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I got a rabbit 3 weeks ago, never had one before. I was

Hi, I got a...

Hi, I got a rabbit 3 weeks ago, never had one before. I was given hay, pellets, and bedding from her breeder. They said she eats the hay but hasn't eaten it with me, unless I stick it in her face. I was trying to litter train her and thought that to do this I should give her a small space, but she kept sitting in her poop and getting it stuck to her. One day, a few days ago, it was kinda runny and she smeared it everywhere. I was worried and was told not to give her pellets, only hay, for a few days. She still wouldn't eat the hay.

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. The Expert will know if the rabbit will be able to digest that. Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about the rabbit?

I bought a new hay today and gave her pellets back. She now isn't finishing the pellets line she did before, but eating maybe half. Still no hay, didnt eat the new one either. Hasn't peed all day, and her poop was really small yesterday but went back to normal today. Am I just over worrying?

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Answered in 14 minutes by:
4/15/2018
Scott Perry
Scott Perry, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 2,498
Experience: DVM
Verified

Hello. My name is***** and I am a veterinarian that can answer your question. I understand your rabbit is not eating normally and now has not urinated today. You are feeding hay pellets and hay straw. Is that a correct summary of the situation?

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Customer reply replied 7 days ago
but she won't eat the hay straw.

The hay straw is a staple for a rabbit diet, so when a rabbit will not eat this then there is likely something significant happening in the body that deserves medical attention. This could just be mouth pain because rabbits can develop sores in the mouth from tooth elongation. If she has not been eating hay straw in the past then this is a likely concern. Other issues are stomach or intestinal diseases, and some of them can be caused by not eating enough fiber (i.e. hay). However, the fact that she has not urinated today could very likely mean she is dehydrated, which can cause serious issues with the fermentation process of the intestines. In short, you are not over worrying. Do you have a veterinarian you can take her to for treatment?

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Customer reply replied 7 days ago
I think so. I called and left a message with the vet I take my cat to, and waiting for a reply. He will be back on Monday.
Customer reply replied 7 days ago
she could have been having problems this whole 3 weeks I've had her? It couldn't just be stress could it?

It's not stress. She should be eating at least during quiet times like at night if hay is being offered. She should not be eating more than 1/4 to 1/2 cup pellets per 6 lbs of body weight. Hay should always be offered. You also want to offer a minimum of 2 cups chopped vegetables per 6 lbs. of body weight. However, if she is not eating food then that could be an emergency and not one you will easily be able to treat at home. If you are forced to treat at home over the weekend then giving some papaya or pineapple juice (i.e. 1 teaspoon) may help to dissolve a hair clot in the stomach if that is present. Do not give more than that though. Otherwise, make sure she is drinking and encourage water intake as much as you can.

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Customer reply replied 7 days ago
Maybe that's part of the problem, giving her to much pellets. I was told to give her 1/3 cup of pellets a day. She is a Netherland dwarf, so small. I also didn't know about giving her veggies so she hasn't had any of those.

Here is a website that might help you. It goes over some basic rabbit care topics. Nutrition is one of them. https://rabbit.org

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Customer reply replied 7 days ago
I will look at that, thank you. I just saw she ate a little more pellets, so she's eating just fine... Except for the hay. Thats the only thing I don't think she's eating unless I hand it to her. Another question- I was told by a few not to spay her, but I saw online it's good to get them spayed. Right?

What needs to happen next, besides an exam from a veterinarian, is that a veterinarian needs to treat with fluids and medication to get the intestines moving. Stasis (i.e. not moving) of the intestines is very bad in rabbits and can cause disease. That is why we always want hay to be offered so that they are constantly eating it. If they stop eating then that is a sign of trouble. By the way, Netherland dwarfs are well known for having dental issues, so that is a top differential. Then the veterinarian will want to treat with a "critical care" diet like Oxbow. She may need to be hospitalized depending on what they find.

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If you do not spay her then she is almost guaranteed to get uterus cancer. It is always recommended to spay them.

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Does that help to answer your question?

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Customer reply replied 6 days ago
thank you. I will definitely get her spayed. But I guess I should make an appointment for her first. Will she be ok till I get her in? They aren't open tomorrow..

Keep watching her drinking level and eating amount. If she stops drinking or has loose stool then she needs to be seen on an emergency basis. Otherwise, you can get her in on Monday.

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Please let me know if you have any other questions. I am here to help. If you have no other questions, I would appreciate a positive review when you get time. Leaving a review does not close out your question and you can come back to any time to ask additional questions. You can leave a five star review at the top of the screen. Thank you.

Scott Perry
Scott Perry, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 2,498
Experience: DVM
Verified
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Customer reply replied 6 days ago
Ok, thank you.
Customer reply replied 6 days ago
Just wondering, how often should rabbits pee in a day?

A minimum of once per day

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Customer reply replied 6 days ago
Ok �� I just went to get her out of her play pen and noticed she peed a lot on the hay, it was hiding under it when I cleaned it all up. I also just looked at her teeth and they looked good to me. I still don't know if anything is wrong or not since I don't ever see her eating the hay, but I feel slightly better since I see she peed and is pooping normally again.
Customer reply replied 6 days ago
I bought a different hay today and she won't eat that either. I gave her a piece of spinach and she seemed to love it, but only ate it if I handed it to her..

The hay type you want to use is timothy, orchard, or brome hay. Keep trying different kinds. She should have her cheek teeth examined if this behavior continues.

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Customer reply replied 6 days ago
Timothy is the one I bought. I'm thinking I should call the vet Monday anyway, just to be sure.

That would be a good idea. It is not normal for a rabbit to not eat timothy hay, so if there is a problem you will want to find the answer to it.

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