Please help my "sad" rabbit : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

My male reproductor lost appetite and seems a sad rabbit;is losing weigth. We added a little terramicine (anti-biótic)to the water; what else can we do?? He is now 4/5 months old and weights about 4kgs(8lbs). We feed pellets,some greens (Very little cubbage), dry oats, alfalfa and a small piece of carrot. In the last 5 days we rubbed the carrot with a very small amount of vitamin complement (calcium, etc.). Droppings are ok. Raised in wire cages, indoors with 2 sheep and 2 pigs. Your friend from Portugal! Obrigado!

-- Manuel F.Santos (, February 07, 2001


Manuel, You are killing him with kindness. He sounds like the right size and weight for his age not knowing what breed of rabbit you have. But please, rabbits don't eat that much at maturity. Cut out the greens and the oats and just give him the rabbit pellets and the alfalfa and a little carrot once in awhile for a treat. My rabbits would weigh 25 pounds each if I fed them that much and a fat rabbit does not breed. You really don't want your buck too fat. Good luck and I hope your sad rabbit gets happy. PS have you tried a little piperzine in his water, rabbits do get parasites and need deworming from time to time.

-- karen (, February 07, 2001.

I remember reading somewhere it was not a good thing to feed domestic rabbits cabbage.

-- diane (, February 07, 2001.

I'm sure a lot of the serious rabbit raisers around here will disagree with me but I think rabbits need exercise. I have a safe area set up where I let my rabbits run around and stretch their legs. Most rabbits never see the outside of a cage their whole life. I got to thinking and I'd hate to live that way. My rabbits sure do seem to enjoy this exercise....they seem livelier since I started doing this too. My rabbits even know to go back into their cages when I come in the pen too. It might be worth a try and certainly couldn't hurt.

-- Amanda in Mo (, February 07, 2001.

Rabbits cannot burb or fart so do not give them gas producing foods ie"cabbage".Sorry for lack of better terms.

-- Patty {NY State} (, February 07, 2001.

Have you checked his teeth to make sure that they are not overgrown so that he can't eat? Or may have broken one and made it painful to eat? It would be worth checking in his mouth to make sure all is okay.

-- Julie Froelich (, February 08, 2001.

Rabbits need hay! It is not a treat, it is a requirement for good health. (Yes, I know there are a million pet bunnies who lived for 8 years on a diet of pellets and carrots. However, recent research shows that pet bunnies can live up to 13 years with an improved diet!) They need the long, fibrous plant material that hay is composed of. Their main food should be hay, with just a couple tablespoons of pellets given AFTER they finish the hay. I will post back with an address for the House Rabbit Society, which has the most up-to-the- minute health & nutritional research anywhere.

-- Shannon Lentz (, February 08, 2001.

Make sure he hasn't got a hair ball! IF he is a long-haired rabbit, and even some short haired rabbits, get too much hair when they are grooming themselves and it may be deadly! The best thing is to give him plenty of roughage and plenty of water! Sometimes we also give ours a little stuff you buy in the store for that problem for cats and rabbits but it is basically vasolene...pretroleum jelly! It helps the hair pass. Either put some on your finger and stick it right in his mouth for him to swallow or put some on his front paw and he will lick it off. Hope your bunny gets better!

(WE also like to let our rabbits exercise when it's pretty weather, in a little rabbit run we built by the rabbit barn!)

-- Suzy in Bama (, February 08, 2001.

I was told by my Vet to not give rabbits Alfalfa hay, but to give him Timothy hay. Also, I agree, they get hung up on hair balls. I give Petromalt (the same as I give my cats) to prevent hairballs.

-- Duffy (, February 08, 2001.

Our vet also said to feed only Timothy hay--alfalfa hay is too rich, only give it in small amounts as a treat. He also said to regularly give your rabbits a small amount of yogurt containing active cultures, as this will help to keep some of the "good stuff" necessary for digestion in their system. You may have to put some in their mouth the first time, for them to taste it, but after that they should eat it on their own. Try strawberry or banana flavor. This might be what your rabbit needs to feel better.

One of our rabbits developed cage sores from being in a wire cage, they were painful and difficult to treat. On the advice of our vet, we bought one of those rubber mats that are used to relieve pressure when standing for long periods of time. The mat was 3' x 4' and we cut it to fit the cages. It has holes in it about 1" so most waste goes thru it and it is easy to clean. We also use straw to keep them off the wire, put in a thick 4-6" layer, they seem to like this as they can make a "nest" in one corner and use another corner for their bathroom. All waste does not go thru, so it needs to be cleaned more often.

A male rabbit becoming more mature may be feeling a bit aggressive, we give ours wood to chew on, this also helps to wear down their teeth. We wire ours to the cage on each end so he can chew it in the middle. The best to use is a natural branch from an apple tree that has not been sprayed, we don't have those so we just use a piece of 2 x 2 lumber.

We also give our rabbits a salt spool and a mineral spool.

The house rabbit society is at

-- dani (, February 09, 2001.

for sore hocks try putting sheet rock in the cage. They will chew on it and the chalk is good for them.

-- dee (, February 09, 2001.


I don't think rabbits raised indoors are as healthy as those with good ventilation (NOT WIND, ventilation). Rabbits won't freeze to death if they have no direct wind, so you might think about putting him out, or letting him into a well ventilated run for an hour a day. I don't think a well aired rabbit would need the excercise. I also agree that you should be giving him pellets, good fresh hay, and fresh water with nothing else. A good rabbit mix is very hard to top with your own mixture. If he has no obvious signs of injury or illness (you said the droppings were fine, what about hair loss? Painful shores? How long since you sterilized his cage? If he nibbles on dirty metal, he'll get just as ill as nibbling on dirty wood, dirty feeders, dirty waterers, and other ill rabbits) I''d look into his diet and surronding environment. The hay dust and grain dust and dander from the other bigger animals could live him in respitory distress. Clean air, simple food, and a low stress (no wind no rain) environment makes many a rabbit a happier hopper.

-- Marty (, February 09, 2001.

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