Rabbit Acting Strange (Chewing Everything)

Discussion in 'Health & Wellness' started by Savannah Gerdes, Jun 18, 2019.

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  1. Jun 18, 2019 #1

    Savannah Gerdes

    Savannah Gerdes

    Savannah Gerdes

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    Hey everyone. My rabbit is a 6 year old female Mini Holland Lop and recently she's been acting strange.
    To catch you up, we took her to the vet about two weeks ago because she was showing signs of a UTI (pain while peeing, dark brownish pee, ect.) and we have her some antibiotics. Those didn't help so we're starting to suspect bladder stones/sludge. We can't get an x-ray and we don't have the money for surgery, so we're trying to naturally get rid of it (like cutting down on pellets, giving lots of hay, and making sure she drinks water) though nothing seems to be helping. Lately she's been chewing on things a lot like plastic bags, trash, paper, and cardboard. I know cardboard and paper chewing is normal for rabbits, but what really concerns me is she's trying to eat plastic bags A LOT. Usually she isn't much of a chewer, she doesn't even really chew her toys most of the time. She also hasn't been interested in her favorite treats that she used to go crazy for. I don't know what's wrong with her and it's really scaring me. Any advice/tips would really help. Thanks!
     
  2. Jun 19, 2019 #2

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

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    She could be interested in the plastic bags because it smells like something she wants to eat. Vegetables, fruit, etc could all leave smells behind on the bags. My bunnies will chew on bags if it smells like something they want to eat.
     
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  3. Jun 19, 2019 #3

    John Wick

    John Wick

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    Chewing when she's normally not a chewer can be a sign of stress, pain, boredom, frustration, or discomfort. There's a lot there, but generally a behavior change in the destructive route isn't good. Something may continuing to bother her (potentially internally) or maybe you've changed something about her routine and now she's experiencing more boredom/stress?

    In tandem with the lack of excitement for treats, I'm tempted to say it's the former unfortunately. Really the only time rabbits will reject a treat is if something is wrong. For example, my rabbit will reject food if he's having an especially gassy episode.

    Is he selectively eating food? So maybe not treats, but will eat veggies? Being 6 years old and a look, perhaps her teeth are beginning to bother her, preventing her from eating enough hay and causing constant irritation.

    Have you tried giving some baby gas drops, just in case there's really bad gas?

    Another thought would be seeing if you can work with another vet office to get an x-ray if it's not available for you where you are. While finances are a restriction, it's typically always cheaper to figure out a cause and fix it early, rather than waiting.
     
  4. Jun 19, 2019 #4

    Savannah Gerdes

    Savannah Gerdes

    Savannah Gerdes

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    I checked her belly to see if it was larger than usual or if there was any signs of gas and as far as I can tell there seems to be no signs. I checked her teeth and they look normal. She's been eating her kale and other greens, but not as much as she used to. She's also been a lot more tired than usual, perhaps she doesn't have as much energy because she isn't eating as much. And as far as I know her routine hasn't changed at all except for eating less.
    The problem with the x-ray thing is that we just don't have the money for it. My mom said, "Why get an x-ray when we wouldn't have enough money to help her anyways?"
    We should be taking her to the vet soon anyways for her check-up. Maybe then we can find out what's wrong.
     
  5. Jun 19, 2019 #5

    JBun

    JBun

    JBun

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    You said you are feeding her hay, but is she actually eating it and eating it really well, like a pile the size of her body or bigger each day? Are you also freed feeding it(never runs out)? What is her fecal poop looking like? Is it smaller or darker than usual?

    If she's not eating her hay well and you've reduced pellets, that could be why she is chewing on other things. What kind of pellets are you feeding(type and brand)? What are all the veggies, greens, etc you are feeding? Kale is pretty high in calcium, so I wouldn't want to be feeding high calcium veggies/greens like kale to a rabbit with bladder calcium issues. Low calcium greens like green/red leaf/romaine lettuce would be better. Once she's eating hay and her low calcium greens/veggies really well, you may even need to take her off pellets completely. I couldn't feed my bladder sludge prone bun any pellets.
    https://rabbit.org/lowering-blood-calcium/

    If you can't do xrays but your bun needs vet help, increased fluids might be something that could help her. If the vet could show you how to give sub q fluids, this will help increase urination and help in flushing the bladder out.
     
  6. Jun 19, 2019 #6

    Savannah Gerdes

    Savannah Gerdes

    Savannah Gerdes

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    I don't think she's eating a lot of hay. She just doesn't seem interested in it. I feed her kale mostly, because that's what I've been feeding her for a while. Usually it was only in the mornings and at night, but now it's all day because I didn't want her eating pellets. She lives in my room with two other rabbits (they're free roam) and so I feed them more kale when they start sniffing around the food bowl and wait there expectantly. Her poop seems normal as far as I can tell, though it's a bit hard since she's with other rabbits. I'm nervous to separate her from them because she may get lonely.

    As I said before, I give her kale and sometimes parsley during the day, and pellets at night since they eat their kale quickly and if they'll starve themselves if they only have hay. It's really strange and I don't know what to do because I don't want to starve them, but I know pellets aren't good for them. They just wont eat the hay a lot. Sometime's they'll have a piece here and there, but not a lot. (I feed them timothy hay)

    The brand of pellets we use is Southern States (https://www.southernstates.com/catalog/product/p-1108-southern-states-premium-rabbit-food-50lb)
     
  7. Jun 20, 2019 #7

    VioletRose

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    Can you borrow the money for the help necessary to discover what is going on? I'm going to be totally honest and you probably won't like it, but the medical needs of your dependent animal companion should be a top priority and I suggest starting a savings fund immediately or finding ways to do that, to regularly add to that. Go without things for yourself that you don't need to survive. Rabbits and all animals require what they require as do we, when it comes to health. I am guessing you would not put off finding out something wrong with yourself or any family member if there were troubling signs of something wrong, but would find a way to get the help. Your rabbit deserves that as much as you. I would not wait and hope things would resolve. I personally think that is dangerous and neglectful.
     
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  8. Jun 20, 2019 #8

    Savannah Gerdes

    Savannah Gerdes

    Savannah Gerdes

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    I'm only 13 so I'm not really able to save up $1000-$2000 for surgery just on the spot or even the few hundred that it is for an x-ray. I'm trying to earn as much as I can though by doing work for my neighbors. My parents aren't able to pay for it and I doubt they'll start putting money aside because they put humans before animals, but maybe I could convince them. We're doing what we can though. But believe me, she's my best friend and I'd do anything for her, so hopefully I can raise up enough money to help my parents out with the medical bills.
     
  9. Jun 20, 2019 #9

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

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    Depending on where you live, you will be able to work at 14. I got a job when I turned 14 so I could provide for my bunny. I set aside $10 a week, along with any spare money I make for vet bills. I know this won't help you now, it's just something to start thinking about.

    You mentioned in a before post that you feed lots of kale. Kale is high in calcium and is known to cause problems in some buns. Mine is one of those that can't have lots of it. I fed kale daily when I realized he was having issues with his calcium. Immediately after I stopped feeding it, his calcium problems went away. Feeding greens like romaine, red and green leaf, and cilantro are good as they're all low in calcium.

    If money's an issue, you could try growing your vegetables. This way, instead of buying them, you could save that money.
     
  10. Jun 20, 2019 #10

    Savannah Gerdes

    Savannah Gerdes

    Savannah Gerdes

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    Where I live you have to be at least 14 to get a work permit. My birthday is in August so I'll try to find some sort of job shortly after that.

    I'm cutting down her kale and replacing it with less calcium filled foods. Thank you for the info.
     

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