Do I give my bunny treats? Recovering from GI stasis

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bunbunadri

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My bunny is recovering from GI and is doing great except his tummy is still a bit bloated. He still poops and eats like a charm! I have slowly introduced pellets but not treats. He's on his second last day of medicine. Do I start introducing treats slowly? He's still on critical care once a day
 

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JBun

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I wouldn't start anything new until he's been off meds and critical care for at least a week, and the bloat is gone and he's been fine. Then if by 'treats' you mean sugary/high carb foods, I would hold off on those and start with reintroducing his usual veggies, one at a time and gradually starting with a small amount before increasing. The reason being is that sugary/high carb foods slow down gut movement and are the most likely to disrupt the guts microflora causing upset.

Right now the absolute best food for your rabbit to be eating, is a good quality(no mold) soft to medium coarse grass hay. This helps balance the guts microflora, promotes good gut motility, and helps prevent stasis episodes better than any other food. Next best are usually good quality leafy greens, provided your rabbit doesn't have a sensitivity to any particular one. Greens help add moisture to a rabbits digestive tract. The foods that are most likely to cause digestive upset and stasis, are pellets and sugary/high carb foods, because they slow down the digestive process, and too many carbs can upset the delicate microflora balance in a rabbits cecum.

So I would suggest to focus on the hay for now, make sure your bun is eating it really well, minimal pellets, gradually add leafy greens back into the diet, then either cut out sugary treats(fruit, carrots, etc) completely, or only add in a small amount once all the other foods are added back in.

 
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In the first nine months that I had my bunny she had three bouts of either GI stasis or gas pain. (I'm not sure which because It passed within hours after giving her critical care and infant gas drops.) Then I found a new rabbit savvy vet who suggested that I eliminate all treats and limit her fresh greens to one cup in the morning and evening. Fast forward 1 year and she's never had another bout of GI distress.

Note that she wasn't getting a lot of treats prior to that. Just two to three baby carrots (1-inch pre-washed type) per day.

In retrospect, I'm really not sure why I felt the need to give her treats. I think it was for my satisfaction, rather than for hers. Of course she enjoyed them, but she also doesn't seem to miss them at all. And it's a huge relief to know that I don't have to worry about her going into another crisis.

EDIT: My previous bunny never had GI stasis and had tons of snacks. But with my current bun who's prone to stasis it's a different story.
 
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