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Loosy
09-01-2010, 12:08 PM
Sooo, after Pipkin being a skinny bean for quite a while, he's been diagnosed with diabetes (or everything else has been ruled out, at least).
The vet has suggested I feed him shredded wheat and try to up his hay and veggies and decrease the pellets (the exact opposite of what the vet I saw last week said :roll: Glad I didn't take their advice...). I haven't heard of the shredded wheat thing before, but apparently it has chromium in it.
Does this all sound about right? I can't find very much on diabetic bunnies... Is there anything else I can do?

Jack's-Jane
09-01-2010, 12:54 PM
Sooo, after Pipkin being a skinny bean for quite a while, he's been diagnosed with diabetes (or everything else has been ruled out, at least).
The vet has suggested I feed him shredded wheat and try to up his hay and veggies and decrease the pellets (the exact opposite of what the vet I saw last week said :roll: Glad I didn't take their advice...). I haven't heard of the shredded wheat thing before, but apparently it has chromium in it.
Does this all sound about right? I can't find very much on diabetic bunnies... Is there anything else I can do?

How was diabetes diagnosed ? It cannot be done from just a urine test and ONE blood test

Loosy
09-01-2010, 01:03 PM
I think it was more a case of ruling everything else out. His liver, kidneys and white blood cells were fine. I think we're going with this diet and seeing if he starts putting the weight on. He's also having another blood test in a couple of weeks.

Is there anything other than those things that could cause him not to put on weight?

Jack's-Jane
09-01-2010, 01:14 PM
I think it was more a case of ruling everything else out. His liver, kidneys and white blood cells were fine. I think we're going with this diet and seeing if he starts putting the weight on. He's also having another blood test in a couple of weeks.

Is there anything other than those things that could cause him not to put on weight?

A low grade infection
Dental problems-a Dental Bun may look as though they are eating but if they live with another Rabbit they may not eat as fast as the other Bun and hence they only get a fraction of the food. The food disappears but its the other Bun who eats most of it
Pain from anywhere in the body
Environmental stress- eg too cold/too hot/being bullied by other Rabbits or bullying other Rabbits

Diabetes is extremely rare in Rabbits and it takes lots of blood tests taken at specific times of day to diagnose it.

Loosy
09-01-2010, 04:12 PM
Ok, thanks!
Would he have any other symptoms if it was an infection? Of the things you listed I think that's about the only other thing it could be.
Also could it last this long? He must have started losing the weight around October time at the latest..

If this was the case, is there any way of testing for it or would be just be treated with antibiotics to see if he improves?

Jack's-Jane
09-01-2010, 04:25 PM
What did the Vet test for when the bloods were taken ?

Has he been treated with a 28 day course of Panacur ?

Have Dental problems been excluded ?

What does his diet consist of ?

Does he drink alot ?

Loosy
09-01-2010, 04:35 PM
She did a full blood test. The results I said about above (kidneys, etc) were the only ones she mentioned, as well as blood sugar, which was high but I know that can be caused by stress.

He is having a course of Panacur at the moment. We're on day 19 cause I just started a new tube.

He does have dental problems, he last had a dental a month ago (there have been 6 months between them so far) and since then his teeth have been checked twice and been fine. I feed him and Ruby seperately anyway though cause he does eat slower even when he doesn't need a dental.

His diet includes veggies in the morning (a random selection from the following each day: spring greens, brocolli, basil, dill, carrot and tops, sweetheart cabbage, parsley, kale) a handful of excel pellets in the evening and hay all the time. He's also been having a handful of ready grass and a bit of porridge occasionally since I've been trying to put weight on him.

He does drink a lot (more than Ruby and previous rabbits I've had) but this hasn't changed, he always has done. I think that also contributed to the diabetes diagnosis. The vet thinks it's possible he's always had it but it was sort of brought to the surface by the dental problems he's had this year because he ate a lot less hay around the time he needed them.

Jack's-Jane
09-01-2010, 04:48 PM
Is he a good hay eater ?

Loosy
09-01-2010, 04:52 PM
Not brilliant, no. He eats some when I first put a fresh lot in but I don't know how much he eats otherwise. I'm looking for different sorts he'll like at the moment. He likes alfalfa hay (though I realise this isn't great) and ready grass, which I asked about here the other day and apparently it has a lot of calcium so I don't know whether he should have too much of that.

ETA: He eats even less when his teeth are bad. At that time I've noticed he seems interested in the hay when I first put it in for them but doesn't eat very much at all.

Jack's-Jane
09-01-2010, 05:08 PM
Then I think you need to feed him more pellets. I know in theory this is not the way to go to get a Bun to eat more hay BUT if Bun cant eat more hay due to already established Dental problems then there is no alternative.

Rabbits who are very hungry but cant eat hay and are only fed minimal pellets plus Veg will try to fill up by drinking ALOT of water.

I would advise you to feed him pellets twice a day for a week (on his own so HE eats them all) and then re-check his weight.

His problem may be as simple as him not getting sufficient calories to maintain/gain weight

I'd also give him some Fibreplex twice a day

http://www.vetuk.co.uk/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=1180

Loosy
09-01-2010, 05:11 PM
Ok, I'll try that then. Thanks Jane!
Should I up the veg as well or just start with the pellets?
Do you think I could try feeding him the shredded wheat as the vet suggested just in case? I don't know how healthy it would be normally... :?

ETA: Also, is this something that could arise suddenly? I know it all seems to coincide with his dental problems but I don't think he ate much more hay before the first dental than he does now and he wasn't underweight at all then.

Jack's-Jane
09-01-2010, 05:16 PM
Ok, I'll try that then. Thanks Jane!
Should I up the veg as well or just start with the pellets?
Do you think I could try feeding him the shredded wheat as the vet suggested just in case? I don't know how healthy it would be normally... :?

Personally I'd start with the two portions of pellets and the Fibreplex. The occassional bit of shredded wheat would be OK but if you feed to much carbohydrates it will upset his guts.
I'd not up the Veg, again because you dont want his guts being upset.

Is he an indoor Rabbit ?

Loosy
09-01-2010, 05:17 PM
Sorry, I must have edited my last post while you were posting!

But to your last question, he's an outside rabbit. I've been really worried about the weather but I couldn't realistically bring him in to stay until spring :( There's no room.

Jack's-Jane
09-01-2010, 05:19 PM
Sorry, I must have edited my last post while you were posting!

But to your last question, he's an outside rabbit. I've been really worried about the weather but I couldn't realistically bring him in to stay until spring :( There's no room.

He really will struggle to gain weight atm then as he'll use all his calorific intake to keep warm

Loosy
09-01-2010, 05:27 PM
Hmm, is it just a case of waiting until it gets warmer then, or are there ways I could help him keep warm now? He has a snugglesafe and Ruby to cuddle with...
He's not dangerously underweight at the moment and hasn't been losing any.

Jack's-Jane
09-01-2010, 05:35 PM
Hmm, is it just a case of waiting until it gets warmer then, or are there ways I could help him keep warm now? He has a snugglesafe and Ruby to cuddle with...
He's not dangerously underweight at the moment and hasn't been losing any.


Is the hutch in a shed/garage ?
Is it insulated ?

ETA- This is a recent RWA 'First Alert' email

With temperatures dropping to minus 17 and less in some parts of the country, the help line has been taking above average calls from rabbits owners asking how they can keep their outdoor bunnies warm.

Our website gives lots of information but here are some extra tips that you might find helpful, especially for new rabbit owners.

The RWA shop stocks bottle snugs and heat pads, but at present we are snowbound and are unable to send out these vital orders.

A cheap and cheerful method if you do not have a heat pad, is to heat a housebrick in the oven for a couple of hours. Wrap it up well in a thick towel before putting into your rabbits hutch, to ensure that bunny does not get burnt.

Check your sock drawer- everyone has odd socks- these make wonderful bottle covers. However, do remember to do the squeeze test as often as possible. Even if the water bottle appears to be unfrozen, give it a quick squeeze to ensure that the ball bearing in the spout is not frozen. If you have any medicinal glycerine in your medical cabinet, add a couple of drops to the water to prevent it from freezing.

While we encourage rabbit owners to buy big hutches, a 6 or 8 foot hutch has a lot of air space. Give bunny a cardboard box lined with soft hay to snuggle into. Have you put away that big cardboard tube for the winter ? If so bring it out and pop that inside the hutch if you do not have a cardboard box.

Keep bedding clean and dry at all times. Wet bedding may freeze.

If you cover the hutch at night with blankets, a duvet or old carpet, you will not want to keep the covers down during the day. To prevent snow getting into the hutch via the wire door, cut a piece of cardboard two thirds the size of the door and push it into the doorway. Strong pieces of clear plastic can be used in the same way and bunny can still see out..

Clear the snow from your patio area and if possible move your run from the lawn to the patio and give your bunny a couple of hay filled litter trays to sit in. Exercise on a daily basis also makes a vital contribution to healthy bones and muscles.

Loosy
09-01-2010, 05:39 PM
It's not in a shed or anything but it's in a really sheltered part of the garden next to the house. It's insulated with bubblewrap covered with tarpaulin and there's a plastic sheet over the front of the hutch and over the run part.
They have access to the run all the time, but should I start shutting them in at night or something to make sure they stay in the warmer area? I know at the moment they sit out at the end of the run even in the middle of the night.:roll:

ETA: The RWAF info is really useful, thanks!

halfpenny
09-01-2010, 05:50 PM
Maybe not relevant, because it sounds like he just isn't getting enough calories.
If he had an infection, his white blood cells would have been high and any parasitic attack would have caused a high eosinophil count, although I'm not sure if that would also cover E.c.

Loosy
09-01-2010, 06:56 PM
Maybe not relevant, because it sounds like he just isn't getting enough calories.
If he had an infection, his white blood cells would have been high and any parasitic attack would have caused a high eosinophil count, although I'm not sure if that would also cover E.c.

Thanks! If that's the case then I don't think it is an infection.. his white blood cells were fine :)

I've just ordered some fibreplex. It says it should be given for 1 to 2 days. Is it ok to use it more long term than that or should I just give it to him for a couple of days occasionally?

halfpenny
09-01-2010, 07:05 PM
I have given fibreplex for quite a long time, as long as they need it. My vet says it can't do any harm.:)

Loosy
09-01-2010, 08:43 PM
Ok great, thank you! :)