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Forum HOUSE RABBIT Q & A Cecal dysbiosis, weight loss and calcium excretion!!!

  • This topic has 26sd replies, 6 voices, and was last updated 2 months ago by Bam.
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    • Cinnamon Bun
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      As many of you already know I’ve been struggling with a bun with cecal dysbiosis. I’ve tried cutting back on veggies and treats and keeping her on a hay diet, but it’s been almost a month now and no improvement. I’ve taken her to the vet to check for parasites and she was tested negative. She’s also had some gas bubbles for a while that won’t go, and her weight is dropping fast. Her spine is no longer rounded, and it feels sharp. I’ve been trying for ages to get some hay-based pellets for her to keep her weight stable, but nearly everywhere is out of stock… I’m trying to order some. I also tried getting some alfalfa hay for her to help with cecal dysbiosis, but the bale was mostly orange and hard so now I don’t know what to do.

      Now, this evening I picked her up for a cuddle, and I noticed some thick, sticky, white liquid on her booty which I’m guessing is excess calcium. So now I’m freaking out. What do I do to help her? Is this normal? What shall I do to help her cecal dysbiosis and weight trouble? I’m so stressed out. If anyone has any helpful suggestions it would seriously mean the world to me. Thanks for taking your time to read this ♥


    • Bam
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      This is not just cecal dysbiosis, there’s something else going on as well. Cecal dysbiosis doesn’t cause weight loss, and certainly not rapid weight loss.

      I think she needs to be seen again by a bunny savvy vet. They could do a blood panel.

      Has e c been considered? It can affect both the gut and the kidneys.

       


    • Meg
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      I agree with Bam.  And meanwhile, for food supplies, what country are you in?  Hay-based pellets are plentiful in the US (e.g., Oxbow Essentials Adult Rabbit Food or Oxbow Organic Bounty Adult Rabbit Food — you can find either on Amazon) and I could help you search.  For alfalfa hay we also go with Oxbow, also ordering online.  But if I know where you are I can try to be of more help.


    • Cinnamon Bun
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      Thanks so much for your replies and for offering to help ♥

      I am based in the Middle East (Saudi Arabia) so finding bun stuff here is so hard, and there are no real rabbit-savvy vets. I have already searched the whole of Amazon for pellets, and almost every single brand are out of stock. I actually thought she’s losing weight because she isn’t eating her cecotropes properly since they are liquid, but I could be wrong. The vet didn’t do any blood tests the last time we were there, either. I’m not sure why. I haven’t considered e c, mainly because she has no side effects such as head tilt, cataracts or paralysis, but could it still possible?

      I’m thinking of trying to order her Small Pet Select pellets, but who knows how long they’ll take to get here. I’m also concerned about the calcium excretion. All she is getting is orchard hay and water, and very occasionally a tiny treat, because I feel so guilty for taking her treats away from her. Do I still hold back her treats and veggies?


    • Meg
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      That is really rough!  I’m so sorry.  I do see how hard it is to find these things on Amazon.sa.  You may as well order whatever hay-based pellets you can find and at least they’ll be on their way, right?  I don’t know about either cecal dysbiosis or e.c., so I’ll defer to others on that, but I wonder if your bun could at least have a tablespoon of rolled oats daily as a treat and weight gain help? Let’s see if anyone more knowledgeable than I am thinks that would be OK.

      There’s a great book out there called “When Your Rabbit Needs Special Care,” which has a lot of details on diseases and conditions.  Unfortunately it’s not on Kindle, but the same author wrote this book that is on Kindle and has more veterinary care details than most: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0087HT5WW

      I’m so sorry for the stress you’re under!  Your bun is lucky to have someone who loves and cares about her so much.  I hope you guys find a good solution very soon!


    • LBJ10
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      Is she spayed? I wonder if she has an infection in her girl bits. You mentioned a sticky white discharge back there.


    • DanaNM
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      I agree with Bam that the root cause has not been addressed, but these sorts of things tend to be on the cutting edge of rabbit medicine.

      If she is dropping weight then a hay-only diet will not work for her. It is sounding more and more like she could have something like cow pile syndrome or cecal dysautonomia ( I think I posted about this possibility in another thread of yours?), Even though she doesn’t have the “charlie” markings that doesn’t mean it’s impossible that she has some sort of congenital issue with her cecal function (we had a bun at the shelter that had this as well and didn’t have the charlie markings).

      I also do wonder about coccidea… especially with the weight loss. Sometimes buns showing symptoms don’t show a lot of parasites in a fecal test (and buns with parasites in teh fecal test show no symptoms). The best treatment currently is ponazuril.

      I can’t remember everything you’ve tried so far, but this article might be good to go through to make sure nothing has been missed: http://www.bio.miami.edu/hare/poop.html

      . . . 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.  


    • Cinnamon Bun
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      @Meg – It is really hard to find bun food and stuff here. It’s hard, but I’m trying to stay strong and be positive about it, though. Hopefully everything will turn out okay, and it’s nothing too serious. I just get worried whenever things happen to her because I’ve lost a bun traumatically, and I don’t want it to ever happen again. I’ve actually thought about giving her some oats but I’m a little hesitant for some reason. But if it helps her with her weight and doesn’t pose any health risks then that’s good. For pellets, we’ve just decided to try to order some pellets from outside of the country and have a family friend bring them back for us. It could take a while but at least they’d be on their way.


      @LBJ10
      – No, she isn’t spayed. I’m a little scared to put her under the knife just because there aren’t any rabbit-savvies here. I read about a bun who went in for his neuter and went into toxic shock, and didn’t make it out alive (due to the surgery tools being unclean). They don’t perform hardly any surgeries here, and when they do things don’t always turn out right. Binkie’s two years and 4 months. I haven’t considered an infection, but I don’t think that would have anything to do with cecal dysbiosis, would it? Or could she have multiple health problems at once?

      @DanaNM – What’s cow pile syndrome? Is it okay if you inform me the side effects it can cause? She started losing weight around the time I cut off her pellets, so I’m wondering if that’s the problem. She tends to be a bun that is unstable with her weight, sometimes. She can’t usually have much greens, only in moderation, and she usually needs a supplement. By the way, if coccidea is what she has, where do I buy ponazuril? I’m not so sure if we have it here.

      “I’m so sorry for the stress you’re under!  Your bun is lucky to have someone who loves and cares about her so much.  I hope you guys find a good solution very soon!”

      That means a lot to me, thank you! It’s so comforting to have people who are such a big help and care so much. And yes, I spoil my little coffee bean and love her so freaking much… and I can’t imagine it any other way! ♥


    • Cinnamon Bun
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      Update: I saw this dark-brownish red spill on the floor when I went to check on her this morning. I had given here a raisin and a little alfalfa hay the previous afternoon, but this looks like a leak right? It doesn’t look like urine to me. I don’t know.

      This is what she look likes now… she is definitely underweight but you can’t see it too much in the picture. Her shoulders and spine feel sort of sharp and not rounded like they’re supposed to. They show a lot when she loafs.


    • DanaNM
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      “cow pile” is a name  that is sometimes used for the “wet” version of megacolon. It tends to cause wet unformed poops and weight loss because the cecum isn’t functioning properly.

      I’m sorry you don’t have any rabbit-savvy vets in your area, that makes things so hard. 🙁

      That dark liquid is concerning, can you put some hydrogen peroxide on it to see if it fizzes up (to check to see if it’s blood)?

      . . . 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.  


    • Cinnamon Bun
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      I was going to do that, but I didn’t have any hydrogen peroxide and I couldn’t just leave it like that for her to get her paws dirty, so I wiped it up. Her poops are all normal, it’s just the cecotropes that aren’t solid. That dark stuff didn’t look like liquid cecotropes to me, though. Yesterday there was some white, thick, sticky discharge and today it’s this dark reddish-brown liquid.


    • Meg
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      Yeah, that does sound so hard, having such a lack of access to rabbit-savvy vets and also bunny supplies.  🙁  I’m so sorry!  I guess you could just try to be as proactive as possible in your situation, right?  Like there are 3 avenues available to you and you could pursue all 3:

      1) Finding sources for supplies as resourcefully as possible — I just looked for rabbit pellets on eBay with Saudi Arabia as the “ship to” location and found a lot!  🙂  So hopefully that could be helpful?  I’ve even seen some medicines on eBay, if you can’t get them from your vet — I know that’s sketchy, so only if you have no other option.  Etsy would be worth checking too as they also let you select your shipping location.  I found a place called bunnysupplyco[dot]com that ships worldwide but they mostly sell toys, no actual food.  In any case, I try to have as many food/vet supplies as possible on hand, keep note of when things will expire so that I can reorder them before that happens, etc.  Unless your family friend is coming to see you really soon, you may want to go ahead and order food on eBay or something so it can arrive as soon as possible.

      2) Aggressively seeking out bunny medical information online — I’d definitely recommend the Kindle book I linked above, “A House Rabbit Primer” by Lucille Moore, and/or there’s lots of info on here, MediRabbit, and rabbit.org.  Though it can’t make up for good bunny vets it’s still very helpful.

      3) Being a bunny sleuth at home, which it sounds like you’re already on your way to.  Just before putting hydrogen peroxide on the liquid you photographed, I’d recommend touching the edge of a tissue or paper towel to a bit of it so that it will draw some of it up, and gross as it is you could try to examine it more closely to see if it seems like blood, urine, or something else.

      On oats, LBJ10 and DanaNM are way more knowledgeable than I am about what might be going on and whether oats would be good or bad.

      Best of luck to you!  Your girl is beautiful and I know you love her so much.   And I’m so sorry you lost another bun traumatically!!  🙁  That sounds just awful.  I’ve found a lot of support and comfort from the kind people on here too over the years and I just try to pay it forward every so often.  I’m sorry I don’t know more but I wish you and your bunny all the best!!


    • LBJ10
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      This is concerning. It would be helpful to know what that liquid was and where it originated from. Was it liquid cecotropes? Or was it blood? And if it was blood, where it did come from? Sometimes blood is coming from the uterus and people mistake it for coming from somewhere else.

      To answer your question, yes, an infection in the uterus or a tumor in the uterus can cause weight loss. I was leaning more toward infection because of the sticky white liquid you saw. This is a symptom of pyometra. As for the cecal dysbiosis… I don’t know if something like that could be a contributing factor or not.

      Regarding oats… rolled oats are easy to digest and can help a bunny put on weight, but they have less fiber than hay. In this case, I’m not sure if it would be beneficial or not. Does anyone have any thoughts on oat flowers instead?


    • DanaNM
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      My sense on the oats is that it would be better to re-add pellets back, rather than give something starchy and low-fiber (given the cecal issues)? Perhaps a pellet brand that has no grains to see if that might agree with her better?

      . . . 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.  


    • Meg
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      @DanaNM, no doubt that pellets would be preferable, but I was asking about oats because she’s said she’s unable to get her hands on pellets there in Saudi Arabia and is currently planning to wait for a family friend to bring them from overseas (we don’t know when)?  So would oats be worth introducing in the meantime, is my question.  🙂


    • Cinnamon Bun
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      Hay, I’m wondering that, too. I can’t get hold of pellets at the moment and she’s losing weight. I just need something that will help her keep on weight until her pellets arrive. I have porridge oats but not rolled oats, and I’m wondering if they’re okay?

      I’m still not sure what the liquid was. If it was liquid cecotropes do you think she would’ve eaten it? I mean that’s what she keeps doing whenever she eats her cecos, and it’s weird that she just left that puddle there like that. That’s what’s leading me to think it was something else, but I don’t know what. I’ll keep on monitoring her to check if I see anything else abnormal. Like I said, after I cut out her pellets, treats and veggies I started noticing her weight drop, so maybe it’s nothing to do with an infection or anything like that. She’s a bun who usually needs a supplement which is usually pellets and veggies only in moderation. She gets treats in the morning and one at night to go along with her cuddle. I’m going to try and have the vet see her again, but he’s not a rabbit-savvy so I don’t know how much help he’ll be.


      @Meg
      – OMG, I didn’t know there were pellets and medicines on eBay.  The medicines I’ve been given before by my vet have been harmful, so this is so helpful. Thank you so much, I’ll definitely go have a look, and try to check out that house bun book too. Thank you! I think one of the cutest things about Binkie is that tuft of light brown fur on her head. It always sticks up. By the way, are your buns’ names Teddy and Athena? They’re both absolutely adorable. Teddy is sooo floofy… I love himmm! ♥


    • DanaNM
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      Ah, I understand! Do you have critical care? I’m guessing no?

      I know they sell straight timothy pellets for horses, so perhaps those might be easier to find?

      In my mind, the weight dropping is a more of chronic problem, and it would be important to rule out a medical cause for the weight loss before just adding in new high-calorie foods that may upset the cecal flora more.

      Also with her being unspayed and a couple years old, it is possible that she has a reproductive cancer. It wouldn’t be my #1 hypothesis, but it’s not impossible.

      Bunnies don’t always eat their cecals when they are ill or they are overproducing them. So I can’t really say if that would be an indication of what the liquid was.

      . . . 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.  


    • Meg
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      Good news — here is one example of Critical Care on eBay that will ship to Saudi Arabia: https://www.ebay.com/itm/265222561117

      With this and pellets being available on eBay or, as DanaNM points out, timothy pellets for horses possibly being available locally, it does sound like it’s better to do that than to use oats.  I’ve been told that bunnies can get pretty slim before it becomes a real health danger per se (though sometimes it is caused by something more serious), so it sounds like the risks outweigh the benefits of giving some oats right now.  I would just order pellets today and then look to see if there are timothy pellets you could find locally even if they were made for horses.

      Yes, you’re right, Teddy and Athena!  Athena passed away when she was 10, almost 3 years ago, but we still love and think about her all the time.  Teddy is still delighting us every day and lately he has a fabulous bunny bangs as well!  🙂

      Good luck at the vet!  Maybe if you read up from the bunny primer book beforehand it could help you in dealing with the non-bunny vet.  (Are there horse vets nearby?  I almost wonder if they would be better than a dog/cat vet, especially for digestive issues.)  You could also consider bringing Binkie in for the examination one day and then starting treatment the next day after you had a chance to consult here / on Medirabbit to make sure the medicines/etc are OK for her?  Just brainstorming… All the best to you!


    • Cinnamon Bun
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      No, I don’t have any critical care on hand, but I’ll check that link out. I’m not sure they feed the horses pellets here, mostly just alfalfa and orchard grass, but I can still ask. About her having reproductive cancer… I – I don’t know what to do. Getting her spayed is not an option. The risks outweigh the benefits if I’m just going to bring her in to get spayed while knowing that she could go into toxic shock, or die due to the vet’s lack of experience. So, yes… you can probably see why I’m cornered. I have no options at all. We have exotic vets that treat cattle and non-traditional pets, but they don’t do surgery. It’s a one room pharmacy with a tiny examination area (which is supposed to be a consultation desk). They were a big help when Binkie had fur mites and an abscess. Those two situations cleared up gloriously and she was okay. But they can’t spay or neuter as far as I know, so that’s why I haven’t got it done. Thanks for all the ideas! Those are definitely helpful!


    • pinkiemarie
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      I’m so sorry that she is still sick!  Here are the pellets I got for Wally and it looks like they will ship to Saudi Arabia but the shipping is really expensive. I’m also not sure that this is what she needs since the hay diet didn’t help. It seems like she probably has a different issue. Since she isn’t spayed I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it isn’t uterine cancer or anything like that!

      https://www.exoticnutrition.com/Products/Timothy-Pellets__4473643-comm–spc-4473642.aspx?variantId=2f8593d4-c800-4c12-8c5e-d71d48b373ad

       

       


    • Meg
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      That does sound really hard — I’m so sorry.  It sounds like worth it to at least bring her in to get checked out re: these recent liquids you described and the conditions that DanaNM brought up, such as infection?  And again you could hold off on the treatment for a day so you have time to research their suggestions if you want.

      I’d definitely recommend ordering Critical Care now, because it’s so essential for GI stasis and in those cases you need it immediately (within hours).  So good to just keep it on hand.  🙂

      Best of luck to you and Binkie!! 🙂


    • Bam
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      I’d like to chime in with what LBJ wrote earlier: This could be about a uterine problem If a bun has open pyometra, there can be a ample sticky white/yellow/brown discharge from the vagina. The best remedy is of course a spay, but if thats not possible, oral antibiotics could help -at least for a while.

      Open pyometra is a lot better than closed, because it allows the pus and fluids (and blood) to drain from the uterus. This reduces the risk of septicaemia.

       


    • Cinnamon Bun
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      I’m going to try and get her checked out for reproductive cancer, and an infection if possible. I don’t have critical care right now, but I did order some syringe-fed recovery food and her pellets are on their way. The only brand they had available in the UK right now was Science Selective, and there was Small Pet Select on eBay, so I’ll try and order that when I run out. Thanks for the link, @pinkiemarie. It took me to the site, not the actual pellets but that’s okay. Thanks for all your replies! ♥


    • pinkiemarie
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      Please keep us updated we’re all hoping she gets better!


    • Bam
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      Yes, please keep us updated! We’re all rooting for you! 🤞🤞🤞

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Forum HOUSE RABBIT Q & A Cecal dysbiosis, weight loss and calcium excretion!!!