When it comes to feeding rabbits, making a choice can be overwhelming because rabbits are highly sensitive. However, when you understand the basic needs of your rabbit, you can make an informed choice. Rabbits need a combination of fats, carbohydrates, minerals, vitamins, and water. Below, we provide answers to some of the important queries of bunny parents.

 

What are the most important vitamins for rabbits, and what happens if there is a deficiency of them?

 It shouldn't be surprising that rabbits, like humans, need vitamins, and a deficiency could be fatal. Animals need a balanced diet too. Generally, bunnies can produce their own vitamins B and K. Therefore, other forms of vitamins are to be obtained in their diets. Vitamins A, D, and E are in this category. They don't require a high amount, but you must ensure they are available in a proportional ratio. Therefore, it is best if you considered opting for a diet that contains the specified amounts of vitamins.

 

 

  • Vitamin A – vitamin class A, D, and E are called fat-soluble, i.e., they can dissolve in fats. They are important for the production of certain hormones, regulation of blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Vitamin A is great for vision, bone development, reproduction, etc. However, vitamin A deficiency or its toxicity can result in congenital abnormalities like cleft palate and hydrocephalus.

 

  • Vitamin D- Maintains serum calcium levels and fosters phosphorus metabolism. A deficiency in vitamin D in rabbits causes teeth and bone softening. The condition is rickets in younger kits and Osteomalacia in adults.

 

  • Vitamin E – the E class is known for boosting circulation and the immune systems. It also prevents oxidative damage—the deficiency results in muscular dystrophy and reproductive failure.

 

What are the most important supplements for rabbits and what happens if there is a deficiency of them? 

The most important supplements in the rabbit diet are vitamins and minerals. Vitamins like minerals are provided in the diet; therefore, an unbalanced diet is detrimental to the rabbit's health. Minerals' deficiency leads to a series of urine tract issues, kidney damage, and possible bone challenges. It is important to follow supplement recommendations, so it is important to consult your vet if there's any doubt.

 

  • Product recommendation: Since the diet can compensate for these minerals and help fight against adverse health conditions, a great option is the Oxbow Natural Science Joint Supplement. It is a high-fiber treatment with beneficial ingredients for rabbit health.

 

  • Calcium: Calcium is reportedly one of the most abundant minerals in an animal's body. It is responsible for bone and teeth formation alongside phosphorus. Therefore, rabbits need this mineral in constant supply for growth and development. It is present in alfalfa, Alfalfa meal, and grass hay. Phosphorus, on the other hand, is in grain products and wheat bran or wheat middlings.

 

  • Phosphorus – phosphorus works in cohort with calcium. It is ideal for keeping their ratio between 1:1 and 2:1 in favor of calcium. Imbalances in either lead to dental problems, sludgy urine, and bone decalcification. During pregnancy and growth and development, the demand for calcium and phosphorus is high.

 

  • Sodium – This is a macromineral and is equally important in the diet. High sodium levels could potentially disrupt the acid/base balance.

 

Common diseases in rabbits

  •  Gut stasis- this is the term used for lack of movement in the digestive system. It is marked by slowness or decreases appetite in the animal. As a result, they become dehydrated while experiencing bloating, potential impaction, and gas. This disease is hard to recognize and diagnose. Factors leading to the disease are a high fiber and carbohydrate diet, lack of exercise, stress, etc.

 

  • Obesity- many rabbits are overweight as a result of health and behavioral factors. Rabbits fed with only an alfalfa-based diet are likely to be predisposed to this condition. Getting little exercise and feeding on unhealthy snacks could cause it too.

 

  • Urinary Tract Diseases: The urinary system of a rabbit helps maintain acid/base balance. When this function is jeopardized in the rabbit, the urine color varies. You may notice pigments in the urine as well as some traces of blood. Since rabbits are highly vulnerable, it is vital to feed them a healthy diet and note their environmental interaction.

 

Product recommendations

Digestive care collection: To combat and prevent Gut stasis, you may consider opting for a digestive care diet. Perromart offers a variety of critical care products under this category.