Have I Hurt My New Bunny?😑😑

by Sarah
(Herefordshire)

Baby Rabbits Need Diet Guidance

Baby Rabbits Need Diet Guidance

Baby Rabbits Need Diet Guidance
A Complete list of Safe & Unsafe Foods are Available in the iRabbit READY System!

My son has just got his first own pet (a mini lop rabbit).

For the first 4 days he had plenty of hay and water and I was told to give him green veg and all I had at the time was lettuce (ice burg).

I then I looked on a site a couple of days ago and it said 'do not feed them lettuce as it's not good for them'!

The thing is our bunny loved it and ate maybe 3 small bowls a day for the first 4 days!

Will it have harmed it, and if so what is the best (and easiest) thing to give him??

Please help!!

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Jan 26, 2017
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RSPCA Quote about Iceburg Lettuce
by: Kerry

While I should retract the word 'poison' from my previous message about iceburg please don't give your rabbit's Iceburg lettuce.

Here's a quote from the RSPCA (Royal Society for the Protection of Animals) in the UK...

"Rabbits shouldn't eat some lettuces (e.g. iceberg) as they contain lactucarium which can be harmful in large quantities. Some lettuce is "worse" than others - light-coloured varieties are high in water and have very little nutritional value, so are not recommended."

In respect to spinach...

The substances in spinach reduce the availability of its calcium and while it is good for us it is not beneficial to rabbits.

Most of the veggies we give rabbits have very low levels of oxalic acid, but a few, most notably parsley, mustard greens and spinach have relatively high levels. (Note that kale, which is often implicated as a high oxalate food is actually very low in oxalates).

Oxalic acid is an organic, colourless crystalline solid. Its acid strength is much greater than that of acetic acid. Oxalic acid is a also reducing agent. Excessive ingestion of oxalic acid or prolonged skin contact can be dangerous. Interestingly calcium oxalate is the most common component of kidney stones.

Members of the spinach family and the brassicas (cabbage, broccoli, brussels sprouts) are high in oxalates, as are sorrel and umbellifers like parsley. (Flat leaf parsley is OK)


Here's a list of vegetables and their oxalic acid levels per 100g

Amaranth - 1.09
Asparagus - 0.13
Beans - 0.36
Beet leaves - 0.61
Broccoli - 0.19
Brussels sprouts - 0.36
Cabbage - 0.10
Carrot - 0.50
Cassava - 1.26
Cauliflower - 0.15
Celery - 0.19
Chicory - 0.2
Chives - 1.48
Collards - 0.45
Coriander - 0.01
Corn, sweet - 0.01
Cucumber - 0.02
Eggplant - 0.19
Endive - 0.11
Garlic - 0.36
Kale - 0.02
Lettuce - 0.33
Okra - 0.05
Onion - 0.05
Parsley - 1.70
Parsnip - 0.04
Pea - 0.05
Bell pepper - 0.04
Potato - 0.05
Purslane - 1.31
Radish - 0.48
Rhubarb leaves - 0.52
Rutabaga - 0.03
Spinach - 0.97
Squash - 0.02
Sweet potato - 0.24
Tomato - 0.05
Turnip - 0.21
Turnip greens - 0.05
Watercress - 0.31

PLEASE NOTE: A low oxalic acid level is not an indication of a safe food, as other compounds may be present in a food that render it harmful.

I appreciate that the human digestive system and a rabbit's digestive functions are quite different. For example we can safely eat most bulbs. (See The Complete Toxic Plant and Bulb Guide: Rabbits Are Dying to Know). However, as far as humans are concerned oxalic acid in concentrated form can have harmful effects through contact and if ingested.

There is a possible risk of congenital malformation in the fetus; may be harmful if inhaled, and is extremely destructive to tissue of mucous membranes and upper respiratory tract; harmful if swallowed; harmful to and destructive of tissue and causes burns if absorbed through the skin or is in contact with the eyes. Symptoms and effects include a burning sensation, cough, wheezing, laryngitis, shortness of breath, spasm, inflammation and edema of the larynx, inflammation and edema of the bronchi, pneumonitis, pulmonary edema.

The toxicity of oxalic acid is due to kidney failure caused by precipitation of solid calcium oxalate, the main component of kidney stones. Oxalic acid can also cause joint pain due to the formation of similar precipitates in the joints. Ingestion of ethylene glycol results in oxalic acid as a metabolite which can also cause acute kidney failure.

Interestingly ethylene glycol is used as a rot and fungal treatment for wood, both as a preventative and a treatment after the fact.

So while oxalic acid is only dangerous when in crystallized or liquid form (condensed), it is interesting that it also is created when certain other chemical compounds are present. Toxins that may be found in your rabbit's wooden hutch or house, or even toys!

It makes me think that 'maybe' excessive amounts of high oxalate foods can crystallize after urine excretion and react with the floor of your rabbit's house, releasing dangerous toxic fumes, leading to the many serious conditions I've listed above.

It is also worth noting that kidney failure is the no. 1 killer for rabbits, not only in the UK, but worldwide.

And while I'm no super rocket scientist or whizz kid vet, I'm not risking it, are you?

I have never fed my rabbits spinach for the simple reason that it is better to give them almost anything else!

I hope this has offered some 'food for thought'.

Kerry :-)
Just Rabbits Limited

Jan 19, 2017
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Iceberg is fine
by: Jess

Only one type of lettuce is bad for rabbits and it is not iceberg . An easy food for your son's rabbit is spinach and you can get rabbit mixes

Jan 17, 2017
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Well Done for Checking!
by: Kerry

Hi Sarah,

Thanks for checking up on this as many new bunny owners don't and keep going without a clue, so straight away your bunny is better off than most out there, which is great.

You probably have worked out already that diet is the number one factor (exercise being 2nd) in high vet bills and bunny deaths further down the line and this is because the rabbit's gut is pretty unique and very delicate. They need the right food and they only digest it correctly when their body moves.

While your rabbit may be woofing down iceburg like there's no tomorrow it contains a poison that rabbits cannot can't digest. You may pay the price for this in later months, but with the correct adjustments as soon as possible you may avoid the worst.

I highly recommend you get my 3 step guide, (Not just because it's mine but because there isn't anything else out there like it, hence why I wrote it) - once finished you will practically be an 'expert' and will have a solid foundation of helpful, unique, rabbit welfare knowledge to ensure you avoid the vet and have a really happy, healthy bunny.

It's the best investment you can make into your bunny's health, and the quickest way I can give you everything you need to know.

You can find out more here... https://justrabbits.leadpages.co/irabbit-ready-presentation/

Lops live in to their teenage years so your son will grow up with his happy healthy friend for many years!

Thanks :-)
Kerry Greener
Just Rabbits Limited

P.S. I have a Rex rabbit that is nearly 12 (they are only supoosed to live up to 8 years) and he's never been to the vet. For special treats he loves broccoli and apple and he's honey mad! He's free roaming (like a cat) and has more muscles than a wrestler! lol

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