underweight rabbit causes

I use and recommend Oxbow’s Garden Select rabbit food. Make a fist with your hand and then feel the knuckles. 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. (9 Posts) Add message | Report. 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. I put my rabbit’s pellets into a ball that she rolls around to get at the pellets inside. Amy Pratt is a lifelong rabbit owner who has been specializing with rabbits at the Humane Rescue Alliance. Some of the common causes of being underweight includes improper nutrition, intensive physical exercise, heredity issues, chronic illness, side effects of medications, physiological issues. “High dietary fat and the development of osteoarthritis in a rabbit model.”. They can also get bored and depressed if they are left in a cage all day with no toys to play with or chew on, leaving them with nothing to do but eat and sleep all day. Some dwarf breeds are more prone to obesity because their small size makes it easy for them to overeat. Causes of obesity in rabbits. Machan,J.J. If it is fed too many treats or snacks during the day and not allowed to exercise it off, then it is sure to become obese. My vet prescribed meloxicam .7ml once per day for 2 weeks for sore hocks. When rabbits are injured or ill, veterinarians will suggest a home care plan. That is because the greens are not high in calories because of their increased water content. So take a tally of the living area of your rabbit, and make sure your giving them a chance to be happy and active. Their appetite will naturally start to wane as they move around less. Hence, grass hay should be provided in multiple sections so that all rabbits have easy access to food. The rabbit will be rounded on the sides around their bottom and abdomen. Overweight rabbits may breathe or pant more heavily than healthy rabbits. But in reality, healthy babies come in all shapes and sizes. For example, the animal's body may start using lean muscle for energy in order to carry out its daily functions. Caution Over Diet Changes. Accessed at: https://veterinaryrecord.bmj.com/content/171/8/192.short. You can test if your rabbit is obese by feeling for their ribs, spine and hips. Obesity by itself may not cause a rabbit to stop eating and develop ileus but because of all the other problems that can be associated with obesity, it is definitely a major player in the ileus game. If your rabbit is severely obese, you can probably tell just by looking. The spine, hips and ribs can be felt, but are rounded and not sharp when touched. ). She helps to socialize the rabbits and educate volunteers on the care and behavior of these small mammals. If your pet rabbit is losing weight and they have diarrhea or their poop seems small and oblong, they may be experiencing digestive issues. There are many different causes for cachexia (and weight loss) in rabbits. Obesity is dangerous for our rabbits because of the many health problems that can result from the extra weight. If your rabbit is attached to their original, smaller cage, you can attach an ex-pen to the front, so you can expand your rabbits space without taking away an area they may view as their home. My shelter occasionally gets in rabbits that are super thin, sometimes bordering on emaciated. Over time this poop ends up forming into a ball attached to the bottom of the rabbits butt. With the exception of some larger breeds of rabbits, males will not usually form dewlaps. So be sure to introduce them in a neutral area and see if they are a compatible pair first. 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. They should be proportional. During this time you want to monitor your rabbit and watch for any rapid weight loss or refusal to eat. Bunnies are quite easy to keep active and healthy. Depending on how you buy your hay you may find that nutritional information is displayed on the packaging as it is for pellets. Observe their actions when it comes to food. Underweight rabbits may be physically incapable of breeding successfully. The goal is to help your rabbit steadily lose a little weight at a time until they have reached their ideal weight. Your email address will not be published. Caring For a Rabbit Before and After Neuter or Spay Surgery. Putting hay bins or litter boxes in different locations all over the house may encourage your pet to be more active. You will want to feed your rabbit over to a healthier pellet mix. When giving a treat to your pet, consider providing it only in smaller amounts. Usually this occurs as the result of a Urinary Tract Infection, when a rabbit is constantly dribbling a little bit of pee. The symptoms of heart disease in rabbits include: Obese rabbits are more likely to have soft cecotropes (called cecal dysbiosis). Oxbow is a well known and respected brand that supplies food for rabbits and other small animals. Fresh Foods. Some rabbits will also sit around all day because they are depressed or bored. Normally rabbits would easily be able to keep themselves clean, but obese rabbits will often have trouble reaching around their fat to clean up the poop that is stuck to their fur. https://www.petmd.com/rabbit/conditions/digestive/c_rb_cachexia In most cases, the obvious signs are: Being attentive to probable weight loss will help you protect your pet against severe problems. I would suggest if she feels bony you should get her checked out by the vet as their back teeth can get over grown and cause them not to eat so well. This is good for their teeth and is high in fiber, making it an essential part of their digestive system. Human food – cookies, bread, snack food, cheese, sugary snacks, milk — anything processed or ‘non-rabbit’ food should never be fed to an underweight bunny. “Liver (Hepatic) Disease in Rabbits.”. This can happen with rabbits that are used to eating the soft pellets all day. 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. Causes. Some additional liver diseases are briefly mentioned toward the end of the article. If nothing is done about these conditions, they can lead to a much more serious bladder or kidney infection. Required fields are marked *. (2012) Is obesity a problem in pet rabbits?Veterinary Record 171, 192-193. In order to do this effectively, you’ll need to find the best weight gain food for your rabbit. 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. Rabbits must have a well-balanced diet that consists of grass hay provided to them in limitless amounts. But the good news is that rabbit obesity is often solved by correcting your rabbit’s diet and encouraging more exercise. Rabbits spend a lot of time cleaning themselves every day. They may require specific amounts of high-quality pellets and homemade ground-pellet slop. They may suffer from chronic diarrhea, heat stress in hot weather, splayed legs, and arthritis in later years. A sudden dietary change or giving too many treats can lead to problems. You can also have climbing areas inside their enclosure and other fun toys to encourage more movement. I prefer to get an ex-pen enclosure for my rabbits. Rhubarb should also be avoided (toxicity). Caution Over Diet Changes. These can include increased metabolism. While it is possible that there is an underlying condition causing obesity in a rabbit, most of the time the root cause comes down to diet and exercise. You also want to change your rabbits diet so that they will be eating more hay and less pellets. The idea is to put your rabbit on a healthy diet and help them lose 1 to 2 ounces of weight per week until they reach their goal weight (which will vary based on rabbit breed and size). Because of significant differences we can find between breeds of rabbits, there is no BMI that we can measure to determine if our rabbits are overweight. Medical. Many rabbits are kept in cages that are too small for them, and are given very little time out to exercise and socialize. These foods are high in sugar that can lead to obesity, especially if given in excessive amounts. While not life threatening, this can be a painful condition for rabbits. But it can also happen when the rabbit is too fat to clean themselves properly. Some bunnies tend to be very territorial and will attack other rabbits who enter their area. Rabbits don’t need very many pellets on a daily basis. Ehrlich. A diet rich in fiber decreases dental and other related health issues. 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. The main cause of obesity in rabbits is an unhealthy diet. Beans, cauliflower, cabbage, and potatoes may cause problems and should be avoided. The accumulated toxins will make your pet feeling not hungry or nauseated. However, the rabbits must be stimulated to consume grass hay, too. They can end up gaining weight as their lifestyle becomes less active. This topic has 19sd replies, 6 voices, and was last updated 3 years, 3 months ago by Pawprints903 . “Congestive Heart Failure in Rabbits.”, Schulman, Jackie Ph.D. “Obese Rabbits at Risk.”. Being underweight is associated with a range of health risks including bone, skin, … Underweight rabbits may be physically incapable of breeding successfully. Long fur can easily cover a healthy rabbit and make them appear to be obese, even when they are not. This is a gross and deadly condition where a fly will lay eggs on the rabbit, preferring areas that are dirty. There are other risk factors “associated with this problem are … There are many reasons baby rabbits can become underweight, the biggest common factor is obesity. Professionals will use the Body Condition Scoring (BCS) chart to determine if a pet is obese or underweight. There are some other considerations. Free-choice or overfeeding of pellets is one of the primary causes of obesity in rabbits. Fat rabbits are often lethargic, and are susceptible to heart, liver, and kidney disease. Courcier, EA., Mellor, DJ., Pendlebury, E., Evans, C., Yam, PS. 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. 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, they must contain 14 to 17 percent protein and fiber of between 12 to 24 percent. If the symptoms are not detected soon enough, GI Stasis is often a deadly condition for rabbits. Over time the joints might become inflamed and cause painful arthritis. 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. Obese rabbits can also suffer from sleep apnea. Because of the many conditions and complications that occur, obesity will often cause a reduced lifespan for pet rabbits. Overweight and Underweight Rabbits This article discusses two of the more common liver diseases in rabbits: hepatic lipidosis (fatty liver) and toxic liver damage. This is much more common in obese rabbits than in rabbits at a healthy weight. A rough and unclean surface can be a contributing factor, but the primary cause of this condition is the weight of the rabbit’s body on its hock and feet. Feeding pellets as the main food instead of hay/vegs is a major cause of molar spurs. You want to make sure your rabbit doesn’t lose weight too quickly though, since rapid weight lose can cause other health problems in rabbits (such as fatty liver disease). What could be a simple procedure for a healthy rabbit is often riddled with complications as doctors try to manage a precise surgery with layers of fat in the way. Rabbit's digestive systems are very efficient at squeezing every last bit of nutrition out of their food so a rabbit generally only becomes underweight if there is an underlying medical condition causing the problem. Though it is reasonable to think that a less-active bunny will gain extra weight, the unexpected happens sometimes. When you 2 or more rabbits, the dominant one might guard the foods and prevent the other from eating. Exercise is particularly important, as it will get the juices flowing through the rabbits body, encouraging them to drink and urinate more frequently. However, malnutrition in rabbits can occur due to a multitude of reasons. Cats that are underweight Cat or have lost weight usually are not receiving enough calories. Anorexia in rabbits is a symptom of an underlying condition, the most common causes are dental disease and gastrointestinal disorders. A bumblefoot can be really painful for your pet and challenging to treat. Generally I've advised more pellets and alfafa hay in addition to the timothy hay. It happens due to diseases, including gastrointestinal, dental, cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, metabolic, and cancer. There is a healthy layer of fat, but no bulging areas. Proper nutrition and adequate water intake are keys to help your rabbit grow healthily and actively. Possible Causes of Underweight Dogs. The rabbit will end up sitting in their urine for long periods of time, causing a skin rash and irritation. link to Caring For a Rabbit Before and After Neuter or Spay Surgery. Giving the rabbit 3 to 4 hours of exercise is ideal, but at least 1 to 2 hours a day is necessary for their health. Asked for a longer treatment with meloxicam, and vet says that meloxicam can cause … Moreover, you must pay attention to your pet’s water intake. When you take your pet out of the cage, make sure it gets enough time to be active. It is usually caused when a rabbit suddenly becomes anorexic and stops eating (a common symptom of many rabbit illnesses). GI stasis (ileus) is the most common problem in pet rabbits due to its many causes. I am here to make sure all of you rabbit lovers have everything you need to care for your fluffy little bundle of joy. Like with humans, obesity in rabbits puts them at an increased risk of heart disease. close topic reply to this topic. Overweight rabbits may not show any interest in mating and can have a hard time becoming pregnant if mating does occur. Henn,E.I. Fattening up underweight rabbit-bloated stomach! The primary cause of obesity in rabbits, especially pet is poor diet and lack of exercise. When you go for a pelleted diet, then it must be free from nuts, seeds, and dried fruits. Important: As an Amazon Associate and an associate to other companies I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases. No fat, with a visible spine, hips and ribs that feel sharp when touched. For humans, we know that obesity is linked to a multitude of health problems and complications. Underweight rabbits may be physically incapable of breeding successfully. What to feed an underweight rabbit? There is even potential that they will pass out when experiencing stress, a very dangerous position for a rabbit to be in. If undetected, this can be fatal for rabbits within a 48 hour time period. The main cause of obesity in rabbits is an unhealthy diet. You can also compare the size of your rabbit’s head compared to the size of your rabbits body. Without intervention, gastrointestinal hypomotility can result in GI stasis. Rabbits can’t fast, especially when they are injured or ill. A sudden stop to eat or reduced amounts of fecal pellets will mean there’s something wrong. It happens due to diseases, including gastrointestinal, dental, cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, metabolic, and cancer. Natural ways to gain weight includes eating right, getting … Heart disease is difficult to detect in rabbits until it reaches an advanced stage. Dental diseases which can make eating difficult 2. 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. As a rabbit becomes obese, they will start to have a lot of difficulty keeping themselves clean. This is, of course, more of a problem for pet rabbits because it puts these gentle giants at a higher risk of becoming overweight and obese. “Body Condition Scoring the Rabbit.”, Praag, Esther van. Some rabbits suffer from malnourishment early in their life; parasites can result in weight loss. Giving them some chew toys to throw around will encourage them to get up and play. Obesity can also cause … As anorexia is often caused by pain you may notice your rabbit showing other signs such as hunching, refusing to move or increased respiration. The causes for obesity in rabbits include being caged too often, along with excessive feeding habits. Lesieur-Brooks,J. Surgery is exponentially more difficult to perform on an overweight rabbit. There is a thick layer of fat making it difficult to feel the ribs, hips and spine. 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. For this reason, if your male rabbit is starting to form a dewlap under his chin, they are likely becoming overweight or obese. Good foods for underweight rabbits? The heel of a rabbit’s foot is called a hock, and it is very much like a human’s elbow. Likewise, they might help in preventing hairball issues. This means that surgeries will almost definitely last longer, requiring more anesthesia. Diagnosis. What Are The Different Colors of Rabbits? If people are telling you that you have a "skinny baby," you may be worried that you need to do more to produce those touted baby rolls. (9 Posts) Add message | Report. If your rabbits have gained weight, it’s likely that they are eating too much or moving around too little. You will also want to make sure your rabbit is getting enough attention. ANSWER: Weight Gain Diet for Underweight Rabbits Hay. Dry Food. But when a rabbit stops eating, especially obese rabbits who already have a larger store of fat, the liver can start to panic, and fat begins to build up causing the rabbit to become very sick. 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. The same for decreased calorie intake. A rabbit savvy vet will also be able to check for any underlying diseases. I am a lifelong rabbit lover and have been specializing with rabbits at my local animal shelter. The same reasons that you shouldn’t feed your healthy rabbit oats and oatmeal are the exact factors that help an underweight rabbit. Sugar or honey – one rabbit owner I know added sugar or honey to her rabbit’s food to get them to gain weight. Viewing 19 reply threads Rabbits Losing Weight Due To Digestive Issues. Fat accumulation in the body can also put a lot of pressure on a rabbit’s lungs, making it more difficult for them to breathe. Rabbits are crepuscular animals, which means they are most active during the dawn and dusk hours of the day. Rabbit was improving near end of that treatment, but then the sore hocks deteriorated again. Look at them from the side and from above to see if they are visibly obese. Often times they're strays found foraging around that someone let loose. In order to do this effectively, you’ll need to find the best weight gain food for your rabbit. 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