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Emotional Bunny - Eating Less

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Maybellana

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Okay, gonna sound weird, but back in march i took my bunny Rakan to the vets. he wasn't eating, he wasn't hopping around playful, he didnt wanna sit on my lap (his favourite place). he just wasnt himself, and i knew it.

took him to the vets. nothing physically wrong with him, got to the point vets recommended an xray, as they had no clue what was going on and he was put on critical care to keep his gut moving along with pain killers just in case. while finding funds for xray, he got better, slowly but surely, started eating hay, pellets,treats.starting coming to me for pets and occuping my lap. at the time i figured it was stress of trying to rebond him with his brother Xayah. timing just seemed to match up and with nothing else to go on.

back in june, Xayah had to be put down from a tumor in his leg (rip my baby), worried again for Rakan being emotional enough to stop eating, i kept a close eye on him, as although not bonded, they was comfortable enough to sit with eachother. he seemed fine, got friendlier towards me, i gave him freeroam of my room when im home and everything seemed to be going well with no signs of any issues, until 2 days ago.
hes returned to low energy, eating but very little, even rejecting all his treats (including banana) poops are smaller and i just know somethings not right, and again i dont know what or why. only common thing is, its the first few weeks of a lockdown, in which i cant go to work as im furloughed.

any ideas on what i can do to help my darling out. i dont want him setting sick and i cant stand the thought of losing both darlings so close to eachother. he is only 2 years old netherland dwarf.

also sorry if the wrong place, wasnt sure between health or bahavior
 

Blue eyes

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Give him some simethicone (baby gas drops) right away. Give him 1-2cc per hour for 3 hours, then 1cc every 3-8 hours as needed. Often just the gas drops will be enough to get them feeling better enough to start eating again.
 

Blue eyes

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Wanted to send the post about the gas drops asap.

Having smaller poos is an indication that something is going on with his gut. Monitoring poos (quantity, size, etc) is a great way to catch early signs of health issues.

Once you've given him some gas drops, we can try to figure out what's going on. Some rabbits are much more sensitive than others with what their gut can handle. Could you please describe his normal daily diet? What brand and how much of pellets? What kind of hay and how much does he normally eat? Any greens? Treats?

I suspect he may just need some tweaks to his normal diet to keep his gut (and poos) up to par.
 

Maybellana

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Wanted to send the post about the gas drops asap.

Having smaller poos is an indication that something is going on with his gut. Monitoring poos (quantity, size, etc) is a great way to catch early signs of health issues.

Once you've given him some gas drops, we can try to figure out what's going on. Some rabbits are much more sensitive than others with what their gut can handle. Could you please describe his normal daily diet? What brand and how much of pellets? What kind of hay and how much does he normally eat? Any greens? Treats?

I suspect he may just need some tweaks to his normal diet to keep his gut (and poos) up to par.
I unfortunately dont have anything for gas on hand, i will try get hold of some asap, but is loxicom or meloxaid okay to hold him til then?
its all i had left from last visit he took thats still in date.

in terms of diet he has 1/4 cup of pellets a day, a mix of burgess excel with mint and burgess excel natures blend due to him being fussy. and spring greens.
other wise he rotates on celery, green beans, kale and wild rocket
herbs - mint, parsley (curly and flat), corriander, dill, thyme, rosemary amd basil
and then less frequently but rotated in broccoli, parsnip and cucumber

hay - he gets mix of oxbows timothy hay, orchard grass, meadow hay with some small amounts of oat hay as a treat.
he doesnt eat much of the hay admittedly, he never really has, on a good day he eats the amount a treat ball can hold (the metal ones u hang onto bars) on a bad day, he does small nibbles throughout the day but not enough to empty anything noticably.

treats - goes between oxbows simple rewards, herbal bunny and rosewood crunchies. with a couple bites of banana and or apple thrown in the mix every other week or so.

ive done this since i got him a year ago in june, but only have problems with him eating during lockdowns. he does still eat, but its just 1/4 - 1/2 his usually amount.

also while writing this he peed next to me and it sounded like air came out at the same time. so defo needs the gas treatment!
 

Blue eyes

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Jenny (@JBun ) is better versed in different meds. I'll let her comment on those. Simethicone, though, is a good thing to always have on hand with a pet rabbit.

A rabbit can certainly change in his reaction to foods as he grows. It sounds like there is a lot of variety so it may be tough to narrow down the possible culprit. To figure it out, you may need to start offering one type at a time. Some rabbits may just not do well with a particular green -- even if most other rabbits are fine with it.

Hay is the most important. He may be getting too many greens, treats, and/or pellets to encourage sufficient hay eating. Hay is the best thing for gut health. Ideally, 80% of his diet should be hay.

Aside from reducing the amount of greens and cutting out all treats (for now) -- hoping that will increase his hay consumption -- I'd be suspect of green beans and broccoli. I'd suggest not feeding those for now.

It's possible that once he eats more hay, he'll be fine with any of those greens. If not, then the sleuthing would begin.

... just looked at your avatar... what is the age of your rabbit? If he's very young, then my suggestions will be different.
 

Maybellana

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Jenny (@JBun ) is better versed in different meds. I'll let her comment on those. Simethicone, though, is a good thing to always have on hand with a pet rabbit.

A rabbit can certainly change in his reaction to foods as he grows. It sounds like there is a lot of variety so it may be tough to narrow down the possible culprit. To figure it out, you may need to start offering one type at a time. Some rabbits may just not do well with a particular green -- even if most other rabbits are fine with it.

Hay is the most important. He may be getting too many greens, treats, and/or pellets to encourage sufficient hay eating. Hay is the best thing for gut health. Ideally, 80% of his diet should be hay.

Aside from reducing the amount of greens and cutting out all treats (for now) -- hoping that will increase his hay consumption -- I'd be suspect of green beans and broccoli. I'd suggest not feeding those for now.

It's possible that once he eats more hay, he'll be fine with any of those greens. If not, then the sleuthing would begin.

... just looked at your avatar... what is the age of your rabbit? If he's very young, then my suggestions will be different.
Np, ive managed to get some simeticone but i cant get hold of it til tomorrow night, so any suggestions til then is truly appriciated!

hes always been good with going between veggies and hay, leaving veggies to eat hay but i can lower the amount of veggies and variety for sure to encourage it more often. tho today he hasnt touched his veggies or pellets, only nibbling hay and half a treat.

i dont think theres a connection from today and march in terms of veggies (usually has same veggies for a week then i swap, and he has max of 4-5 at a time. usually
spring greens - greenbean/celery - kale/rocket/herb - herb and then one week a month - broccli/parsnip/cucumber, ect

treats he usually gets when i have to put him away in his cage. so once maybe twice a day.
and hay i have multiple places in my room he can eat from so hard to keep track of how much hes eating.

that picture is from his baby days, he was born march 26th of 2019, currently weighing just over 1kg, which is highest hes been since i got him. (he normally averages 0.9-0.95) the vet said he was chubby a a couple months ago when he had vaccines.
 

Blue eyes

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It may not seem like it will make much difference, but any treats and any rich legumes (green beans) and any extra pellets may make a rabbit eat less hay. Especially try to keep track of what greens he may be eating just before a bout with eating less. It could be that a particular one is the cause.

Can't stress enough how eating enough hay can prevent digestive issues. So I'd definitely cut out any treats until you see him upping his hay amount. I'd also perhaps consider reducing greens and/or pellets to see if that helps.
 

Maybellana

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It may not seem like it will make much difference, but any treats and any rich legumes (green beans) and any extra pellets may make a rabbit eat less hay. Especially try to keep track of what greens he may be eating just before a bout with eating less. It could be that a particular one is the cause.

Can't stress enough how eating enough hay can prevent digestive issues. So I'd definitely cut out any treats until you see him upping his hay amount. I'd also perhaps consider reducing greens and/or pellets to see if that helps.
okay thank you for the advice, ill take the green beans away and the other half of the treat. i will lower the amount of pellets tomorrow but he hasn't touched any of that today, the bowl looks exactly how i left it this morning. hes just been nibbling hay on the occassion and half a treat when i sat with him earlier. ive not caught him nibbling veggies at all today and i threw alot out this morning from yesterday.

hes just been laying in his toilet most of the day (not completely odd but he does usually prefer being ontop of his house as he loves being higher up) hes been shuffling, scratching and cleaning himself more then usually today as well, like he cant sit still but wants to, going between bunny loafing, sitting and flopping. usually hes always loafing unless hes just had done some binkys or zoomies, then he flops.
 

JBun

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GI stasis can be caused by a lot of things, including a problem with the diet(too little fiber in the diet from hay, too many carbs, etc) or just something wrong with the food causing an upset stomach(like a veggie that has started to go bad, or a veggie your bun is sensitive to).



If it's being caused by a minor case of gas pain, often 2-3 doses of the infant gas drops(I believe infacol is a brand name in the UK) will usually help and get them feeling better again. But if it doesn't and it's been more than 12 hours since your rabbit last ate, there are signs of severe distress like loud tooth grinding or hanging paws or head into the water dish, signs of a bloated belly, floppy body, and/or you have any concerns, you should get your bun to an experienced rabbit vet right away. If you can't get the infacol and it's been more than 12 hours since your bun really ate much, you really should get him to your vet. If it's been 24 hours without eating a significant amount, it's considered an emergency and he needs to be seen by a vet immediately, even if you have to do an out of hours vet(one with rabbit experience).

If you want to give meloxicam, it's up to you. But it shouldn't be given on an empty stomach and because it's prescription, you should really consult with your vet first. But pain relief can certainly help.
 

Maybellana

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GI stasis can be caused by a lot of things, including a problem with the diet(too little fiber in the diet from hay, too many carbs, etc) or just something wrong with the food causing an upset stomach(like a veggie that has started to go bad, or a veggie your bun is sensitive to).



If it's being caused by a minor case of gas pain, often 2-3 doses of the infant gas drops(I believe infacol is a brand name in the UK) will usually help and get them feeling better again. But if it doesn't and it's been more than 12 hours since your rabbit last ate, there are signs of severe distress like loud tooth grinding or hanging paws or head into the water dish, signs of a bloated belly, floppy body, and/or you have any concerns, you should get your bun to an experienced rabbit vet right away. If you can't get the infacol and it's been more than 12 hours since your bun really ate much, you really should get him to your vet. If it's been 24 hours without eating a significant amount, it's considered an emergency and he needs to be seen by a vet immediately, even if you have to do an out of hours vet(one with rabbit experience).

If you want to give meloxicam, it's up to you. But it shouldn't be given on an empty stomach and because it's prescription, you should really consult with your vet first. But pain relief can certainly help.
Thank you so much for the response. I'll look more into it. I don't think its sensitivity as none of veggies hes been on has given him problems before. And defo had not gone off. So ill see if I can find something to maybe prevent it in future since its second time. And this bunny doesn't deal with pain well (refused to eat with a sprained leg, while his brother never stopped even with a tumor and limp) guess i should be thankful hes giving me signs at all.

Also yes, I believe thats the brand I got its not coming til around 7pm tomorrow so hoping he doesn't get worse. I've put him in his cage with fresh hay and small amount of pellets. No veggies til I give him small amount of fresh herbs tomorrow. I'll see how much he eats over night if any and keep and eye in his bowl movements and eating habits tomorrow . Make sure he doesn't stop.

Worst comes to be ill get him to a vets ASAP and call for advice on pain meds if I have to.

He did get a bit cozier to me after I tried some massages and things on YouTube to help with bunny gas. So that was an improvement to his behaviour.

Here's hoping best for my bunny and thank you both so much for the advice!
 

JBun

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I wouldn't withhold herbs if he'll eat them. As long as they aren't spoiled at all or prepackaged ones that have a chlorine rinse to improve shelf life(chlorine can upset the guts microbial balance), then herbs don't usually cause any digestive upset, and will often be the first thing a rabbit with an upset stomach is inclined to eat, and you want him eating. I would go ahead and continue to offer the herbs if he'll eat them.

Two bouts with GI stasis so many months apart, is more likely to be a random thing linked with a problem with the food, like it's started to go bad, or too many carbs in the diet and not enough fiber from hay causing a gradual imbalance in the gut. I wouldn't be inclined to think a sensitivity to one of the veggies is likely to have caused the problem with so long in between. So either a random problem with his food or not enough hay consumption leading to the gut slowing down gradually and causing the microbial balance in the gut to change. I would suggest checking all the veg/herbs to make sure none have started to spoil, and make sure none are the prepackaged ones rinsed with chlorine water.

Keep in mind, there are also other possibilities like swallowing a foreign object. Problems with the food or diet are just the more common causes.
 

Diane R

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The priority is to keep him eating for now of course. If he doesn't start eating normally this morning he needs a vet visit. Go to an RWAF vet - list posted above. But in the long run you might want to adjust the diet. I suspect you are giving him far too much veg and he doesn't eat enough hay as a result. Give him big piles of a variety of hay, 1 tbsp pellets, not more than the size of his head per day in fresh herbs and maybe some forage, that's it, nothing else.
 

Maybellana

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Bunny has started his meds, he loves it so no fuss taking it. , hes doing a bit better today so didnt have to call the vets thankfully, he managed to eat a bit through the night, mostly the herbs tho, still not eating massively but hes been focusing on hay and pellets today, seems he prefers veggies as a midnight snack. so i might start picking it later so its fresher.

hes currently being playful and feeling bit closer to his usual self, sitting on bed and letting me pet him. im gonna change his diet slowly, see if i can prevent this from happening again, less variety at a time (more so to lower amount of veg at a time), spring greens, herb + one non leafy veg. avoid treats for couple days and see how he does then slowly reintroduce them. he thumped when he didnt get one last night. .x.
ill also lower his pellets slowly over next few weeks, get him down a gradually. may help with his slightly chubby bunny weight too.

thanks again for the support, i truly appriciate it!
 

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