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halfpenny
08-02-2009, 05:20 PM
I was just wondering what causes bloat and how you treat it.
If our goats have bloat it is because they cannot release the gas they produce, goats get rid of it by belching. They will bloat because their tummy has been upset and a foam has developed on the surface of the stomach contents or if they have something stuck in their throats. For a blocked throat, you have to have it removed, but for an upset tummy, you can give oil, which settles the foam and allows the gas to escape. Bloat can be very dangerous in goats too and can kill them.
I just wondered if rabbits were the same and if you gave a bit of oil whether that may help- or is rabbit bloat more like colic in horses.

abbymarysmokey
08-02-2009, 08:44 PM
Good question...and one I can't really answer :oops: :lol:

I don't know much about goats, so can't compare them to rabbits, but proper bloat in rabbits usually happens very quickly, and the rabbit is usually dead within the day unless medical attention is sought very quickly. Luckily bloat in rabbits is pretty rare.

Because rabbits don't belch, the gas tends to build up in the stomach. It is sometimes possible for a vet to insert a tube into the throat to release the gas, but it's a very delicate procedure and runs the risk of damaging the rabbit's oesophagus.

Bloat is often confused with regular stasis, but it happens much more quickly. This article explains the difference between the conditions:

http://www.bunnylu.org/bloat.html

Sooz
08-02-2009, 08:52 PM
I *think* rabbit bloat is more like colic, I believe there are some areas of digestion which horses & rabbits share, such as having a highly developed sphincter muscle which prevents vomiting.

Thankfully I have never deat with 'acute' primary bloat before, it's always come secondary to another condition. It's not uncommon to find some trapped gas in bunnies in stasis, but true bloat is a whole different ball game.

halfpenny
08-02-2009, 09:09 PM
I *think* rabbit bloat is more like colic, I believe there are some areas of digestion which horses & rabbits share, such as having a highly developed sphincter muscle which prevents vomiting.

Thankfully I have never deat with 'acute' primary bloat before, it's always come secondary to another condition. It's not uncommon to find some trapped gas in bunnies in stasis, but true bloat is a whole different ball game.

I did wonder, my vets always say rabbits are like small horses as they are both hind gut fermenters.
Mind you, I wonder if all else fails whether it might be worth trying a bit if oil, you wouldn't believe how a goat deflates after a bit of oil.

What causes it in rabbits.

Sooz
08-02-2009, 09:14 PM
Problem is if you have a dehydrated rabbit with solid gut contents & gut immobility and you add oil you are potentially compounding problems further and may cause a blockage. Infacol, fluid therapy and pain relief are a much safer (and proven) treatment and in severe cases, as Amy said, some vets may consider intubating the rabbit.

I can't really give a definitive cause, as there are many suspects, but some rabbit show a sensitivity to certain foods which can end in bloat...some diseases also cause it such as Coccidia.

halfpenny
08-02-2009, 09:16 PM
Cheers, Sooz.

Happy Hopping
09-02-2009, 05:02 AM
Depends on the type of blockage.

1) If it's carpet or furniture material, then it's a physical blockage, although the bun is supposed to be able to pass thru that material thru the system

If it is fur, something other than a hard object, then it's the diet, a strong fiber diet (90% hay) can easily handle some degree of fur in the stomach and pass the fur thru

Hugo's There
09-02-2009, 11:39 AM
I have always understood it that horses and rabbits have very similar digestive systems :)

Because rabbits salivate all the time and it is secreted in the stomach if there is an obstruction in the small intestines it doesn't take long for liquid to accumulate in the stomach and small intestine behind the blockage. Because the digestive system stops moving the liquid starts to ferment causing gas to form, which is very painful and can rupture the small intestines and stomach. In severe cases rabbits can die within 8 hours due to shock or peritonitis from the rupture.

marie_kubiak
09-02-2009, 12:26 PM
There are several types of bloat in buns:
1) Obstructive bloat
There is a physical obstruction within the intestine (impacted food/hair/foreign body etc) and there is a build up of normal intestinal content and bacterial fermentation of this can lead to gas accumulation too. This is a life-threatening situation unless recognised and treated immediately and is often a surgical condition.
2) Static bloat
The gut doesn't contract normally and intestinal contents and gas build up in the intestines. This is less rapid and less pressure accumulates. Medical treatment for stasis will alleviate this, although if left untreated then damage to the intestinal wall develops and septicaemia/rupture can occur.
3) Frothy bloat
This is where certain plant proteins affect the surface tension of liquid in the stomach and encourage gas bubble formation. This is where oil may help but I have yet to see this occur in rabbits, although not uncommon in ruminants.

Hugo's There
09-02-2009, 12:29 PM
There are several types of bloat in buns:
1) Obstructive bloat
There is a physical obstruction within the intestine (impacted food/hair/foreign body etc) and there is a build up of normal intestinal content and bacterial fermentation of this can lead to gas accumulation too. This is a life-threatening situation unless recognised and treated immediately and is often a surgical condition.
.

Have you had much success with surgical intervention for obstructive bloat? I am so nervous of abdominal surgery in bunnies

Sooz
09-02-2009, 12:32 PM
Marie, I was just curious as to what you consider the success rate of surgical intervention to be like in rabbits with obstructive bloat? I've very rarely heard of people having the operation done and wondered if it was due to a poor prognosis (but maybe because it's a rarer illness or often mis-diagnosed perhaps)?

I've always personally not wanted to consider surgery on my rabbits GI tracts, having heard that failure is often likely, and at the expense of the rabbit but have no experience to really base this on.

marie_kubiak
09-02-2009, 12:38 PM
Have you had much success with surgical intervention for obstructive bloat? I am so nervous of abdominal surgery in bunnies
Yes, as long as the rabbit is seen fairly early on in the process and there isn't already gut rupture/damage or advanced septicaemia then surgery has a relatively good outcome. However, if surgery is attempted late on when there is already significant damage to the intestines then the prognosis is much much worse.
It's always a difficult situation as in true obstructions, without surgery then there is no hope of cure but major surgery in an already debilitated rabbit does carry a high risk.
I recommend surgery rapidly after diagnosis (but allow for as much stabilisation as possible beforehand) but am quite frank and suggest euthanasia in advanced cases or that if I find during surgery that there is too much damage already that the rabbit is euthanased under anaesthetic. This is all very negative but with cases caught early and treated rapidly then surgery can be successful.

Sooz
09-02-2009, 12:39 PM
Have you had much success with surgical intervention for obstructive bloat? I am so nervous of abdominal surgery in bunnies

OMG, I didn't even realise we had posted that at the same time :lol:.
Great minds and all that. :wave:

Hugo's There
09-02-2009, 12:43 PM
Yes, as long as the rabbit is seen fairly early on in the process and there isn't already gut rupture/damage or advanced septicaemia then surgery has a relatively good outcome. However, if surgery is attempted late on when there is already significant damage to the intestines then the prognosis is much much worse.
It's always a difficult situation as in true obstructions, without surgery then there is no hope of cure but major surgery in an already debilitated rabbit does carry a high risk.
I recommend surgery rapidly after diagnosis (but allow for as much stabilisation as possible beforehand) but am quite frank and suggest euthanasia in advanced cases or that if I find during surgery that there is too much damage already that the rabbit is euthanased under anaesthetic. This is all very negative but with cases caught early and treated rapidly then surgery can be successful.

I guess it is down to the owner to know enough to realise when it is a true obstruction and get immediate attention, rather than think it is a simple stasis and wait to see how things go. Not always an easy thing to do unfortunately

marie_kubiak
09-02-2009, 12:46 PM
I guess it is down to the owner to know enough to realise when it is a true obstruction and get immediate attention, rather than think it is a simple stasis and wait to see how things go. Not always an easy thing to do unfortunately

That's the real problem. Unless you actually know the rabbit has eaten something he shouldn't have, you just can't tell at home. And to complicate things, stasis can potentially develop to obstruction if food and hair coalesce in the stomach. The speed of progression can give a good idea and immediate vet investigation is needed to confirm diagnosis.

Jack's-Jane
09-02-2009, 03:45 PM
Thats why I get so anxious when I read that someone immediately starts syringe feeding a Bun who has suddenly stopped eating. If there is a true obstruction then the syringed feeds will just add to the problem. Although not professionally qualified I have felt rather a lot of poorly Bunny tums over the last 11 years but I still seek professional advice ASAP.

Bloat is such a horrible thing for a Bun and extremely painful :cry: