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Home Forum HOUSE RABBIT Q & A GI stasis – worried sick

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    • Sucha
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      Hi everyone,
      Virginia is about 5 years old mini lop. In the last 3 months she has lost her bonded mate, bonded with a new bun, been treated for ear infection and had a month on panacur for e. cuniculi. Then 2 weeks ago she had her teeth filed, her vaccinations and a flea treatment. Her appetite has been slowly decreasing for a couple of weeks and so she went into GI Stasis 3 days ago. My vet is quite rabbit savvy and saw her immediately. She’s now on pain meds, fibreplex, and antibiotics. (I’m a bit wary they will upset her gut but trusting the vet on that.) 
      I’ve been feeding her critical care with a syringe for 2 days, and syringing in water too. Yesterday she seemed to perk up a little bit, ate some plantain and dandelion leaves and nibbled a couple of pellets. But this morning she’s gone downhill. Lying flat, depressed, turning her head away from the critical care. She’s not pooped or peed at all as far as I can tell for 2 days. Now her new bonded mate has stopped eating too and is lying next to her, very depressed. So first question is how long will it take before she regains the will to eat, and what about pooping/peeing? How can I tell if it’s a blockage? Is there anything else I can try to help her and also how do I stop her mate from also going into stasis?
      Sorry that’s a lot of questions but it’s Sunday and I can’t even speak to a vet till Monday morning!
      Thank you so much for any help


    • Bam
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      I’m very sorry Virginia is poorly. It seems she has been going through quite a lot lately.

      It doesn’t sound like she is improving the way she should, honestly. Stasis can need a long time, but the bun should start pooping and peeing. You need to take her in as soon as you can if she doesn’t start pooping soon. Did she recieve sub q fluids at the vet? Any motility drug?

      You can give baby gas drops (simethicone) in case she has gas. gas is painful for rabbits and it’s often a consequence of stasis. In the UK, Infacol is a good brand for buns. Give 0.5-1 l every hour for three hours. It won’t interfere with her other meds, because it’s not absorbed into the body, it stays locally in the GI canal. Your other bun can have gas drops too, it wont harm but it might help.

      You also need to keep her warm. It’s good that your other bun is lying close to her, but if both buns are poorly, they could both need an external heat source, for example a warm water bottle wrapped in a blanket.

      This is a very good article on stasis. It has many good tips:
      http://www.bio.miami.edu/hare/ileus.html

      There is no way you can tell if there is a blockage or not. For that you need x-rays. Some very experienced rabbit vets can palpate the abdomen to find out if there’s a blockage, but the most reliable diagnostic tool is x rays. It’s important to rule out blockages, because treatment is different if there is a blockage. motility drugs shouldn’t be given if there’s a suspicion of a blockage.

      The Fibreplex has probiotics and will help counteract some of the bad effects of the antibiotics on the gut microbiota.
      You should try to make her move around a little bit. Exercise helps the intestines move.

      Here is a video on how to help a rabbit with gas pain: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LbyC6CWbm5M
      You obviously need to be very gentle.

      Please keep us posted.


    • Sucha
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      Thank you so much for your reply bam. Unfortunately, Virginia seems to be shutting down. I’m still syringing critical care but she doesn’t really want it. Because she’s not pooping I’m worried if I’m even doing the right thing? Am I doing more harm than good? I’ve got another16 hours to get through with these 2 before the vet opens and I’m so confused. She didn’t get any sq fluids but I’ve been syringing her regularly with watery camomile tea and she drank a lot from the water bowl this morning. No pee though
      I can’t get baby gas drops in France, no pharmacy is open on a Sunday anyway. Would you recommend reducing the amount of syringe feeding critical care? And should I start syringe feeding it too to the little one as a precaution? Thank you so much


    • Bam
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      I’d syringe the little one too as a precaution. I thought you were in the UK because you said Fibreplex. I’m glad you can get that in France too. You can give some of that to the little one as well.

      Are your buns vaccinated? I’m asking because there are 3 lethal rabbit diseases in Europe (myxomatosis, Rabbit hemorrhagic viral disease 1 and rabbit hemorrhagic viral disease 2) that you need to vaccinate against. In the UK, awareness of this is very high among vets, but the situation may be different in France. It seems a weird coincidence that both your buns should develop the same symptoms at roughly the same time.


    • Sucha
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      Hi and thanks again. Yes they’re both vaccinated against myxy and vhd. Virginia had hers 2 weeks ago when her teeth where filed so I wondered if everything has been to stressful for her. I’ve taken your advice of the hot water bottle, she seems to like being squashed between it and her mate.


    • Sucha
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      I’ve just looked at their vaccination cards and it only protects them against vhd 1! Would there be any obvious symptoms of the 2nd strain? It apparently is very uncommon in the south of france but I can’t rule it out


    • Bam
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      The symptoms of RVD 2 are notoriously vague. It’s been wreaking havoc among Swedish rabbits this past winter, but I have no idea how the situation is in the south of France. Our north of France member Vienna only vaccinates against myxo and RVD1 on her vets recommendation.

      Frances Harcourt Brown, famous British rabbit vet, has written about the RVHDs. Here’s one article by her:http://www.harcourt-brown.co.uk/owners/frequently-asked-questions/FAQRHD

      I’m glad she likes the hot water bottle! Try to make her as comfy as you can, will to live is obviously of the utmost importance now.

      It is possible that this is flare-up of the EC,it can cause GI issues as well as affect the kidneys.

      Is your other bun taking any food/pooping?


    • Sucha
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      Hi bam,
      that’s very interesting info about vhd thank you. I’ll ask the vet about it tomorrow. V has hopped off the hot water bottle now, I think she was too hot! She also objects to tummy massage so I don’t want to force her and stress her. As for the little one, he’s not eating or pooping either so I shall syringe feed him too.
      However, I’m wondering if I’ve been so worried that I’ve been overdoing it? V seems happier when she’s had a couple of hours pass without being syringed! So I’m going to maybe leave bigger gaps between feeds and give a little less? Would that seem sensible? It’s so hard to know what’s the right thing to do!
      Thank you so much for all your help


    • Bam
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      It is really difficult to know what is best to do. As a rule its recommended you give the daily dose of CC in 4 or 5 portions spaced out over the day. A bun just like a horse, should ideally eat at least every 6 hours. Some adult buns have a longer resting period than that during the day, so for some buns it’s normal to not eat for like 8-10 hours.

      You will just have to use your best judgement. It’s obviously not good to only feed a bun CC twice a day because that means you’d have to give quite a lot of food each time.

      It’s really good that she chooses to leave the heat source when she doesn’t want it. It’s good if she keeps having access to it though so she can return to it if/when she pleases.

      If she doesn’t want the massage, its wise of you not to try and make her. Some buns really appreciate a tummy rub when they have a tummy ache but they’ll “tell” you by their response.


    • LittlePuffyTail
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      I wish I could offer something helpful but I can’t as Bam has already given you any advice I could have. However, I want to send your bunnies some ((((healing vibes))))). I know how hard it is dealing with a poorly bunny, and even worse when it’s 2 at the same time.


    • Sucha
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      Thank you so much for the support. Both of my bunnies passed away before seeing the vet. I’m heartbroken ?


    • FlemishDad
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      Sucha, I’m so sorry. They were so lucky to get so much love from you.


    • Sucha
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      Thank you ?


    • The P Squad
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      Aww :'(
      I’m so sorry for you! You did all you could.


    • Bam
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      I am so very, very sorry.

      You really did all you could. Thank you for letting us know.

      Binky free, sweet little buns.


    • Kiki
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      I am so sorry to read this


    • Sucha
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      Thank you all, I’m so heartbroken ?


    • Doodler
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      I am so so sorry as well. That is beyond heartbreaking and it’s not fair what you all went through.


    • Sucha
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      Thank you Doodles

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