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Forum HOUSE RABBIT Q & A Bloat/Intestinal Blockage – please help/any advice appreciated!

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    • LokiLover
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        Hello,

        Just posting here to get some advice from other rabbit owners!

        My 1.5-year-old Mini Rex, Loki, appeared to have signs of GI stasis yesterday morning. Noticed it when I first woke up – he refused greens and stomach seemed bloated, not passing any fecal matter and did not eat his cecetropes. (He did have his usual dinner the previous night and was fine yesterday, so most likely ate something bad overnight – although I did not find anything he could have gotten into, so it may have been an accumulated thing).  I gave him a couple of doses of simethicone (the recommended dose for rabbits using a baby formula) and tried some abdominal massage, but these did not seem to help him much. I was calling all the rabbit vets in my area throughout the morning, because my usual vet was tied up with surgeries that day (unfortunately), but since all were booked, I had to end up bringing him to an emergency vet early that afternoon.

        From the x-Rays taken there, we were able to see that the cause was an intestinal blockage of some kind (I think it was caused by hair and eating lint/possibly other things off the ground) and his stomach was very distended. They gave him IV fluids and a prescription for Cisapride, Metoclopramide, and Meloxicam. Prognosis was guarded.

        I stuck with the dosage schedule for those, and once Loki was home, he drank quite a bit of water and laid out on a heating pad for a while. Overnight he did urinate and passed maybe 7-8 small, dry pellets. However, his condition did not seem to approve much by the morning. I took him to the vet again, and the x-Ray showed no signs of improvement (if anything, his stomach was even more distended). The prognosis was poor. The vet gave him more fluids, a shot of Buprenorphine to help with the pain, and a shot of Metoclopramide. She recommended against feeding him Critical Care because of the stomach distension/risk of rupture. We also got some take home fluids to administer via a stent every 12h. Since this vet was not a rabbit specialist, she didn’t really offer any advice other than medication. Sadly, my vet was out of town today and the major pet hospital near me (was initially willing to admit Loki if need be) said they were too overcrowded to take him. I have an appointment booked with his regular vet tomorrow morning, but I’m really scared he will not make it through the night. I am so scared of intestinal rupture so not sure how much massage to do; I’ve experienced a bond with this rabbit like none other before and I am praying that he will make it. He is still on Cisapride and Metoclopramide (oral) every 8h, and Meloxicam every 24h.

        I don’t know what else to try – so please, if anyone has any advice or maybe special tips regarding abdominal massage, I would appreciate it more than anything. I’ve read online about other techniques for clearing intestinal blockages in rabbits (like gastric decompression) – however, the vets I’ve talked to in my area are not willing to do that sort of thing.

        Also, I did pick up some pure castor oil for internal usage, so if anyone has any advice regarding the dosage and safety of that in rabbits, please let me know!!


      • LBJ10
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          From what I understand, motility drugs should not be used if there is a complete blockage. You said he pooped some, but has since gotten worse?

          I’m sorry that you’re going through this, especially since your vet has been unavailable. I’m surprised they didn’t try to squeeze you in between surgeries. My vet will do that. Even if they are completely booked that day, I can do a drop off to have my bunny seen in between things… but maybe this isn’t the norm.


          • LokiLover
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              Thank you for your reply! Yes, he did poop some last night but not since then, so hoping he will more tonight..

              That was my fear with motility drugs; I think they prescribed them initially because they thought it was a standard case of stasis. However, once the x-Ray showed the blockage, I don’t know why that vet went along with that. Do you think I should not give him any more Cisapride and Metoclopramide? (I haven’t since this morning, although the vet gave him a shot of Metoclopramide in the afternoon. So I’m really hoping that has not made matters worse. He had 2 oral doses of each yesterday). Also they had no vets who specialized in rabbits at this clinic (although they treat them).

              Thank you for your empathy too, I really regret not pushing more to bring Loki in to my main vet despite the surgeries he was doing. Praying he will make it to tomorrow morning.


          • DanaNM
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              How is he doing today? I’m sorry I posted a reply last night but it must not have gone though. 🙁

              . . . 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.  


              • LokiLover
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                  (Sorry for the duplicate post on the other forum by the way, thank you for handling that one!)

                  Seeing his regular vet today was quite the relief, as he is very knowledgeable regarding rabbits/has been practicing for a long time. Prognosis was better today — he gave about a 50/50 chance. Took more x-Rays and Loki’s stomach distension/bloat did go down some since yesterday. He recommended continuing with treatment and against surgery at this point due to the risk (as at this facility they do not have the setup for intubation), but offered an appointment Monday morning for surgery then. Also recommended me to give Loki a crushed papaya tablet in 3 mL of pineapple juice every 8 hrs (since those both contain digestive enzymes to help break down the stuff in his stomach), along with some watered-down Critical Care. We are continuing with Meloxicam and Metaclopromide but no longer Cisapride, and fluids have been reduced to 75mL every 24h since Loki is accepting some water by mouth.

                  He seemed more alert earlier today but has been mostly laying down on his heating pad the past few hours (does get up and move though).  Really worried about him…there is an emergency vet in my area open on weekends but it’s unknown whether they’ll have a rabbit/exotic specialist in then. So if things get bad this weekend may have to drive 2-3 hours to find another vet (and I dunno if that would be a good idea for Loki, just due to the travel and vet stress he’s already been through the past 3 days).


                • DanaNM
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                    I’m very happy to hear this! He sounds like a fighter which is great. I hope that with fluids and a little more food the mass can be pushed through gently.

                    More vibes for Loki!

                    . . . 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.  


                  • LBJ10
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                      I glad you were able to get him in to see his regular vet. Hopefully the current treatment plan will help him pass the blockage (assuming it is fur).


                    • LokiLover
                      Participant
                      9 posts Send Private Message

                        Thank you both so much!! Things do seem to be going quite a bit better. I am cautiously optimistic for now. He has started accepting water and the pineapple juice through a syringe on his own (no force-feeding) and am giving him small amounts of cilantro and mint+basil (being careful with this for now). Also is fairly mobile but still spending a lot of time resting. Has passed even more pellets though (including some with fur/carpet fibers in them — the culprit of all of this). Made a follow-up appointment for Monday just in case.


                      • DanaNM
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                          That is wonderful news! Fingers crossed he keeps improving!!!

                          . . . 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.  


                      • LBJ10
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                        16956 posts Send Private Message

                          Yes, how is he today? Were you able to get him to the vet? What did they say about the medications?

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                      Forum HOUSE RABBIT Q & A Bloat/Intestinal Blockage – please help/any advice appreciated!