Alternative ways to get a bunny to take critical care

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I need to know if there are alternative ways of getting a rabbit to take critical care. The reason for this is because Rexy and Artemis just went through their surgery to be neutered. Well, Artemis is recovering very well. That is to be expected of the bunny with the Wolverine healing factor. However, Rexy is different. He is moving and he ate very little of his morning greens, but for the most part, he's not doing anything. I have to be at work soon and cannot keep an eye on him all day, unfortunately, and feeding Rexy Critical Care (and his medications from surgery) is practically a 2-person job. Are there any alternative ways of getting a bunny to take critical care? I know mixing it with like a puree of some kind (safe for rabbits) is one way to get them to take it because the smell is more enticing. I'm fearful of picking him up, right now, because of his surgery. Any tips or ideas would be greatly appreciated.

Edit: I gave Rexy one of those Oxbow digestive health cookies and he snatched it right up, eating it.
 
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Sorry you didn't get a response (in time). I'm glad your bun started eating something.

With critical care feeding, really the most that can be tried to get them to eat it on their own is trying a different flavor or maybe making a mush out of the buns usual pellets. Otherwise it comes down to force feeding.

I always had the best luck post surgery, offering my buns their usual leafy greens. But some wouldn't even eat those, so I had to syringe feed.
 
Sorry you didn't get a response (in time). I'm glad your bun started eating something.

With critical care feeding, really the most that can be tried to get them to eat it on their own is trying a different flavor or maybe making a mush out of the buns usual pellets. Otherwise it comes down to force feeding.

I always had the best luck post surgery, offering my buns their usual leafy greens. But some wouldn't even eat those, so I had to syringe feed.
We did some fresh pureed pumpkin with it and Rexy took to it fast. Then again, only reason he did is because he doesn't like being forced fed critical care.
It's okay that I didn't get a response. I was thinking more for the future, since Rexy chose to eat again.
 
I found for critical care with my current rabbit, I needed to put her on a desk, flat smooth slippery surface and get the tip of the syringe in the corner of the mouth and do a little at a time. That was the only way I could get her to take it. I think that was how the vet was doing is on the counter top.
 
I found for critical care with my current rabbit, I needed to put her on a desk, flat smooth slippery surface and get the tip of the syringe in the corner of the mouth and do a little at a time. That was the only way I could get her to take it. I think that was how the vet was doing is on the counter top.
That’s what I’ve always done with our bunnies, too.
 
I found for critical care with my current rabbit, I needed to put her on a desk, flat smooth slippery surface and get the tip of the syringe in the corner of the mouth and do a little at a time. That was the only way I could get her to take it. I think that was how the vet was doing is on the counter top.
Wish I could do that. But since Rexy was raised in a household with no real carpeting and hound dogs, he's able to handle slippery surfaces better than my other bunnies. Though access to a carpeted floor has made him quite happy.
 
I don't understand why anyone would use critical care or anything similar, especially with an already sick rabbit.
Their digestive systems are so very sensitive, yet when they're sick we're supposed to give them something their gut biome is not already used to?
That makes absolutely no sense to me whatsoever, unless perhaps if someone is normally feeding them garbage quality pellets.
Unless your vet told you differently for some reason, I strongly suggest you just use the pellets they're used to, with the right amount of water to make the right consistency.
I also don't understand why anyone would ever want to force feed their pet, especially a bun, when they can just make the slurry smell good enough that the bun (or cat or dog or whatever) looks at the syringe/slurry as a treat. We don't hold our pets down when they're given oral meds or slurry (food mixed with water), we just make it smell good enough that they want to eat it. We found with our buns that adding a couple basil/mint/rosemary leaves to 1/4 cup of pellets with water is all we need to get the food/medicine gobbled up quickly. Ours usually happily eat the slurry without anything added at all. We feed our buns slurry every day instead of pellets because no matter how hard we've tried, we just can't get 2 out of our 6 to drink very much water, but they'll all happily eat the pellet slurry out of bowls - which makes sure they get the pellets we feel is necessary for them and adds at least some water for the 2 that won't drink much.
 
I don't understand why anyone would use critical care or anything similar, especially with an already sick rabbit.
Their digestive systems are so very sensitive, yet when they're sick we're supposed to give them something their gut biome is not already used to?
That makes absolutely no sense to me whatsoever, unless perhaps if someone is normally feeding them garbage quality pellets.
Unless your vet told you differently for some reason, I strongly suggest you just use the pellets they're used to, with the right amount of water to make the right consistency.
I also don't understand why anyone would ever want to force feed their pet, especially a bun, when they can just make the slurry smell good enough that the bun (or cat or dog or whatever) looks at the syringe/slurry as a treat. We don't hold our pets down when they're given oral meds or slurry (food mixed with water), we just make it smell good enough that they want to eat it. We found with our buns that adding a couple basil/mint/rosemary leaves to 1/4 cup of pellets with water is all we need to get the food/medicine gobbled up quickly. Ours usually happily eat the slurry without anything added at all. We feed our buns slurry every day instead of pellets because no matter how hard we've tried, we just can't get 2 out of our 6 to drink very much water, but they'll all happily eat the pellet slurry out of bowls - which makes sure they get the pellets we feel is necessary for them and adds at least some water for the 2 that won't drink much.
Critical care contains nutrients that a rabbit needs when they stop eating. Such as when Rexy went into stasis some time back. If we hadn't forced fed him the critical care and had him see the vet, we would have lost him. It's not something we will give the rabbits every day because we feel like it. It's more for to make sure they are getting nutrients when they stop eating or after major surgery. Surgery such as when Erlong had her leg amputated before we adopted her, or after Artemis and Rexy had their neutering last week. I don't use garbage quality pellets. I use Oxbow adult rabbit pellets for the adult bunnies and young rabbit for Artemis. We give them timothy hay on a constant basis. That is a majority of their diet. And they get some greens (romaine, kale, spinach, red and green leaf lettuce) in the mornings. Rexy has a history of health issues before I got him. He was a very sickly bunny with serious respiratory issues. My friend, whom I got Rexy from, spent hundreds upon hundreds of dollars to get him better after taking him from her former employer, a pet shop. He has had known health issues before, such as ear mites, and one day, the stress was too much for him, he stopped eating. I, literally, tore into my mother-in-law about her dog going near Rexy and causing him stress because of that very reason. Rabbits are sensitive creatures. Some will stress so hard, they stop eating and die. Some will power through that same stress and somehow grow back the skin and fur of their tail tip. Some rabbits will just outright die with no explanation at all. Some rabbits will eat through a package of Saltine crackers, plastic wrapping and all, and nothing happens. One cannot pit the blame solely on the possibility of garbage food. One, also, cannot assume that a puree that smells good is going to cut it. Trust me. That day when Rexy went into stasis, not even the enticing smell of banana or his favorite Oxbow cookie cut it. It was that bad.

https://myhouserabbit.com/rabbit-health/gi-stasis-in-rabbits-a-deadly-condition/
https://rabbit.org/2013/02/gastrointestinal-stasis-the-silent-killer/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7258705/
 
I don't understand why anyone would use critical care or anything similar, especially with an already sick rabbit.
Their digestive systems are so very sensitive, yet when they're sick we're supposed to give them something their gut biome is not already used to?
That makes absolutely no sense to me whatsoever, unless perhaps if someone is normally feeding them garbage quality pellets.
Unless your vet told you differently for some reason, I strongly suggest you just use the pellets they're used to, with the right amount of water to make the right consistency.
I also don't understand why anyone would ever want to force feed their pet, especially a bun, when they can just make the slurry smell good enough that the bun (or cat or dog or whatever) looks at the syringe/slurry as a treat. We don't hold our pets down when they're given oral meds or slurry (food mixed with water), we just make it smell good enough that they want to eat it. We found with our buns that adding a couple basil/mint/rosemary leaves to 1/4 cup of pellets with water is all we need to get the food/medicine gobbled up quickly. Ours usually happily eat the slurry without anything added at all. We feed our buns slurry every day instead of pellets because no matter how hard we've tried, we just can't get 2 out of our 6 to drink very much water, but they'll all happily eat the pellet slurry out of bowls - which makes sure they get the pellets we feel is necessary for them and adds at least some water for the 2 that won't drink much.

Rabbits that are in significant enough discomfort or pain from illness, injury, surgery, or stress, won't eat on their own, no matter how delicious the food is. If they aren't then syringe fed (force fed) after being properly evaluated by a knowledgeable rabbit vet, they can have their GI system shut down, develop fatty liver disease, hypoglycemia, or even starve themselves to death.

Yes it's preferable that a critically ill rabbit or one recovering from surgery, starts willingly eating on their own, but very often that doesn't happen. Syringe feeding a rabbit is usually an emergency measure to save their life. So feeding a food they aren't typically accustomed to, is less important than getting a good balanced food in them in adequate amounts, to help keep them alive.
 
the point that I thought I made, but clearly didn't, was that a quality pellet mixed with the right consistency to either be syringe fed or lapped from a bowl, is probably (if not certainly) just as healthy (or healthier) as Critical Care. I guess you'll have to read the ingredients and decide for yourself if you're paying extra for the marketing, or if it truly is remarkably better than the pellets you currently feed your rabbits that their gut biome is already used to... take a wild guess which way I assume it is.
I apologize for apparently wording my post in such a confusing way that people thought I was advocating not assist feeding a pet that wasn't eating - doing so, would be a sure fire way to make them considerably worse, if not ensuring their death.
IS Critical Care advertising on here? If so, I'd be more than happy to remove my comments less I point out that an advertiser is selling a product that really shouldn't be necessary if you're feeding your bun appropriately to begin with. I don't want to ruffle any feathers (or fur).
 
Jeff38002: Thank you for admitting you hadn't bothered to read the ingredient list for Critical Care before posting.
 
One of the primary ingredients in Critical Care (for herbivores) is Timothy Hay to help promote gut health in a rabbit that stops eating all together. Not all rabbit owners are going to have the kind of access to turn the rabbit's pellets into a mixture to force feed their ill rabbit. Nor would they have the time to do it. Critical Care is already in powdered form and ready to be mixed. No. Oxbow is not advertising anything on here. It is simply a recommendation by my vet to have on hand at all times because of things like when Rexy went into stasis. I don't have the means, or space, to turn their pellets into a puree mixture and force feed them. Especially since their pellets are only given in small amounts and I have no means of turning their actual hay into dust to make a homemade critical care. Please note, none of this would matter if Rexy had suffered from bloating instead of stasis. I was merely asking for other alternative ways of getting him to take the Critical Care since I know he's going to put up a lot of resistance if we are forced to do it again. We got lucky this round that he chose to continue to eat after surgery, but there will be times where he will stop and we have to be prepared in a pinch.

Now back on to the subject of this thread:
In one of the rabbit groups I'm in on Facebook, someone suggested using the premade pumpkin puree you would buy from the store for pumpkin pie. They were using it for their senior rabbit and it worked for them. We chose to use an actual pie pumpkin instead of the premade pumpkin because of the chances of there being an ingredient our rabbits cannot have being in the premade. Also wanted to know because, for some reason, the stuff gets stuck in the feeding syringe. I know my vet suggested the digestive health cookies, but that's more for testing if he will eat it, rather than getting him to eat it if he stops eating. I saw a couple people on this post suggest using a type of slippery surface so he wouldn't have a good enough grip to resist. The only slippery enough surface to do that is our bathtub and doing that would put more stress on the poor little dude than what would put him into stasis. Not only that, Rexy knows how to move on a slippery surface, better than the others, so it'd be a real struggle for us, then. I know bunny burrito works, kind of, but the problem becomes when they move their head back, literal jerking it back when attempting critical care feeding.

Since Rexy did choose to eat rather than let the stress of his surgery stop him from eating, this is, now, more for the future. Just in case. Because, as we all should know, stasis can happen at any time.
 
Jeff38002: Thank you for admitting you hadn't bothered to read the ingredient list for Critical Care before posting.
I know English can be hard for some here, but my post meant that YOU would have to read the ingredients on the package of your bunnies pellets and compare them to Critical Care's ingredients - I obviously can't do that for you. If you take the time to do that, please reply back what the ingredients are and their differences.
If I misunderstood and you were attempting to be snarky, I'm afraid I'm too old to play those foolish games and you'll have to find someone else to try and offend.
 
One of the primary ingredients in Critical Care (for herbivores) is Timothy Hay to help promote gut health in a rabbit that stops eating all together. Not all rabbit owners are going to have the kind of access to turn the rabbit's pellets into a mixture to force feed their ill rabbit. Nor would they have the time to do it. Critical Care is already in powdered form and ready to be mixed. No. Oxbow is not advertising anything on here. It is simply a recommendation by my vet to have on hand at all times because of things like when Rexy went into stasis. I don't have the means, or space, to turn their pellets into a puree mixture and force feed them. Especially since their pellets are only given in small amounts and I have no means of turning their actual hay into dust to make a homemade critical care. Please note, none of this would matter if Rexy had suffered from bloating instead of stasis. I was merely asking for other alternative ways of getting him to take the Critical Care since I know he's going to put up a lot of resistance if we are forced to do it again. We got lucky this round that he chose to continue to eat after surgery, but there will be times where he will stop and we have to be prepared in a pinch.

Now back on to the subject of this thread:
In one of the rabbit groups I'm in on Facebook, someone suggested using the premade pumpkin puree you would buy from the store for pumpkin pie. They were using it for their senior rabbit and it worked for them. We chose to use an actual pie pumpkin instead of the premade pumpkin because of the chances of there being an ingredient our rabbits cannot have being in the premade. Also wanted to know because, for some reason, the stuff gets stuck in the feeding syringe. I know my vet suggested the digestive health cookies, but that's more for testing if he will eat it, rather than getting him to eat it if he stops eating. I saw a couple people on this post suggest using a type of slippery surface so he wouldn't have a good enough grip to resist. The only slippery enough surface to do that is our bathtub and doing that would put more stress on the poor little dude than what would put him into stasis. Not only that, Rexy knows how to move on a slippery surface, better than the others, so it'd be a real struggle for us, then. I know bunny burrito works, kind of, but the problem becomes when they move their head back, literal jerking it back when attempting critical care feeding.

Since Rexy did choose to eat rather than let the stress of his surgery stop him from eating, this is, now, more for the future. Just in case. Because, as we all should know, stasis can happen at any time.
the "access" people would need to turn even regular quality pellets into a slurry would be the following:
a bowl
a spoon
water
about 15 minutes of waiting time for the pellets to "dissolve"

perhaps I misunderstood your post and you already understood that "normal" pellets easily dissolve in water, yet you were still suggesting people use Critical Care instead of using pellets they already have that their rabbit is already used to, when their rabbit is critically ill
 
I think enough has been said concerning this subject. Everyone has their own opinion on the matter of what's best for them and their rabbits. Let's leave it at that.

Sorry @ArtistChibi that your thread got derailed from what you wanted to know and share.

This thread is now closed.
 
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