So Your Rabbit Ate Plastic – What Should You Do?

Rabbits love to chew. Constant chewing is their natural habit which helps to wear down their incisors. Your pet may nibble on almost every item it finds fascinating. It also means that rabbits often nibble on stuff that is harmful or indigestible. This situation is common with stray or outdoor rabbits that roam around the house. 

Sometimes, when you are not keeping an eye on your rabbits, they might have ingested plastic. During those times, the best thing you can do is help them pass it through. Make sure to give them plenty of hay and more water. Check their litter box often to see whether the plastic material comes out or not. Plus, make them comfortable and provide them with comfort.

In many situations, your pet could be fine. All you should do is to check the rabbit for any odd behavior. Make sure to take precautions to prevent this incident in the future. 

What Else Can I Do? 

If the rabbit has eaten plastic, there is not much you can do about that situation. The digestive system of your rabbit is meant to handle and absorb most of the dietary fiber. Because of that, your pet might be alright after eating a small chunk of plastic. But, be aware of the pain symptoms that your rabbit may experience.

Here are some of the typical signs of pain

  • Aggression
  • Lethargy
  • Little to no interest in surroundings
  • Lack of appetite
  • Curling into a circle to protect the abdomen  
  • Loud and aggressive teeth grinding 

Avoid giving them laxatives. Never force your rabbit to vomit out the ingested plastic in any situation. Doing that can lead to severe harm and will make the pet’s condition worse. 

You can stimulate its appetite by giving plenty of hay such as Meadow hay or Timothy hay. Plus, fiber-rich foods are another best option. All you need to do is monitor the rabbit. Besides that, make sure that your pet is eating and drinking more water. 

To boost the pet’s digestion, you can massage its stomach. This method can soften digestion and other intestinal troubles. Be cautious not to poke your hands deep into their body. If your rabbit shows aggression or any symptoms of pain, stop massaging it. 

Should I Call A Vet? 

Do not worry! 

Some vets suggest bringing the rabbit to the clinic if they have consumed any harmful element. But going to the veterinarian is not often vital. If the pet has eaten soft plastics like shopping bags, there would not be any major harm. Just wait for some time, and your rabbit will excrete the plastic material. 

But, hard or sharp chunks of plastic tend to cut their insides which is very hazardous. Pooping often is a natural habit for rabbits. Due to that, an immediate lack of feces can lead to intestinal blockage. This situation could kill your pet. 

Look at the rabbit to notice any severe symptoms of digestion problems such as loose bowel movements and diarrhea. If the pet’s condition is becoming worse, contact your veterinarian soon. If you see any blood that comes out from either end of your pet, go to the vet. This kind of situation needs quick action and skilled veterinary care

What’s Safe For Rabbits To Chew On? 

Almost all rabbits have equal chances of consuming something which they should not. Accidentally eating plastic often occurs in your pets. The best method to curb this is to give them plenty of safe and attractive toys to chew. These play toys will occupy their time. 

Some safe chewing choices are:

  • Hay
  • Birch branches
  • Cardboard 
  • Cotton towels
  • Apple branches
  • Dry and untreated pine wood
  • Compressed alfalfa cubes and tablets
  • Natural fiber toys
  • Wicker or reed baskets 

Many of the above options are a great way to entertain both the caged and free-roaming rabbits. Besides that, you can give these things to your pet if it feels boring. 

Before choosing the chewing items, you might have to try several options. It is because not all rabbits would like the same toy. Try giving them different things, and they could pick their favorite! If you offer plenty of chewing options to your rabbit, it will stop nibbling on the cage. This method can prevent damage to the cell and also decreases noise. 

Unsafe Chewing Options 

Before giving any chewing toy to your rabbit, do a bit of research to know if they are safe or not. A few chewing items, mainly wood or plants, can captivate your rabbit, but they are unsafe. Some of them even contain toxins. It is difficult for your pet to chew on most woods. Eating a piece of wood could also become dangerous to your rabbits. 

Make sure to avoid using the below stuff. Here are some of the harmful wood and other substances:

  • Apricot wood
  • Bamboo
  • Cherry wood
  • Cardboard with shine, foil, or printing on it
  • Cork 
  • Cedarwood 
  • MDF Board and other forms of plywood
  • Any painted or treated wood 

While choosing wood for the pet, make sure the wood is non-toxic, dry, and untreated. If you find any tree branches or twigs near your home, check what type of wood it is

If you think the rabbit has eaten a harmful material and shows pain symptoms, go to the vet. Your veterinarian will take instant action and could save your rabbit. If not treated on time, poisoning and digestion problems could become lethal

“Rabbit Proofing” Your House 

If you have an outdoor rabbit who roams around your home, it is better to rabbit-proof your house. Rabbits tend to chew on every object they can reach. Your pet will nibble on your furniture, electric wires, cardboards, and even wall corners. Besides that, eating dried paint on walls is harmful to rabbits. They might get a shock attack by chewing on the electric wires, which can kill your pet. 

Below you can find some methods using which you can save your home and rabbit from damage! 

  • Conceal and protect wires. Use durable plastic tubing or hosing to hide the cords. They are available at local hardware stores for a cheap rate. By using them, you can avoid wire clusters and can keep your pet safe.
  • Remove things from the floor. Rabbits can chew on your clothes, curtains, and pillows that are present on the floor. 
  • Keep away things such as books, shoes, and houseplants from their reach. Several leafy and flowering houseplants could become harmful to rabbits. Due to that, make sure to keep them away from your pet. 
  • Protect baseboards, furniture legs, and wall corners. Metal corner protectors are inexpensive and can be used again. Keep untreated pine during their playtime to save baseboards. Wrap the furniture legs with packing tape. While choosing new furniture, it is better to buy tables or chairs with metal or round legs. 

If no method is working, keep an eye on your rabbits when they are outside their cage. So, you can prevent them from starting trouble. By taking these preventive criteria, both the owner and rabbit can remain happy!