We are delighted that 3 year old dwarf lop rabbit Honey is now looking so slim! At her heaviest, she weighed 3.6kg, but with perseverance, and regular visits to our free weight clinics for dietary advice from our nursing team, she has lost almost 25% of her body weight and looks much younger, sprightlier and trim. Here’s Honey’s story:
My name is Honey. I used to live with my twin sister Biscuit, until she died last year after a short illness. Missing my sister so much I turned to food for comfort.
After putting on a lot of weight the staff at 387 Vets told me I really needed to lose some weight, so I decided to change my diet. I used to eat a big bowl of bunny crunch everyday along with various treats. I have now cut out these unhealthy foods in favour of a diet of fresh leafy veg and hay only and feel a lot healthier and a lot more active. I’m now a very happy bunny!
lots of love Honey x
WHY IS IT SO IMPORTANT TO KEEP RABBITS TRIM?
Overweight rabbits are unlikely to be able to groom themselves effectively which can attract unwanted visitors…
- Such as infestation of chyletiella mites (walking dandruff)
- Unclean bottoms can lead to potentially fatal fly strike (where flies lay eggs in skin and the hatching maggots feed on the rabbit’s flesh). Eating too much commercial food makes poos softer, more likely to stick to fur, and fly strike more likely too.
Mobility issues can lead to unnecessary pain:
- Urine scalding is common as rabbits find it difficult to position themselves properly to go to the loo
Extra weight brings extra health issues:
- Extra weight on joints leads to arthritis, commonly spinal
- Hock sores (pododermatitis) can develop which in severe cases can cause hock joint infections
- Obese rabbits are prone to cystitis
- Skin folds, particularly under rabbits’ chins, are more prone to yeast and bacterial infections as they gather sweat and are difficult to clean
IF YOU ONLY DO 3 THINGS . . .
- Avoid lots of muesli – give homogenous pellet food so rabbits don’t pick! Pellets are made of compressed hay and fibre – a healthy rabbit diet
- Limit pellets to 40g a day but supply limitless fresh hay or fresh grass. Reducing commercial foods and also sugary fruit and veg can aid weight loss
- Scatter feed, hide pellets mixed with hay in loo rolls, use small cat feed balls, put favourite food in high places – encourage exercise and stretching to keep bunny fit!