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BUNNY 911 – If your rabbit hasn’t eaten or pooped in 12-24 hours, call a vet immediately!  Don’t have a vet? Check out VET RESOURCES 

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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Forum BEHAVIOR Post Spay Concerns – seeking guidance

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    • LaurenM
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        My rabbit was spayed last week.  I had a trip planned but left her in the care of my mother (we had rabbits growing up and she’s a huge animal lover, so I was not worried).  She sent me updates while I was away.  Nala was eating, pooping, being a happy bunny.  The day I returned; she was very lethargic.  I checked on her immediately upon return, and she was laying in her crate, I chalked it up to her recovering from the surgery.  The next day, I sat with her for several hours.  She was again extremely lethargic.  I left her with tons of greens and went to bed feeling uneasy about her demeanor.  I checked her first thing the next morning and she hadn’t touched her greens, and had not made a BM. I was extremely concerned by this point.  I went to work and had texted my mom to keep an eye on her and make sure she was eating.  My mom called the vet who had completed the surgery, but the Doctor was on vacation, so they advised that we take her to the emergency vet immediately.  I was able to get her into another exotic animal hospital within two hours and was told that her incision had become infected.  She was given a shot of Baytril and probiotics and I was sent home with TRI-SUL and probiotics to administer to her.  I was also advised to complete her pain meds as well.  When we got home, she went back into laying in the crate, I felt her ears and they were cold to the touch, so I wrapped her in a blanket and sat her on my lap until she warmed up.  She started taking kale and parsley if I hand fed it to her but would not seek her food to eat.  I administered a dose of her pain meds early evening in hopes she would start to turn the corner and sat with her until I went to bed.  She remained lethargic and would not eat more and did not have a BM.  This morning I checked on her and there was abnormal stool in her cage (yay!), but she had not eaten more and would not come near me.  I called the doctor back and scheduled a follow up appointment for next week.  Thankfully my mom did text me that Nala was eating and had more poo in her cage since I left for work.  I am very worried about her and looking for advice from anyone who has gone through anything similar with their bunny.  I was worried about gastric stasis, but I do not want to keep taking her back to the emergency vet if she is improving.  What should I be looking for?  What can I do better to make sure she recovers fully?


      • Bam
        Moderator
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          You did good to take her in, warm her up and hand feed food. As long as she isnt eating properly and/or moving about, she will have trouble keeping her body warmth up, so you need to stay on top of that. (Many pains meds also lower body temp). Hypothermia is a huge risk, so it’s good if you can provide her with a warm water bottle wrapped in a towel so she can snuggle up to it if she wants too and move away from it when she doesnt want it.

          Serve water in a bowl if you normally use a bottle, she might not want to bother with a bottle when she’s feeling poorly. Obviously empty the litterbox often so you can keep track of output.

          It seems like she could still be in pain. What pain meds and what dosage is she on? Rabbits are extremely sensitive to pain.

          Hopefully the antibiotics will kick in soon. In general you’ll see improvement with 72 hours for an acute infection like this. If you dont see improvement in 48-72 hours  she might need a different antibiotic or a combo of antibiotics.


        • DanaNM
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            Agree with Bam that syringe feeding, warmth, and pain meds are very important. It’s good that she started eating a bit on her own, but I would still syringe feed if she isn’t eating 100% normally.

            . . . 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.  


          • LaurenM
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              Thanks for responding to my post so quickly.  I’ve had my mom keep a close eye on her today and she has reported that Nala has been eating, moving around, her ears are room temperature, and she has been using the restroom regularly.  She is drinking water out of a small ceramic bowl (I watched her drink out of it for several minutes yesterday and use it to groom herself, she is not usually a big water drinker).

              She was administered her antibiotic followed by her probiotic two hours later (I read that they should be spaced a few hours apart).  The antibiotic instructions state she should receive it 2x/day but the probiotic states only 1x/day.  I hope this does not throw off her gut health.

              I’m unsure about the pain meds at the moment as the paperwork is at home, but I will check.  She only has one more dose left that I plan on giving her this evening.

              She seems to be improving.  Of course, she waits until I get to work to start feeling better.  I appreciate the advice; I have been so worried about her.  I am a bit frustrated by the lack of communication from both vets and inability to get a hold of a professional easily, this has at least given me a peace of mind.


            • DanaNM
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                It sounds like she has rounded a corner! fingers crossed she keeps improving!

                . . . 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
                16897 posts Send Private Message

                  It does seem she’s on the mend!

                  It’s good to administer probiotics a few hours before or after antibiotics. Some probiotics are resistant to most antibiotics, but spacing the doses is still a good precaution. There is some evidence that keeping up the probiotics for like a week after the course of antibiotics can be highly beneficial too.

                  According to renowned British rabbit vet Molly Varga, you cant accidentally “overdose” on probiotics. Any surplus that’s not utilised simply gets pooped out.

                  It’s great that your mum has bun experience and can give you reports on how things are going while you are at work!


                • LBJ10
                  Moderator
                  16936 posts Send Private Message

                    It sounds like the antibiotic and pain meds kicked in and she’s starting to feel better. You did good taking her to the emergency vet. She definitely needed help.


                  • LaurenM
                    Participant
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                      Update on Nala:

                      She has finished her pain meds and continues to take her antibiotic/probiotic. She does NOT like taking her meds. They are liquid via syringe and I am struggling to administer them to her. She is back to her fiesty self making it extremely difficult to administer her medication I tried tricking her by putting it in food but she won’t take it.

                      She is eating tons of greens and starting nibbling her timothy hay again. Her incision is still a little crusty with blood but not too inflamed anymore. Her poops are consistent, still a bit small, but she’s pooping.


                      • Wick & Fable
                        Moderator
                        5793 posts Send Private Message

                          Here are some methods to demonstrate medicating techniques: https://wabbitwiki.com/wiki/Medicating_your_rabbit#Oral_medication

                          The more regular and successful you are with it, the more the rabbit begins to settle into it. No rabbit will enjoy it if they don’t inherently enjoy the medication, but over time, they’ll become desensitized. Keep trying!

                          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
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                        16897 posts Send Private Message

                          Wonderful news!

                          With rabbits is considered a good thing when they fight their meds, with the exception of buns that are on really long term meds. (I had a bun that was on life-long medication, he actually came hopping into the kitchen when he heard I was prepping his meds 😄) But for short-time medication like in your case, a feisty bun is a bun that has strengh.

                          As Wick says, buns get calmer if they know what to expect and when to expect it. If she’s at all interested in treats (like a dab of baby fruit smoothie), it’s good to finish off medication-time with a little bit of that.

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                      Forum BEHAVIOR Post Spay Concerns – seeking guidance