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This information is provided by Provet for educational purposes only.

You should seek the advice of your veterinarian if your pet is ill as only he or she can correctly advise on the diagnosis and recommend the treatment that is most appropriate for your pet.

Rabbits need to eat food every day. If they stop eating for more than 24 hours you should get professional advice from your veterinarian

Rabbits need to eat food every day. When they stop eating (called anorexia) there can be a variety of underlying reasons - some of which are much more serious than others. Possible causes include :

  • A poor (low fibre) diet
  • Dental problems - tooth overgrowth or misalignment (occlusion)  of teeth
  • Gastrointestinal disorders : enteritis, obstruction, parasites
  • Liver disease - especially fatty liver in obese rabbits
  • Kidney disease
  • Urogenital diseases eg pyometra in females
  • Various metabolic diseases
  • Infections eg respiratory infections, abscesses
  • Poisoning
  • Cancer

Your veterinarian will be able to determine the cause of the anorexia and  treat it appropriately. Loss of appetite is particularly serious in obese rabbits, because this can cause liver disease (called hepatic lipidosis). In some cases food may have to be given by hand. 

Last updated : September 2013