Pets can sometimes find themselves in a precarious position. They tend to eat different things and end up getting sick or worse, poisoning themselves. As a pet owner, you should be wary of the fact that this can happen to your pet.
One of the popular beliefs is that poinsettia plants are toxic to animals, especially rabbits. It is known that they can cause death when rabbits eat them. We all know that rabbits love to eat different leaves, and it can be tempting for them to consume poinsettia leaves.
In fact, the poinsettia is one of the most studied plants and most widely tested for toxicity. These plants have gotten a bad rap for being poisonous, especially to rabbits. Today, we are going to find out if the plant is poisonous to rabbits and what do we need to do in case rabbits do ingest them.
Is Poinsettia Poisonous?
Up to this day, there is still a common belief that poinsettia leaves are generally poisonous when ingested. It is believed that these holiday decorative plants are poisonous, and countless people have stayed away from the plant along with their pets, including rabbits.
Poinsettia leaves have a bitterness to it that may deter animals or pets from eating them. However, rabbits, in particular, do not mind the bitter taste and still consume them. The leaves contain a milky sap that is irritating to the skin, mouth, and lining of the gastrointestinal tract. You may think that this can lead to poisoning.
However, in 23 years of studying the effects of poinsettia leaves consumption in animals, it turns out that it is not poisonous or harmful to the rabbits. The milky sap generates an adverse reaction to the lining of the digestive tract of the animal that causes mild to moderate stomach upset.
In 1975, it was already reviewed and concluded that Poinsettia leaves were non-toxic to rabbits. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission has insisted that there should be no concern of toxicity for rabbits in general with regards to the plant. Researchers at Ohio State University have even proclaimed that it would take unusually high amounts of the plant ingested to cause such as discomfort.
However, it would be a better idea that these plants will be kept away from rabbits or any house pets for that matter.
What to Do When Your Rabbit Eats Poinsettia
Now that you know that poinsettia leaves do not poison rabbits, vets still recommend that you keep them away from your pets. If, for some instance, your rabbit does consume poinsettia leaves, it is best to call your vet the moment they show signs of vomiting or diarrhea.
Vets will be asking you about the amount that the rabbit has consumed and the signs and symptoms that the pet has experienced. The vet will then order supportive care, such as additional fluids to avoid dehydration and medication to prevent further vomiting or diarrhea.
Preventive Measures For Your Rabbits
There is a reason why rabbits tend to graze on poinsettia leaves. This is because they are either hungry or as a pet owner; you are neglecting your responsibility in taking care of them. The need to provide a healthy and safe environment for your rabbits will keep them from grazing or feeding on plants that can cause them harm.
Several ways are available for you to prevent your rabbits from consuming food that can be potentially hazardous for them. By feeding your rabbits with the right food, you will keep them from seeking other sources of food such as poinsettia leaves and keep them healthy in the process. Knowing your rabbit’s diet should be your topmost priority.
- Rabbit Hay
As rabbits are grazing animals, they need to have a fresh supply for fiber-rich diet daily. Rabbit grass hays are great for your pets, and they often graze on them for hours. You can choose orchard grass, brome, and oat hay as they are the best for rabbits. You can find the best hay for rabbits here.
Certain vegetables are also good for your rabbit’s dietary needs. These include fennel, cucumber, carrots, peas, pumpkin, asparagus, and watercress. These vegetables should be fed to rabbits with a minimum of 1 cup for every 4 pounds of the rabbit’s body weight to ensure that they are not overfed.
- Rabbit Pellets
One of the good sources of nutrition for your rabbits is pellets. Adults rabbits will need a one-quarter cup of pellets every day while smaller ones will need one-eight of a cup. Larger rabbits will need more than a quarter cup. As always, you will need to make sure that they get enough serving to avoid overfeeding them or making them obese. Here’s a good source of rabbit pellets.
Another way to improve the health of your rabbits is to give them nutritional supplements. Drops are a good option to introduce vitamins and minerals to supplement their dietary needs. We highly recommend this rabbit supplement.
Fruits should be given to rabbits once or twice a week, depending on the size. A tablespoon or two of fruit for every five pounds of body weight is the suggested dietary allowance for rabbits. Apples, bananas, grapes, oranges, papayas, and pineapples are great sources of vitamins, minerals, and fiber for your rabbit.
- Fresh Water
Rabbits will need fresh water to keep themselves hydrated. As a pet parent, it is your major responsibility to provide them with an unlimited supply of fresh water. Always change the water every day and give it to them in a heavy bowl instead of water bottles or containers.
The safest way to prevent your rabbits from eating poinsettia leaves and other hazardous plants are to keep them away by putting them in cages. It will give you an assurance that your rabbits are in place and only feeding the food that you give them.
In deciding the type of cage that will house your rabbits, there are certain things you need to consider. Those who want to keep them in a certain area should get a small cage. A rabbit home kit or a bunny cage would suffice. If you want to have your rabbits freely run around a safe area, you can order a puppy pen so they can still move around and eat the food that you serve them.
As a pet owner, you will have the responsibility of rearing your pets. Rabbits tend to get bored easily, and they often find themselves eating different things. If you are not careful, they can eat poinsettia leaves and cause distress.
You should consider items that will keep your rabbits from roaming around your home and start investing in items such as chewing toys and food to keep them busy. With that said, we hope you get to keep your rabbits healthy and happy with the tips. Keep in mind if you are to encounter this situation, here are the steps:
- Take the rabbit away from the poinsettia leaves.
- Take note of the signs and symptoms.
- Call the vet and schedule a checkup.
- Feeding them with the right kind of food and water.
- Keep them in a cage.
These should keep your rabbits healthy and safe.