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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 BEHAVIOR Rabbit suddenly not eating much hay but seems fine

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    • rivertherabbit
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        Hi all, I’ve been obsessed with trying to solve the mystery of my 5 1/2 year old rabbit the past few weeks so I’m hoping someone can help. The story broken down is basically this:

        1. Rabbit usually eats every piece of hay in his bin overnight, now barely touches it.
        2. He still eats some small, soft pieces of hay right out of the boxes, but not timothy all of a sudden. He’s only going for oat and orchard hay but again, only the small pieces. He’s always been a timothy fiend his entire life, so I’m finding it hard to believe it’s just fallen out of favor out of the blue. He was just wolfing down every strand I put in his bin not too long ago.
        3. He still happily accepts treats, wet leafy greens (green leaf lettuce and carrot tops), pellets and is drinking plenty of water.
        4. His poop is much smaller and darker than usual (probably from the lighter hay consumption) but there is still plenty of it.
        5. He’s going through a very heavy molt right now, though it looks to be winding down. I’m wondering if the hormones is contributing to the selective eating.
        6. Again, he’s been VERY hormonal. Bright, alert, playful, circling me, buzzes as he runs, obsessively chins everything to own it, jumps on high places, kisses my arm, begs for pets, etc. He gets like this sometimes when molting so I don’t know if this is any indicator, but he’s been glued to me lately instead of taking breaks to jump in his hay and eat or play. Seems like he’d just rather be by my side and get pet.
        7. I brought him to Penn vet emergency center initially a few weeks ago and they did some bloodwork. Everything came back fine there.
        8. I took him to a great rabbit vet near me last Friday, Radnor animal hospital, and had a rabbit dental expert take a look in his mouth and he noticed there were several points that needed to be filed down which may have been causing him the discomfort. He had the procedure done yesterday under anesthesia and it turned out fine thankfully. He noted to not expect him to eat hay like normal for another couple days, but the extra symptoms/new behavior patterns are concerning and I’ve read a bunch of stories online of rabbits coming home from a dental and eating their timothy hay again instantly. He still seems so averse to it. Vet also did a full checkup, no gas in his stomach, lots of poop in his digestive system still, eyes/ears look fine

        With all this information, can anyone discern anything at all about his behavior? Is his molting/hormones/teeth causing the weirdness and picky appetite?

        Thanks a lot my rabbit friends.


      • Azerane
        Moderator
        4688 posts Send Private Message

          I would say the teeth were the issue, the other moody behaviours could be attributed to spring weather. I’d day give him a little more time to get used to his teeth being normal again to start eating his hay properly, he’s probably still a little sore at this stage.


        • Wick & Fable
          Moderator
          5794 posts Send Private Message

            I say teeth as well. If it’s his first dental procedure and he’s 5.5yo, he’s probably more sore afterwards than a younger rabbit would be, because his body is no longer growing as much, so everything is pretty -set-. They need to prop the mouth open very wide for the grinding, and this can definitely lead to some soreness and adjustment-time.

            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.


          • rivertherabbit
            Participant
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              Thanks for the replies. It’s day 4 and he’s still not touching his hay. He seems more interested in following me around and laying next to me/demanding pets than eating food. He’s still playful, active, exploring and his poops have almost returned to the normal size/color. He’s still eating greens & treats but doesn’t seem to want to eat himself unless I put those in front of him. He’s frustrating and worrying me so much. How is he acting so normal but isn’t eating any hay? Can a dental really affect him for this long afterwards?


            • Azerane
              Moderator
              4688 posts Send Private Message

                I don’t see why it couldn’t. He may have had sores in his mouth from the spurs, and the process of grinding the spurs down may have created more sores or aggravated the ones that were already present. Hay is very prickly and spiky and would be uncomfortable to eat with sores in the mouth. Keep doing what you’re doing and encouraging him to eat. Even pick through his hay a little bit to find some of the really soft strands and hand feed them to him. Anything to get him eating hay again. I also find that when my buns are unwell they often need hay or other food handed right to them before they will eat it, but they won’t seek it out to eat it themselves.

                If you’re very concerned you can always give your vet a ring and ask their opinion.


              • rivertherabbit
                Participant
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                  Thank you Azerane. I gave the vet a call and he said that my rabbit should have been eating hay by now, and there is a chance that the tooth is growing into the bone instead of irritating the cheek/tongue so that’s why the procedure didn’t do much for him. He suggested I bring him in on Tuesday for x-rays if he’s still not eating hay by Monday and we’ll have to go from there.


                • LittlePuffyTail
                  Moderator
                  18092 posts Send Private Message

                    Sorry to hear that. ((((Hay eating Vibes)))))


                  • rolobunny
                    Participant
                    1 posts Send Private Message

                      Hi, I know this is really old post but this is exactly what I am going through with my bunny and I’m at my wits end trying to figure it out. He’s been in for X-rays and spur filing and nothing has changed…. What was your outcome Rivertherabbit?


                    • Bam
                      Moderator
                      16908 posts Send Private Message

                        Hi and welcome rolobunny!

                        This thread is old, and the original poster is longer active on the forums. It’d be lovely if you start a thread of your own on this topic!

                        Contrary to many other forums, we ask our members to not revive old threads, especially those that address medical problems. This is because rabbit medicine (thankfully!) is evolving rapidly.

                        I’m locking this thread now.

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                    • The topic ‘Rabbit suddenly not eating much hay but seems fine’ is closed to new replies.

                    Forum BEHAVIOR Rabbit suddenly not eating much hay but seems fine