Need advice.... Very thin rabbit

Discussion in 'Health & Wellness' started by bhoffman, Sep 14, 2017.

  1. Sep 14, 2017 #1

    bhoffman

    bhoffman

    bhoffman

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    My husband brought me home two rabbits that he rescued. I love rabbits. I had a few before my daughter got sick. Anyways, both have been very neglected before they came to us. we got them on Sept. 11th. Both rabbits nails are VERY long. I have attached a photo. anyways. I was able to cut her nails. Her bum I am working on cleaning. Have to do this slowly as she doesn't like the wet cloth on her bottom. The other girl is very thin and has log nails as well. I will be cutting her nails tonight. Both are pretty thing but the one is so thin I can feel her ribs just by petting her. :-( Any suggestions on how I can get her to a healthy weight?

    Thanks

    View attachment 20170911_210952.jpg
     
  2. Sep 14, 2017 #2

    bhoffman

    bhoffman

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    I can't see whoever replied...
     
  3. Sep 14, 2017 #3

    Nancy McClelland

    Nancy McClelland

    Nancy McClelland

    Larry

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    Short term give them alfalfa or oats.
     
  4. Sep 14, 2017 #4

    bhoffman

    bhoffman

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    Okay thanks. I have been giving unlimited alfalfa since they came. Haven't given oats yet.
     
  5. Sep 14, 2017 #5

    JBun

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    If they were somewhat starved before they came to you, you need to be careful about giving them too rich of food too quickly, as they aren't going to be used to it. I would provide unlimited grass hay and watch to make sure they are eating it well. If they seem to be doing alright on the alfalfa, I would continue to be giving them some of that, but with alfalfa you do have to be careful because it's high in calcium and that can cause bladder issues for some rabbits. I would wait a bit on the oats until you have their diet somewhat stabilized, then maybe try gradually adding some in, and keep a close eye out for the oats causing any mushy poop. If they are eating the grass hay and alfalfa well, I would probably wait a week to make sure their digestive system is doing well on the hay, then I would gradually start adding in a good quality pellet, starting with a small amount and gradually increasing, always keeping an eye on their poop to make sure it stays good. Then after several weeks of doing well on pellets and hay, gradually start adding in veggies, one at a time starting with small amounts. I would also give them a salt lick while they are only getting hay, as they won't be getting the needed sodium from pellets.

    Also keep a close eye on water consumption and whether or not the rabbits seem to be drinking too much or too little.

    Once they are on a stable diet their weight should gradually increase unless there is an underlying health issue causing the weight loss. If you have a scale it would be a good idea to track their weight every day if you can, or at least twice a week. If they don't appear to be gaining, it would be a good idea to get them checked at the vet if you haven't already. They could have parasites causing the weight loss.
     
  6. Sep 14, 2017 #6

    RavenousDragon

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    :yeahthat:

    Weight gain in thin animals should always be gradual (think 5% body weight max gain per week). Once on a good diet, they will fatten up and become a healthy weight, most animals (unless VERY emaciated) don't need extra calories to get to a healthy weight, just the calories they would normally need. I personally would recommend adding in high quality pellets (like Jbun suggested) before adding in oats- in case they have a metabolic disorder (rare) or parasite (common) already causing GI issues- oats are very sugary and could make these worse.

    I would like to put in that just feeling a rabbit's ribs does not make it thin- just like a dog or cat you should be able to fairly easily feel a rabbit's ribs, but not too many of the spinous processes on their backs (basically a good rule of thumb is to feel the backbones of the animals, rather than the ribs to determine a healthy weight). Most people have overweight animals and often don't know what a healthy one actually feels like (I have one rabbit who's overweight and I'd love to feel his ribs again! XP)
     
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  7. Sep 14, 2017 #7

    bhoffman

    bhoffman

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    oh I can feel it's spine and I can also feel her hip bones. is that normal? and not just a little either. I booked them in for a vet visit tomorrow
     
  8. Sep 14, 2017 #8

    Aki

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    It's hard to tell, it also depends on the breed of the rabbit. The vet will weight them which will give you a better indication. I wouldn't worry too much about this, rabbits gain weight really easily once they are fed correctly (I've abandonned the idea of getting Aki thin, as she is 8 years old and doesn't eat any 'rabbit junk food', she's just the kind that eats a leaf of lettuce and gains 50g - -'). The most important thing is to get them progressively used to a balanced diet, making sure they eat a lot of hay and then introducing vegetables slowly as to not upset their guts. The state of that rabbit's nails is appalling though - they can only get like this if they lived in a cage / hutch and never got out of it :nono
    They got lucky your husband rescued them... I can't understand how people can live with themselves while letting their pets get like this, seriously...
     
  9. Sep 14, 2017 #9

    bhoffman

    bhoffman

    bhoffman

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    The nails were bad! I had rabbits for a few years before my daughter got sick. I had never had to trim nails! However, my babies spent most of their time out of their hutches during the day.

    I actually got then harnesses last night. Took them outside for some nice fresh air and some exercise. The angora type rabbit (Oscar is what they named her), just wanted to lay down. But She is the one who I didn't have a chance to clip nails.
    Chloe, the one who's nails are in the picture up top, I clipped her nails (probably not short enough, but as much as I felt comfortable doing, the vet will get them perfect today.) She seemed shocked at first, but then she hopped around the yard for about 45 minutes and didn't want to go in. lol I had to make supper so they had no choice.
     
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  10. Sep 14, 2017 #10

    stevesmum

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    Enjoy your new friends! And welcome fellow Canadian! I agree with giving high quality pellets to help the weight come on gradually. With our latest rescue we didn't even realize his potential and now that he's been with us for half a year he is nicely filled out and his fur has really come in beautifully! We feed oxbow pellets, greens twice a day and unlimited Timothy hay.
     
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  11. Sep 17, 2017 #11

    bhoffman

    bhoffman

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    Thanks for all the help! Just took one of the girls outside for a walk today.... my neighbor ours probably thought I am insane buy that's okay. I was able to clip all the nails. Probably not as short as they should be but it's a start. I will check them again next week. I didn't want to stress them out. I am hoping her walk helped with her nails a bit. She seems to like her walk. She was out there for an hour. We would have stayed out longer but I had lunch to make.

    View attachment 20170917_124544.jpg
     
  12. Sep 17, 2017 #12

    Blue eyes

    Blue eyes

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    ^ Cute!

    Is she on a harness? I can't tell with all that fluff!
     
  13. Sep 18, 2017 #13

    RavenousDragon

    RavenousDragon

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    My neighbors for SURE think I'm crazy- my cat LOVES walks and so at 8 pm (when I finally get a break from work and school) you will see me every night walking my cat like a weirdo. :p
     
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  14. Sep 18, 2017 #14

    bhoffman

    bhoffman

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    Yes she sure is on a harness. She loves being outside
     
  15. Sep 18, 2017 #15

    bhoffman

    bhoffman

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    She sure is wearing a harness. She loves her outside time now that her nails have been clipped. She is such a sweet girl. When being picked up and held she let's you do whatever you want. No wiggling to get away. She definitely has great character.
     
  16. Sep 18, 2017 #16

    bhoffman

    bhoffman

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    Lol. My neighbour's saw me. Crazy part is we are new to the area. so makes it worse haha
     
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  17. Sep 18, 2017 #17

    bhoffman

    bhoffman

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    Here is another pic from our walk this afternoon. We really just hung around the alley.
     

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