Rabbit no longer interested in eating pellets, still eating greens and hay

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Lemony4

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Hi all,

One of my rabbits has lost all interest in her pellets. Both of them eat twice a day, with both meals consisting of about 1/8 cup of pellets next to their greens. The boy goes wild for them but she doesn't touch them anymore, causing him to steal them and get more than his diet's worth.

We just tried feeding them in separate rooms to see if eliminating the pressure from the boy bun would help, but she immediately stopped eating after her vegetables. Hay, vegetable, and water consumption is normal. What should I do to ensure she gets all the right nutrients?

Ps I've tried feeding only pellets first before greens, she just gets angry and protests. I've also tried switching up pellet brands which only worked for about a week. I think she gets bored
 

zuppa

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Hi, pellets are non-essential food if she eats hay and veggies that's enough but sudden change in food preferences can also indicate problems with her teeth maybe eating pellets gives her discomfort so she refuses them. How old is she and how long is she with you, were there any changes in her diet recently, like changing pellet brand or something?
 

JBun

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You may need to get her teeth checked like zuppa said. A common symptom of dental problems is a sudden change of eating habits with selective eating. Reason is some foods hurt more to chew than others when teeth are hurting or there are sores from molar spurs in the mouth.
http://www.medirabbit.com/EN/Dental_diseases/Differential/D_problems1.htm

One thing you can try is soaking the pellets in warm water and see if she will eat them soft. If she will eat them soft then that definitely is a likely indicator that dental issues are the problem. Just don't leave the wet pellets sitting out all day as bacteria and mold will start to grow, and mold is toxic to rabbits.
https://rabbit.org/vet-listings/

If there is a problem getting your rabbit to the vet right now because of what's going on in the world, just make sure your bun is continuing to eat enough hay and veg to keep her gut moving well until she can be seen. If she won't eat the pellet mush, it might be a good idea to have some oxbow critical care on hand in case you have to start syringe feeding if she stops eating hay and veggies too.
 

Blue eyes

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Have you tried feeding pellets at a different time of day (not at the same time as the greens)? Rather than offering them right before the greens which she knows she is getting? If you normally feed the greens at night, offer the pellets first thing in the morning.

I've never known a rabbit to suddenly stop liking pellets they used to eat. If they ever refused their normal pellets, it wouldn't be because of boredom. It would be because there was something wrong with the pellets (got moldy, for instance) or because bunny was ill (GI issues, etc), or because of some dental issue (spurs, etc) that only hurt when eating pellets.
 

Lemony4

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Hi, pellets are non-essential food if she eats hay and veggies that's enough but sudden change in food preferences can also indicate problems with her teeth maybe eating pellets gives her discomfort so she refuses them. How old is she and how long is she with you, were there any changes in her diet recently, like changing pellet brand or something?
It sort of depends on her mood, like sometimes if shes eating from the same plate as her bonded bun she will eat a few then stop. also she will take a few out of my hand then stop. This started a few months ago. I don't really know how old she is because I adopted her as an adult and she came in as a stray, but I've had her for two years. There was no change in the pellet brand or anything that started this. I've even given special instructions to bun sitters to toss individual pellets to her because there were periods where thats the only way she would eat them haha!
 
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Lemony4

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You may need to get her teeth checked like zuppa said. A common symptom of dental problems is a sudden change of eating habits with selective eating. Reason is some foods hurt more to chew than others when teeth are hurting or there are sores from molar spurs in the mouth.
Medirabbit

One thing you can try is soaking the pellets in warm water and see if she will eat them soft. If she will eat them soft then that definitely is a likely indicator that dental issues are the problem. Just don't leave the wet pellets sitting out all day as bacteria and mold will start to grow, and mold is toxic to rabbits.
Vet List | House Rabbit Society

If there is a problem getting your rabbit to the vet right now because of what's going on in the world, just make sure your bun is continuing to eat enough hay and veg to keep her gut moving well until she can be seen. If she won't eat the pellet mush, it might be a good idea to have some oxbow critical care on hand in case you have to start syringe feeding if she stops eating hay and veggies too.
Yeah I'll definitely look into getting her teeth checked, not sure when the next time I can get her into the vet for a non-emergency as my state is in lockdown. Thanks everyone for the suggestions. I'll try the softened pellet trick too to see if she takes to that.
 

Lemony4

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Have you tried feeding pellets at a different time of day (not at the same time as the greens)? Rather than offering them right before the greens which she knows she is getting? If you normally feed the greens at night, offer the pellets first thing in the morning.

I've never known a rabbit to suddenly stop liking pellets they used to eat. If they ever refused their normal pellets, it wouldn't be because of boredom. It would be because there was something wrong with the pellets (got moldy, for instance) or because bunny was ill (GI issues, etc), or because of some dental issue (spurs, etc) that only hurt when eating pellets.
I have tried feeding her only pellets first, before the greens. She gets very angry and runs around looking for the greens. I've ruled out GI issues as this has been going on for months and her poops are great, hay consumption is great, etc. and I've switched up the pellet brands and that even worked for a week or so before she stopped again. I'm thinking after these responses a vet visit is in order when I can get to one to get her teeth checked. Thanks for the reply
 

Lemony4

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Can you send a picture of her front teeth?
I can try while I'm clipping her nails tonight, but I highly doubt she'll let me get a good look. She's pretty skiddish and even letting me clip her nails has been a big feat to overcome these last two years.

She continues to chew on everything - cardboard toys, wooden toys, etc. If the issue was her teeth would she still be chewing on these sorts of things? Perhaps maybe it's her back teeth that are the issue?
 

Lemony4

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You may need to get her teeth checked like zuppa said. A common symptom of dental problems is a sudden change of eating habits with selective eating. Reason is some foods hurt more to chew than others when teeth are hurting or there are sores from molar spurs in the mouth.
Medirabbit

One thing you can try is soaking the pellets in warm water and see if she will eat them soft. If she will eat them soft then that definitely is a likely indicator that dental issues are the problem. Just don't leave the wet pellets sitting out all day as bacteria and mold will start to grow, and mold is toxic to rabbits.
Vet List | House Rabbit Society

If there is a problem getting your rabbit to the vet right now because of what's going on in the world, just make sure your bun is continuing to eat enough hay and veg to keep her gut moving well until she can be seen. If she won't eat the pellet mush, it might be a good idea to have some oxbow critical care on hand in case you have to start syringe feeding if she stops eating hay and veggies too.
I've tried the softened pellets a few days in a row now. She sniffs it and actually kicks her feet at it as she runs away. Still enthusiastic about all other food and continues to chew on toys, hay, veggies, all else. I've always got critical care on me so I'll keep tabs on this but it seems she really does not like the pellet mush unfortunately :/
 

JBun

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If she is eating hay really well and maintaining a good body condition(no weight loss that's not needed), it's not something I would stress over too much right now. Rabbits will usually do just fine on a pellet free diet. Only thing I would suggest is adding a salt lick, as she won't be getting the needed sodium from pellets.

Though spurs on her molars are certainly a possible cause, it's also equally possible she's just decided she doesn't like the pellets you've tried. If so and you are really wanting to feed pellets, then it would be a matter of trying different kinds until you find one she likes.

Then just get to the vet for a check up and dental exam to rule out dental issues when you are able to get her seen.
 
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