Can rabbits eat mushrooms? What are the properties of mushrooms, can they be poisonous to rabbits? These are all questions that we hope to answer in this blog post. In addition, we will discuss why you should not feed your rabbit any type of fungi and what dangers there would be if a rabbit were to consume mushrooms.
- 1 Types and Properties of Mushroom
- 2 Can Rabbits Eat Mushrooms?
- 3 What Happens if a Rabbit Eats a Mushroom?
- 4 How Common is Mushroom Poisoning in Rabbits?
- 5 How to Prevent Mushroom Poisoning in Rabbits
- 6 Can Rabbits Eat Cooked Mushrooms?
- 7 Can Baby Bunnies Eat Mushrooms?
- 8 Are Other Parts Of The Mushroom Plant Safe To Eat?
- 9 What Are Other Healthy Alternatives To Mushrooms In A Rabbit's Diet?
- 10 Final Words
Types and Properties of Mushroom
According to Grocycle, there are at least 20 popular types of edible mushrooms with tastes ranging from sweet to nutty, and others even taste like lobster!
- Button mushrooms
- Cremini mushrooms
- Portobello mushrooms
- Oyster mushrooms
- King oyster mushrooms
- Chanterelle mushrooms
- Porcini mushrooms
- Hedgehog mushrooms
- Chicken Of The Woods mushrooms
- Black Trumpet mushrooms
- Wood Blewit mushrooms
- Morel mushrooms
- Enoki mushrooms
- Shimeji mushrooms
- Shiitake mushrooms
- Maitake mushrooms
- Reishi mushrooms
- Lion’s Mane mushrooms
- Matsutake mushrooms
- Giant Puffball mushrooms
Mushroom contains many nutrients like protein, thiamine (vitamin B-1), riboflavin (B-complex vitamin) as well as minerals such as potassium or selenium that aid with various bodily functions including bone formation and cell growth. Mushrooms are also the only vegan, non-fortified dietary source of vitamin D.
Given the abundance of nutrients in mushrooms, many people may wonder whether or not they are safe for rabbits to eat.
Can Rabbits Eat Mushrooms?
A rabbit cannot eat a mushroom without risking becoming ill or dying from mycotoxicosis which is poisoning caused by the ingestion of certain types of fungi. Fungi containing mycotoxins include species from the common genera Aspergillus, Penicillium, Fusarium, and Claviceps.
When it comes to wild mushrooms such as False Morels and Death Caps, they must never be given willingly! Other sorts that can lead to GIT (gastrointestinal tract) problems are also dangerous for a pet bunny; these do not have any fatal consequences but may irritate your rabbit's stomach.
The FDA tells us that some species of mushrooms contain a chemical called agaritine which can damage DNA and cause cancer in humans. This is why we recommend not giving your rabbit any food with agaritine content until more research has been done to see if this poses a significant risk for bunnies.
As a pet owner, it is very important to be aware of the potential dangers that can arise from your rabbit eating any type of mushroom.
What Happens if a Rabbit Eats a Mushroom?
If your rabbit has eaten a mushroom, you should know that the symptoms of poisoning will manifest within minutes or hours. The symptoms include:
- breathing difficulties (due to the toxin)
- muscle tremors
- loss of appetite
However, according to RSPCA, don’t wait for symptoms to show if you suspect poisoning. Rabbits can go into shock quickly and die if they have consumed a large number of mushrooms.
Although some mushrooms are less poisonous than others, it’s safer to assume they are all harmful. The earlier a diagnosis can be made and treatment can be started, the better chance of recovery.
Therefore, contact the nearest veterinarian immediately. Take a sample of the mushroom in order to show it to your veterinarian.
Do not try to make the rabbit throw up. It is unsafe because rabbits cannot vomit.
How Common is Mushroom Poisoning in Rabbits?
Although rare, rabbit deaths from eating mushrooms have been reported. It is hard to tell how many because the toxic effects are not always clear upon initial examination. What we do know is that there can be harmful effects and it's best to avoid giving your pet a mushroom dish if you're not sure what kind it is or if they are safe for them.
To keep your pet rabbit safe, learn how to prevent mushroom poisoning.
How to Prevent Mushroom Poisoning in Rabbits
To avoid mycotoxicosis, which is infamously difficult to treat, prevention should be an absolute priority. To prevent mushroom poisoning in rabbits:
- Never feed your rabbit any mushrooms. Not even if they're supposedly safe for humans. Some are toxic to rabbits and can make them very sick or worse!
- If your rabbit goes outside, keep an eye out for mushrooms on the lawn. Remember, they are found most commonly after it rains. Maintaining a short lawn can help prevent them from growing.
- It may be best to contain your rabbit in an area of the yard that isn't close to any wild mushrooms if you have them growing near it.
- Toxic varieties can grow under trees, so check these areas frequently.
- It is best to not use gardening gloves when handling wild mushrooms, as the spores can be difficult to remove. You'll want to wash your hands thoroughly after touching them.
- Avoid handling your rabbit's food after handling mushrooms.
Can Rabbits Eat Cooked Mushrooms?
Do not feed your rabbit any cooked mushrooms.
A rabbit is an herbivore and relies on raw food for nutrients, so it is important to stick with fresh vegetables. Cooked or processed mushrooms should never be given to a rabbit as their stomach cannot handle such things.
It is better to stay on the safe side and not feed your rabbit any mushrooms at all.
Can Baby Bunnies Eat Mushrooms?
Baby rabbits have stomachs that are more prone to digestive upset and should not be given mushrooms.
Never feed baby bunnies fruits and vegetables until they reach 12 weeks of age to allow their stomachs time to mature with them.
Then, when you are ready to introduce them to fruit or vegetables, go slowly; observe any side effects for at least 24 hours before trying more of the same type of vegetable or a different tasty treat.
Are Other Parts Of The Mushroom Plant Safe To Eat?
While both the stalk and cap of a mushroom are safe for humans to eat, rabbits should avoid mushrooms altogether.
Poisoning from mushroom consumption can cause death, so it's better to play it safe and avoid them altogether.
What Are Other Healthy Alternatives To Mushrooms In A Rabbit's Diet?
Hay is a staple and should make up 80 to 90 percent of a rabbit’s diet. Besides that, apples, carrot tops, and bell peppers can all provide the rabbit with the nutrients they need to stay happy and healthy.
In conclusion, we hope this blog post has answered the question “can rabbits eat mushrooms?” Always be cautious when introducing new foods into the diet of a rabbit.
We recommend talking to your vet before giving them any food with agaritine content as it can be toxic for bunnies. If you’ve found that your rabbit's symptoms match those listed above after eating a mushroom, please consult an expert immediately.