Sudden increased consumption of water and food

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EdwardV

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Our 8 year old Dwarf Rabbit Lola has suddenly started consuming more water and food. There is also increased urination and poop. Poop is normal sized. Activity seems increased as well. Over the years we noticed when she is shedding water consumption goes up, but not this much. However, she is shedding more than usual as well. Where we recently moved to vets that see rabbits are harder to find. We do have a wellness check up scheduled for late October. Weight is normally about 4 lbs. Her weight does not look any different. Overall outward appearance looks very good. Diet is fresh hay and pellets in the morning and fresh veggies for dinner. Water is cleaned and filled every morning.

Wondering what the issue may be? Can rabbits get hyperthyroidism?

What is the normal life span for Dwarf Rabbits? I've heard answers ranging from 8 - 9 years to 15 years.
 

JBun

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Usually significantly increased water consumption can be linked to kidney problems. But usually with that occurring, you'll eventually also start seeing weight loss, decrease in appetite, and signs of discomfort/pain.

Some other things that might cause an increase in drinking/eating is switching to a coarser cut of hay. Or with just increased drinking, a new bag of pellet food having excess sodium inadvertently added to the pellet mix, or hot weather conditions(usually with decreased eating). Dental problems can sometimes cause increased drinking, but eating will be decreased in this case.

I would suggest continuing to keep a close eye on eating, drinking, and for any sign of weight loss. But if you have any doubts or concerns this could be a potential health issue, it's always best to consult with an experienced rabbit vet right away. When you do take your rabbit in, it would probably be a good idea to make sure a blood test is done to check kidney function.

My oldest dwarf rabbit lived to be 10. 8-12 would be the average lifespan, but longer is possible.
 

EdwardV

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Good insight with the hay. We did recently have to change the brand of hay because she stopped eating the previous brand. We noticed the quality of the previous brand had gone down. Maybe due to the hay shortage.

We were able to change her wellness checkup to yesterday. Vet said everything looked good, Vet said her rabbits are currently eating, drinking, and shedding more now too. Waiting for results of blood and urine test but the vet said she expects everything to come back normal.

We were thinking of rescuing another dwarf rabbit so Lola would have some one to live with. Do you think she is too old to try to bond with another rabbit? Attached is her house and play area. Just took this image at 10am. She is taking her typical late morning nap now... Lola house.jpg
 

JBun

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Age isn't necessarily a primary consideration when it comes to whether or not a rabbit will bond with another rabbit. Age has more to do with owner preferences, and not wanting to go with a younger rabbit with an older one. Though the activity level of a younger rabbit placed with an older one, could potentially present some issues, or it could work out beautifully. You just never know with bonding until it's attempted.

Bonding is mostly about compatible personalities and finding the right match of a submissive and dominant rabbit(two dominant personalities won't usually work). Best way to do this is through a rabbit rescue/shelter with already spayed/neutered rabbits, and where they allow 'dating' so your rabbit can choose herself, her new companion that seems best suited to her own personality. I prefer to go with rabbits that seem to have an instant liking for each other, and love at first sight. Otherwise the bonding process can be quite difficult and complicated, and stressful for both rabbits and owners.



I'm glad the vet exam went well. Hopefully the tests all come out normal. It's always encouraging for a vet to be an actual rabbit owner themselves. Gives them knowledge a non rabbit owning vet might not understand.
 

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