PDA

View Full Version : Indoor rabbits could be deficient in Vitamin D



Fenris
12-04-2014, 03:53 PM
Wasn't sure where to post this item because it is relevant to health, housing, diet, general rabbit care.

It seems that indoor rabbits may well be deficient in vitamin D leading to all sorts of health problems.

Here's the article http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/275356.php

This tells you all about vitamin D for humans - haven't found anything rabbit specific yet. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/161618.php

tashp90
12-04-2014, 04:01 PM
I may be wrong, but I believe pellets contain vitamins, and you can also get vitamin supplements/food spray

Sent from my LG-P880 using Tapatalk

Vilija
12-04-2014, 04:04 PM
as long as they get the correct diet it shouldn't be a problem :wave:

Jack's-Jane
12-04-2014, 04:27 PM
In Rabbits Vitamin D does not play such an important role in the absorption of dietary calcium from the gut to the bloodstream, unlike in other species. So a low blood calcium concentration will not have the same implications re poor bone density as long as there is sufficient calcium intake in the diet. Commercial Rabbit Feeds have added Vitamin D which in most cases should be sufficient.If a mix is fed and the Rabbit 'selective feeds' they are likely to miss out on the Vit D needed. So Rabbits who 'selective feed' should be fed pellets rather than a mix. Sun dried hay also contains Vit D.

Giving a Vit D supplement should only be done under Veterinary supervision as too much Vit D can cause serious problems (calcification of the Kidneys and the Aorta)

All Rabbits do benefit from some exposure to sunlight, even if the benefits are more psychological than physiological. But they obviously should not be left without the provision of plenty of shade, Rabbits do not cope well with high temperatures.

threelittlepigs
12-04-2014, 04:45 PM
:wave:

As other posters have stated, I would be surprised if rabbits suffered from this on a big scale, given that in the wild they spend most of the daylight hours in the darkness of the burrow.

Fenris
12-04-2014, 06:15 PM
The researchers seem to think it is a problem. For humans it is unlikely that sufficient vitamin D can be absorbed through food and there is a lot of debate about the benefits of supplementation and whether the supplements are the right type of vitamin D. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/271975.php How that translates into rabbits I don't know. I wouldn't dismiss the possibility of indoor rabbits needing some sunlight for their health though.

Vilija
12-04-2014, 06:31 PM
could I ask for the links to the actual papers please?

Vegan_Bunny
12-04-2014, 07:44 PM
I was under the impression that rabbits absorb vit D very well, so they'd only need to be out in the sun for a little while to absorb enough vid D to keep them healthy. My buns go out in the Summer and I'm pretty sure that even if they had a poor diet, this would be enough exposure to the sun to get all their vitamin needs.

Tamsin
12-04-2014, 07:49 PM
Although the study found the light raised their vitamin D levels, they don't say whether there was actually any health benefits to those raised levels. Playing devils advocate, you could double the supplement level of vitamin D in their food to get the same effect - doesn't mean they are any better off for it.

The study done on diet v. teeth recently included a hay only group which I'm presuming had no access to sunlight (they were kept in a lab). There were no changes on xray to suggest dental disease after 18 months on that diet. If I remember right, even those that selectively feed still managed to get the right balance.

It's tough without reading the whole paper though...

Fenris
12-04-2014, 08:42 PM
could I ask for the links to the actual papers please?

There is a link to the abstract at the bottom of the first article I posted a link to. Unfortunately you have to pay for the actual papers or subscribe to the journal.

raine
13-04-2014, 10:17 AM
My 9.5 year old free range house bunny, who I lost recently, really hated being outside and rarely went out. If I threw him out, he would sit facing the back door to come in. If you placed him in a run, he would just look forlorn did you fetched him in. He rarely got any Vit D and lived to a fine age.

tabithakat64
02-10-2015, 11:52 AM
http://brighteyessanctuary.org/educ/rabbit-vitamin-d.html interesting blog post on the subject.

Boudicca
03-10-2015, 07:46 AM
What Jane said :D According to FHB at the rabbit conference last weekend, house rabbits fed a normal healthy diet will be perfectly fine, no need to supplement! There's also Vit D in dried forage, dandy leaves etc

kattymieoww
03-10-2015, 04:23 PM
My bridge tri colour lop Rio was the same.He was an indoor bun,however we built him a run in the garden so he could go outside on good days,we would stay with him as the garden was visible from the road at the side of the house,he would just hide in the bit with the overhang roof.Not interested in moving, exploring at all,we persisted thinking he would get used to it etc.Nope, he did not approve, as soon as his carry case appeared he would hop in to back inside,so we gave up. We got him a female companion later on and they both remained happy indoor buns.We didn't want outdoor buns ,as I said ,the garden could be seen so it would not be safe/theft etc or worse.

MightyMax
03-10-2015, 04:41 PM
From all my research, including with FHB, rabbits need sunlight to synthesise Vitamin D. There is no doubt that it's absolutely essential to their teeth and also overall well being.

I thought this bit of one of the articles quoted above was interesting (though not relating to Vit D):

One final note on this article by Harcourt-Brown, she clearly opines that doing a minimal trim on maloccluded teeth is preferable over the now 'old school' approach, which is to trim them down to the base of the gum line. Doing this, she notes, only causes the tooth to grow back faster and more deformed and destroys enamel of which rabbits have a finite amount during their lifetimes. This would be a good thing to discuss with your vet if your rabbit is going in for regular trims.

A lot of vets still grind the teeth down to the gum lines :cry:

CookieCrisp
04-10-2015, 07:57 PM
...

kattymieoww
04-10-2015, 09:42 PM
I think it's more an issue with Guinea pigs.I've not kept them though my cousins daughter has and she has to sprinknle powder (vit c or d not sure) on their food as a supplement.

SarahP
04-10-2015, 10:05 PM
I think it's more an issue with Guinea pigs.I've not kept them though my cousins daughter has and she has to sprinknle powder (vit c or d not sure) on their food as a supplement.

Guinea pigs don't produce their own vitamin C (like humans).

tabithakat64
05-10-2015, 12:00 PM
Sun coming in through glazed windows doesn't count when it comes to vitamin D.
There is some suggestion that special lighting such as that used for reptiles or people with SAD would be beneficial to rabbits kept indoors how do not have exposure to natural sunlight.
There is also evidence that lack of vitamin D may cause both dental and skeletal issues in rabbits.
If I had rabbits that were kept indoors I'd be investing in the necessary lighting rather than potentially risking my beloved pets health.

SarahP
05-10-2015, 12:01 PM
Sun coming in through glazed windows doesn't count when it comes to vitamin D.
There is some suggestion that special lighting such as that used for reptiles or people with SAD would be beneficial to rabbits kept indoors how do not have exposure to natural sunlight.
There is also evidence that lack of vitamin D may cause both dental and skeletal issues in rabbits.
If I had rabbits that were kept indoors I'd be investing in the necessary lighting rather than potentially risking my beloved pets health.

On the other hand, you've got to get it right, or you can risk damaging eyes etc.

tabithakat64
05-10-2015, 08:48 PM
Absolutely true. I think this is an area where much more research is needed given that more and more people are keeping rabbits :)