Vet says no veggies, only hay and pellets forever.

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ArpitheBunny

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Hello! So I live in Ecuador where we have close to almost no exotic animal specialist, most vets don't know how to take care of bunnies, only dogs and cats.

So yesterday I took my bunny to an exotic animal specialist who had really good references about his knowledge in bunnies for a check up, he explained to me that in Ecuador most bunnies are inbred, meaning mothers and their children, children and their brothers and sisters without adding new bunnies to the blood line so they have a lot of genetic defects.

He mentioned to me that it's very common that these bunnies will develop all sorts of tumors and have digestive problems, thus he told me only to offer my bunny dry food, meaning hay and pellets. He said that if I want to give carrots or fruit I should do dry fruit and carrots only, and absolutely NO fresh veggies of any kind, what should I do? my bunny has no problems of any kind when I was giving her veggies but the vet said not to do it.

Should I listen to my vet and not give veggies at all or should I listen to the general advise in the internet and feed the daily amount per bunny's weight?
 

Preitler

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Welcome :)

I think that's nonsense, for various reasons.

No way that breeding rabbits is limited to inbreeding in your country, or that breeders don't keep the more healthy animals for breeding, they are not idiots. And besides, all breeds were created by some kind of inbreeding. There's a lot of misconception about inbreeding floating around. It sounds more that this vet doesn't realize that those problems can affect all rabbits and have nothing to do with inbreeding, and if he claims that I would suspect that he isn't that much of a specialist.

No way your rabbits can only digest dry stuff. It's not what they evolved for. But whatever new stuff you feed it needs to be introduced slowly, over the course of 1-2 weeks, and a lot of vegetables and fruits are high in sugar and should only be fed in limited quantity. Too rich food causes more problems than to lean, and vegetables were created for human consumption. rabbits evolved with grass and weeds, they need the roughage for healthy digestion.

My opinion is that a diverse diet causes the least problems. Pellets have their place, hay too, and also veggies and fresh forage, tree branches and whatever is available.

Don't know how the situation with diseases is where you live, that is to consider when feeding grass and weeds.

Good read on rabbit feeding:
 
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Maki_p29

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If you give pellets make sure it’s food with pellets only and not a bunny food mix.

I would say it depends on the rabbit as to if they could have fresh vegetables or not and depends on where you live and what is available too.

For example my rabbit has a sensitive stomach (they get GI problems easily) and chronic health issues that cause problems with their digestive track and bladder. So I have to give them a strict diet of food pellets and Timothy Hay only. (Suggested by my Exotic Vet and our personal experiences over the years that I’ve had my current bunny).

I’d say each rabbit is different. See how your bunny does with fresh raw vegetables. I would start with small amounts and very gradually increase.

Do research! Vegetables high in sugar should be given in small amounts and vegetables high in calcium should be very limited or not given at all. Never give iceberg lettuce to your bunny.

Observe your bunnies behavior. Do they sound gassy? How does their poop look? Any slight changes about eating habits or usual behavior? This can help determine if fresh vegetables are a good idea for this bunny or not. Always wash the vegetables throughly before feeding them.
 

Blue eyes

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Suggesting that offering dried fruit and dried carrot is better than fresh is absolute nonsense! 🤯

First off, dried fruit/carrot are going to have considerably higher concentrations of sugar. So it makes zero sense to suggest that dried would be better than fresh. Dried would provide much more sugar in a much smaller quantity. Sugar upsets the delicate bacterial balance in the gut and can lead to GI issues.

Second, greens are always going to be a better option than sugary fruit. Always. Fruit (or carrot) is by no means a necessary part of a rabbit's diet. They will do just fine without any of that. Greens, on the other hand, do provide nutrition.

If your rabbit has already been eating greens without any issues, then there is no reason to stop. I like to think more in terms of greens (herbs, grasses, dark lettuces) than "veggies."

The following has a list of which greens are safe for daily offering:
 

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