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Forum HOUSE RABBIT Q & A Chronic GI Stais

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    • brynndokter
      Participant
      2 posts Send Private Message

      Hi guys.

      This is really hard for me to write. I’m at a loss at what to do. My rabbit (3 year old female Holland lop) gets GI stasis multiple times a year (3-4 times) and it usually last 3-4 weeks until she is better. In the last 3 months she has gotten GI stasis 3 times. I go to a rabbit savvy vet who says I am feeding and doing everything right with care. She has unlimited Timothy hay and fresh water. 1/4 cup of Sherwood adult rabbit pellets a day and 1 cup of greens a day. I give her digestive supplements and probiotics. She has free roam of my large room and has many hides/toys. When she gets sick I always do xrays/barium. Sub Q fluids, pain injections. Oral medications…Everything! I have done blood work, her teeth are fine!! Everything checks out health wise. The only thing the Dr can think of is temperature/pressure changes with the weather. I just don’t know what to do. I’m constantly on edge that she will get sick again and when she does get sick it takes up all of my time with the syringe feeding, meds, fluid therapy etc. Once she is better she seems good and even when she’s sick she’s still pretty alert and active. At this point I’m considering euthanasia as I feel it isn’t fair for her or for me to be going through this almost constantly…not to mention the financial restraints this puts me in. I just can’t help but feel every time she gets sick maybe this will be the last time and she’ll be ok. I also know I can make her better as she always recovers but only for a short time. What would you do? Am I terrible person for considering euthanasia. I love her so much and thinking of losing her breaks my heart but I can’t help but feel this may be the best thing for her and me. Any thoughts/advice welcome.


    • Wick & Fable
      Moderator
      5444 posts Send Private Message

      Have you tried any diet changes to see if it helps? For instance, while many foods are rabbit-safe, some rabbits hold sensitivities that others don’t. It could be that your rabbit’s GI is disagreeable to Sherwood pellets and/or the particular veggies you provide.

      Also, hearing that it occurs 3-4 times per year makes me think of molting — if fur ingestion is too high, while it sounds like she’s never experienced a blockage, moving all that fur through can definitely cause some gastric distress. How are you with grooming her daily and effectively during a molt?

      Some objective symptoms that you notice would be helpful to try and identify what’s going on. So what do you see and how long until you ring the vet? While I don’t want to minimize your experiences with your rabbit, I want to note that rabbits, like any animal, can get gassy and can pass it on their own without veterinary intervention at times. There are owners who indeed do their utmost to get veterinary care immediately when their rabbits are not pooping/eating, and also there are instances where if the owner does some at-home measures to help the rabbit, the gas can be relieved without all the veterinary “stuff”– each situation is different and needs to be assessed separately obviously. For at-home measures, see here: https://wabbitwiki.com/wiki/Gastrointestinal_stasis#At-home_treatment

      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.


    • DanaNM
      Moderator
      7407 posts Send Private Message

      3-4 week recovery is along time for having stasis that often. I’m so sorry you are going through that, it sounds so stressful for you and horrible for her. 🙁

      I am also curious about the diet. Some bunnies are really sensitive to pellets and veggies in general and do best on a hay-only diet (a variety of hays is provided to make sure nutritional needs are met).

      I also wonder if your vet could set you up with an at-home kit to have a rapid response to the first sign of symptoms? Sometimes a round or two of pain meds, fluids, and syringe feeding is enough to prevent full-on stasis. I know some other members have had motility meds given to them by their vet as well, and were cleared to use them as needed because the bun had chronic issues. Perhaps that would help her recover more quickly and make things financially easier on you. Since she has a history, I don’t necessarily think doing x-rays every time she gets sick is required (but that’s just my personal opinion).

      Some bunnies with conditions like megacolon even get daily motility meds (cisapride usually) to keep things moving a long. Is that something you have considered?

      . . . 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.  


      • brynndokter
        Participant
        2 posts Send Private Message

        Thank you for the reply. I have tried switching her pellets. She’s been on 2 different types of Oxbow and then I switched to Sherwood in the last year which she was doing better on for a while. Do you have any brand recommendations? Those were the two that were recommended as high quality. As far as veggies I do give a variety so I think I’m going to do an elimination diet of sorts and see if that changes anything.

        as far as brushing goes I brush her every other day with the fur buster comb and when I notice she is molting I give dried papaya. I think I’m going to increase brushing to everyday especially when I notice she is molting.

        I can usually tell about a day or two before she completely stops eating/pooping that she is going to get sick as she sleeps more and doesn’t eat as much hay/drink as much water. At which point i start with syringe feeding and fluids as well as gas drops but she always seems to progress into full on stasis at which point I take her into my vet for meds. It’s so frustrating.

        I also went a picked medications up from my vet today as an emergency kit so when I first notice the minor symptoms I will begin with Cisapride/Dioctyl/Gabapentin. Hoping this will work for my girl!

        thank you for your reply and your advice, I really appreciate it. I may consider switching pellet brands or just stopping them all together and transitioning to a fully hay based diet.


    • DanaNM
      Moderator
      7407 posts Send Private Message

      You’re welcome! I do hope that having some meds on hand at home will help and will ease some stress.

      I think that trying hay-only or doing an elimination only diet is a good next step, since you have already tried a few pellet brands. You can also find pure timothy pellets for horses that might be good in the future if she has trouble keeping weight on with just hay. Some bunnies really are just so sensitive to certain things, so I hope you’ll be able to find a cause for her issues.  I recall a member who’s bun would go into stasis if they ate even a single browned mint leaf!

      I was also wondering, when she isn’t in stasis, are her poops normal in shape and size? Or does she tend to have irregular poops all the time?

      . . . 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 Chronic GI Stais