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Thread: My Rabbit is not eating and is lethargic

  1. #1

    Default My Rabbit is not eating and is lethargic

    Over the last 24 hours or so my rabbitt (Rigsby) is not eating or drinking and is not himself at all. He's not moving an awful lot and doesn't respond to any type of food he normally eats. We always keep a watchful eye over him and ensure his diet is healthy with the correct portions of rabbitt food and meadow hay. Took him to the vets who did a thorough examination with x-rays and found nothing obviously wrong. I am very worried and thinking of getting a second opinion. Has anyone else got similiar experienmces or advice.

  2. #2
    Mama Doe Woodlouse's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Near Birmingham


    Lots of questions I'm afraid:

    How old is your bunny?
    Is he normally fit and healthy?
    Did the vet administer any pain relief? Or any other medication?
    What was the vet's advice?

    It sounds as though you may have a very poorly bunny I'm afraid who needs PROMPT care if he is going to pull through I would definitely agree with getting a second opinion - IMMEDIATELY! x

    13/4/11 - Binky free Roo ... always loved & never forgotten xxx
    16/5/11 - Binky free Trix ... our little princess xxx

  3. #3


    [QUOTE=Woodlouse;2767872]Lots of questions I'm afraid:

    He's 2 year old, normally very healthy (regularly checked by local vets)
    The vet administred metroclopramide injection 10mg, 0.14 x Norocarp (carprofen) and 0.4ml baytril injection 50ml.
    I have an appiontment with the vet at 10:30 tomorrow morning but obviously I'm concerned as he's still not eating/drinking. Almost looks like he's had a stroke from his inactivity and the way he seems struggling to move around.

    He's infront of me at present on the rug (he comes indoors sometimes and always supervised but usually he stays in hutch outside) and he's making a grinding sound with his teeth, atleast that what it sounds like. it's not his normal behaviour but don't know what to make of it.

    Any advice would be appreciated but I can't honestly see what another vet would do differently to the treatment he's had.
    Last edited by rigsby; 23-10-2008 at 05:59 PM.

  4. #4
    Mama Doe Woodlouse's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Near Birmingham


    What did the vet say to do if he didn't start eating again? Did the vet give you anything to syringe feed him with? 24 hours without eating or drinking is not good

    Grinding his teeth is a sign that you have a bunny in pain Had never heard of carprofen but have just googled it and discovered it's an anti-inflammatory. Rigsby needs a pain killer like Metacam.

    When did he have the Metaclopromide? I'm presuming it was much earlier today? In my experience it normally kicks in fairly quickly.

    I'm no expert in bunny medicine - there are lots of people on here who are FAR more knowledgable/experienced but I'm concerned for your bunny and would recommend at least phoning another vet for second opinion.

    ETA: Are you in the UK?

    13/4/11 - Binky free Roo ... always loved & never forgotten xxx
    16/5/11 - Binky free Trix ... our little princess xxx

  5. #5



    I asked the vet if I should use a syringe but she stated that she would not recommend that as it could cause an aversion to food/water. He had his injections at around 1pm this afternoon.

    I am in the UK.

  6. #6
    Forum Buddy janice's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004


    Your bun has had the right medication. From my own experience it is really important to enhance the gut motility by keeping them eating either voluntarily or forcfully and more importantly maintaining hydration.

    Carprofen is from the same family as Ibuprofen. The metochlopramide should be kicking in and you need to use a combination of temping your bun to eat. If this is unsuccessful you will need to syringe warm water ideally with some critical care in it. If you use SS pellets you can mash them down by mixing with water and feed this is a watery substance to your buns. Grated vegetables, herbs, freshly picked grass can all be offered. At least once an hour keep trying until they start eating for themselves.

    Place your bun on a nice warm snugglesage, if you havent got one of them, dont worry use a hot water bottle or even a lemonade bottle filled with warm water ... but do supervise them strictly if you do this. If they are an outdoor bun they will need to stay indoors.
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  7. #7
    Wise Old Thumper
    Join Date
    Sep 2007


    The only other thing I would add to jrn1310 is to try to get your bunny moving around a bit every so often, as the movement may help to get the gut moving. I hope he will be OK. Sending some eating and pooing vibes for him. Also rub his tummy gently.

    See if you can get a variety of veg from the supermarket to tempt him - herbs, kale, spinach, grated carrot, spring greens.

    Edit - did your vet check his teeth - this can be an underlying problema nd your bunny may not want to eat if his mouth is sore.
    Last edited by bunny babe; 23-10-2008 at 06:55 PM.
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  8. #8
    New Kit Oz's_human's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Near Seattle Washington

    Default Take your bunny to the vet right away.

    Have your vet do a blood draw and check for E.cuniculi. it is a fungal infection that attacks the brain and causes symptoms like you discribed.

    If your bunny has it treatment needs to occur today. There is a special medication that infected rabbits need to be on daily for 1 month and then 1 dose weekly for 6 months to clear it up and prevent reinfection.

    If you have any other bunnies they would need to be treated to to prevent them from having problems and prevent them from reinfecting your ill bunny.

    I am not trying to scare you but I don't want someone else to go through what I went through.

    If they are positive the fungus eventually kills them and it is a horrible death, I know. I lost two last year to E. cuniculi and they both went badly. It is extremely traumatic.

  9. #9



    We have just got back from the vet who recommended now to syringe feed. We've tried that with some 'feed' included that was given to us by our vet. It's such a sad sight because usually he's full off life now he's just like a lifeless toy. We've held him with his head tilted to put in the liquid water/feed and he just doesn't budge. Some goes in i think but the rest just dribbles out.

    Have offered him fresh grass, vegetables, pinapple his fav treats but he wont touch anything or drink anything.

    We have a purpose bunny 'warmer' that we use through the winter and will keep him indoors tonight but the way he is with his head just drooping, I don't think he's going last very long. Hope I am so very wrong.

  10. #10


    [QUOTE=bunny babe;2768021]

    Thank you for your help and concern. It is much appreciated. Been trying various fruit and veg to tempt him. Vet checked his teeth and there doesn't seem to be any problem. Besides he's not drinking either and is in a heartbreakingly bad way.

    Will keep trying everythinh we can. Have a vet's appointment first thing tomorrow. So hope he pulls through.
    Last edited by rigsby; 23-10-2008 at 08:14 PM.

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