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View Full Version : Neville - dental and kidney disease (molar extraction, missing molars)



Jesselle
17-06-2019, 09:09 AM
Hello all,

Itís been a while (years!) so forgive me if Iím posting this in the wrong place, as itís both a health and diet Q.

Neville (8 this year) was diagnosed with dental and kidney issues last week. He was knocked out on Friday to sort out a molar spur and investigate his dental/overall health and it turned out he was just about missing 5 of his molars (I think top on the left!) and the tooth with the spur was wobbly and therefore removed. 90% of teeth on right side were OK. His skeleton showed high levels of calcium; kidney issues.

Anyway - he may or may not be able to eat hay going forward (heíd just about ground to a halt with this when I took him to the vet). Heís obv a bit tender at the mo and has so far taken soaked pellets, some grass and some (given in desperation for him to eat!) carrot/apple.

Ideally, it would be amazing if he could eat some hay by chewing on his right side, but whether heíll be able to, remains to be seen. Vet has recommended heís allowed to eat a pellet diet, with greens etc.

I wanted to ask for advice on diet for his dental/kidney problems going forward? Soft hay? Good high fibre pellets? Low calcium stuff that he can eat with his dental issues?

Feeling a little lost!

(Poor soul has had a rough week, he lost his wife Florence of 5 years the week before :()

Shimmer
17-06-2019, 10:36 AM
Sorry you are both having a rough time.
Did he have an x-ray? Molars don't normally become loose - there is something causing it, such as an abscess.
Have you been advised by the vet to give a lower calcium diet? FHB has a diet sheet and other info, although the site is being reconstructed at the moment:

https://www.harcourt-brown.co.uk/articles/free-food-for-rabbits/calcium-and-rabbit-food

My severe dental bunnies with similar issues loved to eat leaves off branches that were hung at or just above head height (eg willow, apple, bramble). They found it easier to eat from a height than pick them up off the floor, and they can just graze leaves off the branches in a bunch.

He may find grass easier than hay. If all else fails, chop it into pieces he can manage, even down to 5mm to mix in with recovery food or mushed pellets.
Other food can be chopped or grated to suit (carrot, apple, cabbage, herbs, etc). Basically try to keep him on a standard diet but adapt how it is presented so that he can physically eat it. Failing that, whatever he will reasonably eat that keeps his weight up - so it may mean mush on a saucer, or partial syringe feeding.

There's lots of willow available now, so you could also dry a supply to see you through winter. I cut it into about 30cm lengths and dry in small bundles (tied with hay bale string), then store somewhere cool and dry in paper bags or cereal boxes. If you don't crush them in, they stay fairly intact.

Pets mum
17-06-2019, 11:11 AM
Poor little chap, what a hard time he has been having of late. Can't really add anything to Shimmers good advice above, so sending lots of vibes for him, hope he manages ok xxx

Jesselle
17-06-2019, 11:33 AM
Hi,

He was x-rayed. It was a rabbit-savvy vet (Craig at Chine House), so I'm trusting what he's said re the loose teeth. However I will have a follow up chat with him this week and will ask re abscesses (he did say there was a future chance of this) and also why he wasn't sent home with antibiotics (assumed they'd be preventative after the molar removal).

He didn't advise a lower calcium diet, I wasn't sure whether I ought to be watching his calcium or not.

Thank you for the hay chopping idea!

As for willow - he's had fresh forage before, but I've never dared pick my own!

tonibun
17-06-2019, 11:59 AM
Hello and nice to "see" you! Neville was one of my favourites and I am so glad to see he is still around. I am sorry he is having problems now - grass is a good thing for him to eat, you can buy low calcium water but not sure which one this is. Also, pellets are quite high in calcium so perhaps bear this in mind. Obviously Neville needs to be eating something, maybe there is a low calcium pellet? Kale is high in calcium so maybe something else to watch if you feed this.

Jesselle
17-06-2019, 02:06 PM
Hello and nice to "see" you! Neville was one of my favourites and I am so glad to see he is still around. I am sorry he is having problems now - grass is a good thing for him to eat, you can buy low calcium water but not sure which one this is. Also, pellets are quite high in calcium so perhaps bear this in mind. Obviously Neville needs to be eating something, maybe there is a low calcium pellet? Kale is high in calcium so maybe something else to watch if you feed this.

Hello! I remember you :) lovely to hear from you too. I'm glad Neville is still here too; 8 doesn't seem ancient to me and for some reason I just always assumed he'd be healthy and here for a long time! It's a lot to take in! I'll share some photos soon for you, especially some that include Florence (missing her a lot :()

I'll ask the vet about the calcium when we chat and go from there :)

Jesselle
24-06-2019, 12:55 PM
Hi all, just a little update and need to vent a little.

So, Nev isn't doing too well with eating. He had his procedure (GA, investigative work and the removal of one molar, which didn't take much due to it being loose) on 14th June. I've spoken to the vet since and clarified that he actually only has two lower molars on his left side remaining and all of his molars on the right side. His kidney issues may have contributed to the teeth. Either issue could be contributing to his lack of eating. We've upped his metacam to twice daily, to see if it helps the eating. There's been some improvement as he seems more keen to eat, but his intake volume isn't great.

Eating - he'll happily eat protexin pellets, banana, apple, he'll nibble on the willow leaves that Shimmer kindly sent us, some chopped herbs and rocket. He'll sometimes eat a small amount of his usual Burgess pellets, but I've noticed that he's not going for them as much as he did pre-procedure (they were his staple when he stopped eating hay). He's not going for grass (chopped or readigrass), hay (not surprisingly) or fibafirst sticks.

Does anyone have any idea what I could do to try and help him get some of the good stuff in? Or what to offer him?

I feel at such a loss :cry:

Zoobec
24-06-2019, 01:01 PM
Iím sorry Neville is not well :cry: it might be worth trying other hays and grasses in case he will eat them. The hay experts will send out samples, as will Timothy hay.co.uk, and some other companies too. Grasstastic is a fescue chop that my bunnies like, emerald green were good at sending out samples too https://emeraldgreenfeeds.co.uk/product/emerald-green-feeds-grass-tastic/

Eta, is he on any gut meds?

Jesselle
24-06-2019, 01:23 PM
I’m sorry Neville is not well :cry: it might be worth trying other hays and grasses in case he will eat them. The hay experts will send out samples, as will Timothy hay.co.uk, and some other companies too. Grasstastic is a fescue chop that my bunnies like, emerald green were good at sending out samples too https://emeraldgreenfeeds.co.uk/product/emerald-green-feeds-grass-tastic/

Eta, is he on any gut meds?

Good idea re samples and thank you for the recommendations.

He's not on any gut meds; he was apparently eating well post-op (but on strong pain relief etc). He's still eating and pooping.

Shimmer
24-06-2019, 01:37 PM
Try soaking his pellets and leaving them on a saucer - he may find it easier with them softened. I tend to just pour some boiled water on top of a handful of pellets and let them cool before serving.

BattleKat
24-06-2019, 01:41 PM
I have no idea if either of these would be good but might be worth looking in to protexin pro fibre and fibafirst to replace his pelleted food - I believe both are much higher in fibre than standard foods.

Jesselle
24-06-2019, 01:48 PM
I have no idea if either of these would be good but might be worth looking in to protexin pro fibre and fibafirst to replace his pelleted food - I believe both are much higher in fibre than standard foods.

He has both - he'll eat protexin but not fibafirst sticks.

Jesselle
24-06-2019, 01:49 PM
Try soaking his pellets and leaving them on a saucer - he may find it easier with them softened. I tend to just pour some boiled water on top of a handful of pellets and let them cool before serving.

He was eating his Burgess this way, but stopped. I'll try again though!

Pets mum
24-06-2019, 03:28 PM
He was eating his Burgess this way, but stopped. I'll try again though!

You could maybe try mixing in a little organic baby food, like Ellas kitchen, or Aldi own brand (cheaper) Treacle likes the apple and banana flavour

Jesselle
24-06-2019, 03:41 PM
You could maybe try mixing in a little organic baby food, like Ellas kitchen, or Aldi own brand (cheaper) Treacle likes the apple and banana flavour

Thank you - I think this’ll be on the list of experiments to try!

Jesselle
26-06-2019, 08:54 AM
:( returned to syringe feeding last night, as he barely touched anything yesterday. He ABSOLUTELY loathes it though, as well as taking his metacam, he's getting extremely cross and aggressive. This morning he was nibbling on carrot and apple and I saw him eat a few pellets, so an improvement on yesterday.

I'm going to get some baby food today for mixing with pellets/finely chopped hay and I'm going to get the vet to call me to discuss.

I feel as if he'll run out of options soon enough; he needs to eat for the metacam and he needs the metacam to eat. He's not a great candidate for repeat dentals due to kidneys and his weight loss. Really hope we can turn a corner soon.

If anyone has any further advice, please do share.

Zoobec
26-06-2019, 09:17 AM
Personally, as the situation hasn’t improved I would ask the vet if he needs gut meds to protect his gut from the metacam and get it moving, and to encourage him to eat,too.

Omi
26-06-2019, 09:35 AM
Hi, Beapig (on here) used to make a smoothie for her precious Plumpkin, who also suffered with dental issues. As far as I can remember she used to whizz up Kale, herbs, grass and possibly some pellet powder to produce a bright green smoothie, which Plumpkin used to eat herself. It was a great success :)

Maybe you could do something similar and try offering it in a bowl? If he doesn't go for it, I would imagine that you might have more success with syringe feeding something like this. Rabbits generally are not really fans of the normal recovery mix.

Jesselle
26-06-2019, 10:10 AM
Thank you, both. Vet (Craig at Chine House) has a note to call me and I have a nutribullet, so smoothies are more than possible!

joey&boo
26-06-2019, 10:35 AM
here's Plumpkin with her smoothies http://forums.rabbitrehome.org.uk/showthread.php?473244-Bunny-Smoothie :love:http://forums.rabbitrehome.org.uk/showthread.php?474550-Wizard-Greenbeard&highlight=plumpkin

I hope you can get Neville eating again & share some more happy, stress free time xx

Shimmer
26-06-2019, 10:53 AM
There are some different recovery foods to try:
https://www.vetuk.co.uk/guinea-pig-supplies-guinea-pig-food-c-665_667/science-selective-recovery-p-5643
https://www.vetuk.co.uk/rabbit-supplies-rabbit-grooming-and-hygiene-c-649_197/oxbow-critical-care-for-herbivores-p-2426
https://www.vetuk.co.uk/rabbit-supplies-rabbit-grooming-and-hygiene-c-649_197/burgess-excel-dualcare-recovery-diet-p-20934

Some like the one with fenugreek. Some are just not happy with being handled or syringe fed. It is important to find something they will take if they are not eating for themselves (and your vet has confirmed there is no blockage). Gut meds may also be needed to keep things moving through.


I now tend to go for soaking their usual pellets until they go to mush, add a good dollop of puree (baby food - apple or pear (in the square tubs), or veg in pouches / jars) to make it smoother. Add enough water to make it syringeable. You can vary the flavour to suit the rabbit.