Cow Pile Syndrome?

Discussion in 'Health & Wellness' started by Strongheart, Aug 25, 2008.

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  1. Aug 25, 2008 #1

    Strongheart

    Strongheart

    Strongheart

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    We have a shelter rabbit who when neutered had a hematoma in one scrotal sac. So he was on trimethsulfate for 10 days.

    Afterward, he began having very mushy poop, some looking like diarrhea even. I gave him calendula tea which is a wonderful probiotic and balances the gut flora, he has had this almost every day.

    I am only giving him hay as well. His poops did return to normal but now he is having another bout. His name is Orion and you can see his pic on a rescue thread but he is a mini rex with gold hotot markings.

    Does this sound like cow pile syndrome? I can't seem to find much info about that. He's going to the vet soon but with the shelter buns, they want to know if it is something 'fixable' before they agree to pay for it. If it's not, then I have my rescue pay for it. So I need to have as much info about what it could be ahead of time to be able to be cost effective.

    Thanks!!!
     
  2. Aug 25, 2008 #2

    BSAR

    BSAR

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    I have never heard of that. I'm sorry. Its good that you are taking him to the vet. Where is his picture at?
     
  3. Aug 25, 2008 #3

    Maureen Las

    Maureen Las

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    http://www.rabbitsonline.net/view_topic.php?id=36159&forum_id=10

    "Mega-colon is cowpile syndrome..it is a hereditary disorder of the GI tract found in some rabbits with the English spot/hotot coloring or rabbits generally white with dark black or brown rings around the eyes and black or brown misshapen spots on their back.The symptoms include big misshapen soft fecals, frequently covered with mucuos and a drippy bottom alternating wth long painful bout of GI stasis. The disorder is believed to be caused by a misdevelopment or malfunction of the colon and/or cecum. During the spells of stasis it is possible to feel large masses of fecal material with the consistency of ropes of playdough when the rabbit's belly is palpated. Before arriving at the diagnosis fecal tests are recommended to elimiinate the possibility of parasites or bacterial imbalance or overgrowth in the GI tract "
    per rabbit health In the 21st century by kathy Smith
     
  4. Aug 25, 2008 #4

    Strongheart

    Strongheart

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    Well there we go. Thanks! I shouldn't be so lazy and just do a search! I am managing so many rabbits right now that I can barely remember my name sometimes! It's like that commercial in the pet store where the rabbits just keep multiplying while the cashier is trying to approve a customer's credit card.

    Here is Orion:

    [​IMG]

     
  5. Aug 25, 2008 #5

    ra7751

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    Hi,

    I don't buy into the mega-colon/cow pile thing. I suspect your problem here is caused primarily by the choice of drugs. Sulfa drugs tend to allow an overgrowth of a bacteria called Clostridium....in fact, a condition known as Tyzzer's Disease has been linked to the use of sulfanomides. Sulfanomides also tend to causevery dry eyes so if they are used, supplemental eyelubrication should beutilized in the form of basic tears or gel. I very rarely use sulfa drugs with rabbits as it's not very effective.....I use it sometimes for confirmed staph infections or for aspiration pneumonia but it's rare that I find the need to use it. There are drugs that are much safer and more effective in dealing with this type of infection that your rabbit has (I have a testicular cancer survivor in our sanctuary).. And I would urge caution in using holistic type treatments with western type meds. In my opinion (non-professional of course) the tea thing is not very effective either. The best probiotic available (and I use it extensively in my wildlife rescue) is Bene-Bac. It contains L Casei and Enterococcus which helps to maintain and stabilize the pH in the gut. It's not the bacteria you put in....it's the stabilizing of the pH at the proper level that allows for a good environment for beneficial bacteria to grow and repopulate a compromised GI.

    Here is a link to an interesting article on Tyzzer's Disease....this could very likely account for the mega-colon/cow pile thing. Clostridium is also seen in rabbits suffering from GI stasis/ileus. It can cause rapid death in compromised animals but if controlled early, it can be beaten. I have had good success in using Metronidazole (Flagyl) during GI events. http://www.merckvetmanual.com/mvm/index.jsp?cfile=htm/bc/21000.htm

    In my non-professional opinion based on many years of dealing with very sick rabbits....allow his gut time to stabilize. I would ask the vet toseek an alternative antibiotic should the need arise. And I don't think I would beusing tea as that is not a natural part of a rabbit's diet. That means a diet in the way nature intended....low protein, high fiber. That is limited pellets (high quality) and unlimited amounts of various grass hays. I would use Bene-Bac at least once, maybe twice, a day. It is available in a paste or a powder. I prefer powder since I mix it in formula....but I also sprinkle it on food. You can't overdose on it...so go for it. It might take several weeks to get a "ready gut". Make sure he is on a solid floor so he can reach and ingest his cecals which is vital to helping to control the gut. Bunny basics 101 diet should resolve this issue.

    Hope this helps your rabbit. I see this a lot in rescue rabbits and those that have had certain antibiotics.

    Randy
     
  6. Aug 25, 2008 #6

    Strongheart

    Strongheart

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    Thanks for your opinion Randy but I'm afraid we will never agree on holistic medicine. My work with holistic medicine and the successes I've had (paralyzed e.c. rabbits hopping again, fighting deadly fungal infections, featured in Lucile Moore's new book) as a COMPLIMENTARY medicine have gained the attention of some of the top exotic vets in the country, which is where I take my sanctuary rabbits and the shelter rabbits. They have seen it work and are on alert.

    It was a little 12 week old baby last weekend that the shelter called me about who had diarrhea and I went in and got him. Took his temp and was 96.1. He was in shock for two hours while we set up his hospital cage to give him heat therapy and it was the calendula tea which rebalanced his gut flora and saved his life. And all the herbal stuff is part of their natural diet. Calendula is just marigold flower heads. Rabbits eat flowers in the wild for sure and self-medicate with medicinal herbs which are mostly just backyard weeds like dandelion, mint, yucca, etc. The herbalist I work with and who recommends calendula for gut flora balance wrote the herbal section of Rabbit Health in the 21st Century by Kathy Smith.

    When used under the advice of someone like that, you can see miracles in conjunction with allopathic meds.

    I do however agree that sulfa drugs are not handled well by some animals, however they remain one of the most stable antibiotics as far as bug resistance goes. We only have a few years of antibiotics left before they stop working completely and the herbal tradition will be the only thing left to fight the bugs with.

    He should not have an imbalance in his gut flora. The calendula balances that in all mammals and in birds. I've spent as much as $3k consulting with top vets for a bird's stinky poop infection and the suggestion was just that she stay on amoxicillin for life. That's when I talked to the master herbalist about it and she said to give her calendula tea. It cost less than $1 and her infection was gone in a few days and has never come back. Same thing with rabbits. Works the same way.

    In fact, technically, you're recommending herbal therapy by saying to give a variety of grass hays (which he gets). Those are herbs too. But thanks! Always good to get lots of input. You might want to re-evaluate your stance on herbal medicine. It is becoming pretty mainstream. :)
     
  7. Aug 25, 2008 #7

    Maureen Las

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  8. Aug 25, 2008 #8

    Maureen Las

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    This (RIP Gabriel) who I took in a little over a year ago after he was brought to the shelter extremely dehydrated and half starved. he recently died from renal failure which was probably related to the devastation of his early neglect.

    I do believe that he had cow-pile syndrome if such a condition exists as he had every symptom. From his first poop they were all either huge or small and very wet. He had a lot of lab work done early on as I thought he may have had coccidia so had him tested 3 times with 3 negatives. He also had frequent periods of stasis.

    He wasn't on any sulfa meds or any meds really and yet he never changed ...persisting with these strange poops.

    He had black eyeliner eyes and a faint streak down his back. If he didn't have mega-colon he had something else that wasn't normal.
     
  9. Aug 25, 2008 #9

    Strongheart

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    Hi angieluv, I'm so sorry to hear about your little buddy. His poops sound just like Orion's. One bunch of poops will be bloated really big and then another bunch will be really small. And some are very mushy but not really wet. Of course all the buns I'm feeding brome hay right now tend to have dryer poops.

    But when he has the mushy ones, they're like cow pies hence the name I guess of this disorder? If so, he might never get adopted or maybe. It would have to be a really experienced bunny person.

    I have had one other bunny have this same thing and he died suddenly. Same poop problem. I was out of town. I was so sad to see him go as he was so very dear and also a hotot.

    There has to be a solution to this. I'm going to ask Debbie the herb lady about some ideas. To me, my thought is that it seems like IBD in humans. I will talk to the vet about it this week.

    I have a microscope and do my own fecals so I can do them over and over to eliminate false negatives. So far he does not have any parasites.

     
  10. Aug 25, 2008 #10

    Maureen Las

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    I never did herbal treatment but if you know the herbalist from Kathy Smith's books ..go for it with this guy. He looks like a real cutie.

    I have IBS and I guess that if I was in a shelter I and was a rabbit I may not have made it out. I think a rabbit saavy person would adopt a megacolon bun
    There are several other people on this forum that have had hotots with problems also.

    Gabriel was very messy, not pooping in the box and the consistency of the poop was really gross. I am rabbit person down to the bone but I couldn't pick up his poops with my hands because they were nasty.
    You are a fairly new member and I hope that you stay on this site because i think that you could provide a lot of great info here :D
     
  11. Aug 26, 2008 #11

    Strongheart

    Strongheart

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    Oh I'll stay. I come on here and list the shelter rabbits. It's a great venue for advertising rabbit stuff. It's hard to say if it has resulted in adoptions but I have a couple this week that I think may be from people who are on here occasionally?

    Anyway, I need a place like this to recommend people to join when they're adopting. There are other lists but they are those Yahoo ones and those aren't any fun, no pictures, etc.

    I just did my 52nd adoption for an 11th month period at the shelter and these are all such wonderful homes. I would like to steer those people here so they have a community to talk to about rabbit stuff.

    I have been on here a while but don't post too much because I am always so busy with the shelter rabbit business. It is a full time job. I have been doing rescue for 8 years now and I really love volunteering at this shelter.

    So I'm on here to stay. And I like that there are all different sorts of people on here too.

    This boy seems ok today. I'll be going to the vet sometime this week and will post back what she says about him. She just left one of the top exotic vet hospitals on the East coast (SEAVS) and is now going to be closer to me so it's not a 1.5 hour drive anymore (one way). But I end up going back down there for various reasons, like an emergency from last weekend.


     

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