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FRIEND'S RABBIT IN A SERIOUS SITUATION

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Starflower

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Short summary: Rabbit doesnt eat hay doesn't drink water、doesnt play with toys、outside in cage 24/7、parents have only raised rabbits for food before

Hello! I really need advice, my friend is very stressed about her rabbit. She really cares for him and wants him to be happy but her parents don't really know how to take care of an animal. Her grandmother keeps feeding her rabbit a lot of carrots even thought she told her grandmother countless times to not feed her so many carrots. Her rabbit had diarrhea and a poopy bum and we really want to clean it but her rabbit is very scared of water. Her rabbit also won't eat hay and we know how important hay is to a rabbit. Her rabbit also doesn't play with any toys to wear down his teeth. I suggested going to the vet for a checkup but her parents are very ignorant and not willing to spend money on that. Her rabbit also stays in a cage (4 by 2 ft) outside the whole time because her parents doesn't want to move the furniture. Now he doesn't even have a hidey hole anymore because it broke and her parents don't want to buy another one.I know you will say that why did she get a rabbit in the first place but her parents gave her the rabbit without her opinion. I suggested giving the rabbit away to a better owner but she doesn't know who to give him to. Please help my friend is very stressed
 

billythebun

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Okay first of all, I am no expert but I want to help because this sounds pretty serious. I am a first time rabbit owner but I have done a lot of research so I will give my best shot at helping you seeing as nobody else has replied.
So, firstly the carrot situation. Maybe instead of just telling her grandmother to not feed the carrots, try explaining why the carrots are bad and give an alternative such as a leafy green (romaine, cilantro, pak choi, carrot tops, etc). This might help her to understand why carrots aren't ideal and another option to give.
The diarrhea and poo around bum is pretty serious. From what you are saying, this is probably caused from the lack of hay and poor diet. I will address hay issue in a second, but firstly, you need to get that poo off his bum, even if it scares him- he is living outside and the poo will invite fly strike which is deadly, especially if her parents won't take him to the vets. Please try and clean this off... If he is really scared, try getting two people to help. Don't give the rabbit a bath (unless you really really have to) because that would be extremely stressful and rabbits don't do well being wet. Try using a damp paper towel.
To encourage hay eating, try different types of hay, hay toppers and putting hay in toys to make it more interesting. Some rabbits are fussy about what hay they like. One of my rabbits is fussy and I had to try a lot of different types of hay before I found one she really likes. If he eats hay, the toy chewing is less important because the hay will help wear down teeth. Its very important that she gets some hay into her rabbit. This will help with the diarrhea.
In terms of having nowhere to hide, ask your friend if she has any cardboard boxes that she can cut 2 holes into. This will cost nothing and therefore shouldn't be a problem with the parents. If she doesn't have one, maybe you do or somebody you know does?
She should take this rabbit to the vet, but the ignorant parent situation is very difficult and I don't have much advice. Has she tried explaining the severity of the situation to her parents? Surely they can see that the rabbit is unhealthy? She needs to explain what is happening and why they need to take him to the vet.
Its very sad that she lives in just a hutch, again, I am not really sure how to help here because this appears not to be her, but the parents.
To me, if she can't get her parents to see sense, it seems that the best thing to do is probably to give the rabbit away. Are there any animal rescue services, re homing centers or organisations near you? This would be a good option as they would certainly be able to care for the rabbit. Maybe try and take care of him as best as possible (using the above advice) until you find a good place to take him.

I really hope this helped your friend, I can tell this is a tricky situation and I am glad that she recognizes that she needs to do something about it. You need to try and sort this out pretty quickly though!
 
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Starflower

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Okay first of all, I am no expert but I want to help because this sounds pretty serious. I am a first time rabbit owner but I have done a lot of research so I will give my best shot at helping you seeing as nobody else has replied.
So, firstly the carrot situation. Maybe instead of just telling her grandmother to not feed the carrots, try explaining why the carrots are bad and give an alternative such as a leafy green (romaine, cilantro, pak choi, carrot tops, etc). This might help her to understand why carrots aren't ideal and another option to give.
The diarrhea and poo around bum is pretty serious. From what you are saying, this is probably caused from the lack of hay and poor diet. I will address hay issue in a second, but firstly, you need to get that poo off his bum, even if it scares him- he is living outside and the poo will invite fly strike which is deadly, especially if her parents won't take him to the vets. Please try and clean this off... If he is really scared, try getting two people to help. Don't give the rabbit a bath (unless you really really have to) because that would be extremely stressful and rabbits don't do well being wet. Try using a damp paper towel.
To encourage hay eating, try different types of hay, hay toppers and putting hay in toys to make it more interesting. Some rabbits are fussy about what hay they like. One of my rabbits is fussy and I had to try a lot of different types of hay before I found one she really likes. If he eats hay, the toy chewing is less important because the hay will help wear down teeth. Its very important that she gets some hay into her rabbit. This will help with the diarrhea.
In terms of having nowhere to hide, ask your friend if she has any cardboard boxes that she can cut 2 holes into. This will cost nothing and therefore shouldn't be a problem with the parents. If she doesn't have one, maybe you do or somebody you know does?
She should take this rabbit to the vet, but the ignorant parent situation is very difficult and I don't have much advice. Has she tried explaining the severity of the situation to her parents? Surely they can see that the rabbit is unhealthy? She needs to explain what is happening and why they need to take him to the vet.
Its very sad that she lives in just a hutch, again, I am not really sure how to help here because this appears not to be her, but the parents.
To me, if she can't get her parents to see sense, it seems that the best thing to do is probably to give the rabbit away. Are there any animal rescue services, re homing centers or organisations near you? This would be a good option as they would certainly be able to care for the rabbit. Maybe try and take care of him as best as possible (using the above advice) until you find a good place to take him.

I really hope this helped your friend, I can tell this is a tricky situation and I am glad that she recognizes that she needs to do something about it. You need to try and sort this out pretty quickly though!
Ahhhh tysm for replying!!!! I ordered 4 different types of hay and tried out one toy. The poo seemed to have been cleaned off. I am already trying to convince my mom to let me take care of her rabbit in my room but it seems like her rabbit is starting to eat hay and partially play with the toy. I'll be buying more toys or hay for her in the future!!! The main problem is letting her rabbit get exercise , being indoors and water. >.> I really hope I can convince my mom to let me take care of her rabbit but that doesn't seem like that's happening anytime soon. She tried to explain and save up herself for the vet but her parents has only raised rabbits for food before and doesnt understands. My friend and I just wants the best for her rabbit. If this doesnt change I'll try my best to see if her rabbit can find a better home but this is the last resort! Since I'm afraid that the person wont take care of her rabbit well and my friend is very attached to her rabbit.
 

Playdoh52

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Hey has your friend tried hand feeding her rabbit water to lick off of her hands? I know it sounds silly but a sick rabbit will try to lick the water off of your hands. Or a water bottle? My husband has had 3 rabbits for about 2 years now( we got then in winter time) and this summer has had a 10 X 10 space to freely roam outside night and day with a dog house and dug many holes under my apple tree. Little did I know rabbits were not supposed to have a lot of apples and as apples fell from the tree if they wanted them they ate them. I also didn't realize how much hay they need. So once I moved them back to there small cages they all lost weight. Now I have 1 sick rabbit I am hand feeding pellets and water. Gave her the water bottle last time and she drank a lot very easily. The other 2 have been moved to the heated basement as well with a hay beding covering the floor of there make shift pin they will share temporarily but can eat and hop on there own. So her rabbit has to drink water even if you introduce it like I have. Although the one who is sick had become accustomed to me from my recent visit to there 10 foot by 10 foot pin to pick up fallen apples. So she likes me holding her to hand feed her. I have read the forums today although I recently found this site and have learned a lot about rabbit diets. Even made her "old Fashion oatmeal" from "old Fashion Oats" this morning to try and give her some extra nutrients which she did eat really fast with me holding her and the plate up to her face.
 

Playdoh52

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***Update I did go down at the 2 hour mark aka 11:10 pm my time and White foot ( that's her name) had eyes wide open waiting for me. I took a saucer plate and pored water on it then tilted the plat towards her face and she drang more than 2 saucers full of water before she quit. but I now how fragile she is and will call my vet in the morning in the mean time I continue to every 3 to 4 hours at night hand water and feed her to try and build her muscles back up! Help is appreciated!!
 

billythebun

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Starflower- Are you sure he isn't drinking? I hardly ever see my rabbits actually drink from their bowls- but I am sure they do much more than I ever actually see them do it.
Does he have a bottle or a bowl? Drinking from a bowl is a lot more natural and allows them to get a lot more water at a time. I would always recommend a bowl.
Good that you bought lots of hay types- hopefully he will start eating it!
Hopefully she can get some exercise space for him. Is there anything else I can help with?
 

ChloeBunny

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Starflower - Our vet provided Oxbow Critical Care Apple/Banana Pet Supplement when our rescued rabbit went through a similar experience as you described re: eating/drinking/pooping. You can buy a small bag of this online at Amazon or in the pet store (approx $9). It can be mixed with a small amount of apple juice to get them to eat it. Please follow the instructions, as it requires very little to help restore their digestive system back to regular eating. You can also use a small plastic oral syringe, carefully administered, to help them take in water and this food until they are well again. For us, that was about 3-4 days. As another member stated, water bowls are best. Our vets also warned against giving carrots except on rare occasions. Hay is so important for them. If the proper care can't be provided, please consider bringing the rabbit to a rescue shelter in your area. In California, you might contact http://rabbit.rescueme.org/California for assistance. Good luck! I hope this little one feels better. Thanks for reaching out for help!
https://www.amazon.com/Oxbow-Critical-Apple-Banana-Supplement/dp/B001FKACXO/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1543274062&sr=8-3&keywords=oxbow+critical+care+rabbit
 

Starflower

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Ahhhh tysm for replying and giving tips!!!! I'll also buy a water bowl for her rabbit but she told me she left a water bowl filled with water and her rabbit didnt drink any water. But I'll try my best !!!!!
 

ChloeBunny

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It's very kind to care as you are. If the rabbit isn't drinking, they can get dehydrated quickly, adding to digestive issues. The vet is the next best option. In a simple visit, they can inject a bolus of fluid under the skin for a rabbit that hasn't been drinking for a few days. If a vet is not financially feasible, please consider a rescue shelter. Once these little guys feel better, with a proper diet, shelter and toys (to keep from getting bored) they are easy to care for.
 

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