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ari.tashakkori

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Having a really tough time with my foster bunny, who was saved from a neglect situation. Since I got him months ago, he has had no interest in eating hay, and if I try to encourage him, he just breaks a piece off and spits it out. Over the past few weeks, he had been getting mad when I put him up into his pen at night and dug like crazy until he reached the tarp/puppy pads under his blanket. He had been chewing on those but I didn't think that he was ingesting much. This week, I noticed his pooping slow down, and immediately took him to the vet. I had to take him to the veterinarian that works with our rescue, and I really felt like she did not take me or my concerns seriously. I'm hoping that someone can help me address my concerns, and come up with a game plan to help my little guy get better.

Details:
I think he is about 4 lbs, not sure because the vet did not give me the paperwork
Diet- Manna Pro Plus pellets (unlimited), lots of leafy greens/veggies, no hay
He is constantly offered a variety of hays and sometimes even grass, he just doesn't want it
Habitat- he does not free roam but lives in a huge puppy pen
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Veterinarian Visit Outcome:
She said that she felt distention and he looked painful, but to me, he was his usual mischievous self and still is. She has me doing 200 mL of subcutaneous fluids daily, 1.2 mL Reglan every 6 hours, and .35 mL Metacam once or twice per day. She had no suggestions on what to do about the hay situation, so I'm left in the dark worrying.
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Here is what I'm doing:
I think it would be a better idea to split the subQ fluids into 2 administrations, 100 mL each. I also think that I should switch from Manna Pro to Oxbow rabbit food because that has higher fiber and more timothy in it. I will have to introduce it slowly but I will be starting that tonight. I ordered Orchard Grass hay, and hopefully, he will show some interest in that. I have also started syringing pumpkin puree with water into his mouth, and I put some into his water bowl to encourage him to drink. I am open to suggestions on what else to try.

Today is day 7 of him following this regimen, and I have not seen a huge amount of improvement. When he came home from staying at the vet for the weekend, his poops were much larger than they have ever been. Now, they are back to being smaller and not very frequent. He is not wanting to drink water on his own, but he is eating normally as far as I can tell, maybe a bit less enthusiastic but he is still getting food in his belly.

The vet said that this would be the same procedure if he had a foreign body (ie puppy pad plastic), which I don't necessarily agree with and I thought that Reglan was not a good option in those situations.

I guess I am just wondering what to do, if I should seek a 2nd opinion, or if I should take him back to this vet for hospitalization. She was overall not very empathetic and did not listen much to my concerns, so I would like to avoid taking him back if at all possible.
 

zuppa

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Hi, how old is he, how long is he with you?
Manna Pro is high on protein and no wonder he won't eat hay. Was he on it all the time from when you got him?
 

ari.tashakkori

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Yes. I never thought anything of it, and honestly, it was recommended by the rescue which upsets me. I just mixed some Oxbow rabbit food into it, so hopefully this transition goes smoothly!
 

zuppa

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Also, can you possibly post some pics of him, his poos and his environment so we can have better idea
 

zuppa

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So how old is he and how long is he with you and on unlimited Manna Pro
 

ari.tashakkori

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Here he is! Laying with his feet out, not looking painful at all. I also attached photos of his enclosure and his litter box, which I cleaned out about 4 hours ago. Haven't seen poops in a while, but he has been eating and peeing. He got his Metacam at around noon and Reglan around 4 pm.

He is middle-aged, I have had him since about January, and he has been on Manna pro since then but I am not sure what he was fed before.
 

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lilac

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Hay is really important- you might want to completely stop feeding pellets for a while to try and get him to eat his hay. Pellets are almost like treats for rabbits, and if a rabbit has unlimited pellets he will always choose that over hay! Plus, a lot of pellets aren't super healthy for bunnies either- it is usually recommended to only feed rabbits 1/4 cup of pellets a day!

You can also try different types of hay, like 3rd cut timothy or orchard grass. (which you said you have ordered- let us know how it goes!) :)
 

zuppa

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His poos look fine to me, also in my experience rabbits with GI stasis would rarely stretch like him, it doesn't look he is in pain.

Unfortunately I never had any experience with Manna Pro I only see from ingredients that it is 16% protein which is too high for an adult rabbit, I wouldn't be personally feeding it but I know some commercial breeders feed it and not feeding hay at all, so maybe they could comment.

What I would do I would gradually transfer to pellets with max 13% protein and he should start eating hay.

Hay is so good and I like when my rabbits eat it, 80% of their diet is hay, they get very limited amount of 13% protein and low calcium pellets, like egg cup size a day, and they get a bunch of fresh leafy greens for breakfast, and they are healthy and happy with that. They get fruit or a piece of a carrot only max twice a week and also very limited amount.

I've never heard of Reglan used on rabbits and I don't think he needs any painkillers either.
But I am not a vet, I just have lots of experience and with GI stasis as well. What i use, baby gas drops (simeticone) or herbal teas (fennel, dill, chamomile) and belly massage every couple hours. Because i know the symptoms well I get it on an early stage and it is not a big deal usually massages and additional fluids, gas drops or teas help a lot. In your case as I said I don't see anything wrong with his poos, maybe they are smaller than usual, but they are good shape and good amount since you said you've cleaned just a couple hours ago.
 

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