What Happens When Your Rabbit Eats Plastic! – Rabbit Pros

What Happens When Your Rabbit Eats Plastic!

I know you’re a little freaked out right now because your pet bunny just at some plastic.

Take a big breath. It probably isn’t a big deal, but it could be, so let’s figure this out.

Why Do Rabbits Chew On Plastic?

Rabbits chew on things because their teeth grow continually and the only way they can keep them from getting to long is to chew on stuff.

Plastic isn’t going to be most rabbits’ first choice for chewing, but if they don’t have a better option they will chew on plastic.

Just Because Your Rabbit Chews On Plastic Doesn’t Mean She Actually Ate It

Now make sure that your rabbit actually ate the plastic that she chewed up.

In my experience, some rabbits are just chew and spit, while others chew and eat.

Take a look around to see if you can find tiny bits of chewed up plastic on the floor nearby.

If you can’t find the plastic bits, then your bunny probably actually ate the plastic, but that doesn’t mean she’s going to get sick or worse.

Will Eating Plastic Kill Your Bunny?

It is very unlikely that eating plastic will kill your pet rabbit. While death can happen, it’s very rare.

Rabbits chew on lots of things, and I’ve been told stories of rabbits eating everything from the insolation out of the wall to the wheels off of a skateboard. In both those cases, those rabbits were fine.

The biggest risk is that the plastic might get stuck somewhere in your buns digestive track which could cause discomfort, tissue damage, or severe constipation which could be deadly.

However, there are some things that we can do to help your bunny after she eats some plastic.

Can You Help Your Rabbit To Puke The Plastic Back Up?

While it seems like a good idea to help your bunny puke to get rid of indigestible stuff, sadly it’s impossible. A rabbit’s digestive tract is a one-way path. Rabbits are physically unable to puke. Not only can’t rabbit throw-up, but they also can’t even burp or belch.

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What To Do If Your Bunny Eats Plastic

When your bunny eats plastic or some other indigestible thing, you need to do three things.

  1. Monitor For Discomfort Or Signs Of Constipation
  2. Keep Your Rabbit Well Hydrated
  3. Feed High Fiber Foods

Monitor Your Rabbit For Discomfort Or Signs Of Constipation

From the moment you discover that your rabbit has eaten some plastic until at least a week later, you need to be monitoring your rabbit for signs of discomfort, pain, or constipation.

Signs Of Discomfort Or Pain

You’re looking for symptoms of your rabbit having stomach or digestive tract discomfort or pain.

These signs that your rabbit are in pain include:

  • Stopped Eating or Drinking
  • Wheezing Breathing
  • Pressing Stomach To The Ground
  • Odd Noises When Going To The Bathroom
  • Stopped Pooping
  • Odd Or Misshaped Poop
  • Any Signs Of Blood In Her Stool

If you see any of these signs, you should take your bunny to your veterinarian immediately.

Your vet will first confirm the signs of discomfort or pain with a physical examination of your rabbit. If the vet agrees that there might be an issue, he’ll probably recommend an x-ray and maybe even surgery to remove the obstruction.

This is not the usual outcome of a rabbit eating something they shouldn’t, but it’s a possible outcome. You deserve to be aware.

Keep Your Rabbit Well Hydrated

Your bunny will have an easier time passing the plastic if they are well hydrated. Not only will the thing they ate be better lubricated, but their tissue will be more flexible when well hydrated.

Just make sure your bunny has continual access to clean water.

If your bunny isn’t a big drinker, you might be able to get her to drink more by putting a little fruit juice in her water or adding an ice cube during warmer summer days.

Feed High Fiber Foods To Help Push Things Through

To help your rabbit pass the plastic she ate, give her fewer pellets and more high fiber foods.

These high fiber foods that might help pass the plastic more quickly include:

  • Hay
  • Fresh Grass
  • Fresh Weeds

ProTip: An old veterinarian told me that giving canned Pumpkin Puree would lubricate the digestive tract and push the indigestible item on through. Worked like a charm, but I save this for the toughest cases. I don’t want our rabbits to get spoiled with this sweet treat.

How To Keep Your Rabbit From Chewing On Plastic

The only way to keep your rabbit from chewing on plastic is to keep her away from plastic. That means choosing a non-plastic rabbit house, feeders, waterers, and toys. You can also reduce plastic chewing by making sure that your rabbit has access to good chew toys made of natural materials.

Not all bunnies get in the habit of chewing on plastic, as a matter of fact, most don’t. I believe if your bunny has access to good wood chew toys from day-one, they are much less likely to start chewing on plastic things.

If you’d like to see what toys we keep around for our rabbits, check out our “Recommended Gear” in the menu above…or just click here.

Your Rabbit Friend,

~Stacey

Stacey

My name is Stacey Davis, and I and my family had rabbits for decades. Here on RabbitPros.com we share our love of rabbits, our experience, and lots of research to help you enjoy your pet bunny even more and as stress-free as possible.

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