Last Updated on December 25, 2021 by Rei Garnet
Rabbits have been used as test subjects on the effects of candlenuts on hair growth for a possible herbal medicine for alopecia. So it seems rabbits are able to consume candlenuts without experiencing any immediate adverse health effects.
But, you should still refrain from feeding any candlenuts to your rabbits because it’s too high in fat and there is a risk of aflatoxin toxicity. 105 grams of candlenuts contains 69.6 grams of fat, while rabbits should limit themselves to 20-50 grams of fat per day.
Feeding your rabbits excessive amounts of fat can lead to all kinds of health problems like GI stasis, diarrhea, fatty liver disease, and obesity because rabbits don’t tolerate fatty food well.
Candlenuts are also reported to contain the Aspergillus fungi which can produce mycotoxins like aflatoxins. Aflatoxin poisoning can lead to anorexia, diarrhea, depression, reduced weight gain, and high mortality.
If you notice any changes in your rabbit’s stool, both in size and consistency, or any changes in their behavior after eating candlenuts, immediately bring your rabbit to a veterinarian.
Now that I’ve given you the gist of the article, read on as I explain in more detail why rabbits can’t eat candlenuts:
Table of Contents
Risk of overfeeding candlenuts to rabbits.
Fatty food like candlenuts should not be fed to rabbits intentionally. They carry certain risks when fed in large amounts because rabbits’ digestive system is not really designed to digest large amounts of food like candlenuts.
Here are some of the risks associated when you feed your rabbits large amounts of candlenuts :
Some candlenuts may have unsafe levels of aflatoxins that can make pets and humans sick. Rabbits are one of the most sensitive species to aflatoxins, which is why it’s not recommended for them to consume any food that might contain it like corn, peanuts, candlenuts, cottonseed, and tree nuts.
Here are the most common symptoms of aflatoxin poisoning in rabbits:
- Loss of appetite
- Reduced weight gains
- High mortality
If you notice or suspect that your rabbit might be suffering from aflatoxin poisoning, immediately call your veterinarian or the animal poison control hotline.
Fatty liver disease
Because most candlenuts are high in fat, feeding your rabbits candlenuts long-term could lead to Hepatic Lipidosis or fatty liver disease. Rabbits should limit themself to 20-50 grams of fat per day, while 100 grams of candlenuts contain 69.6 grams of fat.
Here are the signs that your rabbit might be suffering from fatty liver disease caused by excess fat:
- Loss of appetite (anorexia) – may be sudden or gradual
- Weight loss
- Decline in number and size of droppings (feces)
- Depression and lethargy
Diarrhea in rabbits is often caused by the wrong diet or when their diet is changed too fast. Feeding your rabbit large amounts of candlenuts would check those two boxes I mentioned.
Gastrointestinal stasis is also possible when a rabbit is fed large amounts of candlenuts, which are high in fat. GI stasis mainly happens when a rabbit is fed a low-fiber diet.
GI stasis happens when the balance of bacteria in your rabbit’s gut is disrupted. This disruption would cause painful gas that would eventually lead to organ failure and death if not treated immediately.
The signs of GI stasis are:
- Hunched posture
- Decreased appetite/anorexia
If you notice any of these signs, immediately bring your rabbit to a veterinarian.
Soft uneaten cecotropes are also possible when rabbits are eating large amounts of candlenuts instead of hay. This could lead to softer cecotropes due to the lack of fiber in your rabbit’s diet.
Obesity in rabbits is also possible when fed large amounts of fatty/sugary food. Rabbits that are confined in cages all day without exercise and fed large amounts of high carb, low-fiber diet are the most susceptible to obesity.
Healthy alternative to candlenuts as treats.
If you planning on giving your rabbits candlenuts as treats, these alternatives are much healthier:
- Apple (remove seeds)
- Cherries (remove seeds)
FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
Should you panic if your rabbit ate a little bit of candlenuts?
Just observe your rabbit for any additional symptoms like loss of appetite, depression, jaundice, and diarrhea.
You can also call The Poison Control Hotlines if you suspect or are worried that your rabbit is experiencing intoxication.
What to do if your rabbit ate candlenuts?
Observe your rabbit’s behavior and poop for any changes. You should also feed them a lot of hay. The extra fiber would help balance their gut flora. If you notice any changes in their poop or behavior, consult a veterinarian immediately.
Candlenuts should never be fed to rabbits intentionally because they could potentially contain aflatoxins. Candlenuts are also high in fat, which could lead to digestive problems in large amounts.
If you suspect or are worried that your rabbit might be suffering from aflatoxin poisoning, call your veterinarian or your animal poison control hotlines.
Cite this article:
- Postharvest Fungi Attack on the Candlenut (Aleurites moluccana)Distribution Chain in Several Areas at North Sumatra
- Comparison of the Effects of Aloe vera L and Aleurites moluccanus, in Single and Mixed Forms in Promoting Hair Growth
Image credit- ChildofMidnight at English Wikipedia, CC BY 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons