Choking Rabbit

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PupTheRabbit

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Today there has been a death of a famous Continental Giant named Sheldon. His parents woke up to gurgling noises and realized he was choking on a piece of hay. They did everything they could but it was too far lodged in his throat. It is horribly sad.

My rabbit, Pup, is a very fast eater and now I am so paranoid this may happen to him.

What should I do to make sure he doesn't eat fast? Any techniques to slow them down? Also, does it matter how often I feed him? I feed him before I go to work in the morning around 8 and when I get home at 6:30. Is that too big of a time lapse? He has loads of hay in his cage to munch on all day, so please no critical comments. I am only asking for help because I am very concerned.
 
S

Sophie's Humble Servant

You could put his pellets in a treat ball. That way he has to nudge it and roll it around to get the food out. Then he can't just inhale it all at once:)

You can also get a hay ball. It's a metal ball that you stuff hay into.

How fast is he eating his hay? Could you post a video?
 
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PupTheRabbit

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What about food like lettuce, cilantro, etc...? I don't feed him pellets anymore.

And I will try to post a video later on.
 
S

Sophie's Humble Servant

You could put the veggie greens in the metal hay ball I would imagine. It would rinse off easily enough after if it needed a cleaning. If you get this one I would take the bell off...sound could get annoying lol

Or if the spaces seem to big for veggies you could also try a metal bird suet feeder.

image.jpg
 
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JBun

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Choking isn't very common, but it obviously can happen. To help slow down your buns eating and help prevent him from gulping his food down, you can try using a treat ball, scatter the pellets, mix the pellets in with the hay, or even make a pellet mush- though if you do this it needs to always be fresh so that it doesn't get moldy. For veggies, cut them in small pieces and scatter them around on the floor, so that it takes more effort and time to eat them. Time wise that is fine. My buns get their pellets about 12 hours apart as well.

There is also this technique that can be used in emergency choking cases. It's very important that you have a good hold on your bun and make sure the back and spine are supported by your forearms, when doing this. It's also VERY important to take your rabbit to the vet afterwards, as there is a high risk of the rabbit developing aspiration pneumonia. And like I already mentioned, this is for emergency choking only. This is the link that I got the choking instructions from.
http://en.allexperts.com/q/Rabbits-703/pet-rabbit-gagging-Rabbit.htm

"Rabbits do not have a vomit reflex, but they can choke on their food with the result you saw here. I hope he's okay now! If his nose was pointed in the air, then his airway was blocked, and he was trying desperately to get oxygen.

When this happens, and if the rabbit cannot clear his own airway, then the only way to save his life is with the "rabbit Heimlich maneuver" which is difficult to safely perform. I know it's too late now, but if this ever happens again (not likely, I hope!), you must take the rabbit and firmly align him between your forearms so that his neck and spine are absolutely immobilized. Swing your arms upward (rabbit nose pointing to the sky), and then smoothly (not *too* fast) swing them down, being extremely careful not to allow the bunny to hit the floor!

Again, it is *vital* to have the neck and back completely immobilized so that the force of the swing doesn't break the delicate back!

The centripetal force of the swing will push the bunny's internal organs forward, forcing air out of the lungs, and (hopefully) clearing the rabbit's trachea. We have had to do this only a couple of times, and it is very traumatic, sometimes requiring 2-3 swings before the bunny can breathe again.

Once the bunny can breathe, it's important to schedule a veterinary appointment as soon as possible, since aspiration pneumonia can result from an episode like this
."

And also:
http://www.medirabbit.com/EN/GI_diseases/Bunny_201.pdf

[FONT=Calibri,Bold][FONT=Calibri,Bold]
Treating Choking
[/FONT]
[/FONT]
•​
Pick the rabbit up, hold along the length of arm, with the other hand on
top to steady, holding the scruff because this IS an emergency

•
Swing downward with the arm that's holding the rabbit, to get 'gravity'
and motion to help dislodge​
•
Can also stroke the throat upward toward the mouth (Clear the nasal
passage and mouth by wiping away mucous)​
•
Once the rabbit is calmer you can syringe out mucous or other foreign
matter with a bulb syringe (If you don't have one, clear as much mucous
out as you can, with a damp cloth or paper towel)
•
If the rabbit is small and you can hold between your hands, cup bunny in
your hands and swing downward in a long arc


 
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