Rabbits get obese easily if they are given too much sugary food like sweet fruits and processed treats. There are several foods that are forbidden for rabbits for fear of gaining weight. Obese rabbits have to face various critical problems. But when the pet rabbit starts losing its weight, it becomes an issue.
- 1 Why the rabbit is losing weight?
- 2 Is it normal for the rabbits to be skinny?
- 3 Why is my rabbit not gaining weight?
- 4 How do the parasites affect the rabbit’s weight?
- 5 What do I do if my rabbit is losing weight?
- 6 How GI stasis is to be blamed for the weight loss of rabbits?
- 7 How do you know that a rabbit is underweight?
- 8 How dangerous can be the weight loss of rabbits?
- 9 How dental health can deteriorate the weight issue of rabbits?
- 10 Do rabbits lose weight due to old age?
- 11 Can diet be the cause of the weight loss of rabbits?
- 12 Why one of my rabbits is getting thinner?
- 13 Why my rabbit is losing weight when there is no apparent health issue?
Why the rabbit is losing weight?
When rabbit loses their body weight, the most common thing that they suffer is a lack of appetite. As they are unable to consume as much food as is necessary for them the body fat in their system gets burned up. This is precisely the way they lose weight.
Reduced calorie intake is related to various causes, and those can be some kind of illness or mouth ulcer. It can also happen due to internal problems like stomach pain or arthritis or cardiovascular disease.
Is it normal for the rabbits to be skinny?
Rabbits should have a healthy body and they should not be too skinny or fat. In either case, you should take suggestions from your vet and check if it is suffering from any illness. Sometimes rabbits suffer from various issues which are not detected apparently. But with time the issue becomes serious and then the rabbit’s health suffers a lot.
Weight management can only be a symptom and you can get the indication and treat the rabbit from the beginning of the disease is diagnosed early.
Why is my rabbit not gaining weight?
If your rabbit eats enough amounts of grass and hay, it will not gain weight easily. If you wish the rabbit to gain weight you can feed it some fruits which are high in sugar and carbohydrate.
However, sometime after feeding the proper amount of nutritious food the rabbit remains skinny and keeps losing weight. In that case, the rabbit can be checked for having gastrointestinal issues or parasites. Parasitic infection causes the creature to eat a lot but the body weight keeps decreasing or does not increase at all. The reason is, that the nutrients are often consumed by the parasites, leaving the host, here the rabbit ill-fed.
How do the parasites affect the rabbit’s weight?
Parasites are the cause of weight loss among rabbits. When the rabbits have parasites in their intestine they face stomach aches. Coccidian is one such parasite that is commonly found among rabbits. The rabbit can be affected by parasites and can look extremely healthy from the outside, you will not feel anything wrong is happening with it until one month is gone and the rabbit is losing weight.
There can be external parasites too like fleas and mites. These also can let the rabbit lose weight. These do not live in the internal organ but they live on the skin. These parasites do not directly disturb the absorption of nutrients but create anxiety for rabbits, which in turn lessens their hunger of rabbits.
What do I do if my rabbit is losing weight?
There are several ways to check the weight reduction of the rabbit, you can take the below-mentioned measures.
Feed some sugary fruits and vegetables. There are several fruits like banana, watermelon, and grapes that have high sugar content and for that reason, these are sparsely fed to the rabbits. But if your pet is losing weight drastically then you can surely give it to them, but after taking the vet’s suggestion.
Pellets and nuggets are good for weight gain and you can increase the intake amount of those grains if you feel that your rabbit is looking skinny or actually weighing less.
How GI stasis is to be blamed for the weight loss of rabbits?
GI stasis is a malfunction in the body of the rabbit when the pet is unable to eat as per its necessary quantity of food and also suffers from ingestion problems. There can be a blockage in the digestive system that will not allow the rabbit to eat as much as it should and that will make the rabbit fall sick and lose weight.
How do you know that a rabbit is underweight?
A rabbit can be of different body weights, depending upon the breed, age, gender, and activity level. The small ones like the Holland lop rabbits weigh only 4 pounds whereas the Flemish giants weigh around 15 lbs. however there are other signs which should be followed to know if the rabbit is underweight or overweight.
You can check the look of the rabbit and find if it is looking sick or not. If the rabbit is having a sunken belly and ribs and backbone will stand out. You can also touch the pet and feel the bones sticking out which shows that the pet is not well fed and definitely underweight.
Ribs, hips, and spines are the bones that stick out and can be felt when the rabbit loses its weight. Usually, these parts of the rabbit’s body are hidden under a thin layer of fat. When these body parts get stripped of the fat layer and become perceivable then the rabbit has got skinny.
How dangerous can be the weight loss of rabbits?
Underweight rabbits show other symptoms too, which makes the case of their falling sick prominent. Along with the weight loss, the rabbit will also have a scruffy coat which can be felt when you pet the rabbit. Their poops will also become few in amount. Sometimes when the rabbit gets too weak they can drop the food from their mouth too. They can also be seen in hunched posture, which is a symptom that they are not healthy anymore.
How dental health can deteriorate the weight issue of rabbits?
As we and all other creatures eat by our mouth using our teeth and tongue, dental health plays an important role in the overall health and weight of the creatures. For rabbits, dental health impacts their body weight. Rabbits have an ever-growing set of teeth, their teeth often get overgrown which is painful for the pet rabbits. For the wild rabbits, the overgrowth of the teeth does not happen as they gnaw and bite too much to keep their teeth in the right size and shape.
Other than overgrown teeth there can be other issues like cavities in the teeth or pain in the gum. Sometimes the gum can be swollen too. This is the outcome of the cold weather. When the rabbit falls sick due to a cold they can experience swollen gum and that will make the rabbit eat with difficulty. So this is partially related to the weight loss problem of pet rabbits.
Do rabbits lose weight due to old age?
Yes, when the rabbits start getting old, their appetite decreases. They start eating smaller portions and that is how they lose their body weight. But there is another reason connected to old age. The muscle mass gets reduced and that is also how the body weight decreases. The elderly rabbits usually stay calm and do not move or run as they used to in their younger days.
This is not a problem but a gradual transition of body type. They get lean with time and this is the normal way of their breed. But if you are worried about the decrease in the activity level of the rabbit then there are ways to counter it. The vet can help you to get some healthy food options for the aged rabbit and also you can provide it with some supplements which will replenish the nourishment of the creature.
Can diet be the cause of the weight loss of rabbits?
An improper diet which contains less nourishment will surely result in weight loss for the pet rabbit. When the diet of the pet rabbit is full of fresh green vegetables and there is a lack of dried hay then it can cause the pet to lose weight.
The extra water content of the fresh vegetables and hay will fill the tummy of the rabbit but it will not add to the nutrition quotient. The calorie count gets low and the rabbit starts losing weight, thus feeding it dry hay is also necessary as that will make the rabbit gain its regular body weight.
Why one of my rabbits is getting thinner?
Rabbits live in groups and thus they like to live a social life even when they are domesticated. But not all of them have some kind of behavior. Some rabbits are much more dominant than the rest. When in a group of rabbits one or two are losing weight abnormally and others are living in good and healthy condition then it can be much more difficult for the owner to guess the reason for weight loss for the poor ones.
They can be given food in a separate place and in separate bowls to see if they are getting any better with respect to their body weight. The dominant ones usually make the calm ones their target and they hog their food those ones. To rescue these rabbits you should keep them in separate cages and give them food separately.
Bullying is a problem among rabbits. Often it has been seen that the docile and dominated rabbits keep losing weight as they are not able to eat their food peacefully. Rabbits are many sensitive creatures and they cannot live peacefully if they are not given the chance to live without any threat.
So if your rabbits are living peacefully and none of them are hogging food of each other still some rabbits can lose weight as they are being bullied and threatened by other dominating rabbits. Thus you will see some rabbits are growing better and healthier than others. Separating the unhealthy rabbits and giving them some extra attention with proper food will solve the problem.
Why my rabbit is losing weight when there is no apparent health issue?
Not all health issues are prominent and can be diagnosed apparently. If your pet rabbit is not having the right weight and yet it is having the right amount of nutritious meal then there is something wrong with its internal health.
Sometimes the rabbit also seems apparently healthy but they refuse to eat the meal that is given to them. There can be different reasons behind this, if the rabbit is suffering from below mentioned health issues then it will look normal and yet will lose weight.
Infection from any virus or bacteria will worsen the rabbit’s health. Sometimes there are parasites in the inner organ of the rabbit and they do not get the proper amount of nutrition from their regular diet.
If their kidney condition deteriorates then they will not be having the regular amount of meals. Their urination will be hampered and they will feel less and less hungry. This can be a severe condition if not checked early.
The metabolic condition of the rabbit can worsen due to various reasons. This problem cannot be solved at home and you should get suggestions from vets.