Taking Tigger to the vet for the first time was a huge relief. He felt the only problem was that our baby bunny was malnourished. Alfalfa pellets and hay were recommended to get her to a good weight. Then as she reached adult size, her diet would switch to timothy pellets and hay. We thought we were good to go with a great diet plan for our Tigger.
Diet became a four letter word for us, because we didn’t allow for Tigger not wanting to participate in the plan. We bought the alfalfa pellets, but she didn’t want anything to do with them. We would mix the rabbit pellets with the guinea pig food she had been eating. Since they were two different colors, we could tell Miss Finicky Bunny was eating the guinea pig food and ignoring the rabbit food. A month later, we were down to our last handful of guinea pig food when Tigger decided to give us a break and try out her new rabbit food diet.
That did not mean smooth sailing from then out with Princess Tigger’s diet. For the first five years, we were constantly following our anorexic model bunny around with food begging her to eat. She would go on hunger strikes and turn up her nose at things for no reason we could determine. She would be on her food, off her food and stayed very slim. We called her “weasel” and “hipless wonder”, because of her snaky thin body.
One time a shipment of pellets and hay was from a season where the weather had really changed the taste. Our other bunnies Shadow and Portia resisted for a couple of days and then accepted the new batch. Tigger reacted for two weeks as if we were offering her poison. We had to get a batch of old pellets from a friend and mix them in with the new. We upped her greens to make sure she was getting enough to eat. Finally, she started eating the new batch too.
Then at five years old, Tigger the anorexic model bunny retired. She has steadily been gaining weight for the last five years and seems to be trying to make up for five years of starving herself. We started restricting treats and pellets. We also started keeping a close eye on Shadow to be certain he gets his fair share of the fresh greens since Tigger plows through things while he likes to save some for later.
This year has been the highest and lowest. Tigger had a bad bout with stasis last August and almost died. It could have been stress related. Our property was hit by lightning in early August. We lost utilities and air conditioning for a time. Shortly after that Tigger went completely off food, needed a lot of veterinary care and had to be force-fed for a time.
On the rebound from near death, she has dived into food again with a passion and has become quite chubby. We are trying to severely limit or remove anything fattening from her diet now, make sure she eats lots of lo-cal hays and encourage her to move around more. She is giving us four letter looks with her eyes about the diet. I am staying away from her teeth when I can tell she is hungry.
Welcome to yo-yo weight issues and diet hatred, rabbit style.