Rabbits/Loosing weight



I have a male holland lop rabbit named Basil, he turned 3 years old in June and I purchased him last May. He's lived outside the whole time I've had him but I just recently put him in my garage because of the weather, I live in MN so it gets very cold here. I have a carbon monoxide detector in my garage and the garage isn't heated so his water bottle would freeze. He just recently would drink from it constantly, it seemed like he drank a lot but it would freeze so he might of been drinking so much because he didn't always have water.

Last Friday I put in a heated water bottle, it has a different end to drink out of than his normal water bottle but all of my other rabbits have adjusted to is so I assumed he would. Yesterday I noticed that there wasn't very much water gone from it and I haven't seen him drinking.

I feed him 1/2 cup of pen pals 16% rabbit pellets, unlimited hay, and sometimes veggies. This winter he's been eating less but I assumed this was because he hasn't been getting a lot of exercise, he's been is his cage most of the time. I haven't gave him veggies in a while and yesterday and this past weekend I noticed he hasn't really ate much of his pellets or hay or drank much.

I was holding him and he felt very skinny and scrawny, I can feel his bones so I weighed him and he's about 2 lbs. He seemed healthy and normal not long ago and he used to weigh almost 3 lbs so he's lost about a pound. All of my other holland lops are well over 3 lbs so the fact that he only weighs 2 lbs doesn't seem normal or healthy. I also heard him wheezing once and he sneezed a few times, his face is also like wet.

Yesterday I decided to bring him inside my house and he ate veggies and pellets last night and he was drinking water from the bowl. All of my other rabbits are acting normal (I have 3 rabbits besides him)

Like I said, he's lost around a pound in a short amount of time and he just seems sickly, not very active or playful. Im not sure if he has a a disease or something? He's not neutered and like I said all my other rabbits are acting and look normal. The only other thing I could think of is that my friend brought her female rabbit over and tried to breed her with Basil but he wouldn't breed so she put her rabbit in with one of my other bucks. I don't know if he caught a disease or something from this rabbit because all my other rabbits are acting normal. I don't want to bring him to the vet unless this is serious because the vet is like 2 hours from me so any advice on what I should do at this point would be great!

Hi Kylie,

I would say that a rabbit that has lost a whole pound and that is wheezing should be seen by a vet ASAP.  While some rabbits do lose weight in the Winter it is very unusual for a healthy Holland Lop to lose a whole pound.  I hope you can get him to a vet soon.

We just started using a supplement from the Oxy-Gen company for our bunnies that are under weight.  They have something called Cirqlate that seems to help them keep up their weight.  The bunnies love it and they only get about 5 pellets a day so it lasts a very long time.  I also suggest the Immunize.  I will put the link to their facebook page below.  You can call and talk to them and they can tell you which products would be best for your bunny.

I wish there was more I could do but I honestly believe that this bunny is in dire need of veterinarian care.

Good luck


Oxy-Gen facebook link


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


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.

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.