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button+banjo

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We had a short windy thunderstorm with small hail yesterday evening and their whole cage (dog crate) had gotten flooded except their litter box/hay feeder. They were okay and not wet. The wind was blowing rain towards the house even though they are surrounded by three sides. We brought them inside in a carrier with a towel in it so I could clean up their cage. When I brought them back out (around 8 pm) I gave them their evening pellets. Cue Button. He didn't want pellets or hay and refused a fresh pear leaf. Thought he was just being weird like usual until I saw him doing this contortion where he looked like he was pressing his belly to the ground/straining. Took his temp and it was 95 F one time and 97 F when I took it a second later. Could something be wrong with the thermometer? He was fighting me (had to wrap in a towel) and was not unresponsive. We brought him and Banjo inside even though it is not real cold out, highs in upper 70s lows in 50s. After a lot of arranging and even though he didn't feel cold and would hop (he just refused to eat or drink) put him in an open carrier with a microwaveable heat pack in the x-pen with Banjo and their hay feeder, litterbox etc and left him for about 20 minutes. Also listened to his tummy with a stethoscope and could hear faint sounds. All he wanted to do is sit there and every now and then have a contortion. Sometimes between episodes he would hop around. Meanwhile Banjo is eating/drinking/exploring new digs. Came back and took his temp again. 96.9 F. What? I thought below 99 meant they were unresponsive? Since he was fighting me holding him and seemed alert I gave 1cc of gas drops. Then left to get ready for bed and came back an hour later. Saw him have a super bad one where he was laying on his side kicking, then got back up. I dissolved 1/2 of a 81mg aspirin in water and gave it to him, plus another dose of gas drops. He fought me and scrubbed his face when I put him down. Took away the heat pad since they might chew it and filled a water bottle with hot water and put it near him. Came back 4 hours later and he was hopping around. Someone had also bit a small hole in the water bottle and it had leaked onto a towel..think it was Banjo. He is super frisky. Watched Button for a little while and saw him have a mini contortion. Gave another cc of gas drops.

What should I do now? When do you go to the vet? Do you think those temps are wrong? I haven't taken it again because he is acting the same energy wise. Doesn't want to eat or drink, clearly has waves of stomach pain/the contortions but hops around sometimes, and fights me when I pick him up. This has never happened before and I need advice.
 

Kinley

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Rabbits instinctively hide whatever pain they are in, because in the wild that makes them vulnerable to predators. I would take him to a vet immediately because their could be something happening that he is hiding. I hope he gets better!
 

button+banjo

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Good news guys, he started running around, playing and drinking, and now he's eating hay!! We had a vet appt set up but canceled it since he's acting better. Going to give him some critical care in a bowl to see if he wants it. I guess the gas drops did the trick, and I think our thermometer's inaccurate.
 

Kinley

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That’s great! Just in case, I would still set up an appointment with the vet if something is going on, but if you think he okay, then great! I’m glad he’s better! Have a hoppy day!
 

button+banjo

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I think what he was doing was trying to relieve stomach pain. When it was super bad last night is when I gave him the aspirin. He is now eating critical care from a bowl, clearly not hypothermic, and hopping around. I think the gas drops worked. We are glad that we found a vet though in case we need it. Thank you everyone and I will update if he does not continue to improve.
 

JBun

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I'm really glad he seems to have improved and hope it was nothing, But what you describe isn't normal upset stomach behavior in my experience. Even in an extremely severe case such as with bloat, rabbits don't contort their bodies or lay on their side kicking(at least not that I have ever heard or seen). That all sounds more like seizure behavior. So if your bun was having moments of his body contorting or twisting abnormally, and the laying on his side kicking, if you believe this can be attributed to seizures at all and not upset stomach, if it continues to occur I would suggest getting your bun to the vet right away. I would suggest continuing to keep a very close eye on him for the next several days.
 

button+banjo

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I'm really glad he seems to have improved and hope it was nothing, But what you describe isn't normal upset stomach behavior in my experience. Even in an extremely severe case such as with bloat, rabbits don't contort their bodies or lay on their side kicking(at least not that I have ever heard or seen). That all sounds more like seizure behavior. So if your bun was having moments of his body contorting or twisting abnormally, and the laying on his side kicking, if you believe this can be attributed to seizures at all and not upset stomach, if it continues to occur I would suggest getting your bun to the vet right away. I would suggest continuing to keep a very close eye on him for the next several days.
Okay, I will keep an eye on him. Both are still eating hay today. Going to move them back out and give them their pellets again this evening.
 

button+banjo

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Guys.... He's doing it again. Started last night. There was no storm or anything. Won't eat pellets, hay, critical care, banana or romaine. Is hopping, and swallowing gas drops. Presses belly to ground periodically. Heard one gut sound with stethoscope. Yesterday morning he was eating romaine, playing and binkying.
 

button+banjo

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Just gave him more gas drops, still not eating or drinking since about 10 pm last night. He hates me right now.
 

button+banjo

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He took 1 bite of lettuce but is not eating or drinking anything else... Pressing belly to floor and his belly is squishy. 5 doses of gas drops have been given each about an hour apart, he will swallow and hop but just wants to sit there...should we take him to the vet? It is an hour away and I don't think we can go until tomorrow morning. Should I give him aspirin for pain?
 

Imbrium

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Not eating or drinking for 8-12 hours is a medical emergency. You need to get him to the vet ASAP - today if at all possible! If you absolutely can't make the vet visit happen, then yes, give him pain meds, feed him critical care, syringe him extra water (to help digestion) in case he isn't drinking enough and continue the gas drops... but to be perfectly honest, the difference between going to the vet this afternoon and tomorrow morning could be life-saving. Having lost two bunnies to stasis myself, I know how quickly things can turn even with medical attention.
 

Preitler

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Can only tell what I did when one of my does had gas and stopped eating, a few months back, after a visit at the vet (see one ASAP) which only helped for a day or so with my doe, she had underlying issues that made things difficult.
First thing I did was that I gave it a gentle tummy massage with my fingers, or put it on my leg and rock it, you know, when you balance your foot on the ball of the foot so that it rocks almost by itself like a reflex. You'll see if it helps after a few minutes when the rabbit relaxes, I did it for about 15-20 min. every four hours, after force feeding about 20ml and some water. I do that to get things moving, along with the gas drops.
Can't tell about the Aspirin, I used Ibuprofen since it was the only suitable stuff I had at hand. when I remember correctly the dose was somewhere between 2-10mg/kg.
I had to relay on what I saw, but I was sure the rabbit felt better after a night of this, she started eating again.
 

button+banjo

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Okay, We will be able to get him to the vet tomorrow. I syringe fed him aspirin, gas drops, .5 ml of critical care, and tiny bit of water. He hates being held so I have to wrap him in a towel and he fights and scratches so it is hard. How often and how much critical care and water should I give him? He is a holland lop, around 4 lbs.
 

Imbrium

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To be honest, it depends on the cause of the stasis (you shouldn't feed at all if it's a full blockage). Too much is worse than too little, though, I think (on critical care, that is). Is he pooping at ALL? Are you holding him in the bunny burrito to syringe, or setting the burrito on something like a bed or desk? I find it infinitely easier to sit or stand with the rabbit resting on a solid surface about elbow high to me. As a righty, I wrap my left arm around the rabbit burrito and use my left hand to keep their head in place while using my right hand to syringe (do NOT stick a finger in their mouth to open it like you would when pilling a cat or dog - just use your hand to keep the head still enough to shove the syringe through the gap between front and back teeth and squirt some in sideways). This lets you control them as safely and securely as possible while syringing. If he's really putting up a fight, at least that can be seen as a good sign. The sicker they feel, the less likely they are to argue about being syringed.
 

button+banjo

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To be honest, it depends on the cause of the stasis (you shouldn't feed at all if it's a full blockage). Too much is worse than too little, though, I think (on critical care, that is). Is he pooping at ALL? Are you holding him in the bunny burrito to syringe, or setting the burrito on something like a bed or desk? I find it infinitely easier to sit or stand with the rabbit resting on a solid surface about elbow high to me. As a righty, I wrap my left arm around the rabbit burrito and use my left hand to keep their head in place while using my right hand to syringe (do NOT stick a finger in their mouth to open it like you would when pilling a cat or dog - just use your hand to keep the head still enough to shove the syringe through the gap between front and back teeth and squirt some in sideways). This lets you control them as safely and securely as possible while syringing. If he's really putting up a fight, at least that can be seen as a good sign. The sicker they feel, the less likely they are to argue about being syringed.
I haven't seen him poop. His bonded brother is in with him and they share a litter box. He did pee once today. He will periodically press his belly to the ground and seem to strain, but he is very good at hiding that he is sick. Main symptom is that he is not eating/drinking except the one bite of lettuce he took today. I was sitting on the floor with him wrapped in a towel in my lap. Not laying on his back but tilted back a little. I have to keep an arm around him and keep him wrapped tightly because if he feels it loosen up he starts kicking. He will also start biting the towel and kicking with his front paws. So I have to hold tight and wait until he is calm to syringe feed. Don't worry, I am using a tiny syringe and sticking in the side of his mouth. I like to move it around so his tongue will move and he will swallow. Right now his brother is eating the bowl of critical care I put out for him. He does try to hop away and hide when he sees me coming with the towel but mostly he just wants to sit there.
 

Imbrium

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Naughty brother! At this point, I would only be guessing if I suggested a specific amount of critical care to try to get into him... best advice I can give (especially since you seem fairly educated/experienced about rabbit health whatnot) is to trust your instincts. For every syringe of critical care, I would get at least twice that amount of water into him (but more is probably better, to help break stuff up). Do the gas drops seem to help at all? Is he open to tummy rubs? Is he molting/has he been shedding more than usual (and/or has his brother)? Is it possible he's eaten something he shouldn't, like something plastic he was chewing up?

Edit: Ok, I've gotta leave for work... I'll be praying for your little one, though!
 
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button+banjo

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He started eating/drinking about thirty minutes after you posted!!!
Thank you for the advice!
 

Imbrium

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Work got done early :(. What a relief to hear the good news, though!! I guess it must've been gas after all. Sometimes it just takes time, medicine and love/attention before the gas really dissipates and they're back to normal.

I feel inclined to give you some extra advice, based on this clearly being a recurring issue - one of my first two bunns was prone to GI stasis (in fact, she died from it around 2 1/2; her necropsy revealed that she had a major blood clot in her intestines... don't know if the stasis caused the clot or was a symptom of it). I strongly recommend keeping the following supplies on hand (some of which you clearly already have, but I'll list everything in case someone else finds this thread later):

~ Simethicone/baby gas drops
~ Critical care for herbivores
~ BeneBac or some other brand of small animal probiotic (like simethicone, very safe and there's no reason not to give some at the first sign of digestive troubles)
~ (Optional but helpful) Unflavored Pedialyte (NO artificial sweeteners)
~ (Optional but helpful) A rabbit-friendly heating pad. Human ones with the cord protected can be used at your own risk/under close supervision. A rabbit-friendly alternative is a sock filled with uncooked rice, tied off and microwaved. Make sure you can rest it on your arm for at least 30-60 seconds without it being unpleasantly hot. The rabbit should always have the option to move OFF of the heating pad if they desire, but many rabbits want help staying warm when they feel under the weather.
~ Something like metoclopramide (a gut motility drug) if your vet is willing to prescribe it for recurring stasis.
~ Pain meds of some sort. The best option is if you can get your vet to sell you (or give you a RX for since it might be cheaper elsewhere) metacam/meloxicam or some other rabbit-friendly prescription pain med). I know when I got some for Gaz, the vet charged $40 for a full-size bottle, which expired after about a year. If on a budget, try asking for a smaller amount as a bottle will last a LONG time.

The OTC alternatives are:
~ low-dose aspirin (plus a pill cutter or utility knife to cut it into pieces and either some sort of syringe or "Pill Gun" to administer it with). Aspirin dosage is 10-100 mg/kg (up to 400 mg/kg) every 12-24 hours. A low-dose apirin is 81 mg. When I had to give Nala some recently, I found that the best method (short of an actual pill gun, which I wish I still had!) was to cut the aspirin into 8ths, then suck a small amount of fruit/veg flavored baby food or applesauce into a syringe, stick the 8th of an aspirin loosely into the mouth of the syringe and squirt the whole deal into her mouth the way you would critical care. Usually took a couple tries to get her to not spit the pill out, but I always succeeded sooner or later.
~ baby ibuprofen - significantly more expensive (at the local Walmart, about $8 instead of 88 cents) but also SO much easier to give because it's liquid. 2-10 mg/kg (unsure of the frequency; most other pain meds are 12-24 hours though, so I wouldn't give it more often than that unless you know for sure that you should).
Medirabbit says "Can cause gastric irritation, or ulceration" and does not say this for aspirin... however, irritation/ulceration are side effects of NSAIDS in general so I'm not sure if they say it for that reason or if Ibuprofen genuinely is tougher on the tummy. Either way, I would definitely only give ANY OTC pain med for a day or so unless under the direction of your vet.

Keep in mind the following:
~ Even if you catch things fairly early and have access to the meds a vet would normally prescribe (metoclopramide/metacam or similar) and feel comfortable attempting at-home care, once you hit the 24 hour mark since they've last eaten/drank/pooped, it's still time for a vet.
~ Regardless of when you visit the vet, be SURE to tell them both the time(s) and dosage(s) of anything you've administered at home, including simethicone and BeneBac but especially pain or gut motility medications. Complications can easily arise from double-dosing NSAIDS like aspirin, ibuprofen and metacam and in general, the more the vet knows about what was given at home and whether or not it helped, the better since stasis can have such a wide variety of causes (gas, hairball, tooth ache, blockage, even pain unrelated to their digestive system).

I feel like I might be forgetting something... if I think of anything else, I'll add it here later.
 
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