Monday, 25 February 2013

Muscle and Weight-loss in Rabbits

Muscle and weight-loss in rabbits can be a small occurrence, or can be a very dangerous one. I have heard it is fine for their weight to change very slightly, yet if they loose 10% or more of their normal body weight, you know you need to do something. As this is happening, if it is accompanied with muscle atrophy (also known as the wasting away of muscle mass),then you know something is VERY wrong. At this point they will need to immediately seek medical attention and another name it may be referred to as is cachexia.

Types and Symptoms:

Depending on what has caused it, they will have different symptoms. Some of the general signs to look out for are:

  • Thinness
  • Reduced size and appearance
Some other symptoms which are also quite common are:

  • Producing less stools
  • Teeth grinding
  • A haunched posture
  • Bad breath
  • Drooling
  • Unable to eat
  • Aren't interested in their food
  • Abnormal boating in their intestinal area around the stomach
  • Abnormal breathing sounds
  • Irregular heart rhythms

There can be many different causes for muscle and weight-loss in rabbits. This can include increased metabolism. Their body may start using lean muscle for energy to carry out their daily functions. Some metabolic disorders such as organ failure associated with cancer can also cause this to happen. Here is a list of some other common causes:

  • Dental diseases
  • Dietary causes
  • Gastrointestinal disorders
  • Central nervous system disorders (can contribute to anorexia or other similar disorders)
  • Neuromuscular diseases and pain
  • Spinal problems

This is dependant upon what has caused it. So the treatment can't be certain due to the many different causes it has. They may be able to stabilize the animal by using pain relief. I would definitely recommend you visiting the vet for them to be diagnosed and treated properly.

After all of this, make sure to keep your bunny on a well-balanced diet involving lots of fresh greens for them to eat.

I hope this post helps you to have a better understanding.

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