Hay that is green and leafy (as opposed to golden) will have the highest protein/fat values; second cut grass hay is usually higher than first cut. Alternatively, you can sprinkle your rabbits pellets on their hay so that they will be more active in finding the pellets, and they will be encouraged to eat more hay. So be sure to introduce them in a neutral area and see if they are a compatible pair first. When rabbits are injured or ill, veterinarians will suggest a home care plan. Human food – cookies, bread, snack food, cheese, sugary snacks, milk — anything processed or ‘non-rabbit’ food should never be fed to an underweight bunny. This is much more common in obese rabbits than in rabbits at a healthy weight. They are more likely to become ill or otherwise unwell. Rabbits must have a well-balanced diet that consists of grass hay provided to them in limitless amounts. There may be some extra folds of fat and the bottom will start to become rounded on the sides. Hay that is green and leafy (as opposed to golden) will have the highest protein/fat values; second cut grass hay is usually higher than first cut. Drewniak,A. link to Caring For a Rabbit Before and After Neuter or Spay Surgery. My vet prescribed meloxicam .7ml once per day for 2 weeks for sore hocks. Eventually the area will begin to bald and lose fur, and it’s possible that an infection can result from the urine scalding. If you don’t have enough time to spend with your rabbit, you should consider finding them a partner rabbit to bond with. Fattening up underweight rabbit-bloated stomach! They can check for tumors or other abdominal masses that can be an indication of a much more serious condition as well. Also, you must never give apple seeds, rhubarb, potatoes, and tomato leaves. Despite that, it is important to be aware that there are... My name is Amy and I am the Bunny Lady! A dewlap is a pocket of fatty tissue underneath a rabbit’s chin. Make a fist with your hand and then feel the knuckles. These mushy droppings get stuck to the rabbits bottom. Proper nutrition and adequate water intake are keys to help your rabbit grow healthily and actively. A proper diet plus other important factors to consider are very important. Supplement a higher protein pellet. Many of those conditions include pain that makes it hard for a rabbit to eat. If your pet rabbit is losing weight and they have diarrhea or their poop seems small and oblong, they may be experiencing digestive issues. The easiest way to tell if the ribs stick out too much (if they are too prominent it means your rabbit is underweight) is to compare feeling your rabbit's ribs to your closed fist. This will often cause the elderly rabbit to be reluctant to move around. Rabbits are social creatures and can easily get lonely and depressed. The rabbit will be rounded on the sides around their bottom and abdomen. During this time you want to monitor your rabbit and watch for any rapid weight loss or refusal to eat. Obese rabbits can also suffer from sleep apnea. Rabbits don’t need very many pellets on a daily basis, a common symptom of many rabbit illnesses, then check out my article on picky rabbits. Your vet will be able to help you determine the ideal weight of your rabbit, and they will be able to help you safely develop a diet plan that will help your rabbit slowly lose their excess weight. An overweight rabbit will have a rounded butt and chest with sagging folds of fat. Likewise, they might help in preventing hairball issues. There is a healthy layer of fat, but no bulging areas. Reducing stress as much as possible is crucial for bunnies, especially for the underweight ones. If the symptoms are not detected soon enough, GI Stasis is often a deadly condition for rabbits. It can even be confusing for doctors to get an accurate diagnosis for a rabbit. I had to learn how to feed Tenshi a much healthier diet, and work with her to help her lose weight and become a healthy and active rabbit. The basic rabbit smells you might encounter. If you need to put pressure on your rabbit’s chest in order to feel their ribs through the fat, that’s an indication that your rabbit is overweight. Overweight rabbits may not show any interest in mating and can have a hard time becoming pregnant if mating does occur. When your bunny becomes anxious due to the activity next to the feeding area like barking dogs, active kids, and something else that produces loud noises, your bunny will refuse to eat as it feels disturbed. If your pet is burning up more calories than usual (by living in a hot environment, exercising more, or becoming excited over nearby female in heat), eating a new food that may not be as digestible or eating less food(and therefore fewer calories), it can lose weight. The veterinarian will be able to rule out a possible pregnancy in an unspayed female rabbit. They should be proportional. It is especially a danger for obese rabbits, who often have an imbalance of bacteria in their gut, and have extra fat putting pressure on their sensitive digestive tract. Your email address will not be published. Alfalfa hay is not recommended for most adult house rabbits, as it is too high in calcium content and calories, but can be offered free choice to young, pregnant or underweight rabbits. 2. You should be able to touch each of these bones easily, but they should be rounded with a layer of fat, and not sharp to the touch. In some cases, an aging or ill rabbit might need special dietary plans. When you 2 or more rabbits, the dominant one might guard the foods and prevent the other from eating. Though it is reasonable to think that a less-active bunny will gain extra weight, the unexpected happens sometimes. Leaving the enclosure open for many hours at a time will give the rabbit a chance to come out and exercise, even if they don’t feel like being active when you first open the cage door. Some additional liver diseases are briefly mentioned toward the end of the article. Asked for a longer treatment with meloxicam, and vet says that meloxicam can cause … With the exception of some larger breeds of rabbits, males will not usually form dewlaps. When you take your pet out of the cage, make sure it gets enough time to be active. The heel of a rabbit’s foot is called a hock, and it is very much like a human’s elbow. Understand the risks your rabbit can face if it is overweight. Diagnosis. Minimum of 1 cup vegetables Select 3 different types of dark green or dark yellow Some rabbits will also sit around all day because they are depressed or bored. Cats that are underweight Cat or have lost weight usually are not receiving enough calories. Always give it fresh and clean water every day. This will be especially noticeable in small and medium sized rabbits, and in rabbits that have a more elegant and arched body shape. Getting your rabbit spayed (female) or neutered (male) is a responsible decision. Do something if you notice the other is not getting enough food because the dominant rabbit prevents it from eating well. Being underweight is associated with a range of health risks including bone, skin, … The spine, hips and ribs of the rabbit are easily felt and are somewhat sharp when touched. This article brings you the 3 best rabbit foods for weight gain along with a weight gain guide for your rabbit. In addition to an appropriately sized enclosure, rabbits need time out in a large area (a room in the house) to get some exercise during the day. Also known as Hepatic Lipidosis, fatty liver disease happens when fat accumulates in the liver. While the exact cause of these conditions is not understood, having an appropriate diet and exercising daily are the main ways to prevent your rabbit from developing them. Overweight rabbits may not show any interest in mating and can have a hard time becoming pregnant if mating does occur. It will look like your rabbit has a double chin. There are many reasons baby rabbits can become underweight, the biggest common factor is obesity. While diet and lifestyle are the most frequent causes of obesity in rabbits, there may be other conditions that have contributed to the weight gain. The first thing to do is check your rabbit’s profile. Owners may also overfeed treats. Add the new diet with the old one to help your pet in getting used to it. Even in a large enclosure, a bored rabbit might sit around all day. Is your rabbit underweight? There should not be a significant weight loss for a rabbit in the summer. Increasing the number of processed pellets in the diet for underweight rabbits is not a great idea. You can give the outside of the cauliflower, broccoli stalk etc as treats. When you go for a pelleted diet, then it must be free from nuts, seeds, and dried fruits. They may suffer from chronic diarrhea, heat stress in hot weather, splayed legs, and arthritis in later years. It is very difficult or impossible to feel the hips, spine and ribs. A very thin fat layer. Lesieur-Brooks,J. Exercise is particularly important, as it will get the juices flowing through the rabbits body, encouraging them to drink and urinate more frequently. These can be signs of more serious conditions, such as fatty liver disease, and should be treated as an emergency. You can test if your rabbit is obese by feeling for their ribs, spine and hips. There are many reasons a rabbit may be underweight. What is the best way to get these rabbits back up to weight? If they are severely underweight they may have no fat layer at all protecting their body, and making it difficult or impossible for the rabbit to regulate their body temperature. House Rabbit Society. Most cages sold in pet stores and many sold online, are much too small for rabbits. This includes sweet fruits and vegetables, such as strawberries, bananas, and carrots. This means that surgeries will almost definitely last longer, requiring more anesthesia. Below are some of the causes of why a rabbit is losing weight: 1. The rabbits are left with a whole bowl full of pellets during the day. You should be able to easily touch the ribs of the rabbit, and the ribs should feel rounded to the touch with a thin layer of fat, and not sharp (sharp ribs are an indication of an underweight rabbit). Thus, while you can use it moderately as an excellent calcium source, it must not make up most of the bunny’s diet. Machan,J.J. Long fur can easily cover a healthy rabbit and make them appear to be obese, even when they are not. For example, the animal's body may start using lean muscle for energy in order to carry out its daily functions. It is common for people to feed their rabbit’s too many treats (because they are just so cute when they beg), or give them a diet high in pellets and low in the essential, fiber-dense hay. In most cases, underweight rabbits benefit from increasing their consumption of the fiber-laden foods, particularly grass hay, while the leafy greens to a lesser extent. If you’re considering breeding your female rabbit, be sure she’s in good health. Causes of obesity in rabbits. You can also help your rabbit lose some weight by encouraging them to be more active and engaged. Determining the exact cause of malnutrition will help veterinarians prescribe the right home care plan for every bunny. 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