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View Full Version : more rabbits -- buck not eating!



tle
Jan. 23, 2009, 10:40 AM
Since there are folks on here that have rabbit knowledge, I figured I'd ask for some help. I have a 5 month old New Zealand white buck that I adore (I know... they're lilvestock, meat rabbits and I shouldn't get attached but this little guy is a trip). Unfortunately, he's stopped eating his pellets. I suspected him yesterday so I only fed half pellet ration last night and it was pretty much still all there this morning. he did eat his chunk of apple although was not enthusiastic about it last night. He *may* be nibbling on some hay but not much if any and his water consumption is a bit down. He's usually teh first one to be up at the front of his cage begging when I walk in... now he's almost grumpy and sullen. He'll visit the front but not like he used to. Now he seems to sit at the back most of the time. And when I hold him, I get grating and grunting although absolutely NO aggression. Just seems grumpy. I'm a bit worried about him. Nothing has really changed. I did open a new back of feed just a day or so ago... but everyone gets the same feed and no one else is off at all. In fact my one doe is making me VERY happy as she's started building a nest IN the nestbox! The hay isn't the best but I've been using it for a week now -- it was the hay I used to give them extra warmth when the temps bottomed out last week. And again, everyone is getting the same stuff. His stools look ok... the ones that fall through the cage floor anyway. Tehre were some inside that looked like they were stepped on (and mushed).

Any suggestions?? I would hate to lose this guy as I have high hopes for him to become one of my main herd bucks in teh not so distant future. That and his normal personality is a lot of fun.

HoneyMelon
Jan. 23, 2009, 02:09 PM
Poor bunny. To me it sounds like an impaction or a urinary tract infection.
First off get him to a cage where nothing falls through and you can view size, shape, and amount.

Both of these can be helped, maybe prevented, etc with diet. What kind of pellets are you feeding? Oxbow or another brand similar (read the bag) they have a website now and are recently selling it at Petsmart etc.
If he is an aduly feed Oxbow T (timothy hay)
Regular pellets have a ton of protein in it that he does not need.
And pellets really should be a supplement to his diet, and it should mostly consist of hay and green leafy vegetables and fruits.
(do not feed lettuce, brocccoli and cauliflower)

To try to turn that impaction around, get out a can of crushed pineapple, puree it some more and then cut the tip off of a big syringe and flip him on his back and force feed him 10 cc of it twice a day. They do not like it at first, and will never eat it on their own. Be prepared for the mess. If he really is not eating get jars of baby food and do the same thing and with water too if necassary. The acid in the pineapple is good at breaking up the hair.
Then give him a pineapple/papya pill daily forever, they become their favorite treat, Oxbow makes them and maybe other companies now.
This is a good preventative.
If he really is impacted you should probably just do hay for now with some baby food and pineapple till he is pooping good again.
Urinary tract-- well see what the diet can do and if not he is prob going to need antibiotics.
I did a lot of this with my males-- I even had one that had 12 experimental surgeries and would get impacted each time with the meds.
Hope he is feeling better.

JER
Jan. 23, 2009, 02:41 PM
Bunny colic can be very serious.

I keep supplies on hand for this as my male colics about twice a year. For him, I have bags of SQ fluids, Reglan and Baytril. My vet was kind enough to give me pre-loaded syringes with the Reglan and Baytril, which makes it very easy.

If you have a good bunny vet, I'd take your buck in and ask the vet to show you how to do bunny colic treatment, then ask for meds and fluids to take home with you.

(When I lived in LA, very few vets would treat a rabbit and most that would were exotic specialists who charged exorbitant rates because they could get away with it. One day of care for bunny colic would run about $600. No joke. I finally found a companion animal vet who was rabbit-friendly and agreeable about selling me supplies.)

However, meds like that aren't always necessary. My first line of treatment is always Little Tummies, a gas relief liquid product for infants that contains simethicone. You can get it (or a generic version of it) at most drug stores. Give the bunny a few drops every two hours or so and see if there's improvement. (My male gets gas if he eats broccoli or cauliflower.)

Dehydration is also an issue with a rabbit who stopped eating. I use an oral syringe or eyedropper to get some water in them -- often, if I miss a small amount of honey in the water, they drink it off the dropper. But SQ fluids are really necessary in a more advanced case.

I hope your buck feels better soon.

tle
Jan. 23, 2009, 02:44 PM
well, he IS pooping so that's something.

He's being fed 16% Manna Pro feed that I get from TSC. they all are (I have 7 NZs right now along with my cull herd of 2 netherland dwarves and a mini satin -- don't ask). They also all get hay daily -- a grass alfalfa mix that I pick up at the barn from my old barn owner.

someone else had mentioned pineapple juice so it's one of the things I picked up at the store at lunch. Have to give it a try.

As for feed, it's interesting to see the different opinions on what constitutes a good diet for rabbits. Most of the folks on my other lists don't feel like ANY hay on a regular basis is necessary and feed pellets (between 16% and 18%) exclusively ... many upping the protein on lactating does using Calf Manna. The group includes a lot of big time show folk as well as commercial meat breeders. It's just interesting to me the differences.

Bluey
Jan. 23, 2009, 03:05 PM
Very interesting to read that even in rabbit feeding there are debates on what to feed.:eek:
Who would have thought that...:lol:

Quinn
Jan. 23, 2009, 03:21 PM
I have had 3 house rabbits, Audrey, Hugh and Doodah. Hugh needed to have his teeth trimmed at least once a year by the Vet. These guys are also horribly prone to ear mites. I loved my New Zealand Whites. Best of luck with him.

http://community.webshots.com/user/ballyduff

Auventera Two
Jan. 23, 2009, 03:29 PM
Check his teeth! We've had this happen before when the bottom teeth overgrew the top teeth. You can take them to the vet and have the teeth floated - just like horses. :D True that good solid genetics avoids this, but if that's his problem, getting the teeth floated will fix it. But if that IS the problem, I would definitely not breed the rabbit because you'll just reproduce the problem. It costs like $15 for a rabbit teeth float.

Also I second the ear mite problem if the teeth are ok.

Is his balance good? No listing to the side, or stargazing, going in circles, etc.? If so, you could have big problems.

Some mushy poop is completely normal. It's called cecotropes, and its a very soft stool that rabbits typically eat to further extract nutrients from. Horribly gross, I know, but it's part of rabbitology! LOL

tle
Jan. 24, 2009, 10:39 PM
Thanks all. Buck is back to being his charming self... begging at his cage every time I come in. I have high hopes for this little guy to be one of my main herd bucks. He's VERY well built and from a good breeder and very nice lines. I'm glad he's feeling better.

Now on to the next worry... breeding my first pair tomorrow and my white doe is due to kindle in the next couple days. At least she pulled fur and built a nest this time (IN the nestbox).

The recent cute? my 6'5" hubby telling me he wants to keep the one cull we picked up instead of processing her or sending her on. He now has a pet. Now I have to read up on things like litter training and whether or not it's ok to bring an otherwise outside rabbit indoors for periods of time. He's so silly.

MyMoodyMares
Jan. 25, 2009, 09:27 AM
Glad to hear that your buck is feeling better! Everyone offered really good advice and info on nutrition. I just wanted to add, after reading that you feed a mix of hay that includes alfalfa, that alfalfa is really not good for bunnies. Also, alfalfa based pellets (which most rabbit grains are - much more palatable to the bunnies) are bad for them too. Timothy is really the best roughage for them. Sorry if someone mentioned this already and I missed it!

Guin
Jan. 25, 2009, 04:52 PM
If you get your hay from a barn, be on the alert for ear mites. I've had to stop bringing home barn hay for my bunny because she's gotten 2 bad cases of mites from it. You can tell that they're getting infested because the rabbit will start drinking ten times more than usual. Getting rid of the mites isn't any fun, either. Involves mineral oil in their ears for a week and two doses of Revolution (NOT Frontline - Frontline is fatal to rabbits.) In really bad cases you need Ivermectin shots.

I've gone back to buying the bagged hay from Petco, which I'm sure has no nutrional value, but is important for roughage.

ETA: MMM is correct about alfalfa - too much calcium, I think.

Simkie
Jan. 25, 2009, 04:56 PM
If you get your hay from a barn, be on the alert for ear mites. I've had to stop bringing home barn hay for my bunny because she's gotten 2 bad cases of mites from it. You can tell that they're getting infested because the rabbit will start drinking ten times more than usual. Getting rid of the mites isn't any fun, either. Involves mineral oil in their ears for a week and two doses of Revolution (NOT Frontline - Frontline is fatal to rabbits.) In really bad cases you need Ivermectin shots.

I've gone back to buying the bagged hay from Petco, which I'm sure has no nutrional value, but is important for roughage.

You can make hay from the barn safe for your bunnies by baking it at 200 for at least an hour. I shove a flake into an old grain bag, fold over the top and put it in the oven on a rack as low as it can go.

I don't have bunnies, but I do have pet mice that I bed on hay. This is what makes it parasite-free for them.

Guin
Jan. 26, 2009, 10:14 AM
You can make hay from the barn safe for your bunnies by baking it at 200 for at least an hour. I shove a flake into an old grain bag, fold over the top and put it in the oven on a rack as low as it can go.

I don't have bunnies, but I do have pet mice that I bed on hay. This is what makes it parasite-free for them.

Really??? Wouldn't it catch on fire??