Another bun of mine seems sick

Discussion in 'Health & Wellness' started by Thumperina, Dec 7, 2017.

  1. Dec 7, 2017 #1

    Thumperina

    Thumperina

    Thumperina

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    Some of you remember about my rabbit Thumperina who was supposedly diagnosed with cancer about a month ago. By the way, she seems to be doing fine! pooping great, moving wonderfully, and has all the interest in life.

    Another rabbit that I have is a neutered male who is overweight. When Thumperina got sick, I think he got a little depressed. Some time ago I noticed he is not using their litterbox. HE would just leave puddles on the carpet and the carper sometimes was throughout wet when I was cleaning poop before the next evening (they go outside for the day, the carpet is in garage). I saw that he had wet butt but my impression that it happened because he wasn't moving enough (he would just pee where he was, and because of his weight he would get stained in urine)
    He also shakes his ears from time to time. I treated then with Revolution about a month ago. I see a bit of wax inside his ears but nothing bad. He wasn't see by a doctor recently, but Thumperina was seen by several doctors and none of them thought that she had mites (she also shakes her ears from time to time).
    I also noticed that his breathing is more frequent than it used to be - all the time. Like something is bothering him...I have a feeling that his poop might have been on a smaller side. He also doesn't drink any water and not eating much hay (bad, bad, I know)
    Right now, I can't afford taking him to the vet since I have been spending a lot of thumperina's care. I will try to make it possible though.
    In a meantime, any suggestion what could be going on with him?
    I decided to start him on semithicone to see if it helps with anything and on metacam that I give Thumperina. Maybe some critical care for fiber if he allows me... He is eating his veggies and pellets OK.
    I also have baytril leftovers that I got some time ago for Thumperina, used it for only 3 days and stopped (upon vet advice) since she wasn't improving back then. It is suspension (crashed tablets), I can't see the date on it (its faded) but I think I got it about 3...3.5 weeks ago. Do you think I could give him some baytril to see if it helps? it's been in the cabinet in a closed container with no light access. (he is a bit heavier than thumperina so i would increase her dose a little bit).
    Thank you for any thoughts and ideas !
     
  2. Dec 7, 2017 #2

    Aki

    Aki

    Aki

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    I wouldn't give Baytril blindly. From what you say the problems he has are : being overweight, slow guts, not eating much hay. If he eats vegetables, not drinking water isn't especially concerning. Shaking his head can be caused by stress. From what I can tell, you should start by drastically reducing the pellets from his diet to encourage him to eat more hay, fight against the slow guts and encourage him to lose weight - being obese will cause problems in the long run, it will prevent him from washing himself correctly and his small fragile bones aren't meant to carry extra fat. I would also wet the vegetables you give him and mainly give leafy greens to hydrate his guts (and because they are poor in fat). Wet grass is also good. Trying new hay if the current one isn't to his taste. Don't give metacam if he isn't in pain - metacam is quite safe but it can cause slow guts so it isn't advisable to use it if it's not needed (which is the rule of thumb for every medecine ever, be it for animals or humans - don't fix it if it isn't broken, you'll only make things worse).
    I might be wrong and it's hard to give a diagnostic without seeing the animal, but what you describe sounds like a very stressed out (with all the rabbits problems I seem to recall you having for the past few months it wouldn't be surprising) rabbit eating too much pellets, and not enough hay.
     
  3. Dec 7, 2017 #3

    Thumperina

    Thumperina

    Thumperina

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    Aki thanks.
    My main concern is his frequent breathing. He has always been overweight and didn't eat much hay, but he didn't have this breathing previously.
    I have been their slave regarding providing them with all the vegetables. My rabbit veggie shopping has been crazy as they never drank water so vegetables are their only water supply. I don't enjoy spending so much money on veggies, I have to go to stores day or night to make sure they get their veggies. They won't eat anything wilt or not of a good quality, and this often means checking several stores for veggies, often late at night.
    He is white, she is fawn in color (this is not a very recent picture)
    [​IMG]
     
  4. Dec 7, 2017 #4

    Thumperina

    Thumperina

    Thumperina

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    Thumperina is way way better this days (i'd say, back to normal). Not sure what causing so much stress for him...
     
  5. Dec 7, 2017 #5

    ladysown

    ladysown

    ladysown

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    If "HE" is the rabbit with white fur, and is for sure a male. that is a VERY overweight rabbit. Needs to eat less and get more exercise.
     
  6. Dec 8, 2017 #6

    Thumperina

    Thumperina

    Thumperina

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    I have stated in my previous post that white rabbit is a neutered male and that he is overweight.
    Some breeds are just larger than others. I don't argue that he is overweight. His name is Paul
    He was neutered very early, at 4 month old. I do regret about getting him fixed so early. Food is pretty much all the interest he has left. I have always kept my rabbits housed all together. I used to have 4, now I am down to 2, both pictured. Another male rabbit that I had, Paul's father, now deceased, was neutered at age 8 months old, and he was much more interested in many different things.

    How do I get him exercise more? They have lots of free roam time, he is welcome to run around.

    I have tried many different hay varieties. The last one I bought was "Small pet select" that has great reviews. I wasn't impressed at all.. it looked not very fresh even though the company states it's cut prior to shipping. We tried many other companies as well.

    I do serve Oxbow pellets because other rabbits that I have (had) may benefit from it. Thumperina lost weight when she wasn't feeling well, now she is trying to gain it back. Why are pellets bad? We don't feed a lot of pellets here.
     
  7. Dec 8, 2017 #7

    Thumperina

    Thumperina

    Thumperina

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    I have a feeling that he might have an infected eye. It looks irritated and he keeps it halfway closed.
    Do we have by any chance any over the counter antibiotic eye drops, maybe in fish departments in stores? I know there are some antibiotics there and don't require prescription and people say they even good for people (same quality)
    Tomorrow I am picking up metacam refill for Thumperina, can't afford her meds, a vet visit and medicine for him on the same day :(
    We are broke since she is sick (I have other exotic pets, who are on bread and water recently, figuratively speaking. People are on bread and water, too, while rabbits are on veggie buffet)
     
  8. Dec 8, 2017 #8

    Aki

    Aki

    Aki

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    Most males are fixed around 4 months. That was the case for my current male and the previous one and they had no problems. Not moving around and being overweight is a vicious circle as the fatter your rabbit will be the less he will move around.
    I'm a bit confused about your comments about the vegetables. If you have two rabbits, there is no way it costs that much or that you have to run to the store all the time or that means you are giving waaaay more than you should. I'd say each rabbit should get around 100g of vegetables a day, with 2/3 leafy greens, and most of the vegetables rabbits eat are pretty cheap. Isn't there a market around you? At the end of the market, most greengrocers will lower there prices and most of them will give away things like carrot tops / radish tops for free if you ask considering most people want them to be removed - they are getting thrown away anyway. Vegetables cost me around 8 dollars a week for 2 rabbits when I was living in Paris, which is one of the most expensive place on earth when it comes to food. Replacing hay by giving more other things won't fix the problem and if he is constantly eating something else I'm not surprised he isn't eating hay.
    What exactly and in which quantities are your rabbits eating?
    About the eye thing, you have to ask at the vet counter when you get the metacam. Maybe take a picture to show them and explain you can't get a full consultation.
     
  9. Dec 8, 2017 #9

    ladysown

    ladysown

    ladysown

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    I have no idea what is like weather wise in Kansas, but vegetation wise.. do you have grass growing?

    You can EASILY plant oat seeds and cut greens for your rabbits daily. Many seeds grow easily indoors and are safe plants for buns to eat like: oats, barley, sunflower, corn, saffflower, basil, parsley, various lettuces. Seeds are cheap and dirt very replaceable and reusable. grass seeds, wild plant seeds, etc. Just think outside the box of the grocery store and think like a farmer providing food for your critters.

    If you bun won't eat hay, consider other sources of fibre like BOSS, tree branches (apple, willow, pear) etc.

    To force exercise, place food in different places so he needs to hunt for it (Like a bunny in the wild would) .. make him have to climb up, over, down, etc to reach it. That way you also keep his mind agile. For caged bunnies it's as simple as putting a 2 x 6 piece of wood between their water and their food dish that they have to jump over... for free range bunnies I should think it wouldn't be that difficult.
     
  10. Dec 8, 2017 #10

    Thumperina

    Thumperina

    Thumperina

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    there is a market during the farmers season, which is, as you can probably imagine, is only a few months each year. Here it runs from may to october for veggies, once a week on Saturday, and usually buying in stores is cheaper for me. Also, my bunnies are conservative, if they never eaten radish tops, don't expect them to start eating them just because I got them cheap at the market.
    My friend once gave me some kale from her garden that she wasn't using, but guess what - my buns totally ignored it since it was a different variety.
    There is a list that I can get in the stores year around (kale, cilantro, parsley, collards, broccoli crowns, romaine lettuce, endive, sometimes green or red leaf lettuces) , and if I get something different on occasion, they simply won't eat it (examples of things that they ignored - basil, mint)
    100g per day with no regards to how large the rabbit is, and with no regards to whether or not they consume clear water? Can't be that simple. If they get all the necessary water from 100g of veggies, why bunnies that drink plain water even need water? Or, if they don't drink water, doesn't it mean that their veggie intake needs to be more?
    Oh another HUGE problem that I have with this scheme is that there is no garantee that if I give 200 g of greens to two rabbits, each would eat 100g. One of them can be not in the mood to eat right now (the female) or simply what is served isn;t her favorite, and this means another rabbit will eat it all and she will get none
    My constant concern is that they don't get enough water, but yes, I am sure I am overfeeding veggies. However, it's not that easy to break the habit and have them start eating hay and drinking water instead of veggies without going into stasis (no plain water intake, keep in mind). This rabbits are 5-6 years old and very conservative.
    I will write what and how I feed them soon. Need to go now.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2017
  11. Dec 8, 2017 #11

    JBun

    JBun

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    For the eye, he could have gotten some debris in it or scratched it. I usually will try flushing the eye out using plain sterile saline eye drops, something like natural tears or the plain saline for contacts(not the one with chemicals), to flush out any debris that might be stuck in there. If the eye still seems irritated the next day, the eye could have been scratched and may need antibiotic ophthalmic eye drops/ointment applied at least a couple of times a day for a week or longer. I usually get this from my vet, but there is an otc one called terramycin ophthalmic ointment. Vet is always best if you have a good vet and the money for it, but for minor issues I have used the otc eye ointment in the past. Usually livestock stores will have it, or it is available online on amazon, farm supply, or pet supply stores for cheaper than getting it in a store, about $15 for a small tube.

    The peeing issue, if it is a reoccurring problem, could be because he is overweight and can't assume the correct posture to keep from getting urine on his bottom. Or it could be a health issue like a UTI or soreness from arthritis causing this. If it is either of these, baytril or smz/tmp are usually used to treat UTI's. Metacam for arthritis. Or if it's a weight issue, then he would need to lose weight. Now that it's starting to get cold you will need to keep a close eye on the problem. If he gets a urine soaked bottom in freezing temps, being outdoors you can imagine that it wouldn't be a good thing. There is also the problem of urine scalded skin happening if his fur and skin continues to get soaked in his urine. Because baytril is a prescription medication, none of us can comment on whether or not you should try giving it to see if it helps. That is something only you can decide. Same with the metacam. However, if I feel like one of my rabbits is experiencing pain, I don't hesitate to give the proper pain relief.

    The increased respiratory effort could be from a multitude of possible issues. It could be from being overweight, it could be from being in pain from an underlying health problem like a UTI or arthritis.
     
  12. Dec 9, 2017 #12

    Thumperina

    Thumperina

    Thumperina

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    thank you JBun, Aki, ladysown
    the problem with his eye isn't new and it also results from being overweight.
    When he tries to clean himseldf, he always bends to the same side which results in too much pressure in the same eye (right) which makes the inside of the eye bulge out for some time (looks bloody), then it pops back in. Of course, it's not good for the eye. Not sure if my explanation is easy to understand. One vet called it the third eye lid, but I am not sure if this is what it is.
    This right eye looks OK today, but I will keep watching it.
     
  13. Dec 9, 2017 #13

    Thumperina

    Thumperina

    Thumperina

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    Basically, the problem is as follows:
    one rabbits isn't eating well, another is eating for two (too much), both eat no hay and drink no water, and keeping them separately would be too much stress for both
    There is no easy fix to this
    When they are in garage (after dark till the morning and sometimes longer if it's too cold to let them out when the morning comes), I have no way to watch them closely. I do come there from time to time, but I don't stay there all the time. I would love to have video surveillance to know who is eating and who is not. I already lost another rabbit FooFoo this past October, when I didn't catch that she stopped eating early enough. When I realized it, it was too late. Food has been eaten all the time

    Since Thumperina got sick, I use a trick to make sure she is the one who ate her kale. When it's warming up and the sun is bright, she usually likes to stay under plastic crate in the yard. I bring her kale out and put right there under the crate and later check if it's eaten. I am 99% sure that her companion doesn't help her eating kale. Of course, this scenario doesn't suppose for them to "hunt" for food, as was suggested. We just do here whatever works, and it's not ideal.
     

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