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Thread: Bunny not eating, but doesn't have Gut Stasis

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    New Kit Marmot's Avatar
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    Default Bunny not eating, but doesn't have Gut Stasis

    Calico, my 6 month old spayed mini lop female house bunny stopped eating several days ago.

    On examining her poops, I spotted what looked like carpet fibres (joining them together in a string) and assumed that this was the cause of her plight, making her feel full and uncomfortable. I syringe fed her for a couple of days and massaged her tummy and she was still pooing, but when she didn't improve (and was looking increasingly miserable), I took her to the vet. The vet couldn't feel an obstruction but thought there wasn't a lot of gut noise so they kept her in for a few hours, trying to rehydrate her with an IV line (which she promptly sabotaged), gave her a gut stimulant and tried to syringe feed her (without much success). Teeth checked out fine. Eventually Calico started to nibble a little grass and hay and brightened up in herself enough to start vandalising the surgery and we brought her home (much to the relief of the vets to return the stroppy little "Bunzilla"!)

    That was Friday and since then, Calico has been up and down in her moods. She will take the occasional treat and nibble a piece of hay or even a piece of vegetable now and then, but doesn't want to eat for herself. She doesn't appear to be in discomfort - I know in rabbits it is hard to tell, but I know my bunnies well enough to detect tiny changes in their demeanour). We are giving her gut stimulant and pain killers and I am syringe feeding her regularly so she is pooing quite well although not as frequently as I'd like. She's great at taking the syringe food thank goodness but this is getting silly. The vet said to not syringe feed her too much so that she will get hungry enough to want to eat for herself but I am not giving her that much and I'm worried that underfeeding could be a disaster.

    I also have another 5 year old neutered male dwarf lop rabbit Rowan who is beginning to lose the will to eat since his "girlfriend" Calico isn't keeping him company at the food bowls!!!

    Have any of you bunny lovers had a rabbit with a similar problem and what did you do about it? The vet said the next step would be x-rays and taking blood, but I feel that isn't the solution. I keep hoping that if I persevere with the current feeding and treatment regime that Calico will eventually improve but this recovery is just taking such a long time that I'm wondering if that is a realistic expectation. Is 5 days too soon to expect an improvement?
    Last edited by Marmot; 17-12-2017 at 04:46 PM.

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    How long ago was Calico spayed?

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    I presume the vet is satisfied that she doesn't have a dental problem?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marmot View Post
    Calico, my 6 month old spayed mini lop female house bunny stopped eating several days ago.

    On examining her poops, I spotted what looked like carpet fibres (joining them together in a string) and assumed that this was the cause of her plight, making her feel full and uncomfortable. I syringe fed her for a couple of days and massaged her tummy and she was still pooing, but when she didn't improve (and was looking increasingly miserable), I took her to the vet. The vet couldn't feel an obstruction but thought there wasn't a lot of gut noise so they kept her in for a few hours, trying to rehydrate her with an IV line (which she promptly sabotaged), gave her a gut stimulant and tried to syringe feed her (without much success). Teeth checked out fine. Eventually Calico started to nibble a little grass and hay and brightened up in herself enough to start vandalising the surgery and we brought her home (much to the relief of the vets to return the stroppy little "Bunzilla"!)

    That was Friday and since then, Calico has been up and down in her moods. She will take the occasional treat and nibble a piece of hay or even a piece of vegetable now and then, but doesn't want to eat for herself. She doesn't appear to be in discomfort - I know in rabbits it is hard to tell, but I know my bunnies well enough to detect tiny changes in their demeanour). We are giving her gut stimulant and pain killers and I am syringe feeding her regularly so she is pooing quite well although not as frequently as I'd like. She's great at taking the syringe food thank goodness but this is getting silly. The vet said to not syringe feed her too much so that she will get hungry enough to want to eat for herself but I am not giving her that much and I'm worried that underfeeding could be a disaster.

    I also have another 5 year old neutered male dwarf lop rabbit Rowan who is beginning to lose the will to eat since his "girlfriend" Calico isn't keeping him company at the food bowls!!!

    Have any of you bunny lovers had a rabbit with a similar problem and what did you do about it? The vet said the next step would be x-rays and taking blood, but I feel that isn't the solution. I keep hoping that if I persevere with the current feeding and treatment regime that Calico will eventually improve but this recovery is just taking such a long time that I'm wondering if that is a realistic expectation. Is 5 days too soon to expect an improvement?

    Sorry to hear about Calico - it's a worry isn't it?

    There's some info on stasis here, although I know you say she isn't exactly in stasis at the moment ..

    http://anyflip.com/dvpt/hzvv/basic

    It's just a basic outline with some info that might be useful


    When she is back eating properly, I suggest your vet has a good look at what the cause of this might be. He should look at the teeth and see whether they are OK. A vet cannot really see the teeth without sedating the rabbit, although some vets perform dentals without anaesthetics, which is a Godsend if you're worried about the risk of a GA. (This will probably cause much controversy here, but people contact me a lot privately to talk about 'conscious dentals'!)

    You will also need to keep a close eye on her weight and make sure she gets weighed at every vet visit.

    I hope some of that helps a bit!
    http://forums.rabbitrehome.org.uk/sh...t-January-2018

    “Choose to be optimistic, it feels better!” ... Dalai Lama

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    Thanks for your replies.

    I amended my post afterwards to say that the vet checked her teeth and they were OK. Being such a young bunny, is it likely to be teeth anyway? Calico was eating fine up until the time she stopped - I would think teeth problems would be more gradual.

    Calico was spayed at 4 months, 2 months ago. She had to be syringe fed for a couple of days afterwards until she felt well enough to eat, poor bun.

    I'm only too familiar with gut stasis in rabbits and have been successful most times bringing the bunnies out of it. This current situation is just weird.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marmot View Post
    Calico, my 6 month old spayed mini lop female house bunny stopped eating several days ago.

    On examining her poops, I spotted what looked like carpet fibres (joining them together in a string) and assumed that this was the cause of her plight, making her feel full and uncomfortable. I syringe fed her for a couple of days and massaged her tummy and she was still pooing, but when she didn't improve (and was looking increasingly miserable), I took her to the vet. The vet couldn't feel an obstruction but thought there wasn't a lot of gut noise so they kept her in for a few hours, trying to rehydrate her with an IV line (which she promptly sabotaged), gave her a gut stimulant and tried to syringe feed her (without much success). Teeth checked out fine. Eventually Calico started to nibble a little grass and hay and brightened up in herself enough to start vandalising the surgery and we brought her home (much to the relief of the vets to return the stroppy little "Bunzilla"!)

    That was Friday and since then, Calico has been up and down in her moods. She will take the occasional treat and nibble a piece of hay or even a piece of vegetable now and then, but doesn't want to eat for herself. She doesn't appear to be in discomfort - I know in rabbits it is hard to tell, but I know my bunnies well enough to detect tiny changes in their demeanour). We are giving her gut stimulant and pain killers and I am syringe feeding her regularly so she is pooing quite well although not as frequently as I'd like. She's great at taking the syringe food thank goodness but this is getting silly. The vet said to not syringe feed her too much so that she will get hungry enough to want to eat for herself but I am not giving her that much and I'm worried that underfeeding could be a disaster.

    I also have another 5 year old neutered male dwarf lop rabbit Rowan who is beginning to lose the will to eat since his "girlfriend" Calico isn't keeping him company at the food bowls!!!

    Have any of you bunny lovers had a rabbit with a similar problem and what did you do about it? The vet said the next step would be x-rays and taking blood, but I feel that isn't the solution. I keep hoping that if I persevere with the current feeding and treatment regime that Calico will eventually improve but this recovery is just taking such a long time that I'm wondering if that is a realistic expectation. Is 5 days too soon to expect an improvement?
    Did the Vet check Calico's ears ? It may seem like an odd question, but ear pain can make a Rabbit reluctant to eat, and Lops are more prone to ear problems. As Omi mentioned, Dental problems may be an issue as it is not possible for a Vet to see 100% of the oral cavity of a conscious Rabbit. I would contact the Vet again to seek some further advice, the Vet may want to examine Calico again.



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    Wise Old Thumper MightyMax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marmot View Post
    Thanks for your replies.

    I amended my post afterwards to say that the vet checked her teeth and they were OK. Being such a young bunny, is it likely to be teeth anyway? Calico was eating fine up until the time she stopped - I would think teeth problems would be more gradual.

    Calico was spayed at 4 months, 2 months ago. She had to be syringe fed for a couple of days afterwards until she felt well enough to eat, poor bun.

    I'm only too familiar with gut stasis in rabbits and have been successful most times bringing the bunnies out of it. This current situation is just weird.

    You're welcome

    Sadly, dental disease can begin at any age, and also in young rabbits. I take on a lot of foster rabbits in addition to my own, and recently one came in with severe dentals disease necessitating extraction and he was only four months old


    I'm glad you've had success with stasis, that's good to know as it saves a lot of stress on the rabbit being hospitalised!

    Pain - somewhere in a rabbit's body - is a prime cause of not eating, even sporadically, but it's not always easy to find the cause.
    http://forums.rabbitrehome.org.uk/sh...t-January-2018

    “Choose to be optimistic, it feels better!” ... Dalai Lama

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    New Kit Marmot's Avatar
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    Thanks again for your replies.

    The vet did do a quick check of Calico's ears. I also appreciate that a full dental check will need anaesthetic so I suppose if I take Calico back for a scan and bloods, then that is when the teeth can be properly checked.

    It is just so strange that Calico will eat the odd treat and eats readily from the syringe. Is she just getting too lazy to eat on her own???

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    Wise Old Thumper MightyMax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marmot View Post
    Thanks again for your replies.

    The vet did do a quick check of Calico's ears. I also appreciate that a full dental check will need anaesthetic so I suppose if I take Calico back for a scan and bloods, then that is when the teeth can be properly checked.

    It is just so strange that Calico will eat the odd treat and eats readily from the syringe. Is she just getting too lazy to eat on her own???

    X-rays could be useful, especially if you suspect there may be ear problems. As you say, only a handful of vets can carry out 'conscious dentals' so a GA will be necessary and it can all be done at the same time.

    I don't think she is too lazy to eat on her own. There has to be a cause. I have a seriously poorly bunny at the moment and the eating is very erratic. I have a good idea what the problem may be, but we are trying to pin-point it so we can address the root cause.

    Good luck x
    http://forums.rabbitrehome.org.uk/sh...t-January-2018

    “Choose to be optimistic, it feels better!” ... Dalai Lama

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    Thanks MightyMax. Yeah I know Calico really isn't too lazy to eat!

    I'm sorry to hear you have a poorly bunny too. I hope you soon find the cause and fix it. All the best x

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