Is Lucky a Charlie?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by howfunkyisurchicken, Sep 20, 2013.

  1. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

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    :p We've had our Netherland Dwarf, Lucky, for about 5 months now. Since I'm not a "rabbit person" I do quite a bit of research to try and make sure we're keeping our fuzzy friend as happy and healthy as possible. Today I learned about Charlies (coincidently, he was almost named Charlie (Chaplin) bc of his cute little mustache). Anyway, when I read that they tend to have digestive issues I became a bit concerned. We always make sure he has his timothy hay and fresh water available at all times and his leavings have always looked normal to me. If he is one, is there any symptoms/behaviors I should be watching for? Is it possible to have a rabbit this color and it not be a Charlie? Do all of them have digestion issues? What do you all think? Here's Lucky Bunny:
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    Thanks very much :)
     
  2. Bunnylady

    Bunnylady POOF Goes the Pooka

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    It is possible to have a rabbit with those markings that isn't a true Charlie. For those who don't know, a "Charlie" is a rabbit that has two copies of the broken gene. Some people will call any rabbit with minimal color a Charlie, but the genuine article only comes from two broken parents.

    The broken gene doesn't just affect the color of the hair on some parts of the rabbit - it is also involved in the development of other parts of the rabbit. One thing it affects is "gut motility," the rate at which the digestive system processes food. All rabbits with the broken gene have slower-running digestive systems. Those with one copy are only slightly slower, it's the ones with two copies that are affected enough that people worry about them.

    It sounds like you are doing all the right things. Any rabbit can develop GI stasis, regardless of whether they have the broken gene; it's just that it's a bit more likely to happen to a rabbit whose digestive system runs slower to start with.
     

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