Rabbit drinks A LOT of water....

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Hartlea

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Hi, all!

I have a holland lop...about 3.4 lbs. I have noticed here in the last couple of months his drinking habits. He had a bout of stasis, and when this happened, I drastically cut down his pellets in his diet. He basically had free feed on pellets, and now, he only gets 1/8-1/6 a cup a day...half fed in morning, half in evening (he freaks out now when he knows pellets are coming). Now, he mostly has only hay to eat throughout the day. It was around this time, that I noticed his drinking had increased A LOT. Used to, he only would drink about 4 oz a day, and now, it's easily 8 0z or even a little more... maybe up to 12 oz or so. So, I want to think maybe he is drinking more because he is missing allllll of those pellets. He literally didn't start drinking so much water until after the pellets went away...
I found a hay about a month ago that he seems to really like, so I feel that his hay consumption has overall been up. He doesn't really eat fresh greens very much (I know...bad bun mom. However, I have found his poops to be a bit mushy when he has greens). I know with hay, they drink. and I also know that rabbits who do not eat a lot of greens tend to drink more too. But needless to say, this still has me kind of worried that he may have a kidney issue or something similar! I really do not relish the thought of taking him in to the vet because the poor guy has had his share here recently.

He is loving to eat, is pretty active, and he is only 10 months old. He just drinks sooo much! (Doesn't matter if it is in a bottle or bowl). He seems good, he just drinks a lot!
 

somebunnylovesme

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If your rabbit is eating more hay than before that can increase thirst. Sometimes rabbits will drink more water if they are hungry, but it sounds like your rabbit has hay 24/7. There are a few things that can increase thirst like (I'm not trying to scare you) molar spurs, abscess teeth can increase or decrease thirst. You can give your 1/8 of a cup all at once. I give my rabbit his first thing in the morning. That is when he like eating his pellets and through the day and during the night he loves to graze on his hay.
 

zuppa

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Hi, I have a few rabbits and two of them drink only about 50-70 ml daily but my Bernie she's a holland lop mix with probably mini lop she eats tons of hay and drinks a lot as well, 200-300 ml (8-10 oz) is normal for her sometimes even more, in summer. I never worried about that, she eats vegetables as well, she loves food. I've adopted her in March she was 7 months old and a bit overweight so I had to cut on pellets but now she's in excellent shape and her diet is perfect and poos and everything she is a very healthy looking rabbit. My other lop girl also drinks well a bit less than Bernie. I just change water every day for them so they always have fresh.
 

Hermelin

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My bunnies will drink more water the more hay they eat during the day. It’s quite dry and don’t have any water in it like veggies have.
 

Punxy

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Rabbits actually do need that much water, often if they only have access to a water bottle, they won't be able to drink as much as they would from a bowl, so maybe you changed how easy it is for him to drink?
Anyway, there's nothing to worry about, it isn't bad. And a diet of mostly hay is good for rabbits, and you should not give him more pellets. And if you are using a water bottle, consider switching to a bowl. I never realised how much my rabbit drank, or wanted to drink. I had a 600 ml (20 oz) bottle, and he drank maybe half a day, now I got him a liter bowl (34 oz) and he drinks at least half of that. He is a lot happier too, so consider trying it.
 

Hartlea

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So an update... I went ahead and brought him in to see the vet this morning... I wanted the peace of mind since he hasn’t always drank this much. Blood work and urinalysis came back almost perfect...his calcium levels were slightly elevated, but my vet said that it’s likely nothing to be overally concerned about. She said that if needed we could check that in a few months or so. She said that after consulting with some other exotic vets that it seems that having slightly elevated calcium levels can be pretty normal and common in buns. But obviously, he doesn’t have any kidney issues...those issues can be ruled out! Which is great!
So, I’m guessing my theory of him eating more hay+less pellets could be true..bringing more water drinking, and/or it has become a behavioral thing for him. Maybe an activity when bored/habit. I’m glad to hear that some of y’all also have rabbits that drink an obscene amount!! That helps bring peace of mind.
 

Blue eyes

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One of my rabbits could drink 20 oz of water in one night. The more hay they ate, the more they drank. Drinking water is great for them, as is eating loads of hay!

What greens does he get and what pellets? Some greens are high in calcium, so that might be contributing.
 

Hartlea

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One of my rabbits could drink 20 oz of water in one night. The more hay they ate, the more they drank. Drinking water is great for them, as is eating loads of hay!

What greens does he get and what pellets? Some greens are high in calcium, so that might be contributing.
Wow! That is a lot of water! My little guy drinks a lot, but I don’t think he has quite reached that much! I have done some thinking and research, and the only thing that I can see that could attribute to the slightly elevated calcium is the apple cider vinegar that he gets in his water. Apparently, studies have shown that ACV increases calcium absorption...increased calcium in blood stream. In an 8 oz water bottle, I give him a drop of ACV... his water bowl holds about 4 oz, and he still was getting that same drop of vinegar in it. So... in theory, he’s been getting double the ACV than before when he only drank from a bottle. I’m reevaluating this... maybe in his bowl he’ll only get ACV every other time I fill it up? We’ll see.
Also, I did a little experiment and took away the water bowl for about half the day. He only had drank about 2 oz of water from the bottle. I guess the idea that they drink more when it’s more readily accessible is true. I gave the bowl back and he was very happy to have it back.
 
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