How do you put a rabbit on a diet

Discussion in 'Health & Wellness' started by petkeeper, Feb 1, 2006.

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  1. Feb 1, 2006 #1

    petkeeper

    petkeeper

    petkeeper

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    Hi guys

    Harley is still having mushy poops, I have rationed his pellets, he has free feed of hay. Rex doesn't need to be on a diet (my other rabbit), but really they get no extra treats and they get 4-5 hours of exercise a day. Harley is a Holland lop and he weighs 5.5 pounds so I am hoping if i get his weight down his poops might go back to normal.

    I have taken his pellets away, tried switching his pellets and neither of these things worked. His poop is super mushy and it smells really bad but not like the night poops stink. He is also getting poop stuck in the crevises where his testicles used to be which I don't think is to pleasant for me to have to clean!

    I have had him to the vet and had his poop analyzed (nothing showed up) and $60.00 later was told to try to give him plain yogurt which I might add he doesn't like, and is a constant battle to get him to take. I am not real confident in my vet though to be honest but around here there are not a lot of choices.

    So I want him to lose some weight but really I am at a loss as to how to do it, considering there is nothing left to take away. I don't want to deprive Rex either because he knock wood is fine.

    Any suggestions are greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance for your help. I know you guys are not vets but I am hoping someone has had a similar experience.

    Shannon and the mushy pooping Harley, and the ever soft cuddly Rex.
     
  2. Feb 1, 2006 #2

    zoecat6

    zoecat6

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    Try adding some quaker oats to his pellets, use the old fashioned kind not the quick 1 minite kind. I have read that it will help firm up poop.
     
  3. Feb 1, 2006 #3

    TinysMom

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    zoecat6 wrote:
    Yes - Quaker Oats are great for this and that was my first thought before I saw ZoeCat6 had already suggested it. However, be careful because the oats can also add weight. I'd give a very small amount every day for a few days and see if that helps.

    Peg
     
  4. Feb 1, 2006 #4

    Pipp

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    What kind of pellets are you feeding him? And what kind of hay? Have you done much experimenting with different types?

    Somebody had this problem earlier and I think they just switched to a different type of one or the other.

    His weight is an issue, it's often a cause of 'poopy butt'. A high fiber, low fat pellet might do the trick, if he hasn't already been on one.

    Yogurt is pretty old-school, most vets don't recommend that anymore, but then again, there are a lot of different professional opinions out there.

    SAS :) and PIPP :bunnydance:
     
  5. Feb 1, 2006 #5

    naturestee

    naturestee

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    Is he eating alfalfa hay or pellets? These are often a cause of mushy poops in adults- too much protein and calories. Also, if you feed vegetables you may want to try reducing them or taking them away. Some rabbits can't handle them at all.

    When you change his diet, how long do you stick with it? Major changes that occur quickly can upset a rabbit's stomach and make the problem worse.

    I'm not a believer when it comes to probiotics (although my vet did prescribe them once), but you could try using something like Benebac. It would help if his gut bacteria are out of balance.
     
  6. Feb 1, 2006 #6

    petkeeper

    petkeeper

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    Hi

    I just want to establish that my rabbit share a cage, just so you know! Also HarleyandRex arealmost 17 months old. This condition has come and gone but thisis the longest it has ever lasted, usually when he get this I take a way the pellets for a few day and it is better, not this time. The smell is what is really bothering me...it doesn't smell right.

    I fed the rabbits Martin Rabbit food. I slowly over a week switched them to Purina Rabbit food. They took to it well no large change in the poop, it didn't get worse and it didn't improve. Now I can't get them to eat the Martins, they love the Purina, I hope it is okay for them, I know alot of people who use it and you get double the amount for the same price.

    The hay I feed is Timothy. I don't remember the name of it I empty the bags into a big rubbermaid tote! I am in the process of attempting to get new hay(different brand). Also on recommendation of a breeder I am attempting a little cider vingear in the water and I put oats in the food today.

    I am a little worried that my bond with him will be hurt because everytime I pick him up I have toclean his bum, somethimes this isn't such a pleasant experience and I am worried he is going to associate me picking him up with a negative experience. I don't have anyone else to do it...so getting someone else is not an option.

    Thanks guys for letting me talk and trying to help me sort this out I really appreciate it.

    Shannon.
     
  7. Feb 1, 2006 #7

    FlopsnWills

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    i think it definitely has to do with the alfalfa pellets. both my boys are on purina rabbit chow (the green bag) and even though it's the best alfalfa pellet out there, they're still quite rich and hard for some buns to digest. i have a mini rex and a netherland dwarf and they both get 1/8 cup a day, all the grass hay they can eat, and some veggies (and a crazin once or twice a day) i really think you should give them less pellets and the problem will be solved.. maybe feed them seperately so you can keep track of how much each is eating. when i gave my mini rex 1/4 cup a day, he still had access cecos, but since i've been giving them 1/8, the problem has been solved.
     
  8. Feb 2, 2006 #8

    petkeeper

    petkeeper

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    The problem I don't think is the pellets...because I took the pellets away for a week straight and fed only hay and the problem did not improve.

    Thanks

    S.
     
  9. Feb 2, 2006 #9

    Pipp

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    petkeeper wrote:
    Martin makes two kinds of pellets, the Less Active is a Timothy base with a decent amount of fiber, the regular is alfalfa-based. Purina makes a number of different types, so not sure what they are. The highest fiber Timothy pellet is the Oxbow Bunny Basics T, its expensive, but worth a try. You can mix it with the other pellets, that will cut down on the cost.

    Personally I think its only a matter of time before somebody starts pegging bunny problems on 'food allergies' like they do with cats and dogs,then we'll be 'blessed' with all sorts of very expensive 'perscription diets'.They might be right! He could just have a sensitivity to an ingredient in the food. Its just weird how they make a hugeindustry out of it.

    :ponder:

    Good luck with your bun!

    SAS :) and PIPP :bunnydance:
     
  10. Feb 2, 2006 #10

    Pipp

    Pipp

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    petkeeper wrote:
    Taking them awayisn't a good idea, there are too many vitamins and nutrients they can only get from the pellets(most notablyVitamin D). And it may not be that the pellets are causing the problem, but high fiber pellets may still fix it.

    Does he get fresh veggies?

    SAS
     
  11. Feb 2, 2006 #11

    naturestee

    naturestee

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    petkeeper wrote:
    This is a pretty sudden change- both taking them away and adding them back a week later. I only ever took pellets completely away at the advice of my vet, and that was because the pellets were badly made and were making them sick.

    I can't believe I didn't write about this before, but Fey and Sprite still get slightly mushy poops with too many pellets. They have trouble tolerating them. They each get maybe three tablespoons of pellets Oxbow Bunny Basics/T a day, plus hay and lots of veggies. I guess they need the long strand fiber, because they get Oxbow timothy for hay and that's what the pellets are made out of.
     
  12. Feb 2, 2006 #12

    rabbitgirl

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    Fen has been all poopy too since his leg injury, because he couldn't deal with the cecotropes. If he doesn't start cleaning up soon I will, but I hate to go there because it's winter.

    Raspberry/blackberry leaves work great, but again--it's winter!

    Rose
     
  13. Feb 13, 2006 #13

    Maureen Las

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    Hi...AS I read this post I zeroed in onyour talking about the "bad smell" of the poop. There are some intestinal problems (bacterial) that might be causing this. I am basing this mainly on the foul odor. I would take him to a good rabbit vet and possible have them do a fecal exam. My friends rabbit had something very similar.
     
  14. Feb 13, 2006 #14

    Maureen Las

    Maureen Las

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    I apologize for not reading your first post thoroughly..you did take him to a vet, however if you doubted the first one why don't you get a phone consultation with bunnydudes list of really good vets. I don't think that its just the food.
     
  15. Feb 13, 2006 #15

    JimD

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    TinysMom wrote:
    Hi Peg,

    I was concern about giving my buns too many rolled oats, until Rick (Lazyacres) posted the following:

    Lazyacre wrote:
    I give all of my buns a tablespoon of rolled oats on a daily basis.

    I started limiting pellets in Jul '05 (S'more was switched to KayTee Timothy Complete) and gradually all of my bunnies have lost weight.

    ~Jim
     
  16. Feb 13, 2006 #16

    JimD

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    petkeeper wrote:
    This sounds like the way S'more started out before she went into GI statis. I actually ended up being an infection in her GI tract that required antibiotics.

    Our vet frowns on giving yougurt to the bunnies and prescribes Benebac to address a lot of issues with GI flora imbalance.

    petkeeper wrote:
    I started on the mission to have my bunnies loose weight in Jul '06 and have had good results. Limiting pellets and treats seemed to be the key.

    They get :

    1/2 - 1 ounce of pellets per pound of normal weight daily (Purina green bag...except S'more who gets KayTee Timothy Complete)

    1 TBsp rolled oats daily

    Unlimited timothy hay

    1/2 cup romaine twice a week

    Dried papaya once a week


    ~Jim

     

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