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Forum HOUSE RABBIT Q & A Now my bunny has bloat…

  • This topic has 7sd replies, 4 voices, and was last updated 9 months ago by Bam.
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    • HesaBadBunny
      Participant
      28 posts Send Private Message

        Sigh, it has been never-ending with issues with my bunny lately.

        After his tooth filing, it took 3.5 weeks for my bunny to get back to his “normal” eating habits. That meant he was on a diet of pure Critical Care for 3.5 weeks + the 1 week prior (he needed to see the vet and get booked for the procedure.) During this time, he ate some hay on his own. So, therefore, when I thought I did an “okay” job transitioning him from a diet of full CC to hay, pellets, and greens. His bathroom habits were good and normal.

        (He was also on Baytril for 2 weeks.)

        I had to go out of town for a work trip and left him with a relative that was kept up to speed with the situation and looked after him in the past. I am regretting this idea now.

        I picked up my bunny last night and his stomach is bloated/hard like a ball. He is still eating and going to the bathroom. His “transition” diet was destabilized and he was provided way too many pellets (Oxbow adult rabbit timothy hay) versus proper amount of hay. Obviously, he prefers to eat the pellets over the hay!

        I gave him baby gas drops 3x last night and his stomach was much softer this morning. Not perfect, but softer. Now, it is sticking out like a balloon again and visible from the sides too. Going to have to take him to the vet again…

        He just smells so poopy now and he has never smelled like this in his entire life.

        My question is at what point will this turn into “true bloat” and require intensive medical intervention? I don’t know how many days that he has been bloated but he is still going to the bathroom and eating.


      • DanaNM
        Moderator
        8859 posts Send Private Message

          If he is eating and pooping it is very unlikely to be true bloat so I wouldn’t panic. It sounds more like he has some gas. Is he showing signs of pain? Do his poops look normal?

          I would talk to your vet, they may recommend giving him a hay-only diet for a bit to get him back on track.

          . . . 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.  


        • Bam
          Moderator
          16810 posts Send Private Message

            I agree with Dana, this sounds like gas, not true bloat. The reason he smells poopy could be that he is passing gas.

            True bloat means theres a blockage somewhere in the gi canal so gas and intestinal content cant pass through. Gas builds up and puts pressure on the internal organs, to the point where the lungs get so compressed they cant function. True bloat is extremely painful and the prognosis is poor even with state of the art vet intervention. Thankfully the condition is rare.

            Try to make your bun move around once every 15-30 minutes. Physical exercise helps the gut function properly. I’d also keep up the gas drops and consult with my vet about dietary changes.

             


          • HesaBadBunny
            Participant
            28 posts Send Private Message

              Hi and thank you for the answers!

              Yes, you’re right – it is some gas versus true bloat.

              The vet has him on a hay only diet as I expected. Luckily, he is chowing down on his hay. He has a great appetite and his poops are normal. A lot of them and a good size.

              His belly still looks/feels “off” to me as in it feels really rounded. Like a pot belly! The vet noticed that my bunny has put on a bunch of weight compared to his “CC only” days so that could be augmenting my panic too. The belly fat doesn’t feel completely squishy though…like it is rounded.

              He is grooming often but he’s not not “normal” and not himself. Is this his new normal or is he still recovering from the stress a month ago? I am at a loss.

              He does not move unless I coax him and then he chooses just to sit there. This morning he made one “longer” journey down the hall but that’s it.

              He has a bit of a dirty bottom – as in he has the odd poo pellet stuck to his bottom. Is that related to the intake of gas drops?

              Before I went away last week, he quite capably groomed down there, and now it seems like he doesn’t. That is a big change for him. Could that be gas or an “old age” development in a week? I know it could be related to being overweight too.

              His back end just seems stiff and like he hunches down on it. Prior to last week, he hopped on the sofa on his own, and now it seems like those days are over. He can move his back legs and he can hop…he just chooses not to. I know that movement helps with gas but goodness, this rabbit is making it difficult!

              He lays down like a meatloaf or the Spinx (but not a porkchop position) so his belly cannot be too painful.

              Losing my mind as usual…


            • Bam
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              16810 posts Send Private Message

                I dont think this is his new normal. He could still be recovering. It can take quite a while for the gut microbiota to “repair” itself after a bout of stasis. It’s great that he seems to like hay! Hay is the best food for restoring (or establishing, in baby buns) a healthy, robust and diverse gut microbiota. There are rabbit probiotics that are harmless to try, but there’s no guarantee they’ll help.

                Sticky poop is a very common symptom of a gut imbalance. It’s not a side effect of gas drops.

                It is a bit odd that he doesnt clean his bottom. It could be his now more round belly makes it difficult or uncomfortable to reach. If its not a lot of sticky poop you can do dry baths by  massage some cornstarch into the clumps of poop and then brush them out.

                When an animal does get old age arthritis (it doesnt have to be very old, some get it at middle age), it can show up from one day to the next. It doesnt happen over night of course, but animals tend to hide pain and discomfort until they nolonger can. That makes it seem very sudden to us, although it’s a process that has been going on for quite a while.

                 


              • LBJ10
                Moderator
                16827 posts Send Private Message

                  Have you ever felt bloated? When a human has a lot of gas build up, they may feel uncomfortable bending over, etc. I imagine it would be the same for a bunny. If his tummy is round and distended a bit, it may be uncomfortable for him to reach down there to clean himself. As Bam said, sticky poop is a symptom of a gut imbalance. I would suggest continuing in the gas drops and perhaps adding a probiotic. There is no evidence that probiotics really do much of anything, but they certainly can’t hurt anything. Hopefully the hay-only diet will help clean things out and allow the good bacteria to get reestablished.


                • HesaBadBunny
                  Participant
                  28 posts Send Private Message

                    Hi everyone – thank you once again for the replies!

                    Thank goodness the gas episode is over with getting my bun back on his quality hay diet. His poops are great, bottom is clean, and he has an appetite.

                    I’ve come to realize that his belly is just…big. It is no longer bloated and it is soft so I know it is not gas at this point. It is not extended and round…just round.

                    Since the temperatures are 30+ degrees now (that is in Celsius) I am focused on keeping him cool right now, but his lack of movement concerns me. He CAN move and he moves well when he chooses to, but he prefers to loaf. That is much different than prior to his dental procedure.

                    As well, he longer eats his Oxbow treats. He used to go wild for them. Now, he refuses them. Like I said he eats well, chews his hay likes no tomorrow, but something about these treats doesn’t capture his attention anymore. Feeding him is like going into a shark cage!

                    I am crossing my fingers he just needs time to get over the stress from almost a month of CC feedings and trips to the vet.


                  • Bam
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                    16810 posts Send Private Message

                      It sounds like he’s made a lot of progress!

                      In temps over 30 C (86F), my buns dont do much. Since movement generates body heat, buns will avoid physical exercise during the warmest hours of the day. Their ears will be warm, because the ears function as the major cooling system for buns. Wild rabbits would spend the day in their warren below ground, but that’s not an option for our house buns.

                      You could weigh your bun to see if he gains or loses weight. I weigh my buns in a bowl on normal digital kitchen scales. I keep notes of their weight, because even though I think I’ll remember, experience has made it clear to me that I dont. It’s good to have a baseline weight.

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                  Forum HOUSE RABBIT Q & A Now my bunny has bloat…