You must have wondered what would happen if you give your rabbit some fruits or veggies that are not included in its regular dietary plan. Have you ever considered artichokes?
If you’re familiar with artichokes, you know that they are considered superfoods among vegetables. The question is: does this work for your rabbit, that is, can rabbits eat artichokes? This seems a bit too strong for them.
You might want to stop for a minute and not give them these veggies right away. Instead, continue reading this article and find out should your rabbits consume artichokes at all.
Can Rabbits Eat Artichokes?
Unfortunately, your rabbits shouldn’t eat artichokes at all. This is not a veggie that should be included, even as an occasional treat for your rabbit. Artichokes are acidic, and they contain too much phosphorus. This makes artichokes bad for your rabbit.
However, phosphorus is not the only thing artichokes contain. Here are other essential components.
Artichokes contain 73 gr of phosphorus and 0.24 mg of pantothenic acid. That’s what you should be worried about.
Let’s start with phosphorus.
Your rabbits are forbidden from consuming too much phosphorus because it can cause them some severe stomach aches. Consequently, excess amounts of artichokes can cause:
- Muscle cramps
- Muscle pain
Most of the symptoms mentioned above are noticeable a few hours after your rabbit has eaten the artichokes. You will notice that your pet is having difficulty moving around. In some cases, the muscle cramps can be so bad that your rabbit starts refusing to come out of its cage or even doing some basic daily routines like eating and drinking water.
The rashes can get pretty ugly as well. Rabbit’s skin is already sensitive enough, so consuming some toxic foods that provoke skin irritations. Once you notice any of the following, it’s time to go to the vet. But before you do, get your rabbit away from the artichoke.
Next up is the acidic content in artichokes. This one is actually even more dangerous.
Pantothenic acid, also known as B6, can be harmful if consumed excessively. The side effects of pantothenic acid are many, and here’s what your rabbit can expect:
- Muscle and joint pain
- Lack of energy
- Rash, itching, swelling
Just like with phosphorus, too much B6 can cause your rabbits’ skin to swell, and you might be looking at some ugly rashes. A common misconception people make is that the more B6 vitamin food they give to their pets, the better. That’s not true at all.
Although your rabbits certainly need their dose of vitamin B, giving too much to them causes the opposite effect. It would be best if you were more careful with your rabbit’s dietary requirements, especially when stronger vitamins and minerals are involved.
Foods High In Phosphorus
We’ve established that foods high in phosphorus are detrimental to rabbits. So, we’ve decided to list down some other choices that you should avoid feeding your rabbit.
- Chicken and turkey meat: For people who thought of feeding their rabbits chicken and turkey meat – stop! Rabbits are herbivores, so this is not acceptable!
- Seafood: Seafood is extremely healthy for people, and they are rich in phosphorus levels. Some types of seafood contain almost 70% of phosphorus, which is strictly forbidden for your bunny!
- Dairy products: Lots of dairy products like milk, eggs, and cheese are high in phosphorus and calcium. That makes them a bit risky for your rabbit, but you already knew that, right?
- Sunflower and pumpkin seeds: This one is pretty interesting. While rabbits can eat sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds are not on their food list. Pumpkin seeds are a bit stronger, and your rabbit will have trouble digesting it.
- Whole grains: Rabbits are allowed to eat grains to some level, but you should never make their bowl full just from these ingredients. Remember, whole grains include wheat, oat, rice, etc.
- Lentils: Lentils are legume plants known for their seeds. Although this plant is extremely healthy, it’s not meant for your rabbit. It’s too high in phosphorus, and it can cause a choking hazard.
Foods High In Vitamin B6
As we said a minute ago, pantothenic acid, which is vitamin B6, is the main reason that makes artichokes dangerous for rabbits. Of course, that’s not the only food choice that’s a bit too high in this vitamin. Here’s a couple more you need to check out:
- White Button Mushrooms: This type of mushrooms contains almost 67% of the recommended B6 vitamin, and the content increases even more after they are cooked.
- Endive: Your pet rabbit is allowed to eat endive. This is indeed a healthy leafy green, but because of its high content of B6 (9% of RDV), you should be careful with the amount you serve.
- Peanuts: Rabbits will love to get their little paws on some peanuts, and owners love to give this as a treat. However, people take this too far and give their pets too much of this. Lower their peanut intake because it is too high in B6, and it can easily cause diarrhea and stomachache.
- Potatoes: Most people make the mistake of giving their pet rabbits potato skin after they’ve finished using them in cooking. Rabbits are not allowed to eat any part of the potato!
- Avocado: Avocados might be the ideal fruits for people, but they are extremely dangerous for your rabbit. They contain various toxins that can affect your rabbit’s behavior and worsen their breathing.
- Eggs: If rabbits are not the only pets in your backyard, and you have chickens as well, then you might think of feeding your bunny some eggs. Our advice is not to do that because your bunny will not be able to digest it.
Rabbit Stomach Problems and Diarrhea
Most stomach problems with rabbits occur due to the wrong dietary plans. The key is taking the right steps. Therefore, you need to:
- Identifying the problem
- Seeking help from the professional
- Treating the problem
First, you need to identify the problem your rabbit’s been having. This means that you need to pay a bit more attention to your pet.
Start by observing your rabbit’s eating habits. If you notice that your pet is refusing some staple food or that there’s been a decrease in the appetite, something is undoubtedly wrong. Sometimes, problems can also be seen in the behavior of your pet. If your rabbit is having tummy issues, it might seem lazier than usual and refuse to come out and play, for example.
The last thing you can do is check your rabbit’s belly. If his belly feels a bit heavier, this might indicate that it is starting to bloat. That’s not a good sign at all. What’s more, their belly can produce strange sounds.
The next step is reaching out for help from your local veterinarian.
The minute you notice that something’s wrong with your rabbit’s health, you should immediately take it to the vet’s ordination. It’s never a good idea to try and guess the problems yourself. After your rabbit has been examined, your vet will probably suggest possible treatment methods. Of course, you should mention anything that might affect the vet’s decision – previous treatments, medical history, allergies.
No matter what type of stomachache your rabbits suffer from, you should upgrade their water supply and keep it constantly hydrated. Your vet might also prescribe some medication, but you should never use this at your own risk.
The last step is treating the health issue. Treatments depend on the seriousness of the case. While some rabbits just need a slight change in their dietary plan, others might need to take medication or even visit the vet more frequently.
Apart from the treatment, it would be best to make your rabbit feel good at home. This includes upgrading its cage, including some healthy greens as snacks, and massaging its belly from time to time.
After some time has passed, you should encourage your rabbit to be more active. Once you notice a positive change, take it out from its cage and let it run in the backyard for a bit.
When it comes to stomachache, we should point out rabbit diarrhea. Although this is the most common outcome of consuming toxic food, there are other reasons for this like:
- Bacterial infection
- Chronic disease
- Inappropriate use of medication
Diarrhea can be very dangerous if you don’t consult the vet about the problem in time. Diarrhea causes significant changes in your rabbits’ metabolism, and it prevents them from digesting any food.
Those who choose to ignore this problem completely can even expect their pet to die. Diarrhea is more or less treated in the same way as other stomachaches.