Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 23

Thread: Advice Please - Tummy problems in an older rabbit

Hybrid View

  1. #1
    Alpha Buck TheBee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    627

    Default Advice Please - Tummy problems in an older rabbit

    Hi All,

    I adopted a pair of nine year old rabbits from a rescue in September and they are overall in wonderful health. However we do seem to have an issue with Betsyís tummy. Apologies for the photo but this is what I am waking up to at the moment. Aside from this, her poos are large, golden and perfectly formed! I have decided to cut out all wet food, veg etc as I suspect this could be a trigger as to what sets it off. I have also cut down her pellets from them sharing a reasonable handful to three or four each. She is seriously bereft at this as she lives for her food. They are good hay eaters. In herself, she is her normal, feisty self - no signs of illness or discomfort. There have always been bouts of this since she came to live her, but generally clear up after a few days.

    What I am wondering is, what can I feed them to try and manage this? I donít want them on a hay only diet, they are nine years old and their food is a major source of happiness for them. I looked at hay based pellets, but am concerned re what is actually in them in terms of some are very high calcium etc. I donít want to do more harm than good. Is there a pellet made entirely from hay does anyone know? Also, what dried forage are favourites? Since Iíve had them sheís been massively unimpressed by anything remotely forage like, I think she likes something a bit more substantial!

    Any help or advice much appreciated.

    Thank you x

    Last edited by TheBee; 13-04-2018 at 06:49 AM.

  2. #2
    Wise Old Thumper
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    134,707

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TheBee View Post
    Hi All,

    I adopted a pair of nine year old rabbits from a rescue in September and they are overall in wonderful health. However we do seem to have an issue with Betsyís tummy. Apologies for the photo but this is what I am waking up to at the moment. Aside from this, her poos are large, golden and perfectly formed! I have decided to cut out all wet food, veg etc as I suspect this could be a trigger as to what sets it off. I have also cut down her pellets from them sharing a reasonable handful to three or four each. She is seriously bereft at this as she lives for her food. They are good hay eaters. In herself, she is her normal, feisty self - no signs of illness or discomfort. There have always been bouts of this since she came to live her, but generally clear up after a few days.

    What I am wondering is, what can I feed them to try and manage this? I donít want them on a hay only diet, they are nine years old and their food is a major source of happiness for them. I looked at hay based pellets, but am concerned re what is actually in them in terms of some are very high calcium etc. I donít want to do more harm than good. Is there a pellet made entirely from hay does anyone know? Also, what dried forage are favourites? Since Iíve had them sheís been massively unimpressed by anything remotely forage like, I think she likes something a bit more substantial!

    Any help or advice much appreciated.

    Thank you x

    There looks to be a lot of mucous passed which is usually indicative of inflammation within the GI tract. Personally my first step would be to consult a Vet as even though Betsy is 'well within herself' repeatedly having episodes of passing mucous with fecal/cecal poo is not 'normal'.

    As well as a full examination the Vet may suggest some diagnostics such as a full blood profile and testing of a sample of her poo.

    Has Betsy ever been wormed ?

    Is she maintaining her weight ?

    Does she seem to drink a lot of water ?

    With regards to her diet, there are pellets which are nothing but 100% grass. For example https://www.dengie.com/horse-feeds/g...grass-pellets/

    As I said, before making any big dietary changes I would want to consult a Vet to try to establish if Betsy's symptoms are related to any physiological problem as opposed to a dietary problem. Good luck


    Twickenham Veterinary Surgery- A Rabbit Savvy small animal Veterinary Practice in SW London
    https://www.twickenhamvets.com/

    Keep up to date with the RHD2 situation in the UK. This highly respected Facebook page provides accurate and up-to-date information. Both the RWAF and some Rabbit Savvy Vets contribute to the page
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/1744958082388756/

  3. #3
    Alpha Buck TheBee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    627

    Default

    Thanks for the response. We did see our vet with this a few months ago, but I can re book her in to be seen again. It might be that the photo is misleading due to the puppy pad, but there was no mucous that I could see - just very runny (liquid?) poo. She is maintaining weight and was last wormed when she came to me, but again this can be repeated without issue. I may ask the vet to do a test of a sample, as whilst it isnít affecting her quality of life I am loathe to go down the blood test road. At almost ten years old I wouldnít put her through anything invasive. I will definitely have a look at those pellets also, thank you.

  4. #4
    Wise Old Thumper
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    134,707

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TheBee View Post
    Thanks for the response. We did see our vet with this a few months ago, but I can re book her in to be seen again. It might be that the photo is misleading due to the puppy pad, but there was no mucous that I could see - just very runny (liquid?) poo. She is maintaining weight and was last wormed when she came to me, but again this can be repeated without issue. I may ask the vet to do a test of a sample, as whilst it isn’t affecting her quality of life I am loathe to go down the blood test road. At almost ten years old I wouldn’t put her through anything invasive. I will definitely have a look at those pellets also, thank you.
    Not sure if you have seen these links

    http://www.medirabbit.com/EN/GI_dise...rop/Drp_en.htm

    https://rabbit.org/the-mystery-of-rabbit-poop/


    Twickenham Veterinary Surgery- A Rabbit Savvy small animal Veterinary Practice in SW London
    https://www.twickenhamvets.com/

    Keep up to date with the RHD2 situation in the UK. This highly respected Facebook page provides accurate and up-to-date information. Both the RWAF and some Rabbit Savvy Vets contribute to the page
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/1744958082388756/

  5. #5
    Mama Doe
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Bradford
    Posts
    2,917

    Default

    It's definitely worth getting her checked over at the vet - rabbits can go downhill very quickly, so nipping things in the bud before they get out of control and need more stressful or invasive treatment can only be a good thing. Blood tests are fairly routine and are often done with no sedation from a vein on the outside of the ear, so there is just a small shaved area. She would probably need one if she does get any worse, so, again, it is worth considering doing it now rather than later so that her general health can be properly assessed. External examination has its limitations.

    There are different brands of pellets available. Some seem to cause more issues than others in sensitive individuals. Others on here may be able to advise better. Grass-only pellets seem to be a decent compromise.

    As for the greens, you could try some high fibre forage such as bramble leaves, willow twigs & leaves, apple twigs & leaves, etc. which usually go down well and are beneficial to a rabbit's digestion. Whatever you do, make any dietary changes slowly to avoid further upset.

  6. #6
    Wise Old Thumper MightyMax's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    38,690

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Shimmer View Post
    It's definitely worth getting her checked over at the vet - rabbits can go downhill very quickly, so nipping things in the bud before they get out of control and need more stressful or invasive treatment can only be a good thing. Blood tests are fairly routine and are often done with no sedation from a vein on the outside of the ear, so there is just a small shaved area. She would probably need one if she does get any worse, so, again, it is worth considering doing it now rather than later so that her general health can be properly assessed. External examination has its limitations.

    There are different brands of pellets available. Some seem to cause more issues than others in sensitive individuals. Others on here may be able to advise better. Grass-only pellets seem to be a decent compromise.

    As for the greens, you could try some high fibre forage such as bramble leaves, willow twigs & leaves, apple twigs & leaves, etc. which usually go down well and are beneficial to a rabbit's digestion. Whatever you do, make any dietary changes slowly to avoid further upset.

    I agree with Shimmer

    There's also a good thread about fibre and rabbits' tummies:

    http://forums.rabbitrehome.org.uk/sh...ns-tree-leaves


    And I wonder if any of the poo looks like something in this link that I posted first:

    http://www.medirabbit.com/EN/GI_dise...rop/Drp_en.htm ??
    Reliable and up to date info on RHD2:
    An extensive and comprehensive guide to all things RHD2 - Please Vaccinate!
    http://forums.rabbitrehome.org.uk/sh...RHD2-July-2018

  7. #7
    Alpha Buck TheBee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    627

    Default

    Thanks for all the advice. Donít worry, I have rescued/rehomed and owned hundreds of rabbits so I realise how fast they can get poorly/about sudden dietary change etc, however I have never experienced this particular issue before. Iím not overly concerned as although I know that something is not right, she is fine in and between and this has been ongoing since September. I definitely donít want to go down the blood tests route yet, though.

    I had forgotten all about Fibafirst, that is definitely something I will introduce more as that would be a perfect solution to her feeling like she hasnít eaten Ė sheís beside herself watching me feed the others! Mightymax, what did you change the diet to/from to make the difference please?

    Sheís on Selective which Iíve fed ever since I started keeping rabbits many years ago, and I dont believe that it is the pellets particularly causing the issue, but could be a contributing factor. I definitely think that greens are, too. Despite the symptoms not displaying for a day or two after consuming veg, there is a definite link, Iím sure.

    Iím at the vets this eve with one of the others, so will make an appt for Betsy and speak to her re testing a sample. I am at work at the moment but will certainly read through the links tonight. All advice is much appreciated Ė Thank You x

  8. #8
    Wise Old Thumper MightyMax's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    38,690

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TheBee View Post
    Thanks for all the advice. Donít worry, I have rescued/rehomed and owned hundreds of rabbits so I realise how fast they can get poorly/about sudden dietary change etc, however I have never experienced this particular issue before. Iím not overly concerned as although I know that something is not right, she is fine in and between and this has been ongoing since September. I definitely donít want to go down the blood tests route yet, though.

    I had forgotten all about Fibafirst, that is definitely something I will introduce more as that would be a perfect solution to her feeling like she hasnít eaten Ė sheís beside herself watching me feed the others! Mightymax, what did you change the diet to/from to make the difference please?

    Sheís on Selective which Iíve fed ever since I started keeping rabbits many years ago, and I dont believe that it is the pellets particularly causing the issue, but could be a contributing factor. I definitely think that greens are, too. Despite the symptoms not displaying for a day or two after consuming veg, there is a definite link, Iím sure.

    Iím at the vets this eve with one of the others, so will make an appt for Betsy and speak to her re testing a sample. I am at work at the moment but will certainly read through the links tonight. All advice is much appreciated Ė Thank You x

    You're very welcome

    Yes I know you're very knowledgeable concerning rabbits, and I didn't go down the blood test route either I think you are absolutely right that the pellets are not the whole story and that veg may well be having an impact.

    I'll have a cobble together of what I did to solve the problem and get back to you
    Reliable and up to date info on RHD2:
    An extensive and comprehensive guide to all things RHD2 - Please Vaccinate!
    http://forums.rabbitrehome.org.uk/sh...RHD2-July-2018

  9. #9
    Alpha Buck TheBee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    627

    Default

    This is Betsy, her head just out of the pellet box. As you can see, sheís not a rabbit who takes kindly to being denied food


  10. #10
    Wise Old Thumper MightyMax's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    38,690

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TheBee View Post
    Hi All,

    I adopted a pair of nine year old rabbits from a rescue in September and they are overall in wonderful health. However we do seem to have an issue with Betsyís tummy. Apologies for the photo but this is what I am waking up to at the moment. Aside from this, her poos are large, golden and perfectly formed! I have decided to cut out all wet food, veg etc as I suspect this could be a trigger as to what sets it off. I have also cut down her pellets from them sharing a reasonable handful to three or four each. She is seriously bereft at this as she lives for her food. They are good hay eaters. In herself, she is her normal, feisty self - no signs of illness or discomfort. There have always been bouts of this since she came to live her, but generally clear up after a few days.

    What I am wondering is, what can I feed them to try and manage this? I donít want them on a hay only diet, they are nine years old and their food is a major source of happiness for them. I looked at hay based pellets, but am concerned re what is actually in them in terms of some are very high calcium etc. I donít want to do more harm than good. Is there a pellet made entirely from hay does anyone know? Also, what dried forage are favourites? Since Iíve had them sheís been massively unimpressed by anything remotely forage like, I think she likes something a bit more substantial!

    Any help or advice much appreciated.

    Thank you x


    Hi there

    I've had a similar issue with a rabbit of mine and I found that changing the pellet feed made a whole lot of difference. I too couldn't go down the hay only route.

    You could take a sample to the vet to be tested. Mucous and runny poo often indicates inflammation in the colon:

    http://www.medirabbit.com/EN/GI_dise...rop/Drp_en.htm

    You could also try Fibafirst sticks, which I find keep the weight on and don't upset the tummy (at least here they don't!)

    https://supremepetfoods.com/fiba-first-2/


    Or maybe try this alternative?

    https://www.vetuk.co.uk/rabbit-food-...ula-1kg-p-5639
    Reliable and up to date info on RHD2:
    An extensive and comprehensive guide to all things RHD2 - Please Vaccinate!
    http://forums.rabbitrehome.org.uk/sh...RHD2-July-2018

Bookmarks

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •