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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 24467
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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I have a 5 yr old bunny and lately she has had the ccups

Customer Question

I have a 5 yr old bunny and lately she has had the hiccups alot. She has also had alot of nasty poops. Should I be concerned. She is getting very few pellets, mostly timothy hay for food.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Pet
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

My first approach to Whiskers would be to balance out her diet. Field studies of wild rabbits indicate that they are selective feeders with a wide food range. They prefer to eat tender, succulent plant parts as the major portion of their diet and consume small quantities of coarse roughage to stimulate gastrointestinal motility. Nutritional studies have shown that laboratory rabbits also adapt to a high-roughage diet which should include fresh leafy vegetables and fruits. Please see here: http://rabbit.org/what-to-feed-your-rabbit/ Please note that rabbits like sweet materials and select diets containing molasses or sucrose over similar diets without added sugar. This preference can be used to advantage when an anorectic rabbit is being encouraged to eat. Most pet owners feed their rabbits commercial pelleted diets because they're convenient and balanced in their formulation but too many are alfalfa-based and low in fiber. When pet rabbits are fed a diet of unlimited low-fiber pellets, than can become obese and develop chronically soft stools. Good quality, high fiber timothy-based pellets formulated specifically for pet rabbits are available and should be considered as part of Whisker's diet. Appropriate feeding of this type of pelleted diet helps to prevent obesity and ensures a high dietary fiber intake. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.