If it looks like the rabbit has a noticeably small head on a large body, this is an indication that they are overweight. Iceberg lettuce has almost no nutritional value so should be avoided. You will want to feed your rabbit over to a healthier pellet mix. The primary cause of obesity in rabbits, especially pet is poor diet and lack of exercise. Good foods for underweight rabbits? Likewise, they might help in preventing hairball issues. While it is okay to give your rabbit the occasional treat, you want to avoid giving them more than a tablespoon in a day. Accessed at: https://veterinaryrecord.bmj.com/content/171/8/192.short. 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. 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. Some of these arise from physical limitations of overweight animals such as joint issues, reduced activity, and difficulty grooming. Add the new diet with the old one to help your pet in getting used to it. While not life threatening, this can be a painful condition for rabbits. Not only do they have painful joints, but they also have a decreasing muscle mass, which makes it more and more difficult for them to move around. It will look like your rabbit has a double chin. If undetected, this can be fatal for rabbits within a 48 hour time period. Caution Over Diet Changes. Supplement a higher protein pellet. “High dietary fat and the development of osteoarthritis in a rabbit model.”. Emaciated appearances like prominent pelvis, ribs, and backbone, Abdomen “caved-in” instead of smoothness at a specific part surrounded by the last part of the ribs. House Rabbit Society, Sandi Ackerman, The Perils of Bunny Obesity; PetEducation.com, Obesity-Related Health Problems in Rabbits; Underweight rabbits. For humans, we know that obesity is linked to a multitude of health problems and complications. Or maybe their daily dry food has those colorful fruity bits in the mix. Fresh Foods. They won’t be able to reach over all the folds of fat, and might start to get feces stuck to their butt, or urine scald on the skin around their bottom and hind legs. In most cases, obesity can be reversed with a healthy diet and some daily exercise. The rabbit may even have layers or rolls of fat. Many of those conditions include pain that makes it hard for a rabbit to eat. Some dogs may require more, some less. Rabbits are social animals and require some time with people or other rabbits to be happy. Here are a few things to consider. As a result, rabbits don’t have a strong body odor and should never be bathed.Generally a rabbit will only smell if their cage is not being cleaned regularly or if the rabbit is having health problems. Moreover, you must pay attention to your pet’s water intake. It happens due to diseases, including gastrointestinal, dental, cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, metabolic, and cancer. Some rabbits suffer from malnourishment early in their life; parasites can result in weight loss. Meredith, A. ANSWER: Weight Gain Diet for Underweight Rabbits Hay. If your rabbit is not eating their hay despite having it available, then they might be a picky bunny. 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. Type 1 diabetes is commonly diagnosed in children. If you’re considering breeding your female rabbit, be sure she’s in good health. Oxbow is a well known and respected brand that supplies food for rabbits and other small animals. 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). The causes for obesity in rabbits include being caged too often, along with excessive feeding habits. UNDERWEIGHT RABBITS. Obese rabbits can also suffer from sleep apnea. There is even potential that they will pass out when experiencing stress, a very dangerous position for a rabbit to be in. Signs of pain (sitting in a hunched position), Loud stomach gurgles, or no sound coming from the stomach at all, A.M. Brunner,C.M. It happens due to diseases, including gastrointestinal, dental, cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, metabolic, and cancer. Hence, grass hay should be provided in multiple sections so that all rabbits have easy access to food. Because of the many conditions and complications that occur, obesity will often cause a reduced lifespan for pet 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. 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. On the other hand, if you can feel their ribcages, that means they are underweight. Often times rabbit will appear to lose weight because they have shed their thicker winter coat, and you are able to see the rabbits body more easily with the thinner, summer coat. Reducing stress as much as possible is crucial for bunnies, especially for the underweight ones. This article brings you the 3 best rabbit foods for weight gain along with a weight gain guide for your rabbit. 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 bunnies suffer from malnourishment in the first few years of their lives. Pollock, Christal DVM. A very thin fat layer. GI stasis (ileus) is the most common problem in pet rabbits due to its many causes. After you have consulted with your vet and determined your rabbit’s goal weight, you will want to take steps to improve your rabbit’s diet. This topic has 19sd replies, 6 voices, and was last updated 3 years, 3 months ago by Pawprints903 . These foods are widely available, so you should never forget to include them in the daily food intake of your pet. Not only does this mean that you will have to do a lot of extra work to keep your rabbit’s butt clean. What appears to be very fast breathing, may just be the normal respiratory rate of your rabbit. 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. Elderly rabbits are also at risk. What is the best way to get these rabbits back up to weight? Weight loss may lead to a decreased muscle mass, which is usually a result of inadequate experience due to reduced mobility, pain when trying to move, lethargy, or simply because you kept the rabbit in its cage for a long time. Despite that, it is important to be aware that there are... My name is Amy and I am the Bunny Lady! However, malnutrition in rabbits can occur due to a multitude of reasons. Rabbits are crepuscular animals, which means they are most active during the dawn and dusk hours of the day. The most effective way of increasing your rabbits weight is by adjusting its diet. Courcier, EA., Mellor, DJ., Pendlebury, E., Evans, C., Yam, PS. It is a very uncomfortable condition for rabbits, who generally prefer to remain clean. link to Why Do Rabbits Breathe Fast and When is it Dangerous? Dry Food. Problems associated with obesity run far deeper than just carrying around a little extra weight. But it can also happen when the rabbit is too fat to clean themselves properly. A healthy BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9. This occurs when excess calcium forms hardened stones or sand-like sludge in the bladder, making it difficult and painful for the rabbit to urinate. Underweight rabbits may be physically incapable of breeding successfully. Here are some things to consider before breeding your female rabbit: Underweight or overweight-If she’s overweight, birthing can be difficult. They may suffer from chronic diarrhea, heat stress in hot weather, splayed legs, and arthritis in later years. Many pet rabbits do not have a balanced diet, and live in enclosures that are too small for them to get enough exercise. rabbit’s teeth in good health and promote optimal digestive function. When the rabbit refuses to take its food for at least 24 hours, ask for medical assistance right away. This is a condition called Poopy Butt, and it is common for obese and elderly rabbits who are unable or don’t have the mobility to clean themselves. Poopy butt puts rabbits at an increased risk of being the target of fly strike. ANSWER: Weight Gain Diet for Underweight Rabbits Hay. Establish a “target” weight prior to breeding according to the specific breed standards of your rabbit … Rhubarb should also be avoided (toxicity). 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). Establish a “target” weight prior to breeding according to the specific breed standards of your rabbit for greatest success. If not, these health issues involve the accumulation of toxins within the body, which affect the vital organs, especially the brain. 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. If you notice sores on your rabbits heels, you may need to provide them with softer flooring (wire cages are particularly bad for rabbit feet), and rub vaseline on their hocks to help them heal. Caution Over Diet Changes. (2012) Preliminary investigation to establish prevalence and risk factors for being overweight in pet rabbits in Great BritainVeterinary Record 171, 197. (9 Posts) Add message | Report. A rabbit’s heart is relatively small compared to the size of their body, so adding extra weight can but a lot of stress on the heart and cardiovascular system. 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