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Florrie is a female neutered, domestic rabbit living in a large wooden hutch outdoor with her bonded companion. She was 4 years old when she was first presented to our practice for evaluation. When she was examined she was found to be severely overweight. At that time Florrie was also passing a large amount of sludgy urine (her urine was very thickened, almost like chalk) and she was scalded around her belly. Florrie was otherwise reasonably happy but not very active. A series of tests (including a blood and urine test, a CT scan of her body and flushing of her bladder to remove the thickened urine) were performed whilst she was under general anaesthesia. When all the results came back, she was started on a targeted medical treatment. A dietary plan was also initiated with the aim of drastically reducing her body weight over a period of a few months.

 

It is easy to underestimate our rabbit’s body condition as it is often very difficult to appreciate what is normal or ideal, especially when our pet is very fluffy. Failure to control meal size, overestimating portions, offering free access to high calorie food and treats will all contribute to obesity. Identifying the amount of calories that a rabbit should be allowed and the calorie content of the food provided would help to understand a rabbit’s actual requirements. Obesity can seriously affect the health and welfare of our pets, in much the same way as obesity is a health risk in humans. Obesity can predispose to or exacerbate many medical conditions, it is therefore extremely important to treat it and prevent it.  

 

Florrie’s owners did an amazing job restricting her calorie intake, providing a more natural diet and a lot of exercise. Her weight is now being regularly monitored to follow the overall trend of weight gain or loss. She lost an amazing 630 grams in just over 4 months and she is now a much happier and active bunny. She can now do binkies and she has been much healthier and happier than ever before.

 

•Give rabbits plenty of time for playful activities;

•Keep them engaged and entertained to increase energy and calorie consumption;

•Encourage their natural foraging behavior to provide both mental and physical exercise;

•Enrich their environment using toys, twigs, logs and objects which need to be safe and non toxic (not treated with any paint, varnish, pesticides, chemicals of any sort).

 

You will have a happy and healthy friend and you will see the difference!

 

 

Weight Watching For Rabbits

Florrie-Before-1 Florrie-Before-2 Florrie-After-2

Florrie Before

Florrie After

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