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Forum HOUSE RABBIT Q & A atypical presentation off illness

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    • MomBun78
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        hi friends.

        really going through it right now with my 5 yr old mini lop. she gets stasis about twice a year without fail and had a full parasite work up in november looking for possible causes. labs all totally normal. no obvious cause of recurring stasis. she is a super fluffy bun so maybe just sheds. on dec 31 she developed a lower limb weakness and was diagnosed with bulged disk. we did 2 weeks nsaids with zero improvement. switched to prednisone regiment and almost immediately improved. tapered off prednisone nicely no issues. here we are in april (6 months after last stasis, literally as if on a stasis schedule) and she starts snubbing pellet and oxbow vitamins. happily eats greens, CC and anything soft. so of course i assume the obvious, must be dental right?? my vet who has cared for her from the start doubted it because she has been checking her teeth all along. she thought maybe early stasis, but said if she doesnt improve we can do a dental exam and cranial xrays under anesthesia. a few days later no pellet or hard foods were being eaten and i proceed with dental exam under anesthesia. comes back perfect, literally. but as part of pre op her labs show a high white count and she had lost a few ounces in a weeks time. so she gets put on antibiotics with the assumption she has some type of GI bug. we are 48 hrs after procedure, 2 days of antibiotics in and she is struggling. she is pooping stressed poops, hasnt once stopped pooping. she takes CC with ease, eats greens like its going out of style. no pellets consumed yet. i administer CC 3 x a day, 30-50 cc subQ fluids, metacam, gas drops, metacloprimide and cisipride. i am so stressed cuz this stasis isnt presenting like it normally does. usually she stops all eating a pooping but once out of stasis recovers quick. this one is just so odd. i may never get answers but has anyone had this happen? thank you in advance for any advice


      • Bam
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          I’m sorry this is happening to your bun.

          Since you seem to have a rabbit savvy vet, I’m guessing e cuniculi has been considered and tested for? Hind end weakness is a typical symptom of an ec flare-up. Prednisone would relieve the tissue inflammation that ec causes, but it wouldn’t target the parasite, just help the body overcome the acute flare up.

          EC can have the most unexpected and mysterious symptoms, that’s why I’m asking if it’s been ruled out.

           


          • MomBun78
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              hi, yeah EC was ruled out first thing when her back legs became weak. I have another bun in the home (separate from her) with EC. so we were quick to rule it out and actually started to treat her for it day one in case the test came back positive. Her xray showed sublaxation of the disk so we were pretty sure it was just that, and oddly when this latest issue with eating started she was making really great progress on her mobility. her only lingering effect of the disk issue was a slight drag of the foot. that seemed to disppear in the last two weeks. but she has really struggled to get back to normal eating habits. one good thing is that when i woke up for work last night (i work graveyard) she looked a bit weakened and her poops were miniscule, but an hour later when i picked her up to do her CC and fluids she had a massive pile of more normal size poops under her. that was encouraging. after her CC and fluids she immediately tucked into a parsley bunch. i am at work right now so when i get home in an hour i will be able to see how she did for the night. really praying she has eaten some more and the poops are good. i am so grateful for this forum. i learn so much from others experiences. i have ordered emeraid in hopes it can help me more than the CC and a new probiotic since she is on antibiotics. she is ignoring her benebac right now:/


          • LBJ10
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              How long was she on the prednisone? As you know, steroids should be used with caution in rabbits and are best avoided most of the time. However, there are a few cases where benefits may outweigh the risks (i.e. the need to get inflammation down quickly, etc.). One possible side effect with prednisone is ulcers in the GI tract. Since we don’t see a lot of cases where a rabbit was treated with prednisone, it’s hard to say how common this side effect would be in them. Maybe others can chime in here… but would it be a stretch to think an ulcer could make a rabbit shy away from pellets?

              Otherwise, EC does seem to fit a lot of the other stuff that is going on. Negative tests do not necessarily mean a bunny does not have it. And positive tests does not necessarily mean a bunny will show symptoms. EC is weird that way.

              As for the regular stasis episodes, some bunnies are just prone to having GI problems for some reason.


            • Bam
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                LBJ is right, prednisone can cause gastric  ulceration. You could perhaps just check with your vet if you can give your bun some famotidine (Pepcid) for a week or so and see of things get better appetite-wise? Pepcid is not a strong drug. It’s OTC and inexpensive, but it only comes as a pill, so it needs to be dissolved in water and the appropriate dose measured up with a syringe. My vet has given me Pepcid for my buns when they’ve been on metacam (meloxicam) because meloxicam can cause GI ulceration too. (In the “olden day” rabbits were often prescribed ranitidine for the same thing, but ranitidine is sadly no longer available in the USA and the EU).

                Another drug that can be given for  suspected stomach ulceration is Sucralfate, which is very effective but prescription only.

                I’d look into this first of all I think, since you already have had her teeth checked out and they were fine.


                • MomBun78
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                    she did a course of prednisone for approx 6 weeks but most of that was weaning off. i am in southern california and got 2 second opinions before starting her on the prednisone. there is so much scary literature about it so when it was originally suggested i panicked. but every exotic i took her to suggested it since she wasnt responding to nsaids. i believe its more widely used where i am at because they weren’t terribly worried about giving it to her.  she is definitely prone to GI stasis. and she is having a heavy shed right now so that may be contributing. i follow up with my vet in the am so i will ask about the famotidine. thats a great idea! she was much improved on sunday. she ate 6 grams of pellet so thats a big plus. and she ate all of her other greens, hay and little treats. her poops are hugely improved. i am hoping we have turned the corner. fingers crossed.  thank you for the input!!!


                • DanaNM
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                    Hmmm, I don’t really have anything to add, but wondering if her poops tend to look good (uniform size and round shape?) in between stasis episodes?

                     

                    . . . The answers provided in this discussion are for general guideline purposes only. The information is not intended to diagnose or treat your pet. Seek the advice of your veterinarian or a qualified behaviorist.  


                    • MomBun78
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                        hi, yes poops look normal in between stasis episodes. we have done lots of tests to try and find a cause to her chronic stasis bouts but have come up with nothing so far. she gets benebac, laxatone and sherwood digestive tabs daily as a preventative measure. and we added daily simethicone after her last stasis due to gas.


                    • MomBun78
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                        update 4/17- its been very up and down, saturday bad, sunday fantastic, monday in between, tuesday awesome. hoping we can stay make some consistent progress. she gained back 2 oz tuesday so i am super happy. i have been consistent with her syringe feedings 3 x a day and subQ fluids as well as metacam, metacloprimide, enroflaxin, and gas drops. we added cerenia 2 days ago. and the vet gave me an rx for transdermal mirataz to help stimulate appetite. spoke with a friend that fosters buns and she had a rabbit present identically as mine, pellet strike with high white count and they believe he may have had a deep inner ear infection cuz his sx resolved with antibiotics. i know we will likely never know. i am optimistic though and will keep everyone posted. i learn from everyone else’s experiences so thats why i share mine:) side note- she loves emeraid compared to critical care! i am going to make her some treats with it for when she is better


                      • DanaNM
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                          It is so stressful and frustrating dealing with a poorly bun that’s up and down, you are doing a great job with her. I’m really happy to hear she loves the Emeraid! It makes syringe feeding so much easier when they like the food.

                          I’m very interested to hear how the cerenia and mirataz go, I’ve had that prescribed for my cat but haven’t heard of much use in rabbits. If it helps that is really good to know!

                          . . . The answers provided in this discussion are for general guideline purposes only. The information is not intended to diagnose or treat your pet. Seek the advice of your veterinarian or a qualified behaviorist.  

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                      Forum HOUSE RABBIT Q & A atypical presentation off illness