Rabbits have a fast digestive system that requires them to feed regularly. It is, therefore, essential to provide them with the correct amount of food to keep them healthy.
You should study and understand the feeding patterns of your pet to ascertain their health. Loss or reduced appetite is common in rabbits because they chew on anything that comes their way. Visit a vet to examine and treat the pet if it loses appetite.
What causes appetite loss in rabbits?
Dental disorders, mostly caused by untidy teeth, constitute significant trouble for the pet rabbits. It causes pain to the jaws making chewing impossible. To avoid this problem, feed your pet rabbit with a proper diet. Foods rich in fiber, advisably green grasses, helps in keeping the rabbits’ teeth healthy.
Stomach ulcers form painful sores in the stomach that leads to loss of appetite in pet rabbits. It results in pain and, if not treated, can cause death. The best prevention measure is ensuring that the rabbit has no stress by providing good food and housing.
Digestive problems caused by an imbalanced diet causes loss of appetite. Fiber is an essential component of indigestion. Rabbits should eat food rich in fiber to smoothen the digestion process. Lack of enough food fibers in the digestive system cause gut stasis, which, if not treated, can cost the life of our pet.
Change of diet. A sudden change in the diet leads to reduced eating; therefore, changes must be made gradually.
Poor hygiene when handling food causes abdomen upsets in pet rabbits. They should also be kept in clean, comfortable houses to reduce stress levels.
Feeding rabbits with plants that have poisons and toxins cause serious illnesses, which results in loss of appetite. Food poisoning in rabbits is a severe problem that requires immediate action. It is inevitable to visit a vet immediately to save the life of your pet.
Several other problems cause poor appetite in pet rabbits, including kidney-related diseases, internal tumors, and heart and lung problems, gut blockages, to mention a few.
Symptoms of appetite loss in rabbits
The symptoms shown by your pet rabbit varies depending on the cause of the problem. It is essential to understand the behavior of your pet to make sporting of these unusual signs easy. They include;
- Increased aggression when feeding and cleaning
- Restlessness caused by pain
- A gradual reduction in waste or urine production
- The pet develops a firm abdomen
- Sudden weight loss
- The rabbit develops unusual habits like hiding away
When a rabbit loses appetite, the initial treatment is introducing fluids into the system either orally or through an injection because a rabbit that is eating less takes little water. There are high chances of dehydration, which, if not treated, can cause death. Electrolyte-filled fluids are administered orally.
Pain increases stress in pet rabbits. Analgesia is given to the rabbit to relieve stress. If the problem does not subside, gastric motility relievers can also be prescribed.
Forcing the rabbit to feed is another possible option. Do this after administering painkillers. It can only be done using feeding products approved by the veterinary.
The vet must figure out the possible causes leading to poor appetite before commencing the treatment process. A series of physical, lab, and x-rays tests are done to diagnose the problem. It includes examining the teeth, taking stool and urine samples for chemical tests.
Some factors make performing these tests impossible because of the pets’ state or financial constraints. In this case, the practical option is to treat the symptoms.
To keep the rabbits healthy, clean the pet rabbit’s cage regularly, and perform regular dental checkups to prevent overgrown teeth.
It is also essential to visit the vets for guidance on the recommended diet. Avail enough amounts of grass hays, green leaves, and water. Following the vets, instructions guarantee you a healthy pet.