Rabbits chew a lot.
Did you know they can move their jaw up to 120 times per minute?
While it’s fascinating to know…
You can’t help but worry:
“What if my rabbit eats something awful?”
Read on to learn more:
- Common symptoms of poisoning in your rabbits.
- 9 first aid measures if your rabbit eats a poisonous plant.
- Tips and alternatives to keep your bunnies safe from poisoning.
- And so much more…
What to do if rabbit eats poisonous plant? Checklist
#1: Observe and identify their odd behaviors
As fur parents, panicking is a natural tendency.
Especially when your rabbits eat something bad.
Giving them medications right away may not be the best idea at the moment.
Especially when you find out that they ate an unfamiliar plant.
You may want to first observe how your rabbits behave.
Note: Rabbits can’t vomit.
This is why it’s tricky to identify what causes their discomfort.
However, you may notice some differences in their routine, such as:
- Sleep quality.
- Poop texture.
- Breathing patterns.
- Pooping frequency.
- Physical movements.
- Feeding time and quantity.
- The time they use their litter box.
Anything that’s beyond normal could be a symptom.
Moreover, symptoms may or may not show immediately.
They can be mild as mentioned above.
Or severe ones such as seizures, rapid breathing or drooling.
Warning: If severe symptoms show, seek your vet right away.
But remember, the first step as a fur parent is to stay calm.
#2: Track your rabbit’s whereabouts
It’s important to give enough information before going to your vet.
This will help them identify what causes your rabbit’s unusual behavior.
And give the right treatments for your bunny.
It may be difficult to assess the whole situation by yourself.
Especially if the poisoning happened without your presence.
However, checking their usual route in the house helps.
Or some spots at home where potential poisonings can happen.
It could be in your backyard garden or lawn.
Or potted plants in the living room.
Sometimes, it helps to be like Sherlock Holmes.
#3: Identify what your rabbit ate
If your rabbit doesn’t like the food they eat…
They’ll abandon it right away.
And this could be your hint.
Look around for any possible subject that’ll attract your bunny’s appetite.
Since they’re plant-eating animals…
Bite marks on the leaves or stems of plants can be a big clue.
Dried and fallen leaves in your backyard, too.
In some cases, poisoning can happen on the lawn.
This is when your bunnies eat lawn clippings that are contaminated by pesticides.
In the wild, rabbits use their sense of smell to identify a threat in plants.
They learn this from older members of their warren (underground dwelling).
This instinct may still be present in domesticated rabbits.
However, it’s safer to keep them away from potential health threats.
#4: Find out how much your rabbit ate
Since rabbits can’t throw up, you may need to assess from the source.
It may be impossible to determine the exact quantity.
But you can get a mental estimate from the portions left.
Moreover, symptoms may vary on how much your rabbit ingested.
A tiny bite may not harm them or show no signs of discomfort at all.
However, pay attention to what type of plant they ate.
It also matters which part of the plant they consumed.
Poisonous plants contain little and lethal toxins in their leaves, stems, or fruits.
Interesting read: Warning: 21 Plants That Are Poisonous To Rabbits
#5: Refer to your rabbit’s health card
Your rabbit’s previous health record may give clues.
It’ll also give you information if your rabbits have:
- Food allergies.
- Diet restrictions.
- A sensitive digestive tract.
It’s also important to note that previous medications refer to different findings.
And some treatments may no longer work on your bunny’s current health status.
Moreover, breed, size, and weight help identify the best remedy for your rabbit.
Toxins may affect small rabbits easier or quicker.
While poisonous substances take longer to affect large bunnies.
Still, pet poisoning is a serious issue to consider.
#6: Supply your bunnies with some fresh water
Your rabbits may feel thirsty.
Or need some refreshment in their body.
By supplying fresh water, your bunnies can have the following benefits:
- Boosts cells and organs.
- Promotes digestive movement.
- Flushes out excess nutrients and toxins.
Also, they need to expel the poisonous plant they ingested.
Your rabbit’s tummy needs water to moisten up everything they eat.
If their digestive environment is too dry, it’ll lead to GI stasis.
Or gastrointestinal blockage.
Some results can be little to no poop droppings or loss of appetite in your rabbits.
So, be sure to prepare a fresh bowl of water.
Your bunny might need it from time to time.
Watch this video on how to treat your rabbit’s upset tummy:
#7: Feed them with vegetables or hay
Feeding helps your rabbits keep their energy.
Especially when they’re not feeling well.
This is the goal that you need to ensure in this situation.
Encourage wet feeding your bunnies by giving moistened greens like:
- Carrot tops.
- Good-quality hay.
You may also give high-fiber pellets to attract your bunnies to eat.
Fiber helps their digestion.
It’s one of the important factors that keep their gut moving.
Moreover, rabbits like to chew and munch all the time.
So, it’s best to observe and take note of their behavior.
Prepare their food and offer it immediately before they lose interest.
#8: Provide a comfortable space to rest
Your rabbits are prone to stress.
Especially when they’re sick.
Reducing it will at least help ease their discomfort.
Here’s a list of tips to make your sick bunnies rest comfortably:
- Provide grass mats.
- Give proper ventilation.
- Provide sufficient lighting.
- Keep the litter box clean all the time.
- Avoid giving wood shavings as bedding.
Moreover, take note of your rabbit’s body temperature.
A bunny’s normal temperature is 102-103°F (38-39 °C).
If their outside temperature is at 60-65°F (15-18°C), it’s referred to as their comfort zone.
However, warmer temperatures above their comfort zone are a big no.
They’ll only lose their appetite.
And use all their energy to remove body heat through their ears.
#9: Bring your rabbit to the vet
You’ve done your best to attend to your bunny’s needs.
Yet, there are still no signs of improvement.
Head over to your vet immediately for a thorough diagnosis.
In some cases, it may help best to seek professional help right away.
Especially when they’ve ingested large amounts of poisonous plants.
Or the level of toxic content the plant has.
Severe symptoms like seizures and breathing difficulty call for immediate action.
Common symptoms of poisoning in your rabbits
Animal poisoning can happen anytime.
Even to popular indoor pets like rabbits, dogs, or cats.
According to a study, here’s a list of common poisoning symptoms in rabbits:
- Stomach pain.
- Rapid breathing.
- Muscle weakness.
- Dermatitis or skin irritation.
- Excess salivation or drooling.
- Hypotension or low blood pressure.
- Edema or swelling in some body parts.
In severe cases, poisoning from plants leads to death in animals.
Or long-term kidney failure.
Moreover, treatments should be done no later than 2 hours after ingestion.
Vets may administer activated charcoal treatments in the first 24 hours of poisoning.
However, maintaining the amount of fluid in your rabbit’s body is vital.
Dehydration can happen especially if your rabbit suffers from diarrhea.
Tips and alternatives to keep your bunnies from poisoning
As a rabbit owner…
Raising one isn’t always a bed of roses.
Especially when health threats to pets can happen at home.
So, here’s a list of safe plants and other alternatives for your bunnies indoors.
#1: Jade plant
Jade plants are a popular succulent variety.
They’re safe for rabbits to chew anytime they like.
Moreover, jade plants are hassle-free.
Place them in an area with enough sunlight.
And they’ll get the nutrients they need to grow.
#2: Spider plant
Well, the name sounds like a threat…
But luckily it’s not.
Spider plants are safe for your bunnies to munch on.
If you’re a newbie in plant-sitting…
No need to worry.
Spider plants are easy to take care of.
They grow with minimal effort.
#3: Watermelon peperomia
With its striking leaf stripes…
You may want to keep them indoors.
Neither will your bunny.
Watermelon peperomias are pet-safe and easy to grow.
Plus, it doesn’t take up too much space.
Perfect for your living room…
And your bunny!
But if you’re not into plants…
Or unsure if it’s the best option for you and your bunny.
You may want to try some edible rabbit toys.
Alternative chewing products for your rabbits
Since bunnies like to chew a lot, here are some safe products you can try:
#1: Handwoven grass mat
A lot of grass patch products are available in the market.
But most of them are artificially made.
Or are not suitable for rabbits to chew on.
#2: Chew ball
You can place this chew ball in their favorite spot in the house.
Or anywhere safe.
Make sure to check the grass or hay quality when you buy one.
You may opt for timothy grass or hay if in doubt.