Help? My bunny is breathing too fast

Discussion in 'Health & Wellness' started by Veronica AJ, Feb 12, 2019.

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  1. Feb 12, 2019 #1

    Veronica AJ

    Veronica AJ

    Veronica AJ

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    I've had my bun for over eight years now and he's a little bit older than that, I got him when he was about two or three (the previous owners didn't know). Today, he was running around for a little while and I noticed him breathing strangely. I picked him up to see if he was ok and I heard him making unusual noises.

    He was squeaking quietly and grinding his teeth together, and his breath was twice as fast as normal. I've heard him squeak quietly before when he was scared but I've never heard it so loud and often, nor have I ever heard him breathing so heavily.

    I put him up on my bed to watch him and calm him down, in case he just ran too much and was tired or somehow got spooked, but he just sat still. He's NEVER like this, he always runs back and forth. Just the day before, he was running around like he always does.

    I pet him for a little and listened to him to see if his breathing slowed, but it didn't. I left the room to talk to my mom to see if she knew what was happening and when I returned, he was sitting in the exact same place. Again, this is super unusual. He's a very active bunny. Him sitting still for ten minutes is unheard of.

    I put him on another part of my bed but he only went back to sit on the blanket he was originally on, in the same place. It is a heated blanket but it hasn't been on since yesterday and is not warmer than the blankets around it.

    Since then, he has lied down in the spot and stayed there.

    I can't take him to a vet, I cannot afford it. My bunny's old, I don't want to force him to go through an uncomfortable vet visit or be forced to take shots. I know it sounds silly, but the vet is not an option.

    Please, is there anything I can do?
     
  2. Feb 12, 2019 #2

    Imbrium

    Imbrium

    Imbrium

    Jennifer

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    I'm so sorry your bunny isn't feeling well! Unfortunately, I don't know what might be wrong with him... but based on his behavior, I'd say he's definitely in pain. Is he eating/drinking normally?

    Given his age and your inability to take him to the vet, I'm really sad to say that I don't see this having a great outcome (though, at 10-11 years old, a vet visit could easily fail to make a difference). The best thing you can do for him now is to ease his pain. Safe analgesics and dosage info. Without access to a vet, your options are either aspirin tablets chopped up or baby motrin/ibuprofen. The motrin is liquid and much easier to give but also pricier. If you go with aspirin, you'd have to hide it in food to get him to eat it, a pet "piller" (like for cats) or have a syringe with a wide enough opening to get it into his mouth (accompanied by some fruit or veggie baby food, apple sauce, Critical Care or pellet slurry to get him to eat it, which can take a few tries).

    As long as he can be trusted not to chew on it, turning the heated blanket on would be a great idea. If he might chew at a heating pad or blanket, a sock filled with uncooked rice and microwaved (check the temperature against your forearm before offering it to him) is a good DIY heating pad option. Sick bunns tend to appreciate a source of warmth.

    All of the unusual behavior you've described can potentially be attributed to him being in pain, and unfortunately I can't even begin to guess the source of his pain (though the fast breathing could also be a sign of respiratory distress). Starting with the most identifiable/treatable causes... the best place to start checking is his mouth - an abscess, tooth spur, overgrown molar or the like could cause pain, especially if combined with disinterest in food. Also, is there any chance he might've injured himself recently? Unfortunately, it could also be undiagnosed cancer that's metastasized and reached a tipping point or some sort of organ failure among other things... but even in those situations, treating his pain, keeping him warm and syringe-feeding him if he's not eating on his own can all help keep him more comfortable.

    *Hugs*
     

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