Why Isn’t My Rabbit Eating?

Why Isn't My Rabbit Eating?

Here we can see, “Why Isn’t My Rabbit Eating?”

Rabbits in captivity appear to munch on anything they can get their teeth into. That’s why a rabbit who suddenly stops eating is a major cause for concern. If your dog, cat, or other pet skips a meal, it may not seem like a huge deal, but if a rabbit does, it could indicate an emergency scenario. While a trip to the veterinarian is necessary, there are a few things you can do in the meantime to help your bunny feel better.

What Causes Rabbits to Stop Eating?

A gastrointestinal condition called ileus is the most common cause of loss of appetite in rabbits. Ileus occurs when regular peristalsis (intestinal contractions that propel food through the digestive tract) slows or stops. Ileus is exceedingly harmful to rabbits and, if left untreated, can result in death.

Ileus is frequently caused by another issue, such as:

  • Abscesses in or around the body
  • Overgrown teeth
  • Dental disease
  • E. cuniculi and other neurological diseases
  • Intestinal parasites
  • External parasites, like lice and fleas
  • Osteoarthritis or joint disease
  • Environmental changes and stress
  • Urinary tract disease
  • Organ failure or disease
  • Infectious diseases
  • Insufficient fiber intake
  • Upper respiratory tract disease
  • Tumors
  • Poisoning and toxins
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Examine your rabbit for evident signs of ileus:

  • Lifting up your rabbit’s lips reveals overgrown incisors (front teeth).
  • You can quickly find several tumours and abscesses on your rabbit by petting it and feeling for a lump.
  • If there isn’t any nasal or eye drainage, it’s easy to notice. Also, because your rabbit may spend a lot of time wiping its face with its front paws, the nasal drainage may cause dirty front legs.
  • Place a mirror across your rabbit’s nose to see if both nostrils are clear and producing condensation.

It’s clear that your rabbit has lost its appetite if it leaves its meal alone. However, in some circumstances, the alterations may be more modest. If you’re not sure if your rabbit is eating, look for the following signs:

  • Decrease or absence of fecal matter
  • Decrease in the size of fecal matter
  • Change in the texture of fecal matter (sticky, watery, hard, etc.)
  • Refusal to eat a favorite treat
  • Decrease in weight (use a baby scale to monitor your rabbit’s weight)
  • Increase in leftover food
  • Decrease in activity level
  • Decreased water consumption
  • Teeth grinding (bruxism)

Home Remedies

If there are no visible indicators of ileus, think about any environmental changes you’ve made that could be causing your rabbit stress. Reverse whatever changes you made, and then see whether your rabbit would take a reward or some food.

In the first several hours after your rabbit stops eating, you can attempt some home cures. Rabbits that go without food for even a day are in grave danger and should be seen by a veterinarian right away. Don’t wait; call your veterinarian for a phone consultation, even if you’re trying home cures.

  • Begin with a syringe and some mixed-vegetable baby food. To stimulate your rabbit’s gastrointestinal tract, force-feed it. Because normal peristalsis has slowed or ceased, your rabbit’s intestines will fill with gas if it spends too long without eating. This gas is the most painful and frightening aspect of ileus.
  • After force-feeding your rabbit, get it to move around and rub its stomach to improve digestive motility. This is the movement of the muscles in the digestive tract that is needed for pooping.
  • To provide extra hydration, increase the amount of water your rabbit consumes. For your rabbit to drink, fill a clean water bowl and a water bottle with clean water. You can give your rabbit syringe water or an electrolyte solution (like unflavored Pedialyte) until he goes to the bathroom normally again.
  • If your rabbit is still eating, provide high-water-content leaves like lettuce and celery, as well as plenty of hay. This is not the time to feed your rabbit pellets.
  • If your rabbit continues to avoid food, contact your veterinarian immediately.
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Veterinary Treatment

Your veterinarian may offer IV fluids or another method of hydration to get something into your rabbit’s system right away. Pain, gas production, stomach motility, and other issues may be addressed with medication. While your rabbit isn’t eating normally, force-feeding it with veterinary-grade products like Oxbow Critical Care or Emerald Intensive Care Herbivore will supply the nourishment it requires.

Processes of Diagnosis

Your veterinarian will also want to know why your rabbit stopped eating in the first place. This isn’t always easy, and there are numerous tests available to determine the problem (or causes). In addition to a full physical exam, your vet may suggest a dental checkup, blood tests, urine tests, faeces tests, radiography (X-rays), and other diagnostic tests.

Due to your rabbit’s poor health or financial constraints, testing may be limited or impossible at times. The symptoms can be promptly treated with fluids and medication in these circumstances, but the fasting may recur depending on the primary reason.

How to Avoid Losing Your Appetite

Many ailments that cause your rabbit to stop eating can be avoided entirely with proper care. Regular dental care, for example, can often avoid enlarged or abscessed teeth (and the problems they can cause). Maintaining cleanliness in your rabbit’s cage can also help prevent diseases and parasitic infestations.

Simple efforts can also be made to encourage a healthy appetite in your rabbit. Make sure you have enough grass hay (not alfalfa), leafy greens, and a bowl of fresh water. Your rabbit also requires a steady habitat free of temperature fluctuations and disturbances.

User Questions

What do I do if my rabbit is not eating?

If you find your rabbit isn’t eating properly, contact your veterinarian right away. It’s critical to have them checked out as soon as possible to avoid any further difficulties. If your rabbit has stopped eating, you should call your veterinarian as soon as possible.

Why won’t my pet rabbit eat?

Rabbits can get dental problems if they don’t eat enough of the right hay. The hay keeps their teeth at a healthy length by wearing them down as they grow. If your rabbit does not consume hay on a daily basis, you will notice that his teeth are becoming excessively long.

Also See:  Myxomatosis in Rabbits

Why is my bunny not eating or moving?

Consult a veterinarian as soon as your rabbit stops eating or passing faeces. Many issues, including digestive disorders, will cause your pet to refuse food. Dental problems and stress are two examples. Food intake must be maintained or else more difficulties may arise.

Do rabbits get tired of eating the same food?

My kids don’t seem to get tired of the same things, but they do become thrilled about new experiences. But (unless it’s something they truly don’t like), I’ve never seen them not eat everything in sight. You might always switch out a staple now and then to rekindle their interest in lettuce and romaine!

Why is my rabbit stressed?

Novelty, for example, is a common source of stress for rabbits (for example, the first trip in a car or being handled by a stranger). For instance, unexpected noises) too many individuals in a small space, loss of a companion, living alone


I hope you found this helpful guide. If you have any questions or comments, don’t hesitate to use the form below.


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