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Rabbits Eat Only Cabbage

Could an all-cabbage diet cause illness in rabbits?

By Karen Rosenthal, DVM, DABVP
Posted: May 27, 2009 7:30 p.m. EDT

Q: I have two small rabbits named Ash and Ruby. I don’t know their age. Recently, Ash got sick. His stool is loose and Ruby has a sticky eye. I am feeding them cabbage leaves. They only eat cabbage. How many times do I need to feed them? They keep on eating whenever they see food.

A: Unfortunately, a diet of cabbage only is not a balanced diet for rabbits. The ailments you describe may or may not be due to the diet but they do mean you should visit your veterinarian.

Any rabbit with loose stool likely has digestive disease. This may be due to the diet or partially due to diet. Either way, loose stools can quickly turn into a serious situation with your rabbit losing nutrients and fluids. Your veterinarian can evaluate this and decide on a course of treatment.

Your other rabbit may have an eye infection or another problem involving the structures around the eye. Again, your veterinarian will be able to determine the best course of treatment to improve the condition of your rabbit’s eye.

See all of Dr. Rosenthal's Critter Q&A articles>>

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If you have questions about pet rabbits a good resource is the film Equal Hoppertunity www.equalhoppertunity.com
Bunny, Norfolk, VA
Posted: 2/6/2011 12:13:18 PM
For buns over 10 months..... 80% of the diet should be timothy or oat or a grass hay. About 10% or less should be timothy pellets (oxbow is the best brand) with nothing added to them, and the other 10%+ should be greens, like Romaine, Italian Parsely and Cilantro...and/or baby bok choy, arugula, red and green leaf lettuce. There are other greens as well, but some have higher calcium levels than those listed and therefore can also cause problems if overused.
Babies under 10 months should have alfalfa hay and alfalfa pellets because at that time they need the extra fat content.
vicki, calabasas, CA
Posted: 11/18/2009 11:27:16 PM
Rabbits need to eat more healthy food besides cabbage.
Mike, Columbia, TN
Posted: 6/18/2009 12:19:34 PM
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