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Thread: Straw diet

  1. #1

    Default Straw diet

    Hi! My rabbits have a high hay diet. I get the english timothy from dustfreehay.

    I took my rabbits for their jabs today and the vet said the one has sharp bits on the back teeth (but no sores or irritation visible) and to increase hay further. He said by cutting back on pellets and if that doesnt work then transition to a straw diet. As far as i know rabbits dont eat straw. So im a bit worried about that suggestion.

    I can reduce pellets, i can also scrap veg and just forage for willow and hawthorn now that it is available.

    Both my rabbits are dwarf lops one slightly more boxy face which is the one with the sharper back teeth. And she has had him grind her teeth before under a general, when she had a fatty lump removed, so again no irritation but they did it as she was under anyway. Id rather avoid too many generals if not necessary.

    Anyone had any similar issues or suggestions?

  2. #2
    Warren Veteran InspectorMorse's Avatar
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    Very odd advice from the Vet. I would try reducing the pellet and veg to try to increase hay intake. Also, grazing on fresh grass is excellent for dental attrition.


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  3. #3
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    Straw doesn't have the nutritional value of grass / hay, and I don't think it has the same abrasive properties as grass - so I would be very wary of following that advice. Reducing / removing pellets and increasing the hay / grass is much better advice, plus the forage you have suggested - basically, only feed anything that will aid in grinding the teeth down. Bramble leaves are also good and available all year if you know where to find them.

    It's still possible / probable that she will need a dental to burr the spurs down - but the dietary changes will increase the interval between dentals as far as possible. Some rabbits are just made that way, and you can't avoid all dentals if they are prone to spurs because of their genetics.

  4. #4

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    Thank you both! Exactly what i was thinking. I am experience in pet rabbit keeping so i just knew it was weird advice.

    I agree that she may be just prone to this and it is what it is.

  5. #5
    Warren Scout AnjaSanja's Avatar
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    Hay or fresh grass (if they are used to it), less pellets and veggies. Straw can be adition. SOme like to nibble a bit on it. But not as main diet. I would monitor eating habbits and if you see lack of eating hay, weight loss. DO another check up for dental issues. SOme need burring often, some not. Depends of their jaw a lot.

    One table spoon of pellets per 2 lbs bun is more then enough.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by AnjaSanja View Post
    Hay or fresh grass (if they are used to it), less pellets and veggies. Straw can be adition. SOme like to nibble a bit on it. But not as main diet. I would monitor eating habbits and if you see lack of eating hay, weight loss. DO another check up for dental issues. SOme need burring often, some not. Depends of their jaw a lot.

    One table spoon of pellets per 2 lbs bun is more then enough.

    Fab! Thank you!

  7. #7
    Warren Scout Preitler's Avatar
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    Straw doesn't have the nutrational value like hay, so it's a lot of roughage that needs to be chewed.
    Imo, that's a good thing. Your rabbits wont starve, they evolved on a pretty meager diet.
    Rabbits do not need pellets at all. This is just a part of convinient feeding, it's not about rabbit health.

    Rabbits that need dental work are mostly the result of torture breeding. Creating cute, deformed skulls to please the human sense of cuteness. Pugs have the big advantage that they don't need aligned teeth to survive.

    Just to point that out, to be aware that what you're dealing with. Imo, the advice of the vet is sensible to give it a try if it can work. If it doesn't, well, that's going to cost.

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