If your rabbit defecates little or not at all, is lethargic, and is not eating, then it may be a sign of constipation. Here we tell you what causes the disease and what you should do about it.
Constipation can be life-threatening for rabbits – Image: Shutterstock / Claudia Paulussen
Rabbits are prone to digestive problems very easily. This includes constipation. There can be a variety of reasons why the food pulp remains in the animal’s intestines longer than usual.
Causes of constipation in rabbits
• First and foremost, recurring constipation in rabbits indicates that the animals are being fed incorrectly. Fresh food is an essential part of a healthy rabbit diet. Vegetables, fruit and herbs should be on the daily menu. A conventional dry feeding with grains and pellets, on the other hand, easily forms too solid a mash in the intestine and can quickly cause constipation in rabbits. The whole thing is additionally favored if the animal consumes only little liquid.
• Aside from dry feeding, foreign objects such as straw pellets, kitty litter, cardboard boxes or carpet fibers can also cause rabbit blockages. Once in the animal’s stomach, they swell and clump together.
• If rabbits ingest too many fur hairs when cleaning, which is especially the case when they change their coat, then these can become knotted in the intestine to form tight hairballs, which usually cannot be digested and cause constipation.
• Lack of exercise or an attitude that severely restricts movement can be other causes of constipation in rabbits. They promote constipation. If the intestines are no longer working properly, the rabbit will also pass little or no feces.
• Dental problems can also be a reason for constipation. If the rabbit does not chop up its food sufficiently, the animal may suffer from indigestion.
Symptoms: Recognize constipation in rabbits
If the rabbit is lethargic, refusing food, and progressively losing weight, these are signs of constipation. In addition, the animal defecates little or not at all – if it does, then with extreme effort. The animal arches its back upwards when defecating. The stomach is also hardened.
If the rabbit does drop poo, then these are small and hard. If the constipation is due to hairballs, then these are also found in the excretions.
Treatment of constipation in rabbits
Prolonged constipation can be life-threatening for rabbits. For this reason, you should consult a veterinarian immediately. This usually x-rays the animal to clarify the exact cause.
Then he decides on the appropriate medication and treats the constipation in a targeted manner in order to prevent further diseases such as stomach overload, intestinal obstruction or drum addiction, which can follow constipation.
If the constipation is due to incorrect feeding, the vet will also recommend a change in diet to fresh food.
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