and hurl herself into the air in a "binky".

How do you know if your bunny is fat? Many house rabbits are, and they are not at all embarrassed by it! Rabbits store fat inside their abdomen, which makes just eyeballing them for love handles ineffective. Run your hands along your rabbit's side, feeling the rib cage. When you reach the end of the ribs, your should be able to feel a slight inward slope, the waist. Fat bunnies will balloon out instead. Remember that the ribs are palpable in even quite obese rabbits, so don't let your bunny fool you into more snacks!

The key to diet change and weight loss is to do it GRADUALLY. Any fast weight loss will risk doing major, sometimes fatal, damage to the liver as it becomes clogged with fat. Slowly wean your rabbit off pellets, reduce starchy vegetables like carrots but always make sure your bunny has plenty of hay. Provide your bunny with lots of exercise time and toys. Not only will your rabbit look like a supermodel, and be fit as a triathlete, but they'll feel great and hopefully be snuggling with you for years to come.


This is also a good link: http://nockrabbits.com/RabbitWeight.pdf

Perhaps if you can educate them about the risks of the excess weight they might see how serious it is. We adore Ruben and want him to live a very long time!
 

Bunnylova4eva

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Perhaps if you can educate them about the risks of the excess weight they might see how serious it is. We adore Ruben and want him to live a very long time![/quote]

:yeahthat: I've had similar issues. If they can see why and who important it is, it can make a huge difference.
 

tamsin

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I think the key to the treat issue is to treat (no pun intended) normal food as treats. Rabbits go mad for pellets, so instead of giving them in a bowl, use them as treats. Have a treat pot you fill with the days amount and then dole out as and when.

If you want to make them more exciting then try some of the homemade treat recipes that are floating around.

Anaira - perhaps if your sister had something specifically for him that he really liked she wouldn't feed the others?
 

Anaira

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Heh, I did once try a poster. Didn't really work, I'm afraid! :p Moving out isn't practical, for a wide variety of reasons. This isn't the sister I share a room with, though; luckily!

I think the main problem with mum is, she free feeds her guinea pigs pellets. So when she sees me giving Rubey his small amount, she thinks that isn't enough, especially since he's so much larger than them. She doesn't feed him behind my back any more, though. I don't know about my sister, though. :/ She has an eating disorder herself, so I have wondered if that affects how she sees animals, and feeding them...but I don't know.

The main problem is, he's a little fusspot. :p There isn't that many foods he likes, that is actually good for him. He likes sugary stuffs! Plus, veggies seem to upset his stomach, so he rarely gets them, either.

The other day, my order of lab blocks arrived, and I put the box on the floor, opened it, took one bag out and went to top up the rats plates with it. Heard a rustling, Reuben was stretched up, head in the opening at the top, trying to chew his way into a bag. :p Harlan-aholic!
 

Apebull

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Twigs is not fat or at least I don't think so. But he has all the hay and pellets he wants all day. From what I'm reading here that's not a good idea.
If he's not fat should I change it???
 

MiniLopHop

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How old is twigs? Less than a year many people free feed pellets because the bun is growing. It may also depend on his personality. I have one bun that I have to give healthy snacks to or she gets too thin. The others need to have their food monitored to help them stay a good weight. Sophie in particular LOVES to eat junk. She has been known to knock over my husband's juice and lick it off the carpet while he's trying to clean up. She also likes to go through the trash looking for anything sweet.
 

Apebull

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He's 2 yrs old and has always had free pellets. We got him from my mom and she free feeds ALL her animals. We do limit his greens to about 2 cups a day and treats like fruit are just that treats.
 

ZRabbits

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Apebull wrote:
He's 2 yrs old and has always had free pellets. We got him from my mom and she free feeds ALL her animals. We do limit his greens to about 2 cups a day and treats like fruit are just that treats.
Time to get off Mom's schedule of free feeding.lol. At two years old, pellets should be limited to a certain amount. My little guys get about a 1/4 cup each day, with veggies ( 1 cup) offered at night. Fruit is considered candy (lots of sugar) so they get tiny tastes once in a while. Also they love their Cheerios.

I have found that at 7 months, it's time to start backing off on free choice pellets. So far, Dobby and Kreacher, who are my oldest bunnies (1 year) have done well with this diet. No hefty bunnies. I worry about weight. Bunnies tend to get arthritis in their older age and don't want any extra weight burdening them.

As much as we love to spoil our animals, weight plays a big part in their health and definitely in their longevity. So how do I spoil them? Lots of time with me!

K:)
 

MiniLopHop

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I totally agree with Karen, I love to spoil them by spending time together. We play games and go out to the park and snuggle. No calories for anyone.

I do grow wheat grass and will feed it to them one blade at a time. It's great for them but they think of it as a treat. I'm putting in an herb garden on my glassed in porch today so I can grow lots of herbs year round! Flowers that are safe (species and cleanly grown) are a low calorie special treat as well. Nom nom nom nom!
 

kmaben

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Yikes to all the weight jokes! I love you people. I would never have survived my rabbits without you. I have noticed the word giant but have not seen a weight even close to Kai's. His daddy was a 24 pound giant and he wasnt fat. Mama was about 22 pounds and not fat. Kai at 4 months old is already nine pounds. I think I may be in over my head.
 

ZRabbits

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kmaben wrote:
Yikes to all the weight jokes! I love you people. I would never have survived my rabbits without you. I have noticed the word giant but have not seen a weight even close to Kai's. His daddy was a 24 pound giant and he wasnt fat. Mama was about 22 pounds and not fat. Kai at 4 months old is already nine pounds. I think I may be in over my head.
In what you are saying, Kai is going to be a BIGGGGG boy. I don't think you in over your head. Just remember that all bunnies are built differently. Some are very larged frame and some are frail. That's how you determine what a bunny should weigh.

We all worry. And sometimes we go overboard. I did with Jake for a while. But got his weight down so that he could manage. Like Brandy posted, always bring down weight gradually. And there are lots of ways to feed your bunny. And there are many people here that will help when your BIG boy is full grown. Just remember, exercise is a key. With good food, and lots of water.

K:)
 

LakeCondo

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When Kai is full-grown, he could probably pull a kiddie wagon/dog cart. But definitely consider rabbit hopping/agility. His size would give him an edge, I'd think.
 

MiniLopHop

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Sounds like Kai will be able to leap small buildings in a single bound! Imagine his stride length!

I finally got Gary to keep his socks on over night. I am determined to clear up his sore hocks. He has the cutest little round butt, his diet might help make him a little more svelt.
 

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