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Thread: Please help - both buns not well

  1. #1

    Default Please help - both buns not well

    Hello everyone, I am new here and joined out of desperation for advice. I have 2 rabbits, Brian is quite young, 1-2 years and Grace a bit older about 6-7 years. Both are voracious hay eaters. Within the last 7 days both have stopped eating hay and generally off other foods. Droppings reduced etc etc. First Brian, then Grace 2 days later. So they have been in and out of the vets since, with painkillers and syrup meds to stimulate the gut. Brian developed being unsteady on feet at the weekend, just occasionally but noticeable. Grace hasn't, but she is eating less than Brian and generally miserable. They both had bloods yesterday and x-rays. Vet found some wax build up in Brians outer ear and syringed it. Nothing obvious for Grace. I am sick with worry especially about Grace who hasn't recovered very well from the sedative. The blood results won't be back until tomorrow but the vet doesn't have any theories yet. I;ve noticed they both seem to eat the shredded cardboard bedding more than anything now they are not well.
    Question - it seems to me there should be a link to them both falling ill within 2 days of each other. Is there something my vet might be missing here? Both are jabbed against Myxi and RHVD etc. Are ear infections in rabbits contagious so could they both have one? Any other diseases/infections that could be transmitted between 2 rabbits?
    Please help!

  2. #2
    Wise Old Thumper
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    You must be so worried. I'm afraid I can't help but hope someone will see your post soon.

  3. #3
    Forum Buddy Craig 1965's Avatar
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    Hello and welcome. I’m sorry that your first post on the forum is due to your concern for your bunnies help, but it is also an extremely positive step to have taken to reach out to a community for advice. I am sure some of the more health expert oriented ru friends will give you their advice on your predicament.
    It is a credit to you that you have quickly noticed a change in Brian and Graces eating and output and your quick intervention and observations is going to be an advantage.
    The one thing that appears obvious to me is the cardboard consumption - speaking as someone who has recently adopted a bunny who does just that! My own readings are that cardboard is not good but rabbits do eat it from time to time. I believe it can cause some tummy issues if it’s ingested in large quantities. The fact both seem to present with similar symptoms in a relatively short but shared time line suggests a link.
    Ear infections could perhaps be passed - ear mites might be worth a thought. Both bunnies will share the same areas.
    The vet gave gut stimulus which should help regain an appetite but from what you say this doesn’t seem to have occurred. X-rays should have indicated any internal obstruction and the fact that there is no mention of this perhaps suggests there isn’t one?
    There are other gut stimulus meds that can be given and it is important to get rabbits gut moving quickly to avoid stasis setting in.
    I would be tempted in your position to ring your vet and ask for further examinations.
    I hope this helps and please keep the thread updated.
    Sending loads of vibes to Brian and Grace.
    Craig.
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  4. #4
    Wise Old Thumper SarahP's Avatar
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    Hi and welcome. When I had two bunnies who both kept having GI stasis where it seemed like an infectious issue (one would get a bout of stasis, then the other not long after, and so it kept going on), it turned out to be EC, despite them not having the traditional symptoms. https://rabbitwelfare.co.uk/rabbit-h...se/e-cuniculi/
    Sarah.

    RIP Dusty and Clover bunnies xxx
    Misty and Pearl guinea pigs

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by pyates View Post
    Hello everyone, I am new here and joined out of desperation for advice. I have 2 rabbits, Brian is quite young, 1-2 years and Grace a bit older about 6-7 years. Both are voracious hay eaters. Within the last 7 days both have stopped eating hay and generally off other foods. Droppings reduced etc etc. First Brian, then Grace 2 days later. So they have been in and out of the vets since, with painkillers and syrup meds to stimulate the gut. Brian developed being unsteady on feet at the weekend, just occasionally but noticeable. Grace hasn't, but she is eating less than Brian and generally miserable. They both had bloods yesterday and x-rays. Vet found some wax build up in Brians outer ear and syringed it. Nothing obvious for Grace. I am sick with worry especially about Grace who hasn't recovered very well from the sedative. The blood results won't be back until tomorrow but the vet doesn't have any theories yet. I;ve noticed they both seem to eat the shredded cardboard bedding more than anything now they are not well.
    Question - it seems to me there should be a link to them both falling ill within 2 days of each other. Is there something my vet might be missing here? Both are jabbed against Myxi and RHVD etc. Are ear infections in rabbits contagious so could they both have one? Any other diseases/infections that could be transmitted between 2 rabbits?
    Please help!
    I am sorry that both of your Rabbits are unwell. When were they last vaccinated and what Vaccine was given ?

    Has the Vet suggested the possibility of Encephalitozoon Cuniculi ( EC ) ?

    Certain types of bacteria which can cause ear infections are contagious, that said it is not inevitable that both Rabbits would become unwell at the same time.

    Did the Vet take their temperatures ? Any fever ?

    Is there any chance they could have ingested a toxin ? Aflatoxins in feed for example https://www.who.int/foodsafety/FSDig...atoxins_EN.pdf


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  6. #6

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    Thanks all for the replies so far, this place is amazing! To try to answer the various questions;
    I use carboard bedding because i understood it was safer, compared to say wood shavings. Brian is eating more of it, but Grace not so much at all now i think about it, and she is less well than Brian now. So maybe cardboard is a red herring?
    The gut meds have not helped particularly, although i live on my own and tend to administer any meds on food for practical reasons, so its a bit of a vicious circle. The x-rays did not show any blockages in either of them.
    The vet did order an EC test for Brian, purely because he had displayed signs of being unsteady. There wasnt a similar test for Grace but im wondering whether to ask for one for her now as well. In fact i will ask them to do that right away now you mention it.
    Re vaccines, they both have the myxi jab and the RHVD2 one as well, both up to date.
    I dont have specific info on temperature but I would expect (hope!) that was taken as a matter of course. I will check that as well.

    Oh I just remembered, their teeth are apparently both fine, as you would hope with the amount of timothy hay they normally get through.

    Thanks again so far everyone.
    Last edited by pyates; 23-02-2021 at 03:51 PM.

  7. #7
    Wise Old Thumper
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    If the EC test comes back positive for Brian you can medicate both of them. Is the Timothy hay fresh as I have had some which was mouldy. It probably has nothing to do with your Rabbits being unwell, just thought I would mention it. A lot of people use non-clumping cat litter in the litter trays so maybe this would be a good alternative. Are your Bunnies inside or out?

  8. #8

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    Yes, cat litter might be alternative. Its not bedding as such, just in the litter trays. They live in a large fully insulated shed. They have a double decker hutch in the shed but the hutch door is taken off and they come and go as they please in there. I let them both out into the garden 2-3 times a day under supervision, so they are a bit in and a bit out.
    My gut feeling is that if Brian comes back positive for EC then there is a reasonable chance Grace has it as well given the timing of this, so to med both would make sense. To be honest I'm struggling to keep Grace ticking over, she is now starting to turn her nose up at treats and not eating a lot. She will have occasional greens and pellets, but its hit and miss. Droppings when they come are tiny. I really need to get a rapid course of action from these test results tomorrow.

  9. #9
    Moderator Zoobec's Avatar
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    If you do use cat litter, I would use a wood pellet, or paper based one. You should avoid clay based and clumping ones in case they eat it. Eating cardboard can cause a gut slowdown. If they aren’t eating the foods you put medicine on, I would syringe them the medicine to make sure they get it.

    Sending lots of vibes xx

  10. #10
    Wise Old Thumper joey&boo's Avatar
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    If Brian's test is positive it'd be standard to treat Grace for it too. Are you able to pick any dandelions or get hold of any herbs? I think getting more in them is key, even if it comes down to syringe feeding. Some bunnies will eat moistened nuggets of a spoon or saucer. Wishing them both well

    www.TrawdenSoapKitchen.Etsy.com including Boobly Bears dried forage & herb mix

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