Bulging Yorkshire bunny Bobby takes on diet challenge.
Flabby rabbit Bobby, from Richmond in North Yorkshire, is taking on PDSA’s national slimming challenge with the help of Vets and Nurses at Middlesbrough PDSA PetAid hospital. A specially tailored programme has been put together to help the obese Mini Lop rabbit lose the pounds safely.
Bobby has gradually piled on the pounds over the last few years until her owner, Becky Magson, noticed that her large dewlap (the fold under her chin) was making it difficult for Bobby to groom herself properly.
Becky said: “When I noticed this I asked my vet about it, and she said that Bobby could do with losing a few pounds. I’m already quite careful with her food, making sure she has plenty of hay and very rarely giving her sugary treats like carrots, although I suspect she pinches some of her companion Huey’s food when I’m not looking.
Bobby’s very important to me and I’m determined to help her get to a more healthy weight, but I needed some help and advice so I entered her into Pet Fit Club.”
Weight loss in rabbits must be very carefully managed, as rapid weight loss or sudden changes to their diet can be very harmful. Bobby’s extra weight will already be having an adverse affect on her wellbeing, so it’s important that she reaches a more healthy weight. Bobby will be closely monitored by the staff at Middlesbrough PDSA, and Becky will be encouraging Bobby to be more active by playing with her and providing plenty of toys.
After a slow start, Bobby has been gradually losing weight and is now on track to reach her target weight.
Speaking of Bobby’s progress, owner Becky Magson said: "At her first weigh-in Bobby had hadn’t lost any weight and it was really disheartening. But we made a few changes to her environment so that she has more opportunities to run around and hopefully get a bit more exercise. It seems to have been a positive step, as she’s now much more lively and loves her new house and play area. Plus her weight is starting to decrease and it really feels like she’s heading in the right direction now."
"We’re also taking steps to help her and my other rabbit, Lucy, live happily together. They initially fought when I first tried to introduce them, but I have them next to each other just separated by a wire mesh now, and they seem to be getting on better. Hopefully they’ll become friends, and that will provide Bobby with even more opportunities to play and stay active."
Starting weight: 2.39kg
Ideal weight: 1.6kg
% overweight: 49%
Finishing weight: 1.7kg
Total weight lost: 0.69kg (29%)
Waist decrease: 6cm
Bobby may have lost just 690g, but for such a small rabbit this has made a huge difference. Bobby is now at a more or less ideal size for her breed, and she is full of energy, can groom herself properly and is much more relaxed.
Owner Becky said: “It’s clear that Bobby is so much happier now – she even does binkies now, which I never saw her do before. She can also groom herself properly and is much more alert. Her relationship with my other rabbit, Lucy, has blossomed and they have become great playmates, and this has also had the added benefit of increasing Bobby’s activity levels.
“Dieting Bobby has been a challenge, but it was definitely worth it as I can see how much healthier and happier she is – she can live like a rabbit should and enjoy her life. Having PDSA’s advice was definitely helpful, as previously I knew Bobby needed to lose weight but just didn’t know how to go about it. I was also sceptical about using diet food for small animals, but once Bobby got used to the light nuggets it was clear they played a huge part in her weight loss.”
PDSA Vet Advice
Sean Wensley, PDSA Senior Veterinary Surgeon, said: “Excess pounds can contribute to a number of serious health conditions and, sadly, it does reduce life expectancy. But the good news is that it’s never too late to make positive changes to a pet’s diet and lifestyle.”
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PDSA Pet Fit Club
Download Diet & Nutrition Leaflet
Download our Diet and Nutrition Leaflet (PDF - 3.02 MB)
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