Harry went to the vet for his vaccinations today. The vet weighed him and found he has lost about 100g since his last visit a few weeks ago. He is now 1.6kg, so it is quite a significant percentage of his body weight.
I have been feeding him a handful of pellets in the morning, hay throughout the day, then about 2 cups of veggies in the evening. Every few days he gets some fruit.
I couldn't really get clear information from the vet about how to help him gain weight. She seemed reluctant for me to change his diet and just told me to come back in 2 weeks and check his weight again. Today we discovered he has ear mites. He also had an eye infection that developed a few days after I got him. He was in a horrible pet shop with his brother, who died just before I could take them home. I am clinging on to the hope that it's just the stress of losing his brother, changing home, and then having to fight off an infection and being bothered by mites that is causing him to lose weight. I don't really want to think about underlying conditions at the moment, though if he loses more weight we will of course explore that.
Okay so, for now, I want to see if I can solve this by diet alone. Which element of his diet should I increase/decrease?
It seems to me I should increase his pellets and give him two handfuls a day - he is around 6 months old, and clearly not in danger of obesity, so I don't think it would cause too many problems. There is always the worry that it would decrease his hay intake but I think in the circumstances it's worth the risk.
What about veggies? Should I increase or decrease? I think I have probably been giving him a bit too much, purely because fresh greens go off so quickly and I would rather him eat them than they go mouldy. Should I stick with that or hold back?
I also read about porridge oats being good for underweight bunnies, but everywhere says they have to be proper oats and not instant. What is the reason for that?
Edit: I know someone is going to mention dental problems here. His incisor bite is great. The vet could not see all of his molars because Harry kept trying to chew the.. thingimajig... but the ones she saw were fine and did not have spurs. He eats a lot of hay and he LOVES to chew apple twigs so I think it's unlikely he has molar spurs that are causing him not to eat. I think he is just not getting enough calories - he is a very active bunny.