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The subject of intentional breeding or meat rabbits is prohibited. The answers provided on this board are for general guideline purposes only. The information is not intended to diagnose or treat your pet.  It is your responsibility to assess the information being given and seek professional advice/second opinion from your veterinarian and/or qualified behaviorist.

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Home Forum DIET & CARE Not eating, lump in stomach?

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    • toki
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      (Unfortunately I can’t get to the vet right now, which is why I’m posting here to see if there’s anything I can do in the meantime. Trying not to panic!!)

      Toki wasn’t excited about eating his pellets this morning. He had a few but then walked off. I hand-fed him a few pieces of hay while he sat in the litter box. When he came out I pet him and felt his stomach. There’s a hard lump on his left side, between his ribcage and his hind leg. He seems to be feeling okay, he’s moving around normally, asking to be pet, and purring. His ears are normal temp. He has been shedding a lot lately, wondering if he’s taken in too much fur. Does anyone have any idea what this can be or how I can help him? I have some Simeticone but he doesn’t want to take it. Should I massage the area or try to force food on him?


    • Azerane
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      I’m sorry to hear that Toki is unwell. Is he still willing to eat? If he’s eating and pooping I wouldn’t consider the vet as an emergency need. However the lump certainly needs to be seen to. Force feeding is not recommended because if there’s a blockage it can make it worse. Simethicone will not do any harm to give but won’t actually help unless he has gas. I also hesitate to suggest massaging the area in case it’s a sore that could be made worse, or potentially a maassaged blockage could cause problems too.

      I would just make an appointment for the soonest you can get to the vet, if he stops eating and pooping them consider it an emergency and get in straight away.

      I’m sorry that’s not much help but hopefully it’s nothing too serious.


    • toki
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      Thanks Azerane! He’s not willing to eat by himself. He hasn’t pooped since before I woke up this morning. I’m leaning toward the thought that it’s a fur blockage, because he’s been shedding a lot lately, and while I’ve been able to groom his back and sides, he never lets me groom his butt, legs, or belly. He did jump in his litter box about 30 mins ago, but only to pee. I feel like I should be doing something, but I suppose I can only watch over him and hope he improves. Any other week would have been fine, but the person who would normally drive me to the vet just had an operation yesterday and is in recovery.


    • Azerane
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      Hmm, that doesn’t sound very good. Some places have pet taxi services you can use or vets that do home visits, though a blockage would likely require an xray.


    • toki
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      Yeah, I was thinking about the xray thing. I’ve not heard of any pet taxis around here but will check. I guess the good news is that Toki is acting, moving, sitting, and lying down just the same as normal. He’s just pulling back when I offer food.


    • toki
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      If I may just add a quick little update for anyone curious. By 3pm Toki was becoming even more adverse to food so we called the vet. (The person who normally would drive me made an exception even though they probably shouldn’t have done!) Unfortunately it was out of hours due to the weekend, so cost a pretty penny just for a consulation. All worth it though; the vet felt his tummy and agreed it felt quite hard. She prescribed Critical Care, Emeprid, and Fibreplex, and also gave him an injection of mobility drugs to get his gut moving. Since arriving home, Toki has pooped a bit and has been at his hay pile eating a little. I’m currently trying to get his meds into him but trying to syringe-feed this bun without help is h-a-r-d. Things are already looking up though!


    • LBJ10
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      Glad to hear Toki is doing a little better. I wonder if the lump you felt was a big ball of poop.


    • toki
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      Could be, LBJ. Whatever it is, it’s still there, so I guess we’ll find out what it is if/when it comes out 


    • Bunny House
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      I’m glad he’s better, but remember to always do xrays before force feeding as if there is a blockage it could rupture the intestines


    • toki
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      I wasn’t sure whether to push for xrays or not because the vet (who saw us 20 minutes late) was due to close soon by the time we were seen. I suppose it’s a good sign that Toki started eating again (by himself) after we got home? Even though it wasn’t a huge amount? He also gobbled up a few greens by himself when I offered them. Agh, I don’t know. I don’t know if it could still be a blockage, and giving him food is going to hurt him. This is all so stressful. I’ve been trying to give him his meds over the past 3 hours but he also needs to sleep. I just want my lil buddy to be ok.


    • LBJ10
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      If he’s is eating on his own, it’s unlikely he has a blockage. The danger is when there is a blockage and they are force-fed.


    • toki
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      Ah, thanks LBJ. I’ve not had much experience with this kind of thing before. Well, he’s eating a lot better this morning. Still won’t finish an entire bowl of pellets, but is grazing occasionally and is much more accepting if offered food. He also has pooped quite a bit overnight. There was some…. rather questionable contents. Lots of normal but small poops, alongside a little bit of mushy poop and also a strange-looking worm-like globule-esque thing.  I’ve never seen the like of it before. However, after passing that, the lump in his stomach has gone away, and he is acting normally. I’m still keeping an eye on him and trying to sneakily mix his meds into his food.


    • LittlePuffyTail
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      I’m glad to hear he’s pooping again! Yay!!!! Hard to envision what the strange-lookng-worm-like globule-esque thing is but maybe it’s mucous? Bunnies often pass mucous with their stools after a stasis episode. Most likely he was just blocked up and needed to get things moving again and that is the lump you were feeling.


    • toki
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      Hi, LittlePuffyTail! I suppose it could have been mucous but it looked somewhat reddish and shiny. Sort of like the texture of liver. I didn’t want to get too close so I just poked at it a bit  Afterwards it turned quite dark and just looked like an everyday long dark poop.

      Now he is still pooping 2 or 3 times a day but it is all quite small. It’s also impossible to get his meds into him. He doesn’t want fruit by itself let alone med-ified fruit. I’ve used up a lot of his meds by putting them on food he then suddenly doesn’t want. He is going to his hay pile now and again and I guess that’s what’s keeping his gut moving. I’m hoping that maybe he’s not eating because his tum is still a bit sore and will improve soon. I am going to get my mom to help with syringe feeding today when she’s available, and that will hopefully work out. In the meantime I’m checking his ear temperature and offering food every hour.


    • toki
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      We just tried to syringe-feed Toki but I can’t even get him to sit in my lap. He just goes crazy and jumps like 3 feet into the air to get away from me and then his fur comes away in my hands so I lose my grip. My mom tries to help but she thinks she can just jab the syringe into his face and she doesn’t listen when I tell her she has to wait for his mouth to be open and at the right angle (he clenches it shut). I certainly don’t trust her to be the one holding Toki because she thinks pushing him into the carpet is a good idea. There’s no way we could attempt to feed him like this 5+ times a day. I’m really at a loss for what to do at this point. His medicine is running out and there’s no point in buying more if I can’t even get it into him. I’m assuming that he’ll go downhill again without this medicine but I don’t know whether that’s the case. He is still eating a few pieces of hay periodically but I have no idea if he will be able to improve by just doing that. 


    • FlemishDad
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      Can you bunny burrito him?


    • Wick
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      Wick has had his share of nasty medication. I usually use this method for him: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N12eJ5vdo4w
      It’s another approach. Some approaches work well for rabbits, others do not. I think it’s wise that you’re considering your rabbit’s safety in handling and forcefulness, and I hope you find a method that works for you soon!


    • toki
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      Hi FlemishDad and Wick! (Just to update, Toki seems to be mostly recovered at this point, although I never did manage to get his meds into him.) I’m always hesitant with the burrito method because I get worried that one of his limbs will get smushed or twisted somehow, and I won’t be able to see because it’s covered. I haven’t given up on this method though and intend to master it one day! Especially with Toki being a 6.6lb bun, he’s a big old thing to be wrapping up  That’s a really helpful video Wick! Thanks for sharing, I will definitely refer to it next time I need it. The way your bun is pulling away is exactly what Toki does. I guess persistence is key!


    • Sarah
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      Hi toki, glad your bun is doing better. Sometimes it helps to bring your rabbit to a place that they normally do not go to or play in like on the kitchen table/dining room table with a small towel underneath them to give them some stability. That way they are almost discombobulated since they don’t know where they are they will be less likely to jump off the table or freak out etc. Hope this helps you for next time (hoping there wont be a next time though)!


    • toki
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      Hi Sarah, thanks for the info! I’m sure I did think of that at one point and not sure why I didn’t try it. My excuse is having no sleep the last 3 days! Hehe thanks again 

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