Bunny didn't eat for about 8/10 hours and now is eating again

Discussion in 'Health & Wellness' started by QueenMab, Oct 24, 2012.

Help Support Rabbits Online by donating:

  1. Oct 24, 2012 #1

    QueenMab

    QueenMab

    QueenMab

    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2012
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    NSW, , Australia
    Hi guys,
    yesterday evening I got home from work and Emilio didn't jump to get his treats, weird.
    He was very quiet on the floor, he refused to eat anything. He kept going to his litter box and even flopped in it (he never did that before). I think he was trying to poop with no results. I went to bed very worried but thank God he started eating again and drinking during the night. This morning there was a pile of poop, quite small balls though.
    He clearly has an upset stomach, what could I do or give him to help him?
    He's 9 months old, he eats hay, a bowl of veggies a day and pellets as treats. He never had stomach problems before.
    Are there herbs or veggies that could help him?
     
  2. Oct 25, 2012 #2

    katherine at sacred stories

    katherine at sacred stories

    katherine at sacred stories

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2012
    Messages:
    642
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    colonial heights , Virginia, USA
    I am so sorry Emilio is having tummy troubles. It's a great sign that he is eating and drinking again and it's good that he did poop but it is a concern that the poops aren't normal size. You might try giving him only timothy or other grass hay for several days and cutting back on the pellets and greens.

    Feeding sugarless papaya and pineapple juice can also help. Exercise and gentle tummy rubs help with gas buildup and to get the GI system moving. Baby Gas-X can be given in drops to help with gas buildup.

    If the poops don't return to normal or he stops eating and drinking again, it's time for a vet visit. If the problems persist and you feel he's in pain, it's important to get him to a vet quickly.

    If you scroll down to the Library Topics on the home page of this site, there's excellent, detailed information on GI Stasis.
     
  3. Oct 25, 2012 #3

    katherine at sacred stories

    katherine at sacred stories

    katherine at sacred stories

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2012
    Messages:
    642
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    colonial heights , Virginia, USA
    I copied the "Treatment of GI Stasis" section from the Library for you and pasted it here. Reading the wholesection in the Libraryis veryhelpful though. Scroll down to Library, then scroll to "Health" then "GI Stasis".
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Early Symptoms
    Early symptoms are those that happen before the intestines actually shut down. Treating the early symptoms means that the rabbit will be much less likely to go into actual GI stasis. Some of the common early symptoms are fewer or small poops but still pooping, poops that are misshapen, strung together, or covered in mucous, and changes in eating habits. As is always the case for GI stasis, it is very important to find out why this is happening so you can correct the problem or prevent it from happening again.

    HYDRATE! Water is very important to proper gut function. Since these are the early symptoms, you shouldn't need to do syringe feeding or sub-q fluids. Get more water into your bun by dipping their regular veggies in water, giving them a water bowl instead of a bottle (most buns will drink more from bowls), offer a second container of lightly flavored water- vanilla, flavored Pedialyte, herbal mint tea, or no-sugar-added apple or carrot juice are popular additions, or offer canned pumpkin which has a lot of water as well as some fiber.

    FIBER! Feed more hay. Encourage the bun to eat as much hay as possible. Give them several varities, stuff it in toys, spray some lightly with apple juice, herbal mint tea, or another flavor your buns like. Just make sure the wet hay doesn't go moldy. Replace it after a day. Reduce pellets to encourage the bun to eat more hay too, and take away all treats. Regular veggies are fine, though, as long as the bun is used to eating them.

    EXERCISE! Get those bunny butts moving! The more they move, the more their intestinal muscles move. Give the bun as much exercise time as possible. They may need a little encouragement if they are feeling a little sick.

    Clean the litterbox and cage often so you can see how much your rabbit has pooped and peed recently.

    Your rabbit might require veterinary attention, especially if you suspect that the culprit is due to a health problem that needs to be treated such as tooth problems or infection (especially if the bun has diarrhea).

    Treating GI Stasis
    Now it gets harder to tell whether your rabbit needs to see a vet or not. When in doubt, go to a vet. Trust me, you're better safe than sorry. If your rabbit appears to be in distress- grinding or chattering teeth in pain, breathing unusually fast, body temperature too high or low (check with plastic rectal thermometer, normal is 101-103 F), you have been doing home treatments with no improvement, or if you just feel that your rabbit needs more help than you can give him- go to a vet.

    Home Treatments

    - Simethicone: the active ingredient in gas medicines. You can also give gas meds made in tablet form for adults although it might be harder to get a rabbit to take it. The gas might either be the main cause of the stasis- large bubbles blocking the intestine and causing pain- or it can develop because of the stasis. Either way, it is uncomfortable for the rabbit and is easy to treat. Give approximately 1ml (1 cc) per hour for first three hours, then 1ml every 3 – 8 hours, as needed. Yes, rabbits require more than babies! Simethicone is very safe and it does not get absorbed into the body, although it should not be used with certain pain meds such as opiates. You should be able to get it at any pharmacy.

    - Tummy Massage: massaging or vibrating your rabbit's tummy can help gas bubbles move out and help get solids moving through the intestines too. To help gas get out, lift your rabbit's rear up slightly sometimes during the massage. Pay close attention to your bun during the massage. If you see any signs of pain, stop. More likely, your bun will relax a bit. You can vibrate the bun's tummy with a gentle electric back massager, vibrating toothbrush, or even a ride in the car.

    - Heat: Just like when we're sick and snuggle under blankets, rabbits might need heat to feel comfortable when they are sick. Painful conditions like stasis and gas can also cause a bunny's temperature to drop due to shock. You can offer your bun a sock stuffed with dry rice and heated in the microwave, a warm towel, or a plastic Snuggle Safe heating pad.

    - NutriCal: a nutritional supplement for cats and dogs that is found in many pet stores. Other brands are fine too. Squish a small amount on your rabbit's paw so he has to lick it off. Some rabbits like the taste and will take it from the tube. Nutrical not only provides a little bit of energy from calories, but also B vitamins for energy and as an appetite stimulant, and Vitamin E which may soothe the intestines.

    - Probiotics: The rabbit's GI system is dependant on beneficial bacteria. During stasis the "bad" bacteria might grow more than the good ones and cause problems. This can also be a cause of stasis, for example if the bad bacteria are getting lots of sugary or starchy treats from the rabbit's diet. Although probiotics don't provide the same types of bacteria that rabbits actually need, they may still help some. Some people suspect that probiotics might help the good bacteria grow. A popular brand in the US is called Benebac and can be found in many pet stores, feed stores, and vet offices. Acidophilus tablets might also be useful. Please do not use yogurt because many rabbits are lactose intolerant and the yogurt might upset their stomachs even more.

    -Syringe feeding: if your rabbit isn't eating or drinking, you may need to syringe food and fluids into their mouths. Before you do much syringe feeding, make sure a vet checks for any intestinal blockages. As already stated, fluids are very important. Good fluids to give are room temperature or lukewarm water, flavored or unflavored Pedialyte (drink for dehydrated children- adult drinks have too much sugar), and chamomile or mint herbal teas, both of which are known to be good for upset stomachs. Although some people like to use fresh pineapple juice for it's enzymes, keep in mind that it is very sugary and might cause more problems because of that.

    For food, the easiest basic things to feed are products made for syringe feeding: Oxbow's Critical Care and American Pet Diner's Critter Be Better. Mix the powder with water, let it soak for at least 10 minutes if not longer, and it's ready to go! Some rabbits love it. However, not all rabbits will be happy about eating a strange new food while they are sick. In that case, you can grind up their pellets as finely as possible then soak them in water before feeding. You can also add to the pellets, such as NutriCal for vitamins, canned pumpkin or shredded fresh herbs for taste, probiotics, mint or chamomile tea instead of some of the water for taste and to soothe the stomach, whatever your bun likes as long as you think you can get it through a syringe.

    -Sub-Q Infusion: Although not traditionally considered a home treatment, providing a 'drip' or injection of fluids subcutaneously (under the skin) can be literally a life saver. More vets and other professionals are now recommending that the apparatus and supplies, along with detailed and precise instructions from your vet about their use, be part of home emergency kits.

    - Enzymes: Enzymes from fresh pineapple and papaya have previously been recommended because it was thought that they would help to digest and break apart "hairballs" or food/hair masses in the GI tract. However, the enzymes do not actually digest hair as previously thought. There are some suspicions that the enzymes can help break down the mucous covering the masses, making it easier for water to penetrate and soften them, but this has not been proven. However, fresh pineapple juice (not canned or bottled, the preservation process destroys the enzymes) does provide some benefits, including hydration. But be aware that fresh juice and many enzyme tablets are very high in sugar and so might actually cause more problems.

    - Hairball Remedies: these are not recommended any more, although some vets still suggest them in the hope that the oils will help slide things through the intestines. The problem is that the thick oils can coat dried-up masses in the stomach and intestines, preventing water from getting into them and breaking them up. If you want to use them, make sure the rabbit is well hydrated before giving the hairball remedy.


    Veterinary Treatments
    When you take your rabbit to the vet, he should give him a full exam and check him for health problems that aren't directly related to the GI stasis, as they could be causing the stasis due to pain. He will palpate (feel) the abdomen carefully to see if he can feel blockages or gas and to see if there is anything in the intestines and stomach. Hopefully he will do an xray too, as that can show problems that can't always be felt.

    - Hydration: Even if you have been giving your rabbit oral fluids, your vet might give your rabbit sub-q (subcutaneous) fluids. He might also teach you how to do it and send everything you need home with you. This can be scary for some people, but do it! Sub-q fluids get fluids directly into the body, whereas oral fluids might not be absorbed into the body if they are blocked in the stomach. It can also be less stressful for your rabbit, especially if he doesn't take to syringe feeding very well.

    - Pain medicine: Necessary! If your vet doesn't give you any, ask for them. And if he gives Metacam, ask about the possibility of stronger meds such as Tramadol or Buprenex.

    - Gut Stimulants: Some vets swear by gut motility drugs like Cisapride and Reglan, and some are opposed to their use. They force the intestinal muscles to move more. There are mixed feelings on these as some believe them to be painful, and they can also cause problems. If your vet is going to prescribe these, make sure he does an xray to check for blockages. If there is a blockage, a gut stimulant can make it worse and might even cause the intestine to rupture and kill the rabbit.

    - B Vitamins: your vet might give a B vitamin shot to stimulate the appetite and to replace vitamins that your bun would normally be getting from eating his cecals.

    - Cholestyramine (Questran): Especially if there is mucous in the stool or the vet has another reason to suspect Clostridium (bad bacteria) problems. Questran binds to the dangerous toxins produced by Clostridium, preventing them from harming the rabbit.

    - Antibiotics: these may be given if the vet suspects a bacterial infection. Flagyl is commonly prescribed for Clostridium, although other antibiotics might also be used.
     
  4. Oct 25, 2012 #4

    katherine at sacred stories

    katherine at sacred stories

    katherine at sacred stories

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2012
    Messages:
    642
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    colonial heights , Virginia, USA
    Moderator--sorry about that long cut and paste. I meant to edit it down when I saw how long it was but my computer froze and my edit time ran out. If it's a problem feel free to delete it:)
     
  5. Oct 25, 2012 #5

    QueenMab

    QueenMab

    QueenMab

    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2012
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    NSW, , Australia
    thanks Katherine, the vet is just around the corner from my place so if it gets any worse I'll definitely bring him. I'll try with the pineapple juice, he should like it and I will cut down on the pellets (I bought this new mix that has too many seeds, could it be that?)
    I might call by the vet and see if he can give me something to bring home.
     
  6. Oct 25, 2012 #6

    katherine at sacred stories

    katherine at sacred stories

    katherine at sacred stories

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2012
    Messages:
    642
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    colonial heights , Virginia, USA
    The new food could be the problem. It's my understanding that rabbits shouldn't have any seeds at all. Timothy hay based pellets with no seeds, nuts, corn or sugary treats are best.

    I'm so glad to hear your vet is close by! I know how frightening tummy troubles can be. It's great that you noticed this right away.
     
  7. Oct 25, 2012 #7

    Imbrium

    Imbrium

    Imbrium

    Jennifer

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2012
    Messages:
    5,879
    Likes Received:
    897
    Location:
    Houston, Texas, USA
    yes, seeds, nuts, corn and sugary/fruity bits are all BAD for bunnies - those foods are designed to look appealing to humans. when we see something colorful and full of variety, we tend to assume it's better for our fur-babies than boring ol' plain pellets... but it's actually the opposite that's true. they need plain pellets with NO other things mixed in.

    my favorite food is sherwood forest because it has NO added sugars/molasses and is all natural - https://www.naturalrabbitfood.com/sherwood-forest-natural-rabbit-food/ (it can only be ordered online)... you can get a sample for just the cost of shipping. because it doesn't have the sugars that other pellets do, it can take up to a month or so for them to adjust to eating it.

    if you don't want to go with sherwood, oxbow essentials is a pretty good brand and there are a few other decent ones out there. look for low protein (12-15%) and high fiber (at least 20-25%) with nothing but pellets in it.
     
  8. Oct 25, 2012 #8

    JBun

    JBun

    JBun

    Jenny - Health & Wellness Mod Staff Member Administrator Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2012
    Messages:
    7,826
    Likes Received:
    2,008
    Location:
    Utah, , USA
    The seeds in the food can definitely cause or contribute to GI stasis. The best thing to get your rabbits' digestion and poops back to normal would be to feed hay only and green leafy veggies, no pellets. Avoid veggies that cause gas, no fruit, sugary treats, grains, carbs, and starches like carrots. What happens is the sugars and carbs upset the balance of good bacteria in the GI system. Digestion slows down and a blockage occurs. This can definitely kill rabbirs so if your rabbit stops eating and pooping again, you'll want to get to the vet immediately.

    It's really good that he's eating and pooping again, but you need to be really strict with his diet until his poops go back to normal. Normal is round, not soft or runny, and generally about the same size. If they are irregular, extra small or big, or soft and mushy then there are still problems with your rabbit, and after a few days of hay and greens only, if it doesn't get better, you should call your vet.

    I personally don't like to use pineapple or papaya tablets because it adds sugars to the diet, and that's what you are trying to avoid because that's part of what's causing the problem in the first place.

    You will not want to use those pellets anymore. Once your rabbits poops are normal, you could either pick all seeds and extra bits out of those pellets and just give plain pellets, or you could buy a different kind that is just plain pellets but you will need to gradully transition your rabbit onto the new feed cause he's not used to it. Start with a tiny bit, like 1/2 tsp, and gradually increase over 2 weeks time. If the poops change at all stop giving the pellets and consult your vet. Your rabbit may need probiotics to get his poops and digestion back to normal.
     
  9. Oct 25, 2012 #9

    QueenMab

    QueenMab

    QueenMab

    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2012
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    NSW, , Australia
    Hi there,
    I live in Australia and we probably have 1/2 the bunny products available in the states. Oxbow is crazy expansive, a small bag of hay costs $16, I just bought some Oxbow timothy hay cakes @ $10 for 400 gr!
    No more seeds for Emilio from now on!
    Right now I'm with him, he did a few binkies and ate his parsley and hay from this morning.
     
  10. Oct 25, 2012 #10

    JBun

    JBun

    JBun

    Jenny - Health & Wellness Mod Staff Member Administrator Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2012
    Messages:
    7,826
    Likes Received:
    2,008
    Location:
    Utah, , USA
    Hay and greens are the most important things right now. Also if he drinks out of a bottle, also give him a water dish. Rabbits will usually drink more that way, and the water is really important for him right now.

    When you do put him back on pellets, if you can't get the timothy pellets, just make sure whatever you do get is just plain pellets with no seeds or treats in it.

    If you have horse feed stores around where you live, sometimes they will have bales of grass hay, at least here in the states they do. You get a lot more hay and it's a lot cheaper.
     
  11. Oct 25, 2012 #11

    katherine at sacred stories

    katherine at sacred stories

    katherine at sacred stories

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2012
    Messages:
    642
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    colonial heights , Virginia, USA
    :clapping::yahoo::clapping::yahoo::clapping::yahoo::clapping:

    Yea, Binkies!!!
     
  12. Oct 25, 2012 #12

    Imbrium

    Imbrium

    Imbrium

    Jennifer

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2012
    Messages:
    5,879
    Likes Received:
    897
    Location:
    Houston, Texas, USA
    as Jenny said, feed stores/horse stables will often sell hay and it's SO much cheaper than buying the oxbow stuff at a pet store!
     
  13. Oct 25, 2012 #13

    Nancy McClelland

    Nancy McClelland

    Nancy McClelland

    Larry Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2007
    Messages:
    16,135
    Likes Received:
    1,128
    Location:
    Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
  14. Nov 4, 2012 #14

    QueenMab

    QueenMab

    QueenMab

    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2012
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    NSW, , Australia
    Hi guys,
    so Emilio has an upset tummy again :( Same thing happened, he didn't eat and poop for about 10 hours and now he's recovering. Last time we thought it was the pellet mix with seeds, I cut the seeds immediately and gave him way more hay. So it probably wasn't that? I now think it might be hair?
    He's a plush lop (short hair)maybe I should get a glove instead of a normal brush?
    It's so frustrating not knowing the cause.
    Is it quite common for bunnies to have an upset tummy once in a while or there is definitely something wrong?
     
  15. Nov 4, 2012 #15

    Imbrium

    Imbrium

    Imbrium

    Jennifer

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2012
    Messages:
    5,879
    Likes Received:
    897
    Location:
    Houston, Texas, USA
    some are more prone to it than others...

    if he's molting, hair could be a problem. personally, I don't find the glove very helpful but I LOVE the furminator!

    are you feeding him any cruciferous veggies? (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cruciferous_vegetables ) those could be causing gas.

    it could also be a sensitivity to the sugars in pellets - some bunnies just don't do well with pellets even when it's a good kind. you could try cutting back on pellets or even cutting them out of his diet... also, if you give any small fruit treats, I would cut those out. some bunnies just don't handle sugar and carbs well.

    given that he's recovering on his own within 10 hours or so, I think it's much more likely to be hair or gas than pellets, though.
     
  16. Nov 5, 2012 #16

    MyRabbits

    MyRabbits

    MyRabbits

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2008
    Messages:
    191
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Silver Spring, Maryland, USA
    WIth my very thickly coated Flemsish Giant doe, I have found that over time she did accumulate excess fur in her cecum which slowed her down. The vet said it probably made her quite uncomfortable (she is older so I believe this happened over a course of years; she eats a LOT of hay).

    What I found is that American Health Chewable Acidophilus and Bifidus-Strawberry Flavor, available at your local healthfood store or on amazon.com, $8/100 tablets makes her start pooping out oblong entirely fur poops that are connected in a string of pearl by further strands of hair. I gave her two tablets in the morning and two in the evening for 2-3 weeks before this seemed to clean everything out. She ate them like they were like candy and was immediately much more energetic, jumping up on furniture that previously she had never attempted to get on to.

    I note that not all my other Flemish are in the slight bit tempted to try these. It would be very easy to crush them, however, and dissolve them in apple juice and administer by oral syringe. Apple juice typically makes such preparations eagerly ingetsted. . . .

    Perhaps this might be useful to you over time. Since it took only half an hour for two tablets to entirely clear up the poopy butt that prompted me to try them on her, I suspect they might be a handy thing to have around anyway -- like for avoiding travel-related poopy butt that leaves a rabbit embarrassing himself on the show table. . . .
     

Share This Page