Are maple leaves toxic to rabbits?

Maggie_J(z5 Ontario)September 27, 2008

Does anyone know if maple leaves are safe for rabbits?

Many people are returning to natural feed for their domestic rabbits and some discussion has arisen on the Farm Life forum and other forums about the safely of maple leaves. It has always been my understanding that Sugar Maple and Silver Maple are safe for rabbits, but I thought perhaps someone on this forum might have some authoritative information on the subject.

I've heard scary things about Red Maple, but can't find any toxicity information on other acer species. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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jean001(z8aPortland, OR)

That's a good question to ask your vet.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2008 at 2:04PM
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robin_z6(5/6 in SE MI)

You got to be kidding--I have many- ok at least ten maples on my 1/2 acre lot and enough rabbits to -- plenty of rabbits. babys and all. I only wish this were true!!

    Bookmark   October 3, 2008 at 7:42PM
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Maggie_J(z5 Ontario)

Thanks for the replies.

Jean, asking the vet a question means an office visit... and most know very little about rabbits anyway. It would be a waste of time and money.

Robin, just because a plant is common does not mean the wild rabbits are eating it. There are many, many poisonous plants around and wild and free range animals rarely get poisoned. Rabbits raised in cages are much more likely to eat anything green they are given. Hence our concerns.

I think maple leaves and twigs are okay for rabbits, but until I have more information I will continue to use them with caution.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2008 at 5:12PM
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Twenty minutes of Googling both Acer rubrum and maples in general turned up references to toxic effects to horses only, resulting in the breakdown of red blood cells and acute hemolytic anemia. Hemolytic anemia can occur in many animals but it is usually genetic or pharmaceutically induced.

I've included a link that addresses plants toxic to rabbits that may be helpful but I'd have to wonder at the advisability of feeding house or caged rabbits just any type of organic material because it's there and available. My own vet has been rather specific over the years as to exactly what type of vegetable matter should be provided domesticated rabbits as the wrong stuff can create digestive and urinary issues, not to mention allowing for vitamin and or mineral deficiencies.

Here is a link that might be useful: Plants toxic to rabbits

    Bookmark   October 4, 2008 at 6:01PM
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