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Rabbits/overweight rescue bunny


I just accepted a mini rex rabbit from someone who was not caring well for her bun even though I had talked to her about it on several occasions.  The rabbit is obviously overweight.  She is 5 years old and was being fed unlimited alfalfa, oat meal and 16% protein pellets unlimited.  As well as lots of ? treats.  Not sure what those were.  Do I need to slowly change it?   Or just put her on what I feed my other buns which is unlimited mixed grass hay, 1/8 cup of 12% protein pellets morning and night. And a variety of leaf lettuces?

TIA, Mary

Hi Mary,

I would take her off all the alfalfa and oatmeal right away.  I would slowly change her over to the lower protein pellets.  If you switch the pellets to fast she could get bloated.  Cut her down to about a tablespoon of pellets a day and supplement with good quality hay and a very small handful of veggies.  Any type of green leaf lettuce (not iceberg) would be ok.  You can also use some dandelion greens, parsley, and cilantro.  I would stay away from kale and spinach for now.  

I will be 100% honest with you.  Mini Rex rabbits are very prone to becoming overweight. I have one of my own who is significantly overweight and I do not over feed her.  I believe that it is a genetic thing.  You should take her to a rabbit savvy vet and have her kidney function tested as well as all the normal tests all rabbits should have.

Thank you so much for saving her.  Good luck.



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Paula Murdock-Briggs


I am a licensed American Rabbit Breeders Registrar. I do not show rabbits anymore nor do I breed them. I do believe it is important that people that chose to breed rabbits do so with only purebred and genetically sound animals or that they have a thorough understanding of genetics prior to breeding. I have chosen to keep my registars license to help the 4H youth in my area. I do stay current on all breeds, varieties, show rules, regulations of the ARBA. I have spent the past 8 years focusing on rescuing and caring for PET bunnies who were no longer wanted. I am the current CEO of Little Angels Animal Sanctuary, Inc. I was appointed CEO of the rescue organization and sanctuary in 2008. We gained our 501(c)3 IRS tax exemption status in 2012. We have taken on the task of rescuing unwanted PET rabbits as well as some farm animals. I teach genetics and health to the local youth as well as register and promote the breeding of only purebred and genetically sound animals. I rescue PET rabbits. These are rabbits that lived in peoples homes and were either surrendered to us or sent to the auction for meat. While I believe that all bunnies should be pets, I understand that people raise them for other reasons. I will answer questions from anyone, regardless of their purpose. I will reject any questions that are considered unethical or inhumane.

Little Angels Animal Sanctuary.

President and CEO of Little Angels Animal Sanctuary, Inc. I have over 10 years of experience working closely with a veterinarian that treats rabbits. We have studied and treated nearly every illness that can affect rabbits.

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