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Thread: Question about bloat.

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    Wise Old Thumper halfpenny's Avatar
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    Default Question about bloat.

    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.

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    Wise Old Thumper
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    Good question...and one I can't really answer

    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

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    Wise Old Thumper Sooz's Avatar
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    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.


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    Wise Old Thumper halfpenny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sooz View Post
    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.

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    Wise Old Thumper Sooz's Avatar
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    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.


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    Wise Old Thumper halfpenny's Avatar
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    Cheers, Sooz.

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    Wise Old Thumper Happy Hopping's Avatar
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    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
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    Wise Old Thumper Hugo's There's Avatar
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    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.

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    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.
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    Wise Old Thumper Hugo's There's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marie_kubiak View Post
    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

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