Wilson, L. A., Miller, J. J., Work, R. K. et al. 2018. Novel diet regimen for rabbits in a compromised oral wound healing study. Laboratory Animal Science Professional 6(1) (March), 49-51.
Rabbits are known to be finicky about food and will reject it based upon several factors: odor, texture, form, or method of presentation. It can be an even greater challenge to get rabbits to eat postoperatively. Providing adequate pain management while avoiding gastrointestinal stasis is always a concern. These concerns led to the creation of a specialized rabbit diet regimen, which consisted of ground feed with warm water and pureed fruit or vegetables for enticement and additional shredded fruit/vegetable enrichment. Despite their notoriously picky nature, the rabbits were easily acclimated to the soft diet. The rabbits seemed to enjoy their specialized diet, particularly the shredded enrichment. All rabbits maintained weights throughout the length of the study, with no need for syringe feeding, no incidence of gastrointestinal issues, and no adverse events that impacted the overall success of the study. We have implemented this soft diet for other rabbit procedures and believe that the rabbits have an increased appetite post procedure compared to other commercially prepared diets we have tried.