Rabbits need plenty of fiber in their diet; it is likely the most important ingredient in their diet. Fiber helps the rabbit’s digestive system run smoothly and keeps him fit and healthy. Insufficient fiber can lead to digestive problems ranging from loose, soft droppings to very serious health problems including gastrointestinal (GI) stasis, a life-threatening condition that is often caused by a low-fiber diet. Normally, plenty of fresh timothy hay, orchard grass or other quality hay will provide the fiber needed by the house rabbit, but what about rabbits who will not/cannot eat hay due to chronic dental issues?
Good quality pellets such as Sherwood Forest or Oxbow pellets can provide this fiber, if your rabbit will eat them. Most rabbits seem to very much favor these brands of pellets, but there is the odd rabbit that is set in his or her ways and refuses to eat any food pellets other than his usual. The author’s own house rabbit is such a rabbit. Encouraging him to eat pellets with 3% more fiber than the pellets he had been used to resulted in an alarming 8 oz weight loss in 3 weeks time – ! Not good.
Enter Protexin Pro-Fibre for rabbits, manufactured in the UK. Described as “…a dandelion flavoured pellet containing multi-source fiber, probiotics and perplex prebiotics”, this high-fiber pellet encourages normal digestive function in rabbits. The pellets can be sprinkled over the bunny’s normal food, be fed as desired by the rabbit or as directed by your veterinarian.
The pellets contain high levels of both soluble and insoluble fiber, they contain a live yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae as the probiotic to help the intestine repopulate with beneficial microorganisms, and they contain a prebiotic (acacia) which can pass through the stomach unchanged and will then feed the good bacteria in the colon, thus helping the rabbit’s digestive system in yet a third way. The manufacturer states that ‘Given daily, it can help promote efficient digestion and avoid the problems associated with insufficient dietary fibre.’ Sure. If the rabbit in question will EAT the pellets.
The author’s aforementioned Rabbit in Question thinks these are treats and will come running when the container of pellets is shaken! He would happily eat more than his allotted tablespoon twice daily, but the pellets are expensive. Treatment for life-threatening stasis and other GI issues is certainly much more expensive, and the noticeable improvement in his fecals from just 2 tablespoons daily makes the price worth it for this bunny owner.
The pellets are only available in the United States from one source, to the best of this author’s knowledge. If you send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, she will get back to you with a price quote which includes shipping to your location. The pellets come in 800 gm containers, and each 800 gm container sells for $28.95 not including shipping; shipping of two containers will save you money on shipping fees. At two tablespoons daily, each container should last you about a month. The Rabbit in Question weighs a bit over 8#, so you could get away with feeding less than 2 tablespoons daily to a smaller rabbit.
Amazon.Co.UK is another ordering option, but most of the vendors do not ship to the United States – VetiMed will do so, but remember to check current monetary exchange rates and shipping and other fees before ordering.