Jibbles narrowly escapes chocolate poisoning thanks to PDSA

Jibbles, a five-year-old rabbit, needed emergency treatment after getting into a packet of chocolate digestive biscuits.

As part of Rabbit Awareness Week, which takes place from 27 June to 1 July 2022, PDSA is working with Burgess Pet Care to highlight the welfare needs of rabbits. This includes advice on the right environment and diet for bunnies, of which chocolate digestive biscuits aren’t included, as Jibbles’ owner, Dani Knox (19) from Aberdeen, found out.

Dani said: “Jibbles is an indoor rabbit and loves to nibble on his favourite rabbit treats and enjoys cuddles on the sofa. He’s very cheeky and has been a loving companion hopping around the house over the past two years.”

She continued: “However, one morning, I found myself locked out of the house. Whilst waiting for the locksmith to arrive, I noticed Jibbles had got out of his cage and had somehow got hold of a packet of chocolate digestive biscuits and had eaten half of them! I knew chocolate was poisonous to many pets, so I called my local PDSA Pet Hospital for help.”

The vet team at Aberdeen PDSA asked Dani to bring him to the Pet Hospital to be checked over immediately.

PDSA vet Marta Muniz said: “We commonly associate chocolate poisoning with cats and dogs, but it can be dangerous for rabbits too. Bunnies that have consumed even the smallest amount of chocolate are at risk; it can cause breathing problems, increased heart rate, and fevers, leading to overheating, which can be fatal.

“When Jibbles came in to see us, he seemed okay and showed no obvious signs of chocolate poisoning. When we examined him, we could feel his abdomen was bloated, so we admitted him for monitoring and IV fluids to support his gut movements.

“He remained bright in himself, so we discharged him home and asked his owner to keep a close eye on him and get in touch if she noticed any changes.”

Dani said: “Thankfully, Jibbles is now back to his usual self, hopping around the house full of energy. If it wasn’t for the care and compassion from the team at PDSA, I’m not sure what I would’ve done as I’m on minimum wage, and I can’t afford private vet fees.”

PDSA and Burgess Pet Care are working together to promote the welfare needs of small animals.

PDSA is the UK’s leading veterinary charity. Through our 48 Pet Hospitals and Pet Care scheme, we save the lives of poorly pets who would otherwise be left untreated.

Every year, we helped over 388,000 pets. Without us, emergency cases like Jibbles' would be left untreated and many pets could lose their lives or be separated from families who love them.

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