Rabbit glutton creature, it is unlikely for them to not have a big appetite and will usually chew anything for curiosity or just to sate its hunger. Should you might want to provide them with more food stock by doing a simple gardening, You can read “How to Gardening Your Rabbit“article.
But rabbit can lose its appetite hence will not eating much but still acting normal (on the surface). Usually lack of appetite also a sign that your rabbit is in bad condition, hence it can be also a sign that the rabbit might sick. Fail to notice and neglect its condition can detriment your rabbit health and may lead it to its death.
Should the rabbit act normally, you can observe these symptoms to determine if the rabbit loss it’s appetite or not:
- You can see if the rabbit has defecated properly or its fecal matter (poop) output is decreased.
- You rabbit still defecate properly but the size of the fecal matter is shrunk in its size.
- There is a change in the texture of the rabbit fecal matter, like its become sticky, watery, much harder, etc.
- reluctant or not even want to eat its favorite treat.
- A decrease in body weight
- Still eating, but increase more leftover food
- Start to decrease its daily activity
Here are a few causes that make your rabbit not eating much but acting normal (on the surface):
1. Gastrointestinal Statis
One of the causes of the reason why your rabbit don’t eat much is due to the gastrointestinal problem called ileus. Alternatively referred to as Gastrointestinal Stasis, ileus occurs when the normal peristalsis, the stomach movement, and intestines to push food through the gastrointestinal tract, decreases or stops. Ileus in the rabbit is extremely dangerous and may become the cause of its death if left untreated.
Gastrointestinal Statis or ileus is when the rabbit intestines stop moving the normal ingesta out through the colon toward the rectum. When the rabbit stops doing eating or pooping, the bacteria inside the rabbit will produce excessive gas and this overproduced gas is painful for your rabbit. These overproduced prevent your rabbit from eating its food. Rabbit can’t vomit so its need your attention to help them work on the gas and whatever food that may remain in its body by using medication or stimulation. You might even need to force feed your rabbit to keep them alive while administering the medication, but the best solution is to let your veterinarian help your rabbit.
2. Abscesses in Rabbit
An abscess is a cavity containing pus surrounded by a capsule of thickened, inflamed tissue. Usually caused by a bacterial infection. The abscesses accumulate the dead cell from the rabbit battle to fight the bacterial infection, The bacteria that causes abscesses might be caused by aerial bacterial (which need oxygen to survive) like Pasteurella multocida, Streptococcus, Pseudomonas, Staphylococcus and Anaerobic bacteria (Which not need oxygen to survive).
The Abscesses on rabbit can be formed in nearly any organ of its body like skin, toot roots and its bone. Commonly, the abscesses can form in rabbit tooth roots, bite wounds and tear ducts. Usually, the causes of rabbit facial abscesses are the result of dental disease. Tear duct abscessed caused by an elongated upper incisor tooth root, blocking its tear duct. Accumulated fluids in the rabbit tear duct is an excellent breeding ground for the bacteria to breed thus the abscess and easily formed there.
Abscesses can be formed internally and will be difficult to diagnose thus really troublesome to manage. Abscesses can be internally formed in the uterus, lungs heart liver, abdominal fat, intestines, and kidneys.
3. Overgrown Rabbit Teeth
Like rabbit nails, Rabbits teeth also can grow too long. Rabbit incisor teeth are the easiest to identify when its become overgrown. Should you find your rabbit incisor teeth begin to curve and stick out between your rabbit lips, it might be the sign of your rabbit have overgrown its teeth. Neglecting its overgrown teeth might make your rabbit stuck on things such as wire mesh or cage bars. The rabbit overgrown incisor teeth can keep growing until it reaches the gums or roof of your rabbit mouth with completely make them can unable to eat without forcing to hurt its mouth.
The rabbits molar teeth, the teeth in the back of rabbits mouth also can reach excessive lengths. To identify should the rabbit’s molar teeth is overgrown or not. you might need a veterinarian to check it by using a speculum to look in the back of your rabbit’s mouth.
You can identify should your rabbit has overgrowing teeth by observing should you rabbit have drool excessively and having difficulty in chewing and swallowing. you can prevent your rabbit have overgrown teeth by trim it with regular tooth trim and let them chew appropriate woods (not scented one), hay and it’s own toys.
3. Encephalitozoon cuniculi
Shortened to E.cuniculi, this is a dreadful and lifelong disease for the rabbit. This disease is so hard to identify that make the perfect healthy rabbit can suddenly contract E. cuniculi, even more, dreadful because this disease is highly contagious to other rabbits. E. cuniculi have many symptoms including seizure and head tilt that make the rabbit having difficulties eating.
The rabbit will require lifelong medication to help them manage and stabilize the rabbit. I hope your rabbit will never get this disease because there is no cure established yet for this disease. Here is “12 Symptoms That Your Rabbit is Sick “to keep your rabbit safe.
4. Sore Hock
Known as Bumblefoot, its medical name is ulcerative pododermatitis. Usually occur in animals such as rabbits, rats, and guinea pigs. Sore hock is very painful and will stress your rabbit. The bigger rabbit is more susceptible to get sore hock. Stressed rabbit will be most likely to not eating much due to not having the appetite when being feeling stress.
Sore hock is the foot of the rabbit that becomes infected due to bacteria. The fur near the infected area on its feet will out and reveal an inflamed and red patch of skin. Sore hock usually occur on rabbit back feet because it has a large surface are there hence exposed more contact on the ground and other sources of infection.
To prevent your rabbit from getting sore hock, is by keep the rabbit’s environment secure from anything that may harm its feed. You can read the simple guide on rabbit-proof by reading this “5 Easy Ways to Rabbit-Proof Your House“article. You also need these “7 Tips to Clean Your Rabbit Dirty Feet” to help minimize chance of your rabbit gets sore hock should its foot get dirty.