BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > DIET & CARE > Helping bunny gain weight
Last Post by aarlover20 at 10/31/2012 3:21 PM (6 Replies)
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User is Offline Radhika
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10/29/2012 2:53 PM

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.

User is Offline Skipper's Mama
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10/29/2012 5:01 PM
Have you thought of giving him Alfalfa hay? It's not normally suggested to give to older buns. But I do know it is given to mommy buns and little buns to help boost weight. I was thinking the hay version vs. the pellets just because it would be easier to integrate it and pull it from his menu when needed. I wouldn't cut him off the veggies or pellets. They have vital vitamins/nutrients that he needs. And it's not a question of getting him to lose weight. I've read that you cut back on pellets when you want to decrease weight not increase. I would see what others have to say. But I'm thinking give him some Alfalfa hay to mix in with his normal hay. Also, what are they doing for his mites?

User is Offline Radhika
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10/30/2012 12:21 AM
I never thought of decreasing his pellets, definitely want to increase those. It's the veggies I'm not sure about

He is on a spot-on treatment for the mites. I forget what it's called, he had his first dose there yesterday and he has to go back in 2 weeks for the next one.

Will try and get some alfalfa hay.

User is Offline LittlePuffyTail
New Brunswick, Canada
Forum Leader
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10/30/2012 2:27 AM
As far as I know, veggies don't do too much as far as increasing/decreasing weight. You could try increasing his pellets a bit (make sure to do it gradually). Make sure he has as much good quality Timothy has as he wants and if you do decide to introduce alfalfa, do that very gradually as well. Start with just a sprinkle for the first few days. You don't want any tummy upsets.
Proud to be a Bunny Hugger and a voice for the voiceless

User is Offline Sarita
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10/30/2012 4:00 AM
I think I would just stay the course with what you are doing. Perhaps once his ear mites clear up and since his eye infection cleared up, he may gain the weight he needs. Just wait and see at this point what the weight is at his next weigh in.

Also, what do you mean by handfuls of pellets? Can you actually measure how much you give him?

User is Offline Kokaneeandkahlua
Edmonton, Alberta; Canada
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10/30/2012 5:26 PM
I think your vet may have been reluctant to help you help him gain weight because she wants to reweigh in two weeks. I think the goal here is to find out if this is a fluctuation, a scale issue, or a health issue. When an animal loses weight there is often a reason, so reweighing in a few weeks will either show that he's gained some and it was a fluke, or he stayed the same (maybe nothing wrong, maybe reweigh) or he's lost more, and there is a health reason for that. Helping him gain weight will not help and could mask the reason for the weight loss in the first place.

So my advice is to echo your vet and say don't don't don't mess with this diet. Keep it the same, see what happens at the next weigh in.

User is Offline aarlover20
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10/31/2012 3:21 PM
It is rolled oats that help with rabbit weight gain, thats what I did for my rabbit but only for a short time. just feeding her more oxbow timothy pellets really helped my rabbit gain weight.

BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > DIET & CARE > Helping bunny gain weight