Rabbits

Rabbit care guide

Prevention is better than cure!

To keep your rabbit healthy, we must, among other things, pay attention to his diet. See the rabbit care guide written by the Hôpital vétérinaire Chambly staff for information.

GENERAL EXAM

Teeth: Rabbit teeth grow continuously; only a good diet like hay and grass will allow normal wearing of the teeth and avoid an overgrowth of the teeth that can lead to a stop of the food intake in your rabbit. The incisors of rabbits grow between 2 (maxillary) - 2.4 mm (mandibular) every week.

Stool: Called coecotrohpes: Rabbit do two kinds of stool, hard stool and caecotrophes, softer. The last one are very rich in amino acids, volatile fatty acids, enzymes, vitamins B and K and bacteria beneficial for the rabbit and they a consumed directly from the anus by the rabbit.

Coprophagy: Production of only one type of stool and ingesting part of it.

Caecotrophe: Production of two kinds of stool, non-consumed hard stool and a soft stool covered in mucus, rich in amino acids, volatiles fatty acids, enzymes like amylase, lysozymes, vitamin B, vitamin K, beneficial, mushrooms and protozoa consumed directly from anus.

Spaying and neutering: Ideally, the surgery is done between 6 to 9 months, animals recuperate quickly. For males, neutering avoids overpopulation, urinary marking, and aggressiveness; and for females, spaying avoids overpopulation as well as infections and tumor of the reproductive organs.

Diet

Proteins: Comes from the consumed diet and caecotrophes: protein rate is between 12-16%. A Diet too rich in proteins promotes a bacterial overgrowth.

Carbohydrates: Simple sugars and starch are a very good energy source, but in excessive amounts, they can be dangerous because they reach the heart and lead to an enterotoxaemia. Oat contains less energy and is preferable to wheat and corn.

Fibers: Useful for the gastro-intestinal transit, attrition of teeth. Ad libidum.

Fat: 2.5%- 4 % of the daily ration, no more or obesity may appear.

Grass: Balanced source of digestible and non-digestible fibers, proteins, vitamins and minerals.

Hay: Ideally Timothy.

Vegetables: Two cups daily for a 2.5 kg rabbit.

Fruits: Are rich in energy. Give one tablespoon for a 2-3 kg rabbit a couple of times a week.

Pellets: Low in fibers, rich in carbohydrates but rich in vitamins and minerals. Pellets alone are not balance enough.