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GI Stasis Treatment

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HalaBuns

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My little Gigi has had her share of gas issues, so I’m pretty hot on picking up on changes in her behaviour. This evening she couldn’t get comfortable, would lay down and then jump up again and kept licking her sides. And of course would not eat. I tried simethicone, but it was apparent early on that it wasn’t making a difference and I’d not seen that behaviour in her before.

I’ve taken her to the vet and they have admitted her. Is this the norm, or is it a bad sign? I’ve not dealt with this before. I really hope I got her there early enough.

I’m feeling really quite gutted. She has her buddy Kiki with her and I have insisted that they are not separated unless totally necessary as they need each other. But leaving them there was horrible. She hates being picked up, but she had her front paws up on my chest as if she wanted me to scoop her up and take her home. I feel guilty that maybe it’s something I’ve done, or haven’t done, that’s put her there in the first place.

Keeping everything crossed and trying to stay positive, but I’m very worried ☘
 

JBun

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Usually most vets only admit if the rabbit is in very serious condition (eg. compromised respiratory function) and needs regular monitoring, specialty equipment, and/or an IV. But some vets will want to admit just for the fact a rabbit isn't eating. Just depends on the vet. Usually they will just send an owner home with instructions to syringe feed and give meds if the owner is capable of doing these things(is home and is comfortable following the instructions). It also depends on what your vet found in the exam, and if xrays were done and what they showed.

One thing to make absolutely sure of if they plan to keep her overnight, is if your vet has someone staying there in their office overnight, checking on her regularly. Otherwise it doesn't make any sense for them to be keeping her there overnight unsupervised, and I would suggest picking your rabbits up and bringing them home before the vet closes(if they haven't already), so that you will be able to keep an eye on her overnight.
 

HalaBuns

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Thank you for your quick reply.

Because it was 10pm, I couldn’t take her to her usual vet, so had to take her to a 24 hour vet practice. This place has been suggested to me before by my vet for emergencies, but would not have been my first choice. It was either that, or no vet until the morning, which may have been too late.

She examined G, but did not take any X-rays at the time, presumably because she was the only vet there at that time and had other patients to see. She explained everything they planned to do though overnight though, so I believe they were others there to assist her. It’s a large, busy practice so would be staffed 24 hours.

I guess I would be more concerned if she had sent us home without doing scans first.
 

HalaBuns

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Also, they said she can come home once she starts eating. But I know my bun and she won’t eat if she’s stressed, so there’s a good chance they won’t be able to get her to eat, purely because she’s being handled by people she doesn’t know.

If they do not find a blockage and don’t need to keep her on an IV, should I be pushing to bring her home today so I can feed and treat her at home? The cost of an overnight stay is also eye-wateringly expensive, so I would like to avoid another night there.
 

JBun

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They are force feeding her though, if she's not eating on her own, yes?

If there isn't any special care needed when I have to take my rabbits in, I always bring them home and do the syringe feeding, medicating, and monitoring myself. I feel like I have a better handle on knowing how my rabbit is progressing than someone occasionally checking on my rabbit at a vet office. I guess it all depends on how confident you are with the home care required. If you are good with it and there isn't a critical issue with your rabbit, I would bring them home.
 

HalaBuns

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The nurse called to say they have been syringe feeding her and she has pooped, which I am very pleased about.

They have been trying to get her to eat, but she hasn’t yet, which is not a surprise. I explained to the nurse that she might not whilst she is there and she seemed understanding of this, but I think they want to keep trying a little longer. I am expecting a call from the vet, so hopefully she will say I can bring them home. I would much prefer to look after her here where she’s comfortable.
 

HalaBuns

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I had an appointment a while ago, but cancelled it because she really improved and I thought I had got her diet spot on. She’s with the emergency vet now, but once she is through this, I will book her in with the vet I would usually see.

I am visiting them now as they want to keep her in for another night and give her more treatment. She still has an IV thing attached which is annoying her massively. But she’s been having a little munch on herbs and a tiny bit of hay since I’ve been here.

I would love to take them home, but I feel I’m too inexperienced to go against their advice and potentially get it wrong and make her worse. Fingers crossed for tomorrow.
 

HalaBuns

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After sitting with them for 2 hours and seeing how miserable they were, I changed my mind and brought them home. They were concerned because she was refusing the syringe and hadn’t pooped for a while, but I honestly think it’s because they were both so fed up.

She did a decent amount of poops within 30 mins of getting home.

I have instructions for pain relief and critical care and I’m expecting to be up most of the night with her. Any additional advice would be appreciated though as I’ve not done this before.

Is it ok to offer her pellets or should I wait until things have started moving properly?
 

HalaBuns

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Absolutely made the right decision. They are both delighted to be home. I gave her metacam and some critical care, which she hated. She’s had some herbs, veggies, part of a hay block, lots of water and has just started on some hay. She’s very bright and bouncy.

They’ve told me to give her critical care every 3 hours if she’s not eating normally. She has eaten, but should I still give her some just in case at this point?
 

Diane R

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If she is eating by herself, a reasonable amount of hay, I would not syringe feed. Don't worry about pellets, try to get her to eat lots of hay, best thing to get the gut back on track.
 

JBun

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For some rabbits, even though they can monitor them and oversee recovery better(sometimes) at the vet, just the stress of being there can be counterproductive to GI stasis recovery. I'm glad you decided to bring them home. It sounds like she's doing much better there.

Syringe feeding is only something to do if necessary because they aren't eating well on their own. If she is eating an adequate amount, no need to add the stress of syringe feeding. Like Diane R said lots of hay(good quality, no mold, no noxious weeds), and her usual greens(not spoiled) are the best things for recovery.
 

HalaBuns

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You’re right, she did seem to actually be regressing whilst she was there. She had stopped taking the syringe feeding well, was not really eating much else and had pretty much stopped pooping. The IV line attached to her ear was annoying her so much, that any time she went to eat it distracted her. Her buddy was also miserable and actually became mildly aggressive towards me, which has never happened before. And she wasn’t eating properly either. Overall I wasn’t happy about the emotional toll it was taking on them. They were both so elated to be home.

She was eating really well through the night. Hearing her finally tucking into some veggies and hay was the best noise. She’s not been quite as interested this morning, but she’s currently munching on some hay, so fingers crossed we can avoid more critical care.
 

Orrin

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I'm glad your little babe is getting better. We also have a rabbit with repeated GI episodes and we think we've figured out how to prevent them.

Stress seems to be the #1 cause of our doe's problem. We've also learned that she loves the exact routine at the exact same time, every day. For instance, first thing in the morning I give her about a teaspoon full of uncooked oatmeal. She's happy with excited anticipation and happier still that she gets her little treat.

There are other routines we do throughout the day, the same way, every time. Ever since we've eliminated every kind of stress--we don't run the vacuum around her--and kept to an exact feeding schedule, she's never had any GI problems; and, her personality is developing more and more, every day.

There is one more thing worth mentioning. Although we've always made timothy hay available in racks 24/7 and she has nibbled at it, some, she tended to prefer greens. We've also tried stuffing hay into toilet tissue tubes. None of that seemed to work, but...

After putting fresh hay, every day, into several cardboard tubes and scattering them on her feeding rug, she is eating more and more hay, every day. It all has to do with the presentation, I guess. ;-) (The hay doesn't go to waste. I put the leftovers in the hayracks for two other pair and they gobble it all up, loving every bit of it.) :)
 

HalaBuns

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Awww your little bun is a sensitive little thing ☺

Whilst she’s had several gassy episodes which I have managed at home, this was the first time she went into stasis and needed the vet (with me anyway). I really would not want to repeat it.

She’s doing really well today, I’m so proud of her. I was worried yesterday evening, because she wouldn’t use her litter box or eat anything but herbs. I gave her a little critical care, (which she was very grouchy about) and once the metacam kicked in she was eating hay enthusiastically and attacked all her food this morning.

The day before this happened I had given her a Rosewood Naturals treat, which was the second time she’d had it. She had one a couple of days before and was fine, but I am inclined to think it was that. Safe to say she won’t be having that again, the only treats I’ll give them now are hay cubes. Nothing is a treat if it ends up like this.

She is a stressy little bun too though and it’s almost impossible to get her to eat when she’s upset by something. We have a fairly new dog next door who barks and howls whenever his owners are out. I’m hoping it’s not that which has triggered it though, because my only option would be to move house and I can’t for a while.

I would like to rule out anything medically wrong though, once she is well enough to deal with another car trip to the vet

As well as her litter box, I have little piles of hay wherever she is resting at the moment to encourage her to eat as much as possible and it seems to be working, she’s eating really well ☺🙏
 

HalaBuns

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Spoke too soon...

I’ve been sleeping in the same room as the bunnies so I can check on her in the night and she was in her litter box munching away at 2am, but is obviously a bit uncomfortable this morning. She has refused her veggies, other than a little nibble on some dill. She then hid.

I’ve given her some simethicone straight away, but is it normal to have this occurrences in the days after stasis? Or should I be taking her to the vet now for more examinations? I plan to do that anyway, but wanted to avoid more stress all the time she is recovering.
 

JBun

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Have you noticed this happening after she eats anything in particular? One of my rabbits kept having an issue with stomach upset. He would eat and half hour later I would notice him squinting his eyes, belly pressing, and frequently shifting position trying to get comfortable. After this kept happening, I noticed it would always happen soon after he was fed his pellets. I removed pellets from his diet and put him on a hay/leafy greens only, and he never had an upset stomach or stasis issues again.

So try and see if there is any correlation to a particular food. Or you could always remove everything else but hay until she stabilizes, then after she's been ok for at least a week, gradually try adding things back in one at a time, to see if one particular thing sparks an upset stomach again. Good grass hay is the best thing for rabbits to be eating to help resolve most digestive issues anyways. Though do double check your hay to make sure there is nothing wrong with it. You want to make sure there's no sour or musty smell, no white or black spots, no white dust, no unknown and potentially harmful weeds mixed in.

It's also possible it's just related to her going into stasis. Depending on how bad the stasis had developed, it can sometimes take several days to a couple weeks, before they fully recover. It can be a bit up and down during that time. They can seem to be improving then backslide a little. Though if she is eating fine then suddenly has an upset stomach again after eating, I would try and rule out it being a particular food causing the issue before just presuming it's her stasis recovery.

If she keeps having these problems and you can't link it to a particular food, rabbits can sometimes get stomach ulcers. So that would be something to ask your vet about if this continues.
 

LopsAreGreat

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Spoke too soon...

I’ve been sleeping in the same room as the bunnies so I can check on her in the night and she was in her litter box munching away at 2am, but is obviously a bit uncomfortable this morning. She has refused her veggies, other than a little nibble on some dill. She then hid.

I’ve given her some simethicone straight away, but is it normal to have this occurrences in the days after stasis? Or should I be taking her to the vet now for more examinations? I plan to do that anyway, but wanted to avoid more stress all the time she is recovering.
I’m sorry about everything you‘ve gone through, it can be so mentally and emotionally exhausting. It is normal for this to happen after GI stasis, since they are still recovering from the effects and their digestive system isn’t back to normal yet. Just continue to monitor and try to make sure stress is to the minimum. When my bunnies ever get a bout of GI stasis or are stressed from a road trip, I like to make sure it’s dark inside their room and try to make it as peaceful as possible. I would maybe just let her be on a simple hay diet right now then add things back in. If they stop eating though, I would go to the vet and get some scans just to see what’s going on, if there is anything going on.

I hope everything gets figured out for you and goes well! Fingers crossed! 🤞
 

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