Mysterious weight loss

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Mysterious weight loss

Post by gentl on Sat Dec 21, 2013 12:20 am

Rory is losing weight.  He's getting quite bony in his hips.  He's eating normal and pooping normal.  His behavior seems unchanged.  I'm even giving him more apple in an attempt to add back on some weight.  

There are two things that have changed in his life  # 1  he is eating more sheet rock. I did some research on the sheetrock and found:  The plaster is mixed with fiber, plasticizer, foaming agent, finely ground gypsum crystal as an accelerator, EDTA, starch, various additives that increase mildew and fire resistance, wax emulsion and water. This is then formed by sandwiching wet gypsum between two sheets of heavy paper or fiberglass mats. When the Gypsum plaster dries, the sandwich becomes strong enough for use as a building material.

Not good for a bunny's tummy!  We have tried everything to stop him.  Barriers of all sorts. He manages to defeat anything one way or another.  He's clever and so persistent.  All that is left is putting him in a cage which we are hesitant to do.

But....if it isn't the sheetrock could it be # 2....We are keeping the house cooler.  My room I try to keep in the low 60's F and the rest of the house is about 70 F.  Is a 2-5o F difference enough for him to need more calories?

Suggestions? I'm giving him extra noms every time he asks. And he asks a lot! He hasn't been outdoors so I cannot believe it is worms. His tummy feels like it always does. His energy is the same as always. His routines are unchanged except for asking for more noms(which are usually his pellets). I'm so worried but a trip to the V.E.T. is incredibly stressful for him.
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Re: Mysterious weight loss

Post by dizzylynn on Sat Dec 21, 2013 10:06 am

Can you put a playpen round the cage, the sheet stuff could be slowly poisoning him, I dont really know what it is, even with your discription, so he still has space outside the cage hut cant get to anything, give him extra hay to nibble on, maybe more toys pr bunny chew things, dont think I would increase fruit, to high in sugars maybe few more pellets or visit vet if your very concerned.
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Re: Mysterious weight loss

Post by paullp on Sat Dec 21, 2013 10:58 am

that sheet rock stuff sounds like it is bad for bunnies to eat!
There is a good article in the latest Rabbiting On about training rabbits so that they don't get as stressed going to the vet.
I don't think it's the temperature though as that sort of temperature range is great for rabbits
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Re: Mysterious weight loss

Post by Sparky on Sat Dec 21, 2013 12:16 pm

I'd not worry about the temperature either.

You can have a good examination of his poop for any sign of worms, although if his digestion is not noticeably upset I doubt it would be that.

I would definitely be looking for a way to keep him away from the sheet rock, even if you end up lining the walls with clear plastic like Cheryl has done in Bruce 'n' Flo's room. I would also research whether there could be some nutrient he is looking for in his diet.

Have you actually kept track of his weight over time? I would do this so you get a true indication, rather than just by feel, but no more often than weekly so you don't get false fluctuations.

Can you give us full details of his diet? Does he get a mix of hays, dried forage etc and which pellet food do you have him on? Any fresh veg and herbs? How much fruit or carrot? I'd also be a little cautious about increasing his pellet food, you need him to keep eating lots of hay. And I'd try to find an alternative to apple, something less sugary, perhaps soaked rolled oats if you really think he needs extra calories.

I assume you give him chew sticks, apple twigs and suchlike to keep his teeth worn?


Finally, we've come to learn that bunnies really ought to be a bit leaner than a lot of people think. We were guilty of feeding our lot up a bit too much over last winter and they were visibly porky by spring. Once their rations were cut and the weather got warmer so they were out more, they all slowly slimmed down and became much leaner, happier, more active rabbits. We've not increased pellets at all this winter and they are all eating absolutely mounds of hay and maintaining weight just fine.

Theo in particular is half-starved (his words) because it's so important to keep him eating lots of hay, being a dental bun. He does feel quite bony but always weighs exactly 2kg and the vet says this is perfect.

Can you get any pics of Rory, particularly from above?
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Re: Mysterious weight loss

Post by jolovesbunnies on Sat Dec 21, 2013 4:01 pm

Whatever it is love, I hope you get to the bottom of it. Healing vibes are on their way for the little chap. Please keep updated.

Hugs

JO xx

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Re: Mysterious weight loss

Post by gentl on Sat Dec 21, 2013 4:31 pm

Sparky wrote:.......
Can you give us full details of his diet? .....
I assume you give him chew sticks, apple twigs and suchlike to keep his teeth worn?
perfect.......
.....Can you get any pics of Rory, particularly from above?

Rory has all the Timothy or Orchard hay(we alternate) that he wants.  He eats far more hay than any bunny we have ever had even though he is one of the smallest.  His morning starts with 2 baby carrots(and the baby carrots we get are extremely small they...should be called preemies..their diameter is smaller than a pencil) and ~2 T of a high fiber pellet quality pellet made from Timothy hay.  

Lunch time he gets about 2 cups of mixed organic baby greens and 2 more preemie carrots.
Bedtime it is another 2 T of pellets and a sliver of apple.

For snacks he gets little bites of apple or crunchies made from his pellets and some herbs.  And very rarely he will get tiny bits of whole wheat cracker.  I get mauled for the cracker!  He is not too keen on herbs.

He has lots of chew toys. He gets apple wood branches regularly.  Has a Timothy hay mat to chew on.  We just got him a huge dried yucca root log that he could chew and get those teeth worn down but he doesn't even play with it.  He loves to chew cardboard, paper and the spines off books. No  I've even resorted to a spray of water to deter the chewing on the sheetrock if I can get a good aim. Hubby spent last evening putting barriers around the walls.  Cardboard and C & C panels give such a high end look. Rolling Eyes 

We know he is spoiled rotten. He's full of energy always running around. He jumps up on the bed to visit me many times daily...even with the feet in the highest position!(it's a hospital bed) Not that he comes close enough to be petted, but at least he comes up. Last night he hopped up and pawed my leg and when I didn't respond he slowly walked up my leg, abdomen and chest. He pawed my Bi-Pap mask until I spoke to him and then he retraced his hops and settled for a bit out of reach around my ankles.

I'll try to get a pic from above but he is always on the move and there is just SO much fluff.  I had no idea how tiny his head was until he got it stuck in the tin his treats are kept in.  The tufts of muzzle hair he has never molts so we didn't know.  He wont let you touch that area ever.

He poops far more than any bunny we have ever had but it's because of him eating so much hay. Sir Poops-A-lot reigns supreme in this Warren!
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Re: Mysterious weight loss

Post by cheryl'n'bruce'flo on Sat Dec 21, 2013 5:08 pm

Where is he in his moult cycle Holly. One of the things that I really notice with Bruce is he always feels like he has lost a lot of weight during a moult. I am not sure he looses much in the way of body bulk, it is just fur. I was thinking about this just yesterday as Bruce is currently quite full coated and is feeling quite chunky, but his ribs are still fine.

You should be able to feel the bumps of the ribs when you apply a little pressure, but they should not be really prominent when you run your hands over his body.


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Re: Mysterious weight loss

Post by cheryl'n'bruce'flo on Sat Dec 21, 2013 5:14 pm



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Re: Mysterious weight loss

Post by Sixer on Sun Dec 22, 2013 9:23 am

I agree that the temperature shouldn't be a factor. Sometimes a rabbit that craves cardboard (and sheet rock could be classed as that) is because they are short of dietary fibre. With Rory being such a good hay eater I wouldn't have thought that this was the case.

How much is 2 T of pellets - are you using the Oxbow Bunny Basics? I use these - the adult variety. Each pair of buns gets around 30g of these between them a day. The average weight of the buns is 2kg.
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Re: Mysterious weight loss

Post by gentl on Mon Dec 23, 2013 12:52 pm

Cheryl- That article was most helpful! Rory had been too fat and with Winter has trimmed down. He's been much more physically active as of late too. Lots of jumping and climbing.

Sixer wrote:.....
How much is 2 T of pellets - are you using the Oxbow Bunny Basics? I use these - the adult variety. Each pair of buns gets around 30g of these between them a day. The average weight of the buns is 2kg.
1 Tablespoon=3 teaspoons or 14.78676 grams
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