7 signs of rabbit obesity

Rabbits of all ages and breeds are at risk of obesity. Know the signs and find out about how our Excel Rabbit Light diet can help

Posted: 01 August 2017

7 signs of rabbit obesity


Obesity is a problem for many people and their pets in our modern world. Rabbits of all ages and breeds are at risk, though we probably see more problems in middle-aged dwarf breeds than any other.

Lack of exercise – rabbits in the wild will spend much of their lives outside grazing, playing and chasing. They can cover a lot of ground in a day! The sedentary lives of pet rabbits is dramatically different, with many spending less than 15 minutes a day exercising.

Excessive feeding –rabbits generally become overweight when they eat more calories than they expend. It’s too easy for owners to fill up a food bowl with high-energy nuggets, and then walk away feeling all is well. The problem is that rabbits are selective feeders, so will fill up on the nuggets first before moving onto hay.

1. Scalding – check around the back end for urine and faeces sticking and soaking the fur. The skin becomes inflammed and raw.

2. Fly strike – common in the summer months. Flies are attracted and lay eggs as a result of urine and faecal soiling. Overweight rabbits find it difficult to clean and groom themselves.

3. Pododermatitis – this occurs as a result of excess weight being placed on the metatarsals.

4. Caecotrophs – if you see them then they’re not being consumed. An overweight rabbit will find it difficult to bend and reach its tail.

5. Poor coat – look for signs of lack of grooming such as a flaky, scurfy appearance. Obese rabbits can’t groom properly.

6. Tachypnoea – when overweight, the airways are restricted so the animal can’t breath normally. To compensate they breath faster and with more effort.

7. Fatty liver – excess lipids are stored in the liver, causing a dangerous metabolic disease associated with fatty liver and hepatic lipidosis. The risks to the animal are obvious and serious.

Excel Rabbit Light Nuggets

Did you know we are the only UK pet food manufacturer to produce a rabbit nugget which is specially formulated for overweight rabbits and those at risk from obesity? Excel Light Nuggets are a complementary calorie-controlled food which helps reduce and control a rabbit’s weight at the correct level. It’s key benefits are;

  • Naturally high in Beneficial Fibre (38%)
  • Prevents selective feeding
  • Reduced calorie content
  • Suitable for all overweight rabbits