Advice for getting my grieving older boy bun a friend - teeth problems

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Naomiboo

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Hello all,

Apologies if this is in the wrong section but I'm in need of some advice. 2 weeks ago we sadly lost our lovely girl Puck after nearly 9 years together (she was 11) leaving our lovely boy Ian (8.5) alone. He was ok for the first few days after she passed but then went off his food. For a couple of days he was eating less so I supplemented with recovery and got him into the vets. He had had emergency dental surgery 6 weeks prior to this after seeing a stand in vet who missed the problem so we thought it couldn't be his teeth again. But it turned out it was his teeth and he needed dental surgery THAT DAY. It is now a week since the surgery and he's still needing encouragement to eat (loving recovery but not eating lots on hid own unless food is put right under his nose and it takes a long time for him to chew).
I had a phone consultation with our very rabbit savvy vet today who suggested there could be some nasal inflamation/congestion so to up his metacam and to try steam with him and said that there could still be some residual discomfort from the surgery. She then said that if he is going to need dental trimming every 6 weeks (due to missing teeth on the top) and he's taking a while to recover each time then we need to consider whether it's ethical to keep putting him through it.

Meanwhile, I've been concerned that part of what has made things worse is his sadness over his lost friend (last time he had a dental he was back to his normal self hours after) so found a lone girl bunny (7 years old) needing a home and we were meant to go meet her (and potentially bring her home) on monday. The vet suggested that we may not want to rush things if he's not feeling 100% as the bonding could cause him stress and that of all bunnys, Bucks are most likely to be content on their own. And the advice that he he may need to be PTS if his teeth are growing so fast has made me thing it's not a good idea to rehome this girl, because potential stress to him and her potentially being left alone again soon. Another side of me though thinks why not give them both a chance at a bond and think positively. I really have no idea what to do and feel incredibly conflicted! Any advice would be greatly appreciated. As I'm still grieving so hard for my lovely Puck I'm not sure I'm thinking clearly
 

JBun

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I think I would be inclined to try bonding, if you can bring him for a bunny date, to see if this causes him to immediately perk up, and if they both show an immediate liking for one another . But I think I would only be inclined to try this if it seemed like a love at first sight match. I do agree with the vet, that a stressful bond wouldn't be good for him right now, especially since he's still not eating well on his own.

If you decide against the bonding, the other thing to try is sitting with him yourself, like his bun companion would normally do. And if he likes head rubs, give lots of those as well. And do this as much and as often as you can, provided this helps and doesn't stress him.
 

Naomiboo

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Thank you so much for your reply, it's really useful <3

After posting my original post yesterday he seemed to go downhill and was less and less interested in food so we took him to the vet today. She felt his jaw and moved it around and he showed no discomfort and could not see anything wrong when looking in his mouth but she said there was a smell that could indicate an infection, potentially of the tooth root. I've come home with some antibiotics and gut stimulants. I'm really hoping that it's the infection that has caused the slow recovery and that the anti-biotics will work and when he needs a dental again he'll bounce back faster (though I'm probably wishful thinking).

I've contacted the rescue to ask to postponed us going there by a week (but to not save her for us if a suitable home comes up) to see if this treatment has changed things and he seems more himself so hopefully that will be ok. If he's back to himself I'll be tempted to try bonding and the rescue first lets you foster them for 2 weeks before adopting to assess the bond so I think I'll just be incredibly careful and see how he seems (though I obviously don't want to mess this other bunny about!)

It's so hard to know how much of all this is related to stress and grief for him. He always followed Puck around everywhere and I think he's a bit lost without her :(
 

cwebster

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In addition to metacam, is he getting liquid feedings? Hope he recovers soon and gets a new bunny friend.
 

Naomiboo

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In addition to metacam, is he getting liquid feedings? Hope he recovers soon and gets a new bunny friend.
I've been feeding him recovery since the dental and he was loving it until a couple of days ago when he got less interested and was eating less and less. Now I'm having to force him to eat it so I'm worried the anti-biotics have made him worse? Or maybe they haven't kicked in yet and the original problem is getting worse? I think I'm going to have to try the vets again but he get so stressed by the vets and I think our vet is not in because it's saturday. He was getting better, until thursday, I dont know what happened :(
 

cwebster

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Is he getting any reallyfavorite foods? Whenever Dutchess hastooth surgery, ittakes a week of critical care feedings plus metacam and gut stimulant. Plus i give her all her favorite foods by hand in my lap until she is eating again: grass, wheat grass, dandelion greens, carrot tops, kale.i literally stuff small pieces in her mouth until she eats on her own again. She may have to be fed one grass blade or two at a time ira carrottop stem. Hope this helps.
 

Naomiboo

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Is he getting any reallyfavorite foods? Whenever Dutchess hastooth surgery, ittakes a week of critical care feedings plus metacam and gut stimulant. Plus i give her all her favorite foods by hand in my lap until she is eating again: grass, wheat grass, dandelion greens, carrot tops, kale.i literally stuff small pieces in her mouth until she eats on her own again. She may have to be fed one grass blade or two at a time ira carrottop stem. Hope this helps.
Back from the vets and it wasn't good news. She said we have two choices, to keep trying or to decide he's been through enough and put him to sleep. He's not in complete stasis but is refusing to eat anything. I'm having to force recovery and even that he's managing to spit some of it out. Right up until yesterday no matter how stressed or ill he's been he's never resisted fibreplex but this morning he wouldnt even take that. The only thing he has taken willingly is metacam.

For a week after the surgery he was slowly getting better. Eating lots of recovery (only if offered by syringe and warm, but would happily have 15ml at a time) and was taking the odd treat or leaf but taking a really long time to chew (when I wrote the original post). his poos were pretty much back to normal. but from thursday he's been eating less and less willingly. Now he's gone right downhill. She said it wont be a bad reaction to the painkillers or the anti-biotics so to keep going with them and hope we can keep him going long enough for the anti-biotics to start working and hope that that is the problem. I just can't believe that a couple of months ago I had two happy healthy bunnies and now this :(

I feel so bad about the stress we're causing him because she's said to force feed him 10ml of recovery every hour, plus all the meds. I just really hope it works so it feels worth it! He's been through so much in 2 weeks, I feel so bad for him :(
 

Naomiboo

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Is he getting any reallyfavorite foods? Whenever Dutchess hastooth surgery, ittakes a week of critical care feedings plus metacam and gut stimulant. Plus i give her all her favorite foods by hand in my lap until she is eating again: grass, wheat grass, dandelion greens, carrot tops, kale.i literally stuff small pieces in her mouth until she eats on her own again. She may have to be fed one grass blade or two at a time ira carrottop stem. Hope this helps.
How often does Dutchess need dental? Am I just wishful thinking an putting him through too much to think we can keep him going if he might need them every 6 weeks? he's not really a lap bunny, he likes a tickle but very much on his terms, so encouraging food can be tricky. Luckily he usually loves recovery, which is why he must be feeling very bad now because he wont touch it :(
 

JBun

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All I can think is that maybe to try just a day or half a day, without the pain meds and antibiotic, to see if he improves. From my experience, it's never been a good sign when a rabbit stops swallowing syringe feeds. Another option if the vet didn't already do this since he started doing worse, is to have bloodwork and xrays done to see if there's an underlying issue that is causing the continued lack of appetite and worsening condition.

One other thing to check, is make sure the syringing mix hasn't gone bad(doesn't smell rancid or musty). Bad food could certainly affect a rabbit's recovery.
 

rabbit_friend

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I would switch antibiotics, because it could well be a reaction to them. What antibiotic is he on?

There are threads on here about people whose bunnies needed frequent trims, like yours, and they opted to have the teeth removed and the bunny did much better.

My 10-year-old boy bun lost his gal recently and perked up a lot when I brought down another boy bunny we'd housed upstairs. Even though they are separated by a fence, he liked having another bunny to watch even if he couldn’t snuggle with him.
 

Naomiboo

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Thank you all, apologies I went quiet here, the situation developed so I started another thread. He got worse but then seems to be doing a little better but it is very slow progress. Poos are looking better but we're still having to force feed and he's getting very tired of it. We're trying a different painkiller too because our vet (we had to see a stand in on sat but saw our rabbit vet yesterday) thinks the vetergesic was probably making him dopey.
 

Naomiboo

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I would switch antibiotics, because it could well be a reaction to them. What antibiotic is he on?

There are threads on here about people whose bunnies needed frequent trims, like yours, and they opted to have the teeth removed and the bunny did much better.

My 10-year-old boy bun lost his gal recently and perked up a lot when I brought down another boy bunny we'd housed upstairs. Even though they are separated by a fence, he liked having another bunny to watch even if he couldn’t snuggle with him.
He's on sulfatrim but the vet seemed to think it was more the pain that is stopping him from eating. He's still taking a very long time to chew when he does manage to eat something. He's not eating much but I am force feeding him at the moment. I asked about removal but the vet said his teeth are quite complex so it wouldn't be as simple as removing one or two an the problem being solved and she doesn't think it would be ethical to remove the amount of teeth it would take as it would affect his jaw and eating forever.
 

rabbit_friend

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I would bet it's the sulfatrim. I had a rabbit put on that once and by the second day she was fighting me, by the third day she was biting me. This was a rabbit that took lots of meds without a problem. I tend to listen to my rabbits, and called the vet to switch to a different antibiotic. She was fine with the new one once she realized it was different. I personally can't take sulfa drugs because they make me feel terrible.

ok, just read your post about the vetergesic. Yikes! I thought he was on meloxicam, since that's the most used painkiller.
 

Naomiboo

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I would bet it's the sulfatrim. I had a rabbit put on that once and by the second day she was fighting me, by the third day she was biting me. This was a rabbit that took lots of meds without a problem. I tend to listen to my rabbits, and called the vet to switch to a different antibiotic. She was fine with the new one once she realized it was different. I personally can't take sulfa drugs because they make me feel terrible.

ok, just read your post about the vetergesic. Yikes! I thought he was on meloxicam, since that's the most used painkiller.
Thank you! Yes it wasn't our normal vet who gave him the vetergesic (though he seemed to do ok on it, I'm glad he's off it now). He's on metacam but was on that already post surgery so we've upped that a bit and he's on a small dose of tramadol. He does seem to be showing signs of improvement (his eyes were very red in the corners and are looking better now and I think the odd smell has faded on him (it's very hard to tell but he smells normal now I think) so I'd be worried about changing antibiotics now while he's stable and seems to be making some (albeit very slow) progress. But it's so hard to know as he's of course still not eating himself really and another type of AB could work better. He's trying to eat and showing more interest in food (nibbling on things but taking a long time to chew and dropping bits) so I'm hoping the ABs are kicking in and having an effect. We saw our rabbit vet a couple of days ago and his gut sounded and felt good and he's maintaining his weight but now she's going away for 3 weeks so just really hoping the current regime is working for him and he picks up so we don't have to see a less rabbit savvy vet in an emergency!
 

Futurebunmom

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Ask for a recommendation of who to see incase something goes wrong. Did she give you away to contact her? My vet gave me his cell number incase things went south for my very sick buddy
 

Futurebunmom

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I didn't even ask. He saw his condition and prescribed medication and said to let him know how he wad doing over the weekend (and he gave me his cell).
 

Naomiboo

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Aww that's so nice! She didn't give me her number but did suggest another couple of people at the practice to see if we need to. I just know non will be as knowledgable as her.
 

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