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Home Forums HOUSE RABBIT Q & A Ongoing weight loss

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    Hi there

    Our 3 year old male lop eared bunny has been losing weight over the last few weeks. His treatment so far has focussed mainly on his gut as his stomach was making loud gurgles, he was hunching in pain and his appetite decreased. First set of medicine was emeprid to get his gut going. No joy so back we went; he’d lost more weight and was put on fibreplex. Completed the course but symptoms still there. Took him back; he was kept overnight. His cheek teeth were filed (despite being filed 3 months ago) and xrays were taken to rule out other dental issues or a blockage. He reacted badly to the anaesthetic so they had to bring him out of it early; this left him groggy and resulting in only half of one side of his mouth being filed. He was given emeprid, metacam and zantac on his return home. He is eating, pooing, is much brighter in himself and we’re not hearing the loud gurgles and seeing him hunch in pain.

    However he has lost even more weight. Original weight was 2kg, dropped to 1.7, stayed at 1.7 then has dropped today to 1.42. He has been given antibiotics due to a change in colour in his urine and to rule this out, but it seems that the vet suspects a problem with his stomach lining or a possible tumour.

    I don’t really know what my question is… just some help, advice, sharing of similar experiences… We’re not thinking that the ultimate prognosis here is good.

    Thank you in advance.

    Chloe x


    I would send in a stool sample and ask for a blood test done. A big sign in parasites and worms is weight loss, so youll want to rule those out as well. Other than that, i have no idea Is he eating more now that hes feeling a little better?


    You can support feed a bunny that has a sensitive tummy with a little bit of rolled oats to help him keep/gain weight. Oats are easy on the tum. Critical Care is very good for support feeding as well, but often requires syringe-feeding. Some buns will eat it mixed with sth yummy though.

    Gurgling tummy noise generally means gas, and that’s a side-effect of some other gut issue. Gas is painful and makes a bun lose its appetite. For gas you can give baby gas drops (simethicone). Motility drugs and a painkiller as he’s got from the vet are also important. Pain alone can make a bunny stop eating. I’m sorry he only got one side of his mouth filed, I hope it won’t cause additional problems.

    It’s really disturbing that he’s wasting away like that. You could try a bunny probiotic to help his gut flora. Live brewer’s yeast(saccharomyces cerevisiae) is included in some probiotics and that particular micro-organism has been scientifically shown to help buns gain weight. Another type of probiotic bacteria that can be beneficial for bunnies is enterococcus faecium. Benebac has those bacteria. When a bunny tummy goes out of whack, it can take a long time for it to get back on track again. It can take a month to recover from GI stasis.

    I’m glad he’s acting a little cheerier. I really hope he keeps that up. (((((little lop)))))


    Could they see molar spurs when they filed the teeth again? Unfortunately they can regrow fast when there is dental disease. Could they use a different anaethetic (gas?) to do the other side of his mouth?

    I agree that some other tests would be a good idea also. They can tell a bit from blood and urine tests. And fecal may indicate if parasites present or harmful bacterial overgrowth in GI tract.

    Healing {{{vibes}}} !


    I agree that the vet should do a blood test. My vet’s go to checklist for weigthloss is first check the teeth, second blood work.


    Thanks for the replies everyone.

    He had his blood tested for kidney and liver disease or issues and glucose levels which both came back fine. That was 2 weeks ago now. Although his teeth were filed, I’m not positive that this was actually the issue and that there has been something else going on the entire time. They didn’t seem to be overly concerned with his teeth; said they were only slightly sharp so they thought that they would file them whilst he was sedated.

    His gut noises have stopped and he is eating as he was before he first became poorly. He is pooing and the vet looked at some and didn’t seem to want to explore that further. It is normal shape, size and colour.

    Would further blood works and a stool sample show evidence of parasites? Any other symptoms that he could show if it was this? He is primarily a house bunny but does get time in the garden. He is up to date with his jabs but I think his worming was due recently but we hadn’t done it yet. Ordered some anima-strath on a whim.. would this be helpful for him at all or not?!

    Thanks again everyone. x

    Chubby Bunny

    Hello…i feel your pain…poor bun.
    I have 22 buns and I had some weight loss in one bun in particular after moving to a new place with new grazing. I insisted to vet something wrong. Wasnt rabbit savvy vet and he was awful, he told me bunny was fine…i know my girl and she was not fine. 1st rule is always get a rabbit savvy vet. The ones that only deal with them occasionally are generally not good and you could lose your bunny. I had to keep insisting they try different things…I was petrified I’d lose her…blood tests showed nothing, sent poo sample for fecal test and showed she had coccidiosis and E-coli (not to be confused with e cuniculi)!! Tell your vet you want a fecal test done on him. Treatment was easy…a weeks antibiotic for the e-coli as a recall and a course of coxi plus (they give it to racing pigeons!!)…anyway…despite being on deaths door she is well now. Also…ensure you treat bunny each year with panacur for 28 days…7 days only kills worms…but the 28 day course kills E-cuniculi which 60% of house rabbits have and can cause nasty stuff and weight loss…google both coccidiosis and e cuniculi…many rabbit owners are unaware of both!…mine got coccidiosis we think because they either picked it up off grass from wild buns or because they picked it up when boarded at friends farm whilst we moved. Many buns carry both of above but one bun can be affected whilst the other may not be…its a bit like humans…we all apparently have cancer cells or e coli but it takes a trigger or change or something else to set it off…perhaps when the immune system is low…I hope that helps. Ive gad my head in rabbit websites for 5 years and have learned so much with my own buns. By the way..i also routinely treat all my buns each year now for coccidiosis…i bought an orange colour liquid called Easicox off pet internet site and you put it in their water…its solved every weight loss issue I had. I hope that helps. X


    That is incredibly helpful! Thank you so much! We had begun researching those kinds of infections anx parasites. He’s on baytril antibiotics at the moment. Was there a specific one for that that your buns had?


    Aww sending vibes

    What are his poops like?


    Poops are normal. We weighed him today on our digital scales at home and looks like he’s put weight on!! 😀 about 180g! So proud of my boy! Just had the orange liquid stuff arrive in the post so might give that a go too.


    That’s great!


    🙂 Thanks! I type as he is climbing my chest trying to get into my nutribullet cup full of banana and strawberry smoothie! He’s certainly livened up!

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