Rabbits spend most of their free time chewing on food or toys. When they skip a meal, it is of utmost concern and it needs immediate attention. Aside refusing food, other signs of reduced appetite in rabbits are weight loss, passing out little or no poo, and weakness.
Causes of appetite loss in rabbits
- Dental Problems: An example is overgrown teeth.
- Ileus/Gut stasis: Ileus is a disease condition in rabbits that affect the normal gut movement. It reduces the gut motility or totally stop gut movement.
- Stress: Minor events like loud noise, change in housing or addition of a new pet can cause stress induced appetite loss.
- Change in Diet: Sudden change of food in rabbits can cause stomach upset and diarrhoea which would result in loss of appetite. When changing your rabbit food, gradually transition to the new food.
- Stomach ulcers: Rabbits do also have stomach ulcers and the pain would cause loss of appetite.
- Urinary tract Infections: are painful and would often cause reduced appetite.
- Respiratory infection: can also cause your rabbit to eat less.
Loss of appetite in pet rabbits is an emergency and it should be treated as such. Contact your veterinarian immediately to prevent complications such as dehydration or liver disease. It is also important to know why your rabbit stopped eating so you can prevent it in the future