Dock leaves are a common plant that people often mistake for kale. Can rabbits eat dock leaves? What are the side effects of Dock leaves on rabbits?

These are all questions that will be answered in this blog post, which is about whether or not it’s safe to feed your bunny with them. I will also go over what you should do if you see your pet eating too many dock leaves and how to help them get better!

It’s never a good idea to give a rabbit leaves from plants you aren’t 100% sure they can eat. In addition, plants with large scraggy leaves or rough serrated leaves are harmful to bunny teeth and could lead to serious problems down the line.

For these reasons, it’s best not to feed your rabbit any type of plant leaves unless you’re positive they will be safe from harm and provide proper nutrition.

The most important thing to know with regards to feeding your bunnies is that they should never eat any plants with oxalic acid. Dock leaves are very high in oxalic acid.

What Exactly Are Dock Leaves ?

There are many species of plants called dock-leaves, but the most commonly known are Rumex obtusifolias. Other common names that identify this plant are broad-leaf dock, common dock leaf, bodockwort, etc.

Dock leaves have been used as medicine since ancient times to treat things such as inflammation, diarrhea, and fever.

Dock leaf

Dock-leaves contain toxic compounds such as oxalic acid (which causes calcium deficiency) – just like rhubarb does! So feeding your rabbit too many of these may lead to diarrhoea or even death if consumed in large quantities for an extended period of time.

It’s also worth noting this particular species has been known to cause dermatitis in humans, so it’s not recommended for us either!

Can Rabbits Eat Dock Leaves?

It is definitely not a good idea to feed Doc leaves to your rabbits. Dock leaves are toxic for your rabbits because they contain liver-toxic properties, calcium oxalate crystals, and are very harmful when eaten by your rabbits in large quantities.

Dock leaves must be consumed in large quantities for this to occur and the animal’s liver may be damaged as a side-effect.

Rabbit and Dock leaf

According to Rabbit Welfare Dock leaves fall under the poisonous plants category and should never be fed to your rabbits .

There are many anecdotal reports of dock leaves being poisonous to rabbits, and accidental ingestion of too much could cause injury or death.

However, it has been reported that some people intentionally use dock as a sort of natural “repellant” against rabbits because they know they’re herbivores and like to eat greens, so they plant them near their gardens so the latter don’t disturb the garden soil.

Reasons Why You Should Not Feed Dock Leaves To Your Rabbits

Side effects of dock leaves on rabbits may include:

Reasons why you should not feed Dock leaves to rabbits
  • Kidney Stones :Dock leaves are high in oxalic acid, which causes calcium deficiencies and may even lead to kidney stones.
  • Calcium Deficiency:Calcium deficiency can result in muscle tremors or spasms; seizures; rigid abdomens; difficulty breathing consequent pneumonia; broken bones due to lack of sufficient calcium for normal development.
  • Kidney Failure :Kidney failure has also been seen as a side-effect of the consumption of large amounts of this plant . The kidneys are responsible for filtering out toxins so when too many leaves are consumed it puts excess stress on the body’s organs leading them to fail over time.
  • Weakness and lack of coordination : These symptoms may be seen if the animal has eaten too many dock leaves for an extended period of time.
  • Seizures and tremors
  • Can cause liver damage with continued consumption in large quantities.
  • Diarrhoea and other digestive problems.
  • Skin irritations or dermatitis (skin lesions) when ingested orally, by chewing the plant or due to skin contact with broken parts of plant leaves.
  • Can cause tongue/mouth irritation if chewed in large quantities too.
  • Can also affect your rabbit’s respiratory system causing violent sneezing etc., similar to allergies caused by certain plants.

What To Do If Your Rabbit Has Eaten Too Many Dock Leaves ?

You can take the following steps to counter the effects of eating too many Dock Leaves :

  • Keep Them Hydrated:If your rabbit has eaten too many dock leaves, you can give them some water. This will help their body get rid of excess fluid in the form of urine, which helps avoid further complications due to dehydration, such as seizures and urinary tract infections! 
  • Offer Some Coconut Water :You can also offer some coconut water to help them get rid of excess nutrients.
  • Keep An Eye Out For Diarrhea: If your rabbit consumes too many dock leaves and develops diarrhea, you should stop feeding them for at least twenty-four hours until the situation improves!You should then give them their regular diet but in smaller amounts.
  • Change Their Diet:You need to change their diet during this time by avoiding greens for a few days . Instead, you should focus on giving your rabbit more proteins and healthy fats. After this period you may reintroduce greens and low oxalate vegetables (such as spinach) gradually over time – but always keep an eye on for any tummy upsets when doing so .
Rabbit and Dock leaf

When To Take Your Rabbit To The Veterinarian ?

If your rabbit is suffering from any of the following symptoms, you should immediately take them to a veterinarian: 

Lethargy or weakness in muscles 

  • Diarrhea for more than 24 hours that prevents normal bowel movements, which may become bloody 
  • Inability to eat or drink anything even after several hours 
  • Swollen abdomen and/or tummy area, which is often accompanied by a loss of appetite for more than 24 hours. 
  • Seizures 

Your furry friend may need antibiotics, special fluids given intravenously, and other medications to correct their condition.If you notice these types of behaviors, it’s important to take your rabbit to the vet immediately! 

Although most cases are not serious and your rabbit will probably recover within a day, if you notice that they are suffering from any of these symptoms, it’s best to get them checked out.

Rabbit and Dock leaf

Wrapping Up

In summary, the answer to “Can rabbits eat dock leaves?” is a resounding no. Dock leaves are toxic and have high levels of oxalic acid, which will make your bunny sick if they ingest them in large quantities.

It’s best to avoid this plant altogether if you want your pet rabbit to live a long life with no health problems!

I hope this blog post has answered any nutrition related questions you had about whether rabbits can eat dock leaves or not ! If there is anything else I didn’t cover in detail or if you still have more specific questions on this topic, feel free to reach out with your concerns by clicking the contact button below. 

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