Anorexia and pseudoanorexia
Anorexia is a loss of appetite and failure to eat. The term pseudoanorexia is used to describe animals that have a desire for food but are unable to eat because they cannot prehend, chew, or swallow food. Anorexia is not a disease in of itself but a symptom of a usually more serious underlying problem. However, it is a very dangerous condition for rabbits as they are continuous feeders, and the lack of food can result in severe and even fatal gastrointestinal imbalances. If your rabbit stops eating, it is important to seek immediate medical attention from a rabbit-savvy veterinarian.
- Refusal to eat.
- Fecal pellets are less common and small in size.
- Signs of pain, such as teeth grinding, a hunched posture and reluctance to move are extremely common in rabbits with oral disease or GI hypomotility.
- Difficulty or inability to grasp, chew, or swallow food. Early signs may be a preference for softer foods like lettuce.
- Weight loss.
- Excessive drooling.
- Bad breath.
- Wisconsin House Rabbit Society, Julie Smith, When Your Bunny Stops Eating
- PetMD, Loss of Appetite in Rabbits
- Frances Harcourt-Brown, BVSc MRCVS, The Anorexic Rabbit: Part 1
- Frances Harcourt-Brown, BVSc MRCVS, The Anorexic Rabbit: Part 2
- Susan A. Brown, DVM, Approach to the Anorectic Rabbit
- Anna Meredith, Approach to the Rabbit with Anorexia
- Karen L. Rosenthal, DVM, MA, Diplomate ABVP, Anorexia & Lethargy in a Rabbit
- NAVC Clinician’s Brief, Anorexia in the Rabbit
- Vetstream, Anorexia