A rabbit’s diet should consist of very high levels of fibre. Without these high fibres levels, their digestive system will not work effectively and will be susceptible to gut stasis. Their teeth are designed to grow continually and therefore need fibrous food to wear them down. If a rabbit does not get enough abrasive foods, they will suffer from overgrown teeth making it painful to eat! Therefore a rabbit should have access to high quality feeding hay or grass which should make up to 85-90% of their daily diet.
Rabbits can tend to begin selective feeding with such diets as muesli style diets as they chose the higher starch and sugary elements of the feed and therefore leaving the higher fibre elements. This selective feeding unfortunately increases the likelihood of a variety of illnesses in rabbits. Therefore we recommend a nutritionally balanced high fibre nugget or pellet based diet. We also advised to feed the recommended amount of food to prevent overfeeding which may lead to obesity.
The Bunny Feeding Plan!
- Hay & Grass – This element should make up 85-90% of your rabbit’s diet. We recommend using a high quality and dust extracted feeding hay and replace with fresh hay daily.
- Nutritionally balanced high fibre nugget or pellet based diet – This should be fed as a supplement to ensure your rabbit gets the minerals they need. You should fed the recommended amount as advised.
- Natural snacks – some food manufacturers sell natural snacks to help with keeping your rabbit occupied and can be used to encourage foraging if sprinkled within their hay.
- Fresh greens – These should be fed as a treat to add variety and provide addition nutrition.
- Everyday greens – grasses, kale, mint, celery leaves, green pepper, plantain, cauliflower leaves, dandelion leaves, wild geranium, apple tree leaves & branches, strawberry and raspberry leaves, rose bush leaves, hazel tree leaves & branches, willow tree leaves & branches, brambles, goose grass, blackthorn, nettle (dried), romaine lettuce, hawthorn, and spring greens.
- Occasionally (can be given in small quantities) – savoy cabbage, spinach, parsley, basil, apple (pip less), banana, turnip, carrot tops, swede, dill, oregano and coriander.
- Fresh water – This should always be available and changed daily. Also ensure it hasn’t frozen in the colder months.
Did you know that one blood donation can help to save the lives of 4 dogs
Over next blood donation session will be held on 10th August.
If you are interested in registering your dog as a blood donor, please head on over to the Pet Blood Bank website to ensure they meet the criteria and to register them online – www.petbloodbankuk.org/pet-owners/canine-donor-programme/register-your-dog/
On examination the vet found that Jasper’s bladder was very full and painful but he wasn’t able to urinate. Jasper was in a lot of pain and needed to have a sedation to have a catheter passed up into his bladder to drain the urine. This condition is called Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease FLUTD) and can have many different underlying causes. Jasper was diagnosed with Idiopathic FLUTD which means that the exact cause is unknown.
Jasper was kept in the hospital for a few days with a urinary catheter in place to allow us to flush his bladder and monitor his urine output. He was also treated with a combination of medications to keep him comfortable and keep his urine flowing. Some cats will recover well after a few days in hospital but unfortunately Jasper was one of the unlucky ones who was in and out of hospital for a couple of weeks due to recurrent problems of obstruction.
Jasper was then referred to a veterinary medicine specialist for further investigation to give him the best chance of recovery, as he continued to have problems. After carrying out more tests he was put on additional medications. Fortunately for Jasper this was successful and he is doing well on his medication. He comes back for regular visits and has become very popular amongst our nurses.
FLUTD is a difficult condition to treat and manage. It is more common in male cats as they have a long narrow urethra compared to female cats and so are more susceptible to problems and obstruction. Overweight cats and indoor cats are also known to be at higher risk of this condition.
Jasper was very lucky that his owners spotted something was wrong early enough for him to be successfully treated. This is a very painful condition and can be life threatening if not treated immediately.
Please make sure you call your vet as an emergency if you notice any of the following signs –
- Repeated attempts to urinate that are unproductive
- Crying or discomfort when straining to urinate
- Increased agitation, possible vomiting.
- Increasing water intake
- Use multiple litter trays around the home
- Minimising stress
- Reducing obesity and encouraging exercise