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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.

BINKYBUNNY FORUMS

Forum HOUSE RABBIT Q & A Something is Seriously Wrong with Gus

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    • Rae & Gus + Lily
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      Hi all, me again. We have a vet appointment for towards the end of August.

      Maintenance and Housing
      Is your bunny housed indoors or outdoors? Indoors.
      Does your bunny live with other bunnies? One.
      If yes, are they bonded? Yes.
      If you rabbit spends time outside, are wild rabbits around? Never outside.
      How much exercise does your bunny get per day? As much as his heart could desire.
      How often do you clean the litter box? Daily, sometimes every other day.
      How often do you groom your bunny? Around monthly.

      Spay/Neuter
      Is your bunny spayed/neutered? Yes.
      If so, for how long? A few months now.
      If not, why not?
      Are you aware of reproductive cancer risk in females? If not, please read about it here.

      Pooping and Diet – Very Important
      What does your bunny eat normally: Hay, Greens, Pellets.
      How much hay and what type? Unlimited orchard grass.
      How much pellets and what type? About a tablespoon of Selective Science.
      How much veggies and what types? About a cup, spring mix.
      How many treats and what types? Infrequent, usually more veg, some banana or Oxbow treats.
      Anything else not listed?
      When was the last time your bunny ate? About a half hour ago, but only a tiny nibble.
      What was the last thing your bunny ate? Breakfast, a cup of greens and a tablespoon of pellets.
      When was the last time your bunny pooped? It’s hard to say, I’m guessing anywhere between a half hour to two hours.
      How did your bunny’s most recent poops look (round and firm, misshapen, small and hard, soft/mushy, runny, etc.) ? Again, hard to tell. His bondmate Lily is currently having issues with mushy poop.

      Illness & Symptoms
      How long have you had this bunny? Since he was just a few months old, around a year now.
      In a few words, can you explain the symptoms? Upset, uninterested in food, uninterested in us.
      How long ago did you first notice these symptoms? A half hour ago.
      Have you consulted a vet? Not yet. The usual vet is booked out for a month and we have a prior appointment for everyone scheduled then. We would have to take him to an emergency vet. 
      Have you started any treatment for the symptoms? No.
      Was your bunny physically ill or injured when you got them? No.
      How has its behavior and appearance changed, if at all? He seems upset, maybe a bit scared, like something might have happened between him and Lily. Uninterested in everything. He keeps trying to flop then sitting back up every few minutes.

      Explain your situation in detail. (Please explain what is going on, include details from the beginning of the illness leading up to now)

      I’ll try to make this one shorter. When I went to feed them breakfast Gus was still under the bed, where him and Lily love to be. Usually he is right next to Lily for breakfast. I found it odd and we put his food bowl to him and he began to take some nibbles. I went to make breakfast for us since the past few times as long as their bowls are across the room from each other, Lily wont eat his. Came back to the bedroom. Found Lily eating his food. Meaning he has been eating unusually slow. Separated. Gus didn’t want his food, would sniff if you held it to him but not eat. Uninterested in pets. This rabbit is a very lovey, pet motivated boy. He loves being the center of attention and loves being pet for hours. Seemed a bit upset or maybe scared to both my partner and I. Began to flop on his side, remain in that position for a few seconds, then go back up to sitting. He is also not flopping in his usual spots in the middle of the room, instead now in the corner. He would also sprawl out onto his belly then sit back up suddenly as well. He ate hay just fine about 4-5 hours ago when we filled it. He keeps going to hide somewhere then flop, get upset about something, then sit up. Again, this boy never hides. He loves cuddling up to your feet and sprawling out in the middle of the room where everyone can give him attention. My partner thinks it looks like he may be hunching at times but I have no idea what that looks like. He has also seemed to be giving us the cold shoulder at times when we try to offer food (at this point we have offered greens, pellets, even Oxbow treats). He will sniff it then turn around from us.

      What does this sound like? How can we treat this and should this be an emergency vet visit?


    • Bam
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      15217 posts Send Private Message

      The first things that comes to mind are dental problems or posdibly an ear infection. I’m leaning towards a dental problem, because sniffing food and then opting ro not take it is commonly seen in rabbits that have molar spurs (or other, less common, dental issues)

      I.s Gus a lop?

      Pretty much all bun ailments will eventually manifest as inappetence. Inappetence in a bun is always an observandum.

       

      .


    • DanaNM
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      6051 posts Send Private Message

      It also sounds like it could be a bout of gas? The flopping and getting up again right away can sometimes be a gas symptom. Can you try a tummy rub and some simethicone to see if he snaps out of it?

      . . . 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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      Do try Dana’s suggestion! Simethicone baby gas drops are readily available (baby aisle at Walmart or similar) and  inexpensive -plus they’re harmless, because they’re not taken up by the body. They just act locally in the GI tract and comes out with the poop

      Uou give 1 ml every hour for 3 hours  then 0.5 every two hours. If it hasnt helped by severai hours, it’s not likely to help at all.

      Some buns are prone to gas, and gas is painful for buns.

      Here is a nice video on how to help a bun with gas:

      https://youtu.be/LbyC6CWbm5M

      If gas is the problem, you should look closely into Gus’s diet. Buns can have food intolerances just like humans.


    • DanaNM
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      How is Gus doing now?

      . . . 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.  


    • Rae & Gus + Lily
      Participant
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      Thank you all for the replies.

      My partner and I didn’t wanna take the risk with Gus and headed out straight away to the emergency vet near us. We are currently waiting in our car to have him seen by a doctor but the nurse said his vitals were stable.

      We have fed him a bit of critical care and he seems to be perking up just a bit while we wait.

      Gus is indeed a lop but he has always had really great grooming habits with his ears. I mean, we’ve had him for a year and never had any issues.

      I’ll keep you guys posted once we know anything.

      Thank you again, I can always count on you guys to help when things go south with them. I have no idea where we would be without you. You guys are doing something amazing here. <3


    • Rae & Gus + Lily
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      Update:

      Emergency vet said in order to diagnose he would have to run a lot of tests that we -quite frankly- don’t have the money for at the moment. He couldn’t even give his best guess.

      I asked about what you guys suggested and he said they didn’t have the tools to look at his molars or anything aside from incisors but that what he could see looked fine. His ears looked fine. That his tummy was extended which was concerning but was mostly in line with stasis. Possibly caused by stress.

      We think Lily has been bullying him. They have been experiencing a lot of issues and the only stress we could think of to bring this on would be how she treats him. He hasn’t ate anything different and the move was about a month ago now.

      Forgot to talk about gas, though. Vet prescribed Metacam and Metoclopramide and basically said to continue with CC until he’s better. Will that help if it is just gas?

      I will say just an hour after some CC, meds and fluids Gus seems way better so I’m hoping this is a successful crisis averted.


    • Hazel
      Participant
      2574 posts Send Private Message

      I’m sorry the vet wasn’t much help. Simethicone helps with gas. I hope he feels better soon!


    • Rae & Gus + Lily
      Participant
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      Gus is starting to take a turn for the worse and we have no idea what to do.

      He is having a hard time getting CC down, refusing. I was only able to get about a quarter of a dose in him. He took his dose of meds fine this morning.

      We split him and Lily up because he has been scared of her, as I said I think she was bullying him. He won’t come out of hiding if he can see her.

      We have like $600 in the bank and that is every single penny we own and the emergency vet costed us $300 last night just to get two meds and a checkup. They couldn’t even diagnose.

      I called primary they suggest starting to refer out of state and I don’t know if we can afford it.

      He won’t eat, he has wet poop stuck, matted to his butt.

      Please, please there has to be something we can do to save him.

      I love him too much to lose him he is the light of my life.


    • Wick & Fable
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      I think separation is a good choice — whatever can make him less stressed.

      Monitor the temperature of his ears — if they are cold, try to warm him up by petting him, getting him to move around, and providing some blankets for him to snuggle against.

      If it is gas (which I hope it is!), your rabbit isn’t going to want to move, but movement can actually help stimulate stuff to move, even if it’s uncomfortable (I figure it’s uncomfortable for them to stay still anyways). I would encourage your rabbit to hop around a bit. When my rabbits go through a bout of gas, I bug them occasionally so they move.

      I would also do whatever I can to encourage interest in hay, so plopping hay right by them, in addition to pellets and treats.

      Tummy massages can sometimes help too, so you help move things along. There is a video here about them: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JnuxGLa2reg

      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.


    • Rae & Gus + Lily
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      Is Simethicone safe to mix with Metacam and Metoclopramide? Should we try that route?

      Ears are cold, I got him out of the corner and into his litterbox: he hopped a bit and has groomed. Giving him some blankets now and am continuing to pet him, like you suggested.

      I did notice when I went to lift his ears just a bit he was grinding his teeth or at least something similar. I know Bam suggested a possible ear infection.

      I’m also real scared to try that method of tummy massage.

       

       


    • Wick & Fable
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      Completely understandable to not be comfortable with that method of tummy massage. Movement is most important (in my opinion), so again, I recommend occasionally getting him to move around just a bit. It’s a hard balance to know what’s “right”, but the ultimate goal is to get the gut moving again when there are major gas episodes. This may or may not be one, but if it is, I think some movement is helpful.

      Simethicone is safe with generally anything — it is very much a “it won’t do any harm” medicine you can give a rabbit.  Go ahead and do it. Simethicone may help if it is gas-related.

      In terms of metacam + metoclopramide, cursory look-up online says it is safe, as it seems to be a common combo prescribed for rabbits showing these symptoms.

      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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      Simethicone can be given with the other meds.

      Dont do anything that you are uncomfortable with.

      If he feels cold, you need to warm him up, either with a warm water bottle or handwarmers in a towel, or, if he’s comfortable sitting in your lap, you can warm him up with your own body heat.

      An ear infection can happen if the bun has a narrow ear canal, which many lops have. This is so deep in the ear that a rabbit can’t reach it for grooming. It can for example hsppen due to build-up of ear wax that eventually puts pressure on the tympanic membrane, and may even rupture the membrane. This is very painful. The metacam should help alleviate the pain though.

      Metoclopramide is a gut motility drug.

      Many vets prescribe treatment for e cuniculi based on symptoms. Standard treatment is 28 days of Panacur, a dewormer with the active ingredient fenbendazole.

      Treatment for an ear infection is antibiotics and pain meds.


    • LBJ10
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      I agree with the others. You can safely give simethicone with the other meds. I have always had good luck with it (assuming the pain he is feeling is gas). You can relieve gas by holding him in your lap and elevating his rear end a bit. You can move his rear up and down (slowly) to help work the gas bubbles out. This would be an alternative to massaging his stomach.


    • DanaNM
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      I’m sorry the ER vets weren’t much help, but they gave you pain meds and motility meds, which is the most important! It’s possible he just was going into stasis and there isn’t something else going on. Not sure where you are in the world, but is he molting? Molting and season changes in general seem to cause tummy trouble.

      Keep up the supportive care (pain meds, motility meds, and syringe feeding) until he can be seen by his normal vet (he may have even improved by then!).  It’s very good that he groomed himself a bit, it means he’s not feeling horrendous!

      I like to do very gentle tummy rubs, just some gentle side to side movement while the bun is on the ground (or when I pick them up for feeding).

      Keep offering favorite veggies. You can also give him some fluids in the form of water or hay tea:

      Hay tea – For anybunny who doesn’t drink enough, especially for ill or recovering rabbits

      . . . 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.  


    • Rae & Gus + Lily
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      Okay,

      I have been giving the Simethicone to him and instead of mixing regular water in with his CC I tried the hay tea- he loved it! This whole time I’ve had to really push the syringes into his mouth to eat but this time, although a bit slower, I could push a dot up and he licks it off happily.

      I’ve been seeing a noticable difference with the simethicone & tummy rub duo: he does seem a bit more lively just not 100%.

      Been continuing to push him to move as well.

      He starts to perk up after moving, having a tummy rub, or getting his medicine/CC but then goes back to wanting to loaf in a dark corner shortly after.

      On the topic of molting: we’re pretty much right in the middle of summer at the moment and I have no idea what normal shedding vs. a molt is, but I know he has been shedding the worst I have ever seen him shed the past weekish. I could brush him for an hour and he is still shedding terribly, and its mostly concentrated on his rump area.

      Speaking of his rump: I believe he has a lot of cecotropes piling up on his butt – around maybe a silver dollar or two in size stuck. I don’t know if I should be leaving it or cleaning it but when we do meds I gently take a paper towel and just clean his bum up a bit: is this what I should be doing?

      I am very happy to report as I write this Gus hopped out of his corner, made a b-line to the litter box and is now switching off between eating hay and grooming! I don’t wanna get too excited but this is the first time he has eaten more than one nibble of anything! Fingers crossed it is just gas or maybe him shedding!


    • DanaNM
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      I’m very happy to hear he’s improving and the hay tea helped!!!

      Heat and molting could def trigger GI issues. Idk if it’s from too much fur in the belly or just generally feeling icky from the heat, but it is pretty common. But the meds and CC will help him get back on track!

      If he has stuck on cecotropes you should clean them off, because fly strike is a concern in the summer. If it’s not possible to comb them out, you might need to do a bum bath. (here’s a vid with how to do it safely: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6UcoZHBlQ80&ab_channel=Howcast)

       

      . . . 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.  


    • Rae & Gus + Lily
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      I am ecstatic to report Gus is eating his entire breakfast right as I type this! He continued to munch on hay throughout the night and took a few treats from us and now – a whole breakfast with his usual pellets and greens!

      And he’s running away from us whenever we come near with a syringe! As weird as it might sound he was so lethargic he just laid there and let you do what you wanted but now? Now he’s running again! To get him moving we would gently push his bum and he would just slide for at least a foot or two before making a few hops now you touch his butt and he takes off like usual!

      Thank you all for everything, it wouldn’t have been possible without your replies! I don’t think he’s 100% but I do think it’s okay to sleep now, and that it’s safe to say if we continue on with his medicine and tummy rubs he should be just fine. Though I’m sure he’s gonna be a grump when we wash his bum later!

      Thank you!!


    • Hazel
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      SO glad he’s doing much better! 🙂  Every time I’ve used Simethicone with my bun there was a fast and almost miraculous turnaround. That stuff is magic.

      About his poopy butt, one of my previous bunnies struggled with that a lot. If it had gotten stuck to him where it wouldn’t come off easily, I would put him in a small tub with an inch or two of warm water, let him soak for a few minutes and then very gently squish the poop between my fingers to get it off (I did wear gloves). This only works if Gus would be okay with sitting in shallow water, my bunny didn’t mind it at all.


    • DanaNM
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      That’s great! So happy he’s doing better!

      It’s great to have metacam on hand as well, assuming you have some left over.

      I use the same method as Hazel for bum baths, usually in my bathroom sink. If you put a towel at the bottom (in the water) it helps them not slide around so much and makes things a bit easier. Then towel dry really well followed by using a hair dryer on the lowest setting to dry them the rest of the way.

      . . . 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.  


    • LBJ10
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      So glad to hear he is doing better! Yes, simethicone always seems to do the trick for me as well. I’m glad the pain he was in was “just gas”. That is relatively easy to manage in most cases.

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Forum HOUSE RABBIT Q & A Something is Seriously Wrong with Gus