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Oola
25-04-2010, 11:23 AM
Hi there

I'm very worried about my bunny as I've just found a jelly-like substance that she pulled out of her fur from around her bottom. She has been ill so I imagine it's to do with this...

Basically at the beginning of the week we took her 'husband' Snoopy to the vet as we'd noticed he'd stopped pooing in the last day. Our bunnies are indoor rabbits, with 'free range' in the ground floor of our house and their own 'space', but we do let them out to exercise all over the garden most evenings for at least a couple of hours. Snoopy had been out the previous evening, running around as normal, and eating fine. But I could tell he was uncomfortable the next day and we took him to the vet. They seemed quite optimistic and had him on motility drugs etc. But at 11pm that night I had a call to say he'd passed away.

So his 'wife' Moppy, was left on her own. I too noticed that the next day (last Weds morning) she wasn't looking quite right and wasn't eating, only doing a wee now and then. So off I went to the vet, and they decided to keep her in. As she didn't poo they did an x-ray, which led to an ultrasound and then onto an operation to look at what was going on. They decided it was steatitis - inflammation of fatty tissue around her organs. She was kept in for a further two days, having syringe feeds, metacam, baytril and zantac, and although she wasn't pooing much at all, they decided to send her home with us to see whether she could feel calmer at home, and perhaps begin eating and pooing more.

But since we've had her home she's just not wanted to eat much at all. Her metacam dose was low - she is a dwarf lionhead and I suspect only weighs around 1.5kg, and was on 0.13ml zantac once a day. We rang the vet and asked if it could be higher as she was grinding her teeth a lot, and we've managed to get it raised, and administer it twice a day. But still not much eating and no pooing really - just small, doughy poos that look more like tiny cecotrophs. She went out in the garden yesterday and had a bit of a run around, as well as hanging around the bunny 'free ranging' next door through the fence, but wasn't really interested. We brought her in and I managed to get her to eat a small handful of kale, but she just won't really go for her excel hay or anything else. We're doing small feeds of critical care formula but I worry it just stresses her out. I just wish she'd eat more of her own accord!

In herself she seems fairly bright eyed, she is still quite inquisitive about things and does spend time grooming herself. She's lying down, feet out i n front and legs to the side slightly, so I'm guessing she's still uncomfortable underneath, what with the operation and not an ideal intake of food. I'm aware she's had a 'big week' and is probably really missing her mate on top of everything else, but this latest jelly-like substance in her poo has really got me worried - I'm desperate for her not to go into GI stasis, and we intend to get her a new friend to bond with so that she feels a bit happier... but she has to get better first.

So after this mammoth post, if anyone has any insight into whether it's normal for her to pass a small jelly-like substance, given that she's not eating much (although we are syringe feeding etc.), I'd be grateful. It's the first one I've seen and believe me, I am keeping a really close eye on her. She is due back at the vets for a check-up Tues/Weds next week and we're really not keen to take her back beforehand as the 30min journey to a rabbit-friendly vet can take its toll on her (plus, it's a Sunday).

Oola
25-04-2010, 11:30 AM
I forgot to say that they've also taken the fatty tissue and sent away for a biopsy - I don't know whether the baytril has just been prescribed because it's a broad spectrum antiobiotic, or whether they're still waiting on the results. I think, given it was sent away on Thursday and she came home Friday, they would have had the results.

Also, she is still grinding her teeth now and then, but I don't know whether that's to do with the steatitis, gas/gut problems or something else. I'm just so worried about her and worried I'm going to lose her too :(

Dustyrabbit
25-04-2010, 12:01 PM
Gosh you are having a difficult time at the moment!

I am sorry for the loss of your rabbit - did the vet conclude why he passed away?

Is it possible they ate something they shouldn't whilst free ranging in the garden?

I think the jelly-like substance is cause for concern in a rabbit but is common to see if a rabbit has not been eating for some reason. I am surprised your vet operated before the rabbit was eating etc normally unless it was stictly vital :? I would be concerned if she is still tooth grinding perhaps the painkiller is still not effective? I think I would call the vet for advise asap. Keept tempting her to eat, fresh herbs are popular as well as her usual pellets soaked in a little water or some rocket and dandilions - you can feed these wet to increase water consumption. I found my rabbit would eat the CC from a little dish rather than having to syringe feed - worth a try if its stressing her. Is she drinking? Provide a bowl of water as it is easier to drink from if they are poorly.

Jack's-Jane
25-04-2010, 12:03 PM
Inflammation in the GI tract can cause mucus production.
It sounds as though she is still in a considerable amount of pain despite the Metacam. Tooth grinding = severe pain :cry:

Personally I would not want to wait to get her back to a Vet. She may well need fluid therapy (subcutaneous or IV) aswell as additional analgesia eg an opiate. I would want her temperature checked too.............

Gut surgery on Rabbits is extremely high risk and you cant afford to not act on symptoms which are a cause for concern.

I would call the Vet now and seek their advice and also explain that she is still exhibiting signs of severe pain

Good luck xx

Oola
25-04-2010, 12:13 PM
Hi there, thanks for your replies.

She is drinking of her own accord regularly, and weeing, so in that regard is OK. She has a fresh bowl of water closeby whenever she needs it. The tooth grinding is much less than it was before we upped her metacam, and this morning since posting she has had a little nibble of kale and some hay, and we are about to give her some CCF. It tends to be when we approach her - I wonder whether it's displeasure at the feeling that she's going to be picked up and syringed with whatever medication she's due.

She's just happily taken a load of parlsey but we're about to syringe feed her to see how she goes with the fibre in her belly. The teeth grinding seems to be on hold at the moment so if it starts up again we'll call the vet back this afternoon. I will make sure they have it on record that her teeth were thoroughly checked too.

Oola
27-04-2010, 08:41 PM
Hi all

Just thought I'd give an update - we upped her pain medication on Saturday a little, which helped a bit I think, although she was still occasionally grinding her teeth. Moppy went for a checkup yesterday, and we managed to get a booking with the rabbit expert vet (our usual vet), although she was technically not on duty (she is really good like that!). She had a good feel, said the wound was healing really well and that she definitely felt more comfortable underneath. We were able to up her metacam even more, and have started with a higher dose today.

The vet advised that it would better to give just ONE dose of metacam rather than splitting it in two. She said that the metacam is designed to stay in the rabbit's system for 24 hours - so with the higher dose (Moppy is a bit overweight - dwarf lionhead that weighs 2.02kgs and so can have up to 0.6ml metacam each day). We've kept on with her baytril and zantac, and if she hasn't eaten much we support her with syringe feeds, which I'm getting the hang of now. We find that cocooning her (sort of sitting above her and coming from the side to feed her) makes things a bit easier with aiming into her mouth.

Yesterday evening she seemed more settled and ate quite a bit but today she was a bit quiet again. I came home from work and gave her a small syringe feed and then let her out for a (supervised, as always) 'free range' in the garden. At first she was quiet, but as the sun sank she seemed to get more interested in investigating - she did periscope bunny a few times, nibbled on grass and ran up and down my veg plots a few times - and even did a little binky!

We've brought her soil tray back in for her to sit in, and she's very taken with it and is lying out looking quite content. So we shall see how she goes - we need to update the vet on Friday with her progress and keep tempting her with dandelions, parsley, kale, her excel hay etc. I don't want to jump the gun but I think we're very very slowly moving in the right direction. The poos are still very very small, but they are coming out and no big mucus plugs since the one that she did at the weekend.

Jack's-Jane
27-04-2010, 08:54 PM
Hi all

Just thought I'd give an update - we upped her pain medication on Saturday a little, which helped a bit I think, although she was still occasionally grinding her teeth. Moppy went for a checkup yesterday, and we managed to get a booking with the rabbit expert vet (our usual vet), although she was technically not on duty (she is really good like that!). She had a good feel, said the wound was healing really well and that she definitely felt more comfortable underneath. We were able to up her metacam even more, and have started with a higher dose today.

The vet advised that it would better to give just ONE dose of metacam rather than splitting it in two. She said that the metacam is designed to stay in the rabbit's system for 24 hours - so with the higher dose (Moppy is a bit overweight - dwarf lionhead that weighs 2.02kgs and so can have up to 0.6ml metacam each day). We've kept on with her baytril and zantac, and if she hasn't eaten much we support her with syringe feeds, which I'm getting the hang of now. We find that cocooning her (sort of sitting above her and coming from the side to feed her) makes things a bit easier with aiming into her mouth.

Yesterday evening she seemed more settled and ate quite a bit but today she was a bit quiet again. I came home from work and gave her a small syringe feed and then let her out for a (supervised, as always) 'free range' in the garden. At first she was quiet, but as the sun sank she seemed to get more interested in investigating - she did periscope bunny a few times, nibbled on grass and ran up and down my veg plots a few times - and even did a little binky!

We've brought her soil tray back in for her to sit in, and she's very taken with it and is lying out looking quite content. So we shall see how she goes - we need to update the vet on Friday with her progress and keep tempting her with dandelions, parsley, kale, her excel hay etc. I don't want to jump the gun but I think we're very very slowly moving in the right direction. The poos are still very very small, but they are coming out and no big mucus plugs since the one that she did at the weekend.

I do hope that she will continue to recover, albeit slowly, which is only to be expected after such major surgery xx

Princessrabbit
27-04-2010, 08:57 PM
awww I hope shes ok

and Im sorry for your loss x

Oola
02-05-2010, 11:06 PM
Hi all

Although it's been a while since I last posted, I thought it would be good to follow this thread up in case anyone finds it in a search and wants to see the outcome.

I'm pleased to report that Moppy is doing VERY well now - she is eating entirely of her own accord, is off the painkillers, baytril and zantac as of yesterday and is pooing properly too! I really didn't know whether she would pull through, but she's a little trooper and is doing well at the moment. Pretty much back to her old self.

We also had a call from the vet, turns out the biopsy confirmed it was necrotic fatty tissue and they're sure they got it all out, but still a case of wait and see how she goes. But at the moment the signs are encouraging.

We found that Moppy wasn't really eating much, but the one thing that seemed to get her interested was fresh, long grass from the garden. At first, it was the only thing she would seem to consider eating, despite having herbs, kale, small nuggets and her 'usual' foods available. But once she got going with the grass, we think with her painkillers increased, and a little supportive syringe feeding with oxbow + zantac, she got onto the road to recovery.

We're taking her for another check up so that she can have her vaccinations fairly soon, as we want to be sure that she's at full health before she has them. We're also having a home visit from the RSPCA rabbit people to see whether our set up is right for one of their bunnies that has been waiting for a home for a long time - we're hoping if we get the go ahead (from a lengthy conversation they seemed quite positive it would be), we can start the bonding process between Moppy and her new 'husbun' in time.

Thanks to all for support etc.

thumps_
03-05-2010, 02:06 AM
I'm so pleased that Moppy is well on the road to recovery.
Did your vet say what might have caused the steatitis, eg is there any relationship to steatitis caused by vit E deficiency in cats?

I am interested by your observation that Moppy would only eat long grass at first. So many of our buns know what they need to get well.

CinnamonAndNutmeg
03-05-2010, 09:20 AM
Well done Moppy and you!!! I no wat it feels like when your bun is not feeling well....its a waiting game...But im soooo pleassed shes ok now!!!:p:D

Oola
03-05-2010, 07:58 PM
thanks, she's certainly doing well at the moment, so hoping it was a one-off...

thumps_ I don't know about vit e deficiency, although I have a feeling I've read that rabbits process vitamin e different to cats and dogs... so not sure. I did quite a bit of reading on it, but there was barely any published research or anything available online that explained WHY it happens...

thumps_
03-05-2010, 08:24 PM
Thank you so much for your reply Oola.
I was also struggling with the internet last night, & similarly found nothing helpful about bunnies.
Horses are the nearest to bunny gut systems, but ferment in the colon not the caecum. I noticed that they rely on fresh grass for vit E, as hay can lose 30% - 80% vit E content in the drying. I was so impressed by how Moppy made a bee line for the fresh grass, I was trying to understand her, but drew a blank.
Basically - "Is Moppy telling us how to treat steatitis in buns?"

hannah.mc
03-05-2010, 09:50 PM
thanks, she's certainly doing well at the moment, so hoping it was a one-off...

thumps_ I don't know about vit e deficiency, although I have a feeling I've read that rabbits process vitamin e different to cats and dogs... so not sure. I did quite a bit of reading on it, but there was barely any published research or anything available online that explained WHY it happens...

Glad sh'es pulled thro, sorry her hus-bun wasn't as strong. It may be they both had an infection or for her it could have been the stress of loosing her hus-bun. Nursing a poorly rab is a fulltime job!!! Well done for getting her better xxxx

Oola
05-05-2010, 09:58 PM
HI

Just wondering... Moopy seems to be eating a LOT lately. Her poos are normal (they've always been quite abundant and fairly large), and she's pooing as much as you'd expect when she's eating a lot, but I'm just wondering whether her increased appetite is normal?

I'm thinking it may be because she's a bit bored, as she used to spend a lot of time fussing over her husbun, grooming him and snuggling with him. But especially in the last two days she's been eating more than usual in the evenings. She seems otherwise fine in herself - inquisitive, grooming herself, going to the toilet properly and regularly... sleeping at night etc. We let her out for exercising in the garden (she has free run of downstairs), but still watching her every move at the moment. Am I reading too much into this?

On a positive note, we're booked in for a home check visit next week from the RSPCA to see whether we're up to scratch for them to allow us to take the next step in adopting her new partner!

thumps_
05-05-2010, 10:08 PM
Do you think it's possible that she's making up for all the energy, & tissue building needed to heal, after major surgery, as well as bereavement?
As if she's just beginning to feel back to normal again?