Rabbit Mag

Can Rabbits Eat Pomegranate? – Health Risks and Diseases

Just imagine the sweet and juicy taste of a fresh pomegranate—so good, in fact, that you might be tempted to eat the whole thing yourself. But what about your bunny? Can rabbits eat pomegranate?

Let’s not waste time discussing the health benefits and risks, not forgetting, is it even safe?

Can rabbits eat pomegranate

No! it is not the kind of food that rabbits can eat safely. Pomegranates contain ellagitannins, which cause digestive upset when consumed in high amounts by animals such as horses and cattle.

Rabbits are no different; they too could suffer from the ill-effects of ellagitannins. Unfortunately, we don’t know enough about the effects of pomegranate consumption in rabbits because there isn’t enough research available yet .

Feeding your rabbit pomegranate is not recommended and is potentially deadly.

To understand why pomegranates are not good for rabbits to eat, let’s take a look at the nutritional values of Pomegranate.

Inflammatory response support: There is no doubt that Pomegranate contains plenty of antioxidants, but unfortunately when it comes to rabbits’ digestive system and their fragile flora balance, the fruit could do more harm than good.  Rabbits can benefit from some antioxidant support because they produce less endogenous antioxidants themselves in comparison with other animals. However, in order to enjoy all these benefits, they should not be taken at the expense of their digestive system, which is exactly what pomegranate does.

Pomegranate also contains Vitamin C, but in relatively low amounts so it will have little effect on an already healthy bunny.  Do remember that rabbits are very sensitive to high doses of Vitamin C .

Good source of Iron but… Rabbits should avoid iron rich foods because too much iron can cause hemochromatosis or simply put – iron overload disease – , leading to damage of internal organs and eventually death. Symptoms of iron toxicity include the lack of appetite, lethargy, vomiting and diarrhea.

Additionally, menadione which is also called vitamin K3 or menadione sodium bisulfate , a synthetic version of vitamin K never found in nature can be potentially harmful to rabbits.  It has been used for treating anemia caused by internal bleeding but veterinary prescription only !  Additionally it causes liver problems if too much is given.

As you can see Pomegranate holds quite some beneficial nutrients but they are outweighed by the dangerous ones that harm rather than benefit your rabbit .

Health risks of eating pomegranate for rabbits

If you’re concerned about your rabbit’s health and want to know what specific problems pomegranate feeding could cause, then keep on reading.

The main concern is that rabbits’ digestive tracts are very sensitive and not well-equipped for digesting ellagitannins present in pomegranates.  Rabbits lack the enzymes needed to break down these substances and this causes them to ferment in the cecum (a blind-end pouch at the beginning of the large intestine), leading to diarrhea and pain. Undigested particles can also clog up their intestines, causing serious medical conditions such as GI stasis.  

Rabbits may appear normal but they will be feeling sick or uncomfortable inside.

Here are some statistics for you to better understand the seriousness of this problem:

75% of rabbits, who have been diagnosed with GI stasis, die from it .   

95% of rabbits who have been treated successfully for GI stasis after diagnosis, have another bout within 1 year . The outbreaks usually get worse and more frequent over time.  

Feeding a rabbit a food that causes digestive problems can trigger critical health issues such as GI Stasis.  Rabbits suffering from GI Stasis should always receive prompt veterinary care in order to survive and recover from the condition.  

How much pomegranate can be toxic for a pet rabbit?  

Pomegranate is toxic when consumed in large quantities. The amount of ellagitannins needed to cause certain problems varies with each individual rabbit. Rabbits are not capable of digesting pomegranate properly, which makes them very sensitive to ellagitannins present in the fruit.  The fruit’s consumption is also known to trigger acute or chronic diarrhea , leading to dehydration and serious health issues .

If you feed your rabbit even just a small amount of pomegranate, it will likely have adverse affects on his digestive system.  If your bunny exhibits any signs of gastrointestinal distress after eating even a little bit of this forbidden fruit then you should take him to the vet right away!

Possible symptoms include watery droppings, lack of feces, loss of appetite , and lack of energy .  These symptoms can be quite serious in rabbits. Pomegranate poisoning can also lead to death if it is not treated quickly enough.  

Frequently Asked Questions

Can rabbits eat pomegranate rind?   

Does your rabbit have a habit of chewing on things?  If so, it may seem like a good idea to let him enjoy the fruit by giving him the whole rind. However, you really shouldn’t do this!  

Even if he somehow manages to avoid digestive upset after eating the whole thing, you still risk an obstruction that will require immediate veterinary intervention.

The pomegranate seeds are what appears safe for rabbits but they should only be given as treats.   

Can I use pomegranate juice instead?   

To safely give your bunny small amounts of pomegranate, use its juice instead, diluted with water.  If you’re worried about the seeds causing problems, you can strain them out or even use an extract instead.  However, it is important to remember that the juice itself still contains ellagitannins and your rabbit should only receive low doses of this substance.

How much pomegranate juice can I give my bunny?   

Do not exceed one teaspoon (5 ml) of low-concentration juices per day. This will be enough for your rabbit to enjoy small amounts without risking severe side effects.  

Can rabbits eat pomegranate seeds?   

Pomegranate seeds are safe in moderate amounts but they shouldn’t be used as treats.  The problem with seeds is that they are designed to travel through the digestive tract of birds who don’t chew them up. Because of this, rabbits won’t be able to break them down properly and will risk an obstruction.  Also, keep in mind that most pomegranate juices contain whole seeds so always check before giving any to your rabbit.

Related Articles:

Leave a Comment

error: Content is protected !!