We give treats to our bunnies for a few reasons, like:
We love them.
Some treats are healthy.
Also, and perhaps most important, when the bunny is not enthusiastic about the treat, this may be an early indicator that something is wrong. As in: Get to the vet - fast.
Ethel was exhibiting several variations on her usual "happy treat" self. One time, she came out for the treat, but didn't eat it - she licked it across the floor until Bunya finished his treat and came over to see if she had any leftovers. He got it all. She was interested but just couldn't close the deal.
Another time she did not even come out for the treat. However, when we were cleaning their pen, she seemed fine, doing some little binkies and NASbunnies (aka Buntona 500s). So we were getting mixed signals.
If GI stasis is starting, the bunny may not eat. As an experiment, we tried breaking the treat into little pieces, to make it easier for her to eat. She scarfed them down.
|Ethel eating her Probios treat|
once it was in smaller pieces and easier to eat.
For the next test, we mixed some Critical Care. Ethel is particular. Well, so is Bunya. We have to give Bunya his in a syringe. Ethel likes it and will eat it, but only out of "her" spoon.
|Ethel scoping out her spoon of Critical Care.|
As another test of interest in food/treats, we offered Ethel something soft, i.e., easy to eat. Of course, as alpha bunny, Bunya had to have a bite first... he was just making sure it was tasty enough for Ethel (Yeah, right). Ethel also enjoyed the soft banana.
(That one bite was a treat size portion - no more after what you saw in the video.)
Since Ethel (1) seemed relatively happy, versus in pain, (2) showed an interest in treats and food, and (3) actually ate when the treats and food were soft or in tiny pieces, we were thinking this might be tooth related. In any case, a trip to the vet was in order.
And yup, Ethel had "points" digging into her tongue, which made eating pellets and Probios very painful and difficult. A short procedure under anesthesia to remove the points and she was pretty much back to normal.
|Don't you love it when the dentist gets you all geared up|
and then starts asking you
"So, how are things going? How have you been?"
"Ugh, A've 'een 'ine. 'ow ughou' oo?"
Once there are teeth issues, have your rabbit-savvy vet check your bunny at least every six months or if you see the types of indicators described above. No teeth issues for Ethel for six years, but now that they started, her teeth have to be monitored regularly.
Just another adventure in bunny-dom.