Calming an anxious bunny

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Oct 13, 2022
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New mexico
Hello to all! 😊 My Bugsy has been through a lot in his 1 1/2 years. Surgery on his eyelids for entropion which was very successful but he was so scared and anxious he didn't eat for almost 3 days. I was sure he was going to die. Everything I read about the GI stasis, I thought his fate was sealed. The trip to the vet was 30 miles and I think that added to his stress.
I petted and talked to him and tried to get him to eat or drink. I tried to force some fluids on him with his pain meds. And basically just wouldn't leave him alone. So he made it through he's doing great, now he needs his toenails trimmed. I have two different styles of Clippers and my husband and I are ready to do it but he will not hold still, don't touch my toes! I hear about Gabapentin being a calming agent. What do y'all know about that?
In humans, gabapentin is typically prescribed for neuralgia and seizures. I don't think it has an on-label use as an anxiolytic.

I would not expect this drug to exhibit a narcotic or calming affect on an animal.

EDIT: I just checked the BSAVA Small Animal Formulary. Mild sedation is listed as an adverse reaction. It's also a drug that shouldn't be used in one-off situations, as it takes several days to achieve peak concentration, and is one of those drugs in which the patient should be tapered off.
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Most rabbits dislike having their nails trimmed. It's just a matter of finding the technique that works best for your rabbit. Paying your vet to do it is also an option. Prescribing meds for a nail trim should be an absolutely last resort, as it's going to be something that has to be done every 4-8 weeks.
Just some additional info for future situations involving potential GI stasis if you weren't advised to give your bun regular syringe feeds until the appetite returned. A rabbit should never stop eating for more than 12-24 hours before it's considered an emergency situation that requires vet intervention. If your vet was consulted for the lack of appetite and didn't prescribe feeding mix and give instructions for regular syringe feeding, that's concerning and I would be looking for a more experienced rabbit vet if at all possible.