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BUNNY 911 – If your rabbit hasn’t eaten or pooped in 12-24 hours, call a vet immediately!  Don’t have a vet? Check out VET RESOURCES 

The subject of intentional breeding or meat rabbits is prohibited. The answers provided on this board are for general guideline purposes only. The information is not intended to diagnose or treat your pet.  It is your responsibility to assess the information being given and seek professional advice/second opinion from your veterinarian and/or qualified behaviorist.

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Forum DIET & CARE Losing that last bit of weight

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    • EliseTonyGio
      Participant
      10 posts Send Private Message

        Hi all!

        First of all, I would like to say that I hope anyone reading this post does so with a nonjudgemental lens because it is something I feel a little embarrassed about. My rabbit has been on a “weight loss journey” for the last couple of years. I am really proud of how far she has come and I hope she feels the difference in her day to day life.

        The trouble is, according to the vet she still needs to lose 1 more pound. For reference, she is 8 lbs currently and the vet wants her at 7 lbs. I don’t really know what breed she is, but when I rescued her as a baby I was able to see her parents and they were some big ol’ buns.

        I weigh her every two weeks to see how she is progressing, and in the last 3-4 months I have noticed her weight plateauing at the 8 lb mark. Up until this point, I was giving her very limited pellets, unlimited hay, and a big salad. She would get a treat about once every 3 weeks.

        Since I noticed her weight plateauing at the 8 lb mark, the vet has cut out all pellets (so she is just eating the hay and salad). This was a few months ago and she is still stuck at 8lbs.

        She has had her thyroid checked so we know that this is not the issue. She has healthy teeth and digestion.

        Overall, she is a very happy and active bunny. As I mentioned, I am proud of the improvements she has made and hope she feels better, but if I can help her even more I want to do that too.

        I feel bad giving her absolutely no pellets and I worry that she is almost in “starvation mode or something”, but I also want to do right by her and keep her at a healthy weight.

        Does anyone have experience with this issue? I am seeking advice, validation, your own experiences, etc.


      • Bam
        Moderator
        16912 posts Send Private Message

          On these forums, we strive to be non-judgemental. This is because judging and guilting is counter-productive. When someone is honestly striving like you are, judging wont achieve anything at all.

          If you feel bad about giving no pellets at all, you could perhaps give 2-3 pellets/day as treats? You could give them as a reward for behaviours you want to encourage, like her running up to you when you call her name.

          As Im sure you know, rabbits are always in “starvation-mode” -if you ask them 😆 The trick is not to ask them!  An adult bun needs pellets like an adult human might need a daily vitamin pill. For a fully grown adult rabbit, the bulk of nutrients should ideally come from hay, but a small daily serving of good quality pellets will ensure that the bun get’s an adequate amount of micro nutrients.

          It’s great that you weigh her regularly. It’s the best way to keep track of a bun’s general health. Any rapid changes in either direction are observandums. It’s really difficult to see with the naked eye because of the fluffiness of rabbits.

          As any rabbit savvy vet would say, the bun caretaker knows their bun best. Your vets may want your bun to lose more weight, but ultimately, it’s your call. If a bun is on an all hay and water diet regimen, there’s nothing you really can do except try and increase the calories spent, ie activity. A rabbit must have access to grass hay and water 24/7.

          .


        • Wick & Fable
          Moderator
          5794 posts Send Private Message

            I personally am not a fan of doing no-pellets for a long period of time. As Bam mentions, the last thing would be to have your rabbit exercise more, but generally that requires some treat/pellet incentives. Perhaps you can feed individual pellets while she does laps and follows you for them.

            When is the last time the vet saw your rabbit? Bodies are generally good at maintaining their intended healthy weight, so it’s possible 8lbs is it for your rabbit.

            The answers provided in this discussion are for general guideline purposes only. The information is not intended to diagnose or treat your pet. Seek the advice of your veterinarian or a qualified behaviorist.

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        Forum DIET & CARE Losing that last bit of weight