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Forum DIET & CARE Rabbit ate tiny piece of ZZ plant Help!

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    • LunaVal
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        My rabbit got ahold of about 1/2 inch piece of Zamioculcas zamiifolia aka ZZ plant. It’s a tropical plant. I was able to reach in her mouth and get a piece out. My vet is not answering. Any suggestions of what to do? Help!


      • Shadow13
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          Ive never heard of that plant. Is it a house plant? Any plant that you are not sure of you should call or take your bunny to a vet. It may be nothing but I have friends that have bunnys and one ate a house plant and unfortunately passed away. It’s best to take your bunny to a vet. Even if your bunny didn’t eat the plant your bunny may still have plant stuff in their mouth. I’m not trying to worry you but I would recommend taking your bun to a vet. It may be nothing but it’s better to be safe.


        • Shadow13
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            If I have researched the right plant then this plant is poisonous. And is says keep away from pets and children. Definitely take your rabbit to vet as soon as possible.


          • BanditCamp
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              This is a possible bunny 911 situation

              The zz plant is part of the Aracaeae family of plants, this is a poisonous plant and your bunny must be taken to the vet immidately.

              Do not wait tell them this is a emergency situation and NOT over reaction it is imperative you take a portion of the plant to the vet with you and keep it seperated in a bag and wash your hands after handling.

              I also sent an alert to leadership as well

              Edit: assuming luna is your only bunny and is approximaty 3 years old judging from your past posts this would be the cause of her bump on her mouth as posted in 2015. I asked my own vet and she said that I am correct with taking the bunny to a veterinarian immidately and taking piece of plant to the vet as well. I really hope your bunny will be ok

              Vibes for ((((Luna))))


            • Bam
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                The zz plant has calcium oxalate crystals. They are like tiny, tiny, very sharp needles that embed into the mucosal lining of the mouth and throats and tummy. Irritation, swelling and pain can result.

                It’s not crazy toxic. Plant poisoning is rare in house bunnies according to Francis Harcourt-Brown. Calling your vet is of course good. How is your bunny acting now?

                ETA: In March we had a thread about a bun that ate a piece of a philodendron plant. Philodendron has the same type of calcium oxalate crystals. The outcome was excellent: https://binkybunny.com/FORUM/tabid/54/aft/155826/Default.aspx

                I hope your bun will be fine too. We’d be happy for updates.


              • LunaVal
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                  We just got back from the vet and they gave her motility fluids under the skin, and injection, and also some medicine to give her twice a day. They said that since she had so little of the plant she will be fine. I’m so glad we were able to get into the vet and thank you for the great advice! Luna thanks you as well.


                • LunaVal
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                    Hi there! Thank you for the helpful advice. We took her to the vet and they said she should be fine. They gave her motility fluids under the skin, an injection, and a Sucralfate to give her twice a day to repair any potential rips from the crystals. The vet told us to watch her and only give her fresh greens and hay for 24 hours. 

                    No more real plants for our house! 


                  • LBJ10
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                      I’m glad your bun is OK. Bam is right that the plant isn’t really toxic per se, the concern is the calcium oxalate crystals. Oddly, it seems bunnies often nibble on these types of plants and have little ill effect. Perhaps they have a higher tolerance? I know if a cat or a dog were to nibble on the same thing, they would be foaming at the mouth.


                    • BanditCamp
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                        For me what I consider at least for rabbits is that ZZ plants which have calcium oxalate crystals cause vomiting and diarrhea in cats and dogs and even people. Even though ZZ is used in some medicines known side effects that occur in 70% of people are the previously mentioned. When i called my vet and I asked her (cause she and her husband take open questions by phone between 11-2PM) if ZZ was ok for bunnies she panicked a little bit thinking that my bandit ate some and I had to reassure her that it was a question on the forums here. Verbatim she said:

                        “ZZ plants are from the Araceae family of plants (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Araceae) which can be sometimes deadly depending on what part of the tree the plant falls under. Most if not all these plants are not rabbit safe and can cause things like vomiting and diarrhea which are normally considered not good things for rabbits since rabbits cannot vomit and have sensitive tummy systems, they can also cause intestine swelling and may cause the airway to close with the calcium oxalate barbs affixiating your rabbit. If your forum member believes that she has ingested a plant from this tree it would be wise along with my husband’s opinion to take the rabbit to a local vet where she can be properly diagnosed and if something does happen it’s better to be overprepared than underprepared.”

                        Shes normally really good and works almost exclusively with the bunny shelter out here in LA (Bunny Bunch) and she was happy that I called to ask as for a new bun owner myself she gave me praises on the amount of knowledge I did have for a new bunny owner and when to seek vet or public advice. Glad Lunas doing ok, and wanted to make sure that you next post didn’t involve the rainbow bridge or some other bad news


                      • LBJ10
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                          Not all plants in the Araceae family are the same. In fact, some are used as food and medicine.


                        • jerseygirl
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                            I hope Luna is doing okay also. BanditCamp, it was good of you to ask your own vet on CourtneyVal’s behalf.

                            I think its a good rule of thumb to always seek veterinary care if a rabbit has eaten a houseplant. Whether is is specifically known to be toxic to rabbits or not. It’s just not something worth deliberating about. There is also the potting mixes which can have toxic effects also. So if a rabbit has knocked over a house plant, ate some of the plant, dug at the soil and maybe ingested some of that – I’m probably going to take them off to the vet for my own peace of mind. Knowing rabbits, they’d probably try eat the pot too.

                            Plant toxicity when it comes to rabbits is pretty interesting. There are a lot of variables:  for instance, what portion of plants is considered poisonous or if it’s okay dried v’s fresh. Aloe vera is an example. It’s on a lot of lists as poisonous. There are parts of the plant that are considered more poisonous then others. However, the gel/juice has been used to treat certain conditions in rabbits before.

                            On what LBJ mentioned about rabbits maybe having higher tolerance for certain substances, atropine is a good example. This is a toxic component of some plants but rabbits have an enzyme (atropinesterase) that helps if atropine is ingested. This might help them if they eat belladonna for instance. BUT the level of the enzyme varies rabbit to rabbit, differs between male and females and levels vary seasonally too. The fact that they have this enzyme at all is the reason why atropine cannot medicinally be used for rabbits. For other animals, it’s used overcome bradycadia under anaesthesia.

                            For anyone interested, here is Frances Harcourt-Browns views of plant toxicity that Ban mentioned. (atropine is mentioned in this). http://www.harcourt-brown.co.uk/articles/free-food-for-rabbits/lant-toxicity-the-problem-with-lists

                            There is a lot of differing information available online about plant toxicity and pets that frankly could just leave us more confused. Some info we find might give us a bit of mental relief, if we have a rabbit who has ingested a house plant. Equally, some info could send us into a panic. Bottom line is – when there is no clarity whether it is toxic to your rabbit or not, play it safe and get them seen by a vet.


                          • jerseygirl
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                              By the way, about a month ago, I fed my rabbits apricot leaves and twigs.

                              I didn’t know it was apricot, I thought it was pear ! It had dried a little (dried over a week) and it took on a fragrance similar to apple leaves when they’ve dried a bit. And the rabbits went mad for it. I didn’t work out that Id fed them apricot leaves until maybe a week later.. There were no ill effects, thank goodness. But geez I felt bad for having given it to them.  Could the outcome have been different for other buns? I don’t know!

                              Ive read before of someones rabbits grazing on fallen leaves of cherry tree and it never caused harm. A friend of mine said about feeding childhood rabbits english ivy. As a rabbit owner now with so much info available and seeing Ivy on some toxic list, she felt so bad about having given it to her past bunnies. However, those rabbits lived to a great age. I don’t even know if that variety of ivy is deemed toxic. Im  betting my Jersey & Rumball nibbled on some when they roamed in the yard years ago. 

                              With the fruit trees (single stone fruits) I *think* it is the sap in the wood that is toxic. So thicker branches might be more of an issue or if the wood were used to make shavings for animal bedding. But Im not advocating to go feed rabbits the leaves. Not when there are known safe alternatives.


                            • Bam
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                                CourtneyVal, so glad to hear your bun is ok!

                                BanditCamp, it was really very good of you to ask your own vet! And thank you for the alert.

                                Wild rabbits eat some plants that are listed as toxic, f ex tulip leaves and chives. They probably have instincts that “tell” them how much and what part of a plant they can eat. These instincts are probably not as strong in domesticated rabbits though.

                                Jersey, that reminds me of when we planted a cherry tree and 2 apple trees in my father’s garden. We put protective netting around the trunks of the apple trees but not around the cherry tree, because my father said rabbits don’t eat prunus tree bark. He was wrong. The tree didn’t last a week :/


                              • jerseygirl
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                                  Haha! I think any sapling would be fair game for rabbits.

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                              Forum DIET & CARE Rabbit ate tiny piece of ZZ plant Help!