23 May 2024

Weybridge Vets share a simple home check for overweight rabbits

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Just like in humans, an unhealthy weight and body composition in rabbits can lead to range of health problems. Our vets share a simple test you can do at home to check whether your rabbit could be carrying more body fat than is healthy and Weybridge's nursing team are the perfect people to help you confirm and combat this.

Book a rabbit weight review with a nurse

Why excess body fat is a problem for rabbits

Our vets explain why it's important to make sure your rabbit isn't carrying too much body fat as this can cause health problems, such as:

  • Behavioural changes
  • Dental issues
  • Digestive disorders
  • Heart & respiratory issues
  • Heat stress in hot weather
  • Increased risk of flystrike (from not being able to reach their bottom to clean it)
  • Lethargy
  • Mobility issues, joint strain and arthritis
  • Reduced quality of life and a decreased lifespan
  • Reproductive complications
  • Skin conditions
  • Splayed legs
  • Urinary problems

Try this simple test on your rabbit

Our Weybridge vets suggest trying this at home if your rabbit is happy for you to do it:

  1. Spine: Run your fingers lightly along the spine; if it feels softly rounded, that's ideal. If the bones are too prominent or sharp, your rabbit could be under-weight. If the spine is difficult to feel, there is probably too much body fat.
  2. Ribs: Feel along your rabbit's sides with both hands; being able to feel their ribs under a slight layer of fat is ideal. If the ribs are difficult to feel, your rabbit may be overweight.
  3. From Above: A pear-shaped body with a slimmer waist and shoulders is ideal. A rectangular or boxy shape suggests excess fat.
  4. From The Side: A gentle upward curve towards the chest and shoulders is ideal. A straight line from the belly to the chest indicates excess fat.

If you think your rabbit could be carrying too much body fat, book a weight review with Weybridge's nursing team soon.

How Weybridge's nurses can help

Talk to our veterinary nursing team in Weybridge as they are highly experienced in caring for rabbits and helping owners manage their pet's weight. Our nurses will first confirm if your rabbit is overweight and what their ideal weight and body composition should be. Then, from tailored diet and exercise plans to regular weigh-ins and support, you can count on our veterinary nurses to help you help your rabbit reach new goals.

By addressing these issues sooner rather than later, you can help prevent and manage obesity in your rabbit, and promote better health and longevity.

Book a rabbit weight review today