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View Full Version : Are rex rabbits more prone to illness than others?



Middy
07-01-2009, 10:19 PM
Just wondered as I am still reeling from the death of dear little Middy, who suffered GI problems and died within a day last week. I feel so bad about it.

(http://forums.rabbitrehome.org.uk/showthread.php?t=161037)

I keep reading about bunnies living on average 8-10 years. Mine was a house bun - she was well cared for and seemed happy and healthy most of the time and we cared for her well, or so I thought. I had a lop for a while and she fell into a terrible state with stasis but pulled through fine (she had to be rehomed as she fought with Middy and injured her... we'd bought the lop thinking it was a male!).

People keep saying to get another bunny but I'm not sure. First, I don't feel I can just slot a new rabbit into where Middy left off. And second, I'm scared of the stasis happening again. If I did get a rabbit, it would be a rex, as I love their temperament and intelligence.

I don't know :(

I feel bad about Middy, like I should have saved her. She was just three and a half.

Gingypig
07-01-2009, 10:24 PM
Hey don't feel bad. It sounds like Middy had a lovely caring home. Unfortunately small animals are not as hardy as say a cat or a dog and can pass away very quickly leaving us little or no time to be able to help, if in fact we can help at all. I think getting another bun would help fill the void but certainly not replace Middy. I would suggest getting an already bonded pair from a rescue :D

bluebunny
07-01-2009, 10:39 PM
Was Middy a rex then? ive got 2 rexes now quite healthy,Ive lost 2, Lilac at the age of 7 with a tumor inside and Claude my blue rex who was 5 years he had on going stasis from 9 months but in the last 3 months got more and more often untill he was pts in aug as the nerve to his gut completly stopped working he couldnt eat or poo it was the most distressing thing im still very upset about loosing him:(

Jack's-Jane
07-01-2009, 11:00 PM
I can only comment on my personal experience. That is that 'yes' Rexes do appear to have a predisposition towards ailments.

ShivyRex
07-01-2009, 11:03 PM
I'm not sure. You have probably seen my ongoing post about my darling Fia. This stasis episode is due to her megacolon condition which has probably been triggered by the associated stress of going into boarding over xmas :( Megacolon is a general bunny condition which my vet believe a lot of bunnies may have but goes undiagnosed although Fia's is probably in the advanced stages and has been described as a 'timebomb' by my vet.

This is my first ever bout of stasis with Fia in just over 2 years although she has had some time where she has had an upset tummy and tummy rubs and infacol has sufficed.

Zion is 3 and has had 1 bout of stasis caught early and 1 bout of bloat.

Alice I have only had for 6 months (she is about 2 and half though) but I have had no problems with her as yet. She is a fab bunny and I know that Nicola had no trouble with her either when she had her.

Winter isn't a rex but for comparison he has had one bout of stasis which was brought on by a bite from Alice :no:

I don't think there is anything concrete in say rex bunnies are more problematic. Fia has been my most problematic bun to date since she was spayed. That's just Fia though. Alice was rescued from the same breeder and she is perfect.

Don't let the 'what ifs' stop you from giving another bunny a great home and all the love you have to offer. :)

ShivyRex
07-01-2009, 11:04 PM
I can only comment on my personal experience. That is that 'yes' Rexes do appear to have a predisposition towards ailments.
You wonder why we're so obsessed with them still huh? :roll: :D

Jack's-Jane
07-01-2009, 11:15 PM
You wonder why we're so obsessed with them still huh? :roll: :D


I know !!

I would never be without a Rex.......or two........or three.....:lol:

Middy
07-01-2009, 11:44 PM
Thanks all.

Yes, Middy was a rex. She looked sooo much like lovely Fia!

She had a great amount of space - huge! - we feed her as well as possible, had her checked at the vets regularly, played with her, sat with her, stroked her... she looked so happy, I mean really happy! She'd sit on my feet and then fall asleep, mouth twitching and totally relaxed.

So, I guess I'm just wondering what went wrong... I would dearly like another rex. I'll have to think carefully, as I'm really quite gutted about losing Middy.

Middy
07-01-2009, 11:48 PM
I think the vet mentioned bloat and stasis with Middy BTW... I was so upset my memory's all tattered. :cry::cry:

orange
08-01-2009, 12:01 AM
Again I can only talk from personal experience...

I never really realised gut problems were so prevelent until I started reading RU. My Rex Kellogg never experienced gut problems. And considering what he munched on! He would eat anything he found - of course pellets & tons of hay but also plastic, polystrene, rubber, carpet, skirting, doors, paper, indoor plants etc etc. I once even found an intact elastic band in his litter tray which must have passed through his gut because droppings had actually formed around the band, which could only have happened internally!

I fought a continual battle to keep him away from potential 'snacks'

I have only had one Rex, so much less experience than others on this site, but Kellogg never had a gut problem, except for the constant need to fill it with anything and everything! So perhaps it is down to the makeup of the individual rabbit as well as the breed?

I am so sorry for your loss of Middy. Kellogg's death was a huge blow for me. It sounds like she had a wonderful home with you. I am very sorry for your loss.

Rex Rabbity
08-01-2009, 05:18 PM
Poor Millie, my 2nd black female Rex died this morning :cry::cry: She was only 3 and a half. Exactly the same age, colour and sex as Willow, our other female Rex who died with exactly the same symptoms just over a year ago.

Millie seemed to lose weight very quickly and her breathing became laboured. We took her to the vets last week. They could not diagnose the problem without xrays which were risky at that stage as they would have had to put her under. She has been on metacam/baytrill for the last week. There was no improvement and I was due to take her back today to re-assess the situation.

I have kept her indoors for the last week out of the cold of the shed hoping it would help her improve. I checked her this morning and she was still alive when I left for work at 6:15am. My partner called me at work at 8:30am and said she was dead :cry: :cry:

Poor Flopsy has also had to go through this twice now. He has been out in the shed on his own in the evenings while I monitored Millie indoors. For some reason I decided to bring him in too last night to keep Millie company. Poor thing, he was still grooming her whilst she lay dead beside him this morning :cry: :cry:

I can't bring myself to get another rabbit now. The loss is so upsetting. I really do think that Rex's are not as hardy as other breeds. It could just be coincidence that Willow and Millie went the same way though.

LionheadLuver
08-01-2009, 06:09 PM
My Molly had a small bout of stasis. Wasn't anything too serious, just ate too much grass at once and got a bit of an upset tummy. And she has sore hocks. So she's the very delicate one who I have to really keep an eye on. Milly is more hardy, haven't had any probs with her yet. *fingers crossed and touch wood*

Can't say that rexes are more prone than another (as I've only had these two), but I'll most likely not get a rex again, because of their feet and they are quite delicate.

peediepixie
08-01-2009, 06:17 PM
Well my first 2 rabbits were lionheads x lops, Eddie was prone to respiratory problems which were treated and then he was just found dead in the hutch one day, no sign of anything wrong previous to it:cry: Elsa also had respiratory weakness and same thing with her, she was found dead in her run just before Christmas. She had lost some weight but I put it down to colder weather using up more energy and had increased her food a bit. She was eating, running around and seemed fine apart from losing a bit of weight and her death was very sudden like Eddie. So in my experience it's not just rexes who can be prone to problems.
I have my lovely Sammy now, he is almost 1 year old and so far has had perfect health *touch wood*.:)

Rex Rabbity
08-01-2009, 06:53 PM
Yes, Rex's hocks can wear down to the skin and bleed very quickly. Some Rex's seem to be more prone than others. Both my does were bad, but the buck has been pretty good. Their fur is so soft and plush that it does not offer much protection on anything much harder than grass or soil.

Pegasys
08-01-2009, 07:39 PM
I have only had one rex so can't really compare but she is one of my healthiest buns. She is nearly 3 now and has not had any health problems what so ever :)
All of my other buns have had various problems exept for my little cross wild rabbit, she is very healthy too.

ShivyRex
08-01-2009, 08:14 PM
Poor Millie, my 2nd black female Rex died this morning :cry::cry: She was only 3 and a half. Exactly the same age, colour and sex as Willow, our other female Rex who died with exactly the same symptoms just over a year ago.

Millie seemed to lose weight very quickly and her breathing became laboured. We took her to the vets last week. They could not diagnose the problem without xrays which were risky at that stage as they would have had to put her under. She has been on metacam/baytrill for the last week. There was no improvement and I was due to take her back today to re-assess the situation.

I have kept her indoors for the last week out of the cold of the shed hoping it would help her improve. I checked her this morning and she was still alive when I left for work at 6:15am. My partner called me at work at 8:30am and said she was dead :cry: :cry:

Poor Flopsy has also had to go through this twice now. He has been out in the shed on his own in the evenings while I monitored Millie indoors. For some reason I decided to bring him in too last night to keep Millie company. Poor thing, he was still grooming her whilst she lay dead beside him this morning :cry: :cry:

I can't bring myself to get another rabbit now. The loss is so upsetting. I really do think that Rex's are not as hardy as other breeds. It could just be coincidence that Willow and Millie went the same way though.

I'm so sorry to hear this hun. I also lost my black rex female this morning so I know exactly how you're feeling *hugs* This is my first bunny loss. I feel so terrible for Zion I know I have to get another bun but not sure when I will be able to.
Big hugs

Middy
08-01-2009, 08:15 PM
Thanks to you all for sharing your experiences and your sympathy also.

I'm so sorry to those of you who have lost buns Rex Rabbity, I can't believe you lost Millie today :( so sad. She was the same age as my Middy. I know how you feel.

Orange Bloke, goodness you had a hardy rex there Kellogg sounds so tough. I'm sorry you lost him.

Deelove
08-01-2009, 08:28 PM
Out of the 7 rabbits I've had Faline is the only rex and she's had stasis 3 times, the others none.

Rex Rabbity
08-01-2009, 09:46 PM
Here is Flopsy today in the cat carrier he shared with Millie in the kitchen.

http://i143.photobucket.com/albums/r159/gixxer_thou/flop.jpg

VikkiVet
08-01-2009, 11:05 PM
hi, so sorry to hear about all these poor bunnies. My rexes are just over 1 year old, ive had them about 4 months and so far have been fine. they do have minor sore hocks but never gets very sore or bleeds.

Having read that rexes particularly seem to be prone to stasis, is there anything I and other rex owners should/should not be doing to prevent this? other than the obvious diet balance etc. Also, how do you spot the early signs? just thinking if they are particularly prone then perhaps treating as early as possible will make the difference.

Middy
09-01-2009, 12:30 AM
Gosh, it seems we may have a trend here... I guess the tips on the thread about preventing stasis are good ones: http://forums.rabbitrehome.org.uk/showthread.php?t=162525

I tried to follow all of those and wish now I had been far more vigilant to the tiniest of changes.

I was 'fooled' by my experience with another rabbit we temporarily had... she survived what seemed to be a horrendous episode of GI stasis. Middy was ironically beautifully healthy, right up until *snaps fingers* she died. So sudden.

My advice would be to treat these tender animals with even more care and attention than any other bun. They have such delicate feet, for starters. If I had my time with Middy again I would have increased her hay yet more and definitely taken her to the vet as soon as she seemed to be off her food. She nibbled a bit of banana so I was taken in and thought she would eat. I waited till morning and that was too late. You can imagine how much I regret that :cry:

Rex Rabbity, what beautiful rabbits...

Jazzy B Bunny
10-01-2009, 11:50 AM
I would say yes, my Eclipse seems to be prone to statis He's the only bun of mine who has ever had it, he also suffers mildly from sore hocks and now he has a problem with drinking a lot. Its just my opinion but I'd say yes.

orange
10-01-2009, 01:09 PM
Orange Bloke, goodness you had a hardy rex there Kellogg sounds so tough. I'm sorry you lost him.

Perhaps he was a particularly hardy example - he was nine years old when he died.

I have been shocked and upset to read on this thread about the rex rabbits with gut problems. When I was first on RU I thought everyone with Rexs would have my dilemma of trying to stop them from continually eating anything and everything.

He did suffer from the Rex problem of sore hocks and hardly ever had any fur on his hocks. These we did have to keep a careful eye on.

I am so sorry for everyones loss of their beautiful bunnies.:( Thinking of you all.

bluebunny
10-01-2009, 03:33 PM
Perhaps he was a particularly hardy example - he was nine years old when he died.

I have been shocked and upset to read on this thread about the rex rabbits with gut problems. When I was first on RU I thought everyone with Rexs would have my dilemma of trying to stop them from continually eating anything and everything.

He did suffer from the Rex problem of sore hocks and hardly ever had any fur on his hocks. These we did have to keep a careful eye on.

I am so sorry for everyones loss of their beautiful bunnies.:( Thinking of you all.

All my rexes have been piggies with food especially Claude thats why i used to pick up on it so quickly when he refused food:(

Sooz
10-01-2009, 03:55 PM
I only had one Rex and I didn't have her more than a few months so can only pass comment on that singular experience but she died very suddenly within a matter of hours. She started to show signs of a neurological disturbance in the late morning and was unresponsive with no appetite so I booked her in at the vets. Within a couple of hours she had lost co-ordination and was struggling to stand so I called the vets and took her in as an emergency, by the time we got to the vets she was paraletic and couldn't move her limbs, stand or hold her head up.

The prognosis was very poor but she had some meds and I brought her home, where she then proceeded to fit & gasp for air before going into respiratory arrest and dying a few minutes later. It was very traumatic to witness and it still upsets me greatly to think about her last few minutes of life.

I havn't had another Rex since but don't think I would rule it out in the future. Callisto did also suffer the notorious sore hocks associated with the breed. I don't believe her death was anything to do with her breed though.

Middy
11-01-2009, 07:34 PM
These stories are so sad :cry: Sooz, how awful...

Orange Bloke, glad your bun was a tough un - the hocks generally do wear thin with rexes from what I can gather. I often applied ointment to Middy's feet. She hated it at first but then clucked while she lay in my arms... :)

Bluebunny, yes, that's what alarmed me. I was really shocked to see Middy hadn't eaten the morning I took her in. She had been a bit off her food but seemed perfectly fine otherwise and nibbled on banana. If I ever have another rex I will whisk them to the vet the moment they seem to lose any appetite.

chloaster
13-01-2009, 11:20 PM
From personal experience I don't think my rex boys are any more prone to illness than my other buns. Starr we lost to an abcess behind his eye, but I've had other non-rex buns develop abcess too, Harry has had snuffles all his life but apart from that the three boys are healthy and happy, none have ever suffered from stasis or any other ailments although they do struggle with their hocks sometimes as many rexes do.