G.I Stasis Recovery

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Emily and Uma

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Apr 27, 2019
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hey guys! I am a very worried bunny mom. About three days ago my precious bun stopped having any interest in food, she ate a few leafs of lettuce the first day some of her pellets; I tried giving her a carrot to entice her to eat and she had a couple nibbles but then stopped. After that she had absolutely no interest in eating, she was not her normal sociable self and was trembling and hiding under the bed refusing to come out. My partner and I decided to take her to the emergency vet last night. They did all the checks and listened to her gut and said it was moving but extremely slowly. They decided to treat this as if it was full on stasis to try and completely stop it in its tracks. We were prescribed to give her a pain killer, an antibiotic, and a gut motility twice daily for the next five days and then feed her critical care 4-6 times daily for the next four days. It’s been a little under twenty four hours and since then she had a small liquid brown poop so of course I was horrified and called immediately. They told me it should be okay but if it happens 1-2 more times bring her in immediately with a stool sample. That was around 10 hours ago and she’s been okay since. She’s since stopped trembling, she’s received her medications twice since the visit (twelve hours between each dose) and has been getting fed critical care every four hours. She seems to be livening up slightly, a bit more alert, she’s still hiding under the bed but she’s in a relaxed position, ears look relaxed and her eyes are either squinted or close so I figure her medication is making her sleepy? She’s begun grunting again which she often does as she’s very vocal. I could be worried for no reason but I’m worried sick. How long does it take for the treatment to kick in and for your bun to get back to normal?

General Info:
Uma is a year and a half
She is an unspayed female
She is free roam
We live in Canada


Aug 13, 2012
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Houston, Texas
Is she eating on her own yet? What about pooping, have you started seeing normal fecal poops? She may be resting just because she doesn't feel great and is recovering. Rabbits are normally eating on their own and pooping to some degree within the first 24h of starting treatment, at least in my own experience with stasis. It does sound like she's improving... if she doesn't start actually pooping sometime soon, though, she could have a blockage... did your vet do x-rays or anything to determine the cause of the stasis or just treat the stasis itself? (Which one they do usually depends on what your budget for the visit is.) I'm guessing if they were sure it was moving, just slowly, it's not a full blockage though.

Did your vet tell you to give simethicone? If not, I highly recommend adding it to the medicine regiment. You can buy over-the-counter liquid simethicone in the form of baby gas drops in the infant section of any grocery store or pharmacy [dosage: 1-2 cc (20mg/ml suspension) can be given as often as every hour for three doses, then 1 cc every three to eight hours]. Simethicone won't help if the problem isn't gas, obviously, but it's very safe and won't cause any problems if it isn't gas.

I always recommend giving some sort of small animal probiotic (like BeneBac, Probios, etc.) when giving antibiotics, to replenish the good bacteria in the digestive system... especially since you describe her as having had a liquid poop - antibiotics can be very rough on the guts! When giving probiotics and antibiotics, always wait 2-3 hours after giving one of them to give the other (else the antibiotic will just kill off the good bacteria in the probiotic). You can get small animal probiotics at some pet stores and feed stores; also tons of places online.

You might also offer her some sort of heating pad (especially if her ears feel cold) - sick bunns often appreciate help staying warm. A good, rabbit-safe version is to fill a sock with uncooked rice, tie it off and microwave it to warm it up (rest it on your inner arm for 30-60 seconds after heating to make sure it's not too hot).

By the way, you should consider getting her spayed (unless, of course, you breed her) - unspayed females have crazy high chances of getting some sort of reproductive cancer and their lifespan is, on average, half that of spayed females.

Here's an informative article on GI stasis: https://rabbit.org/gastrointestinal-stasis-the-silent-killer-2/

And a video showing how to give a tummy massage: