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Dr. G.
Dr. G., Veterinarian
Category: Pet
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Experience:  Exotic animal veterinarian for 16 years.
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My bunny wont eat or drink. How can I force him to drink water

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My bunny won't eat or drink. How can I force him to drink water? I'm afraid he's becoming dehydrated. He was over heated on Friday and hasn't eaten or drank much since.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Pet
Expert:  Dr. G. replied 6 years ago.

Thanks for your question. I'm very sorry to hear that Bean is sick. Overheating can be very serious and he could have severe health issues from. They can suffer from metabolic changes and even brain damage.

He really should be seen by a vet as a rabbit who is not eating or drinking is critical. They can deteriorate very quickly and this could be life-threatening. I know it may be difficult to find some one open on a Sunday, but here are some lists of vets that see rabbits. See: (vets icon on right) and You may need to check with local veterinary emergency clinics also.

Right not at home, there isn't much you can do. Try offering Bean some fresh greens like romaine, carrot tops, parsley, butter/bibb lettuce etc. Run some fresh water over them to try and increase his water intake also. Offer some fresh hay like alfalfa and timothy also (fresh strands, not the cubes). You could try putting a bit of flavored pedialyte in his water as sometimes this will make them drink more (try strawberry etc).

You could try to assist feed him some veggie baby foods with a syringe or dropper but this can be hard to do. Rabbits don't have teeth at the corner of the mouth, so you can place the syringe there and SLOWLY place some in his mouth. Make sure he swallows. Most of the time they dribble it out, but watch for little swallows. Do over a towel etc as it will be messy. This product is better to use, but it may be harder to find on short notice. See:
This website does have a product finder also.

Please let me know if you need anything else. I hope Bean gets better soon!

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