Last Updated on October 17, 2022 by Rei Garnet
Peanuts are potentially poisonous to rabbits and should not be given to them intentionally.
Peanuts carry the risk of aflatoxin poisoning, which can lead to anorexia, diarrhea, depression, reduced weight gain, and high mortality.
Also, 100 grams of peanuts contains 49 grams of fat and 4.7 grams of sugar.
While rabbits should limit themselves to 20–50 grams of fat per day.
The sugar content in peanuts is also bad, considering rabbits don’t tolerate sugary foods.
As you can see, everything about peanuts is bad for rabbits.
In addition to potential aflatoxin poisoning, your rabbits could also suffer from digestive conditions like GI stasis, diarrhea, fatty liver disease, and obesity because rabbits don’t tolerate fatty or sugary foods well.
If you notice any changes in your rabbit’s stool, both in size and consistency, or any signs of poisoning, 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 peanuts:
Risk of overfeeding peanuts to rabbits.
Fatty and sugary foods like peanuts should not be fed to rabbits intentionally.
They carry certain risks when fed in large amounts because rabbits’ digestive systems are not really designed to digest large amounts of food like peanuts.
Here are some of the risks associated with feeding your rabbits large amounts of peanuts:
Some peanuts 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 them, like corn, peanuts, cottonseed, and tree nuts.
Here are the most common symptoms of aflatoxin poisoning in rabbits:
- Loss of appetite
- Reduced weight gain
- 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
Most peanuts are high in fat, feeding your rabbits peanuts long-term could lead to hepatic lipidosis, or fatty liver disease.
A rabbit’s diet should consist of less than 3% fat.
Peanuts, on the other hand, have lots of fat in them.
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 the diet is changed too fast.
Feeding your rabbit large amounts of peanuts would check those two boxes I mentioned.
Gastrointestinal stasis is also possible when a rabbit is fed large amounts of peanuts, 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 peanuts 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 or sugary food.
Rabbits that are confined in cages all day without exercise and fed large amounts of high-carb, low-fiber diets are the most susceptible to obesity.
Healthy alternative to peanuts as treats.
If you are planning on giving your rabbits peanuts as treats, these alternatives are much healthier.
Here are some alternatives that you can give to your rabbits one to two times per week as a treat:
- Apple (remove seeds)
- Cherries (remove seeds)
FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
Should you panic if your rabbit eats a little bit of peanuts?
Observe your rabbit for any additional symptoms like loss of appetite, depression, jaundice, and diarrhea.
You can also call the poison control hotline if you suspect or are worried that your rabbit is experiencing intoxication.
What to do if your rabbit ate peanuts?
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.
Peanuts should never be fed to rabbits intentionally because they could potentially contain aflatoxins.
Peanuts are also high in fat and sugar, 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 hotline.
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