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Another Gas Question

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GardenSpots

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Sorry in advance for the book....

I am new to buns. I have had mine for about 4 months. He is about a year old. He has not had any problems in that time. He gets about 1/8c pellets in the morning, 2-2 1/2 c greens in the evening and hay/water 24/7. He is neutered. He has not had gas issues that I am aware of until Sunday night.

He ate his pellets Sunday morning as usual (with gusto) and was eating hay and drinking like a crazy man all day. Running around the house etc. Sunday evening he was a little more sedentary, but that is not unusual if he has had a lot of out time during the day. But then he refused his salad, which he has never done. Usually, he goes nuts over it, so I knew something was up immediately. Last week I had noticed an occasional small poop - usual form and consistency, no fur, no mucous, looked like very ordinary poops other than smaller than usual. I did not see a lot of them, but they continue every now and again.

Since I have been doing a lot of reading on here, I started looking for signs of gas and did notice a bit of belly rubbing going on, so decided to treat him for gas. After the second dose he was clearly feeling much better and by Monday morning was eating and drinking, running around as usual. I decided to pull all pellets and greens for Monday and see how he did. He was great all day, acting normal, went to bed, got up this morning and he is belly rubbing again. Treated him for gas again and he is eating hay and drinking as usual again tonight with another quick recovery after two doses of simethicone (I have given him 3 doses each time though). He has not had any pellets since Sunday morning and no greens since Saturday night.

At first I thought he might be having an issue with the new pellets as I have been slowly transitioning for about 2 weeks. We are not quite at 50% mix yet. In the meantime I have decided to go 50/50 until the new ones are gone and just go back to the original ones. But since he got gas overnight last night after only having hay and water since Sunday morning, I am not sure it's the pellets. He is eating, drinking and pooping, just with the occasional small poop thrown in which I am monitoring closely. When he is gassy he stops eating/drinking, but with simethicone he is back to his usual intake/output quickly.

What could be causing him to get gas all of a sudden? He's working on the same hay bale he's had for 3 months or so and that's all he's had since Sunday morning. It's stored inside in a ventilated hay bag raised off the floor. The hay does not look or smell moldy or damp. I thought it was usually veggies or pellets that caused gas? I will transition him back to his old pellets to see if that makes a difference in the long run, but for the short term I am thinking I should keep him on hay only for a few more days and give a maintenance dose of simethicone twice a day for a couple of more days.

Is that a good plan or should I also include some basic greens like red lettuce, maybe some mint or basil? I will continue to monitor him closely to make sure he is eating, drinking, peeing and pooping and watch for an increase/decrease in the smaller than normal poops.

Thanks for your thoughts.
 

JBun

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Usually it is either the pellets, treats, or veggie that causes gas, though I have had rabbits with an upset stomach that seemed to be caused be a weed or something in the hay. What type of hay do you feed and are you feeding any other treats or supplements?
 

Maureen Las

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I am thinking that it would not hurt to give him a dose of a probiotic like benebac. I have added that to my own treatment regime with a few of my bunnies.
Sometimes it is difficult to determine what is causing the problem. Keeping him off veggies and on hay for a few days sounds like a good plan to me as long as he is eating the hay ..you also may want to monitor his fluid intake as increased fluids will definitely help with GI issues.
 

GardenSpots

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He is eating coastal (bermuda) horse quality hay from a feed store I trust. I have been buying pet foods there for years. He is not getting any other treats or supplements other than his greens and pellets. He does get a variety of veggies depending on what I have as I am trying to vary the trace minerals he gets. Usually one or two types of greens, most often red or green leaf lettuce, sometimes kale or turnip greens. Then usually a pinch of carrots, maybe a couple of cherry type tomatoes, stems and leaves from broccoli or cauliflower if I have them, celery, some herbs (cilantro, basil, mint, oregano, rosemary), pretty much a variety of things depending on what I have eaten lately with the greens. Most days though it consists of whatever greens I have, and then two or three other things in small quantity added in. When I add something he hasn't had before or not had in a long time he gets very limited quantities for the first few days and thus far he had not had any problems with it.

He's been doing great tonight, running around and eating his hay like crazy. He's usually an excellent hay eater, so we don't have problems with that. I did find one poop tonight with a bit of hair mixed in. He does not seem to be shedding excessively though. He was acting very much like he was looking for his salad tonight, so I think he is feeling OK.
 

GardenSpots

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I will see if I can locate some benebac and also critical care as both would probably be good to have on hand along with the simethicone. He did seem to be drinking his usual tonight also. The water bowl was down to about it's usual level and I definitely saw him sitting and drinking for a while.
 

JBun

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I'm glad he's doing better. Maybe he just needed a little more time on hay only. If you are still having gas issues after a few days on hay only, you may want to get him to your vet to get a fecal test done, as it's possible parasites are causing the problem to continue.
 

GardenSpots

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So, he was back to belly pressing again this morning. I had elected not to give simethicone last night since he was doing so well. I gave him three doses this morning, he responded again by the second dose, and was running around before I left for work. He also eat a small spring of mint I gave him to see what would happen. He was looking for more.

When I got home from work he was running around as soon as I let him out of his condo. He had eaten some hay and the water bowl was down, so he is still eating and drinking, but the poop output is much lower than normal. I gave him simethicone when I got home and will give him another dose before bedtime to try to keep him from getting gassy again. He is eating a little less hay than normal (what usually he finishes in 2 days he is still working on for the third day, but it is well down in volume), but he does continue to eat it. I also gave him a small handful of red lettuce tonight to see how he would react to it and he ate it with his usual gusto.

I have made him an appointment with the vets for tomorrow. I also put a piece of plastic canvas I had under the grate in the litter box, but on top of the used litter so I could get a better idea of the poop output. It does not quite cover the bottom, but I positioned it over the spots he usually piles up poops from sitting and eating hay. Already he has put some out, so that is good. They all look normal and he is acting normal as long as he does not get gassy. This is so frustrating, but I am glad he is continuing to eat, drink and pee/poop.
 

JBun

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It just seems so strange for him to still be having gas when hay is the only thing in his diet. Aside from parasites or a sudden digestive disorder developing as being the cause, the only other thing that I can think of as a possibility is that maybe there's something wrong with the hay, though I have heard of bad water causing problems as well. Maybe you could buy a bag of timothy and try that for a couple days to see if it makes any difference. Hopefully the vet will be able to figure out what is going on.
 
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GardenSpots

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Yes, I agree about the gas especially since he hasn't had a problem with it. Somewhere I read though in the last day or two, that if there is a blockage or partial blockage, the food consumed can kind of ferment in there causing the gas build up. That seems reasonable to me and is the only thing I could think of other than maybe the hay. But he was eating hay all day yesterday and today and was fine all evening last night and has been fine since I got home tonight too. The last two nights though he got gassy overnight.

Regardless of how he is acting, I am going to give simethicone again before bedtime (he last had it about two hours ago and bedtime is in another 2-3 hours), to see if I can keep him from getting gassy overnight. He's in there munching away on his hay, drinking water and running around the living room in between. So, I just don't know. Poop volume is definitely down though.
 

JBun

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Yeah, that makes sense. I'm sure you're glad to see the poop coming, even if it isn't the normal volume. A gut motility med from the vet will probably be pretty helpful in getting this cleared up too. Or eventually the hay should get it all flowing normally after a while.
 

GardenSpots

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Update after the vet visit:

He has some GI Stasis caused by a parasite - Coccidia. The vet thinks he probably had it (Coccidia) when I got him and it has just taken that long for it to build up to the point it was giving him a problem. He's on an antibiotic and the vet said to give him hay, water and Gerber Green Veggies. I can't find green veggies, but found garden vegetables. Unfortunately, Ollie is not impressed with the baby food. He is continuing to eat his hay and drink his water though. The vet said the antibiotics should keep the gas at bay and everything should get moving within a few days. He did caution he could die from it, but he thought we got it early enough. His stomach is distended and larger than normal, but it was a good sign everything is still moving through. He'd like him to have the puree to keep things softened up in there, but I can't even get him to syringe it. But the vet said it would be the hay that gets things moving through. So, I'm going to leave the veggie puree in there a while and see if he changes his mind.

The vet said he was glad he decided to do the fecal as he thought the poops all looked normal, as did I. So, hopefully, my little man is on the road to recovery. The vet said most rabbits are in a lot worse shape when people bring them in. He also said it sounded like I was doing everything right in terms of his diet and things, so I guess I have learned a lot in four months (many thanks to the posts I have been reading here!) He also said "I had a very well socialized rabbit there!" He was a very good patient.:)
 

JBun

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Wow! I'm so glad you took him to the vet, and that the vet did the fecal test. Coccidiosis can get really bad, but it does sound like you caught it pretty early. Something like this could have gone undiagnosed until it got much worse. Well done :)

I'm a little surprised at the vet suggesting feeding the baby food. I would have thought fresh leafy greens like green leaf lettuce, parsley, or cilantro would be better options to help with gut motility, and would be better for your rabbit. Plus you wouldn't have to force feed them. Maybe you could ask your vet about feeding those instead.

I'm curious what antibiotic the vet prescribed?
 

GardenSpots

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Ollie is giving some effort to the baby food now. He'll take a bite or two and walk away, but he keeps going back. So, better than nothing.

I believe the antibiotic is Albon.?
 

tonyshuman

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Albon is a good treatment for coccida. I would keep looking for a probiotic, and you can keep up the gas meds if it helps.
 

GardenSpots

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No change in poop output tonight yet. He is eating, drinking and running around though. He also ate the veggie puree much faster this morning, so he is warming up to that also. I am not sure where he is putting all that food considering the output out the back end, but he sure is packing it in there!

I tried Petsmart for Benebac, but they did not have any. I will check at Tractor Supply and the feed store tomorrow. I am glad he is at least holding his own right now and seems to be feeling really well. Hopefully, in another day or two everything will start moving a bit faster in there. No more gas since we started the antibiotic either, so that is good news as well.
 
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