Rabbits have a rather sensitive digestive tract and can contract constipation if their digestive system loses its usual balance. This disorder can lead to death if not treated right away. It can be caused by stress, disease, intestinal obstructions, or dental problems, although rabbits generally contract it when they are not on the right diet.
Symptoms of a constipated rabbit are:
- lack of appetite
- rare or absent defecations
- sit hunched over
- bloated stomach
A rabbit can become constipated when the stool becomes too hard, making it difficult to pass it out. When it sheds its risk of constipation increases as it cleans itself and swallows hair that passes into its intestinal tract and sometimes forms blocks. Therefore during the moult it is advisable to brush it frequently.
Constipation is generally prevented by prescribing a diet consisting of 80% hay so that the high dose of fiber contained within it keeps his digestive tract functioning well. Hay provides the necessary pressure by allowing food to move through the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.
Proper hydration is also essential, so always make sure it has enough water. Green leafy vegetables such as romaine lettuce will be excellent allies together with water.
If the rabbit feels pain, does not eat, has hard stools or does not make stools within 12 or more hours, and has lost weight then it may be constipated. If it is, take it to the vet right away. If not, replace its dry food or crumble it and mix it with water until it becomes mush, give it more hay and fresh vegetables and make sure it has plenty of freshwaters available.
Avoid fruit as it is too sugary and heavy for your system. Carrots also contain too much sugar and can cause more serious problems.
Encourage it to exercise and give it reduced doses of olive oil orally, which is of great help in cases of mild constipation.
The best way to avoid this is to make sure your rabbit eats a high-fiber diet, drinks fresh, clean water, and eats plenty of vegetables. Avoid starchy foods like bread, sweets, cereals, and chocolate.
A healthy diet of hay, pellets, and an assortment of healthy vegetables can help keep its digestive tract functioning well.
This article is purely informative, at Shelterapet we do not have the right to prescribe veterinary treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We encourage you to take your pet to the vet in case of any kind of discomfort.