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Thread: GI stasis recovery / worm infestation - very lethargic

  1. #1

    Default GI stasis recovery / worm infestation - very lethargic

    Hello,

    I would appreciate any advice on this situation as I'm a fairly new rabbit owner.

    We rescued two bunnies in October, a mother and daughter. It isn't known how old Rowan, the mother, is as she was found abandoned in a hutch in a garden where the people had moved out. She had her daughter, Roo, when she was with the previous people and that was about 3 years ago. We get the feeling she might be an older bun as she isn't as playful as Roo, and likes sleeping and her own space. They live indoors with us now. They were living in a small hutch outdoors, and the previous people had stopped giving them hay because they made a mess with it... so of course the first thing we did was give them tonnes of space, they now run around the house, and always have tonnes of hay, good amounts of fresh greens that we grow ourselves, and a portion of pellets everyday.

    So, the current situation is: up until Wednesday, Rowan was her usual self if not a bit more manic, enthusiastically tearing up a box most of the day on Tuesday. Eating was normal, poo was normal.

    On Wednesday morning, she didn't want to come out of her bedroom box. This isn't that unusual, she can be quite grumpy at times and ignore us, and ignore fresh food, and only take it when she wants to. So I left her to it. I kept checking back on her and she was popping out to use the litter, had a munch and then going back to bed. Again, not that odd - it's Roo who loves being in the lounge with us. By the evening, Rowan still hadn't come out, and even if she doesn't want to come out in the day, she nearly always comes out in the evening to have a run around with Roo. So we coaxed her out and brought her into the lounge, but she just went and found one of her snuggly places and settled back down for the evening.

    When we all went to bed, she had a munch and a drink as usual and I thought maybe she'd just worn herself out the previous day as it was particularly manic. But when she appeared the same on Thursday, I started to worry. I kept an extra close eye on her Thursday morning and released she wasn't passing. I tried to get her to eat greens but she didn't want to. She was happy to drink if i gave her the bowl of water. Early Thursday afternoon, she got up to use the litter so i raced to watch, and it looked like she was straining but nothing was happening. She wee'd as normal, but no poo and as she jumped out the litter, a saw a white/almost clear worm, about 15mm long, coil about.

    I called the vet straight away and explained the lack of poo and the worm. We were able to go down to the surgery immediately and he assessed her, said her temp was fine and she was well hydrated, it was most probably a worm infestation and gave me two pipettes of spot on to put on her neck. He said the worms may start coming out in a few days. So we put the stuff on when we got home. Carried on offering her water from the bowl, she was drinking fine, munching small amounts of hay, but still not wanting to come out or eat greens.

    On Friday she was just the same. We maybe saw a few very tiny, hard poos all day, and she still wasn't interested in eating much. So I waited to see how she'd be on Saturday morning, and she was exactly the same. So I phoned the vets back as soon as they opened. We had to wait a few hours as it's lambing season and their was only one vet on call. I should mention that I live on an island, and there is only one vet surgery here, so we can't seek out a rabbit specialist. We took her down again, and he said it's probably gut stasis, so he gave her a pain relief injection, and another injection to get the guts moving. He sent us home with Emeraid Herbivore which we've been giving her ever since.

    Since she came back from her second vet visit yesterday, she's really, really grumpy. She won't come out at all, is refusing water from the bowl, won't eat greens and I don't even know if she's eating hay now. I haven't seen her eat any. Obviously we've been having to force her to come and shove a syringe into her mouth every few hours, as well as gently massaging her tummy, but she then runs off back into her box. Last night, there were a couple of extremely hard, tiny clumps of tiny poo, which I thought was the start of the movement. But today there appears to be nothing again.

    Would you say this is a normal? I'm guessing she's pretty stressed out with all of this. I don't want to have to take her back to the vets again if it's going to make things even worse. I've read so much about this, but I can't find a lot to do with GI stasis and worms, it's all about bad diet which she doesn't have. I've also read it can takes ages for the guts to move again, but the vet didn't send us home with any more pain relief, just the emeraid.

    Any advice on this would be much appreciated!

  2. #2
    Wise Old Thumper
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    Hi, I'm sorry that Rowan is unwell. In my view she has two issues, the worm infestation, which has led to Gut Stasis. I think that she should be continuing treatment for the Stasis on oral meds. If I were you I would telephone the vets (I guess tomorrow now) and ask if they would prescribe some oral guts meds and some pain relief for you to collect asap tomorrow. As they have already examined her, you should not have to take her back.

    Sending lots of vibes that she soon improves with treatment.

  3. #3
    Mama Doe Beau Belle's Avatar
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    Oh poor Rowan <3

    I have no experience of bunnies with worms, but Iím sure one of the more experienced bunny owners will come along soon.

    Gentle nose rubs for your little bun xx

  4. #4
    Mama Doe
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    I would suggest contacting the vet again. My thought is that she needs ongoing gut stimulant, which can be given orally at home every day. Pain relief may also help - it often improves appetite. You are doing a good job to keep food going in - this is essential to keep the guts moving, as long as the vet ruled out a blockage. In my experience, gut stasis takes a week or maybe 2 to fully get over, and it is important to keep up with the treatment until they are eating / pooing normally by themselves.

  5. #5
    Wise Old Thumper
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    You say Rowan was tearing up a box, was that cardboard, and has she eaten some, maybe enough to cause a blockage? The worm you saw could have been a threadworm which are not something to worry about too much. Your only course of action is to go back to your Vet and say perhaps she has a blockage and should really be put on IV fluids as this is serious. I hope you can get this sorted out fairly quickly now.

  6. #6

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    Thanks to you all for replying so quickly. And thanks for the well wishes, much appreciated.

    I will definitely be calling the vet back in the morning. I suspected that she needed ongoing meds and pain relief, not just a one off. The vet said she'd poo by today, but obviously that's not right. The vet didn't seem to think there was a blockage but I don't know how he assessed that. I don't think it's cardboard as I spent most of the day clearing up the shredded mess she was creating...

    She has just had a sip of water from the bowl and taken more of the syringe food in, so that's good at least.

    Thanks again for your help. Fingers crossed it's just a case of continuing treatment until she feels better.

  7. #7
    Wise Old Thumper Jack's-Jane's Avatar
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    Reference links for various Rabbit health problems
    http://forums.rabbitrehome.org.uk/sh...ealth-Problems

    The Rabbit Welfare Association and Fund (RWAF) ~ The UK's Biggest Organisation for Rabbit Lovers https://rabbitwelfare.co.uk/

    Animal Rescue and Care (ARC) SW London
    https://animalrescueandcare.org.uk/

  8. #8
    Wise Old Thumper
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    I hope Rowan is feeling better now.

  9. #9

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    Thank you for your message. I'm extremely sad to say that Rowan passed away early this morning. We found her breathing through her mouth, unable to get up. We called the emergency vet and were getting ready to rush her down, but in the ten mins it took between making the call and getting ready to go, she died in our arms. We're devastated.

    I had called the vet back yesterday first thing, but he said to give it more time and the pain killer he'd given her on Saturday should have lasted 2 to 3 days. So all day I coaxed water into her, and syringe fed her. She even crawled out of her box by herself for the first time in days, and lay stretched out in a beam of sun coming through the window.

    Late last night, she passed a huge, congealed disc shaped poo. I thought that was the beginning of the movement and felt relieved, but it clearly took all her energy to do that as she just wanted to sleep afterwards. I was planning on taking her back to the vet today.

    Thank you for all your advice. I can't help but feel if we had had access to a rabbit specialist things might have been different, but there's nothing I can do about that. I'm now monitoring our other bun closely to make sure that she copes ok during this time. I left her with Rowan for a few hours this morning while we dug a grave for Rowan in the garden. I read that this was the right thing to do to help her adjust. Is there anything else I can or should do?

  10. #10
    Wise Old Thumper
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    I am so sorry Rowan passed away - her Daughter should be ok and as she is indoors she has your company.

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