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Thread: PLEASE HELP Dental problems and not eating:Vet suggested potential PTS

  1. #71

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    I'm also wondering if I need to reduce the amount I'm giving him each feed to see if that will get his appetite up as I'm getting about 30ml into him (making the mixture more watery so he's getting more water) and that's every 3 hours. But then we gave him a bigger break over night last night and he hadn't seemed to have eaten and wasn't any more keen on syringe feeding this morning.

  2. #72

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    apologies for 3 separate messages. I bought some dandelion and plantain mix (dried) and I opened the bag and he was interested and stuck his nose in it, then I gave him a piece of I think plantain and he excitedly took it but then chewed it for about 5 whole minutes before dropping it (soggy and stringy) out of his mouth. then he continued to 'chew'. I'm noticing he's not rally making chewing sounds either, even though his mouth is moving that way. Maybe because he's chewing small pieces for so long that they aren't crunchy anymore but I'm wondering if he just can't chew properly? The vet did put his teeth together and mimic a grinding motion and he didn't seem uncomfortable but could his jaw be out of whack from the dental? or is he more likely to be chewing lightly/not properly because of pain? Our vet practice has silver standard from the rabbit friendly vet awards and won rabbit friendly practice of the year a few years ago because of our vet so I'm assuming she's very knowledgable but of course they don't see them at home like we do so I'm worried things might have been missed. Again, can't thank you all enough for continuing to respond! It means so much!

  3. #73
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    If he's not eating normally by himself, he needs you to keep feeding him. Will he take recovery food from a saucer?
    Dried dandelion & plantain: can he eat it if you eg cut it into spaghetti strips, so he can 'suck' it in?
    Metaclopramide: if he's eating well and poo is completely back to normal, he probably doesn't need it. If not, I would be reluctant to stop it.
    I would suggest he needs skull x-rays as well - your instinct is that there's something going on that's not been spotted yet. I would trust your instincts, as you know him best.
    What you are doing is keeping him stable and slowly making progress, and it takes a lot of effort to get there. If you stop, I suspect he will regress again. If he presented just as he is today to a different vet, what would you want them to do?

    I'm obviously not a vet, so not qualified to diagnose & treat, but I have had several rabbits with odd and severe dental issues and gut instinct has served me well. It's always worth having another discussion with a rabbit savvy vet and advocating for your rabbit. I try to look at all options - what the outcome would be with and without taking that option. You need to weigh up whether reducing / stopping what you are doing is going to better or worse than continuing it for now, and review again as needed.

  4. #74

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shimmer View Post
    If he's not eating normally by himself, he needs you to keep feeding him. Will he take recovery food from a saucer?
    Dried dandelion & plantain: can he eat it if you eg cut it into spaghetti strips, so he can 'suck' it in?
    Metaclopramide: if he's eating well and poo is completely back to normal, he probably doesn't need it. If not, I would be reluctant to stop it.
    I would suggest he needs skull x-rays as well - your instinct is that there's something going on that's not been spotted yet. I would trust your instincts, as you know him best.
    What you are doing is keeping him stable and slowly making progress, and it takes a lot of effort to get there. If you stop, I suspect he will regress again. If he presented just as he is today to a different vet, what would you want them to do?

    I'm obviously not a vet, so not qualified to diagnose & treat, but I have had several rabbits with odd and severe dental issues and gut instinct has served me well. It's always worth having another discussion with a rabbit savvy vet and advocating for your rabbit. I try to look at all options - what the outcome would be with and without taking that option. You need to weigh up whether reducing / stopping what you are doing is going to better or worse than continuing it for now, and review again as needed.
    Thank you for replying. I've tried him again with the plantain (it is in fairly small bits already) and he managed to chew and swallow it, but was bored after 1 piece. He wont eat anything unless I put it right up to him. He was enjoying some banana and apple puree from a syringe but when I put it on a spoon or small plate he wouldn't touch it. He's taken it upon himself to nibble at a bit of lettuce on occasion but that's it. And the nibbling of hay (but can't really tell how much is actually going down). OUr vet thinks that the infection is affecting his sense of smell (or is what he can smell) so food doesn't smell right or is not strong enough for him to want it.

    I think you're right about changes as he's already had the change of the pain meds recently so I'll keep going with what we've been doing until I can see he has more interest in food. I've also rang the vets and asked again about prescribing more metochlopramide. I'll not hear until tomorrow but I have a dose for this evening. I can't really find a vet who is more recommended than the one I have, she's been mentioned by name in different threads on forums for good rabbit vets (that's how we found her) so I'm not sure who else I could try in the area. We had a great vet when we lived further north who was great with rabbits and rats but I think the long journey (over an hour) would be a lot for him too. I think with the skull xray we do need one eventually but not sure he could take the GA right now as he's so stressed and unwell already . I guess as far as the vet is concerned, it seems that it's pain causing the not/very slow chewing so until there's been long enough for the ABs to have effect maybe I need to just be patient. It's just so tough seeing him like this! You're right about going with your gut so I'll keep trying to do that, balancing the stress of more/changing intervention with the risks of not is so hard!
    Last edited by Naomi1988; 25-05-2022 at 06:04 PM.

  5. #75
    Forum Buddy Pets mum's Avatar
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    I really feel for you, it's so hard looking after a poorly rabbit that won't/can't eat, but I agree to go with your gut as far as feeding is concerned. Hopefully the meds will kick in and he'll start to feel better soon. Please post anytime if you feel overwhelmed, we've all been there and even if we can't help, we can listen and support. Sending you a big hug xx
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  6. #76

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pets mum View Post
    I really feel for you, it's so hard looking after a poorly rabbit that won't/can't eat, but I agree to go with your gut as far as feeding is concerned. Hopefully the meds will kick in and he'll start to feel better soon. Please post anytime if you feel overwhelmed, we've all been there and even if we can't help, we can listen and support. Sending you a big hug xx
    Thank you <3! The support from you all means a lot! I think I'd have lost my mind completely by now without all the support and advice! <3

  7. #77
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    I'm not suggesting you change vets when you have a silver rated one that you are happy with, plus the stress of each visit anyway - just that it's worth taking a step back at times, and that he doesn't seem stable enough from what you are saying to stop what you are doing. My thought was: If a vet saw you now for the first time, would they suggest metaclopramide with the current symptoms (rather than he's already had X day's worth, so that's it)? It's a matter of getting this across without causing friction, especially as you have come this far. Ask why they want to stop when he's not eating well enough to sustain himself without additional feeding at the moment, so there is the risk of continued gut stasis - and if there is any harm in eg another week, then review, just to be on the safe side.

    Maybe collect a day's worth of poo to see what he's actually producing, plus weigh him next time you go in. If his poo is completely normal in size, quantity & consistency, and he's at the same weight, fair enough - he's just needing support with feeding rather than gut motility.

    I've had rabbits on metaclopramide for several weeks before, so my feeling is that the risk of prescribing a longer course is less than the risk of stopping it. It may be harder to get back to where you are if he goes back into stasis.

    I also don't want you to be put in the position of the vet asking you to consider PTS again when you don't actually know what the cause of this episode is, and he's doing well with the additional care and is bright enough in himself. It's still relatively early days for the antibiotics as well. I would want to discuss / exhaust all reasonable options first (and maybe a few unreasonable ones as well - my vets know me well - but that's how we learn). A lot of people are not able to provide the additional support you have, so that should be taken into consideration as well. There is still a bias towards people not wanting to spend that much time or money on a rabbit, so may be more readily offered PTS than for other species.


    Don't forget - You are doing a brilliant job.

  8. #78
    Warren Veteran InspectorMorse's Avatar
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    Cisapride might be a better prokinetic than metoclop’, or they can be given together. Metoclop’ only increases the rate at which the stomach empties and has no effect on the hind gut. Cisapride improves hind gut motility.


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  9. #79

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shimmer View Post
    I'm not suggesting you change vets when you have a silver rated one that you are happy with, plus the stress of each visit anyway - just that it's worth taking a step back at times, and that he doesn't seem stable enough from what you are saying to stop what you are doing. My thought was: If a vet saw you now for the first time, would they suggest metaclopramide with the current symptoms (rather than he's already had X day's worth, so that's it)? It's a matter of getting this across without causing friction, especially as you have come this far. Ask why they want to stop when he's not eating well enough to sustain himself without additional feeding at the moment, so there is the risk of continued gut stasis - and if there is any harm in eg another week, then review, just to be on the safe side.

    Maybe collect a day's worth of poo to see what he's actually producing, plus weigh him next time you go in. If his poo is completely normal in size, quantity & consistency, and he's at the same weight, fair enough - he's just needing support with feeding rather than gut motility.

    I've had rabbits on metaclopramide for several weeks before, so my feeling is that the risk of prescribing a longer course is less than the risk of stopping it. It may be harder to get back to where you are if he goes back into stasis.

    I also don't want you to be put in the position of the vet asking you to consider PTS again when you don't actually know what the cause of this episode is, and he's doing well with the additional care and is bright enough in himself. It's still relatively early days for the antibiotics as well. I would want to discuss / exhaust all reasonable options first (and maybe a few unreasonable ones as well - my vets know me well - but that's how we learn). A lot of people are not able to provide the additional support you have, so that should be taken into consideration as well. There is still a bias towards people not wanting to spend that much time or money on a rabbit, so may be more readily offered PTS than for other species.


    Don't forget - You are doing a brilliant job.
    Thank you! This is all really helpful. I see what you mean about a different vet and what I would expect, that's a really helpful way of thinking about it (unfortunately with our rabbit vet going away for 3 weeks we might have to seek the opinion of another vet soon but apparently one works at the practice who has bunnies so I'm hopeful they will get it!). It's tough because obviously I trust our vet and wouldnt want to say she's wrong of course, just we see them more and sometimes with short visits you worry if they haven't caught something. But I think you're right about the metoclopramide, and it's great to know about the other type of stimulant too InspectorMorse! I'll ask about that tomorrow before she goes on leave. His poos are definitely not back to normal so I'm going to push for some sort of stimulant at least until it seems the ABs have had enough time to have some effect. Thank you again! It's so helpful to just type out my thinking and worries and the advice is so great! Sending thank yous from me and Ian (though he's not feeling very grateful yet, I hope he will soon!)

  10. #80
    Wise Old Thumper joey&boo's Avatar
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    Sending more get well wishes for Ian. You've tried so much & obviously truly dedicated to his care. Plumpkin (a much loved bunny on here who had extreme dental issues) used to love a kale smoothies (I think just kale & water blended) off a saucer. Maybe worth a go.

    My less used but much more local silver accredited practice started using cisparide during lockdown when couldn't get metaclop & experienced much better results so stuck with using it

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