How to get bunny to drink more water while recovering from Stasis

Discussion in 'Health & Wellness' started by Hartlea, Aug 15, 2019.

Help Support Rabbits Online by donating:

  1. Aug 15, 2019 #1

    Hartlea

    Hartlea

    Hartlea

    Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2019
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Texas
    Hi!

    I have an adorable holland lop rabbit who has been dealing with a bout of GI Stasis for about a week now... long story short, it has been a LOOONGG and trying process.... numerous vet trips, etc. His pooping has gotten better (producing more) and a lot of it has fur in it... makes me think he has a furball. His eating has been pretty good lately... eating hays multiple times in a day, eats pellets (although I have only been offering a tiny amount of them). The only issue is his drinking... he just doesn't really want to drink on his own. He has had to be hydrated a few times with sub-q fluids. When he has this done, he seems to do really well. More energy, seems easier to use the bathroom, etc. All around good for him (like it is for anything, really).
    So basically, do any of y'all have any ideas on how to get him to drink more on his own? He needs moisture in his gut to try and pass whatever he has going on. I really hate the thought of several more rounds of the sub-q fluids. I have tried putting his water in a bowl, and at first he seemed to like it better, but now he mostly ignores it. He absolutely hates syringe feeding, and he ends up just mostly spitting it out. People have told me to just be patient, but I'm just so wanting him to pick up his fluid intake on his own.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Aug 15, 2019 #2

    rabbitlover2019

    rabbitlover2019

    rabbitlover2019

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2019
    Messages:
    60
    Likes Received:
    55
    Location:
    iran
    instead of water, give him high fiber diet and fresh vegetable /fruits, but not sweet ones.
    if possible, give him Green alfalfa.
     
  3. Aug 15, 2019 #3

    Saltflower

    Saltflower

    Saltflower

    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2017
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    NULL
    Soak his greens in purified water or distilled water, something bottled. Maybe an hour before feeding. And for water in his bowl, bottled water might be a good idea. I know it's expensive but my four rabbits are never allowed tap water.
     
  4. Aug 15, 2019 #4

    Preitler

    Preitler

    Preitler

    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2015
    Messages:
    688
    Likes Received:
    392
    Location:
    Austria
    I would be careful with adding veggies and alfalfa to the diet of a rabbit that already has tummy problems. Isn't that all rather rich stuff?

    Although, right, greens are a way to get water into them. My rabbits get forage, grass and weeds, and drink close to nothing all summer long. There are some plants that are easy to digest, and relativly safe to start with, like leaves of apple, roses, blackberries etc, or narrowleaf plantain comes to mind. Introduce slowly anyway, a few leaves at a time, 2-3 times a day, slowly increasing. Always watch his poop. You can make that stuff wet too.
    If that goes well I would introduce fresh grass.

    Another way would be to flavour the water a little, it is said that apple cider vingar works sometimes - about a spoon per liter max. I didn't notice any difference, but it is worth a try. Use two bowls, one with plain water, one with a little ACV in it, so you'll see what he preferrs.
     
  5. Aug 15, 2019 #5

    Blue eyes

    Blue eyes

    Blue eyes

    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2012
    Messages:
    5,840
    Likes Received:
    2,007
    Location:
    Arizona, USA
    If he's just getting over GI stasis, don't switch his diet. That could cause another round of stasis. :eek:

    The more hay he eats, the more he is likely to drink. Don't give up on a water bowl. It's the easiest way for him to drink. Just refresh the water daily. As for hay, you want him eating his body size in hay every day. The best way to encourage more hay eating is to add new hay several times a day. For some reason, the process of adding more hay will usually encourage them to eat more. More hay = more water drinking.

    If he doesn't normally get greens, then you could slowly begin to introduce them. As Prietler explained, greens are a good way to get more water in their diet, but they really have to be introduced slowly. Check here for how to safely introduce greens. (On that note, please avoid any fruits for now. The sugar can cause another round of stasis.)

    Also, if he still shows fur in his poos, then try brushing him more to reduce the amount of fur he ingests when grooming himself.
     
  6. Aug 16, 2019 #6

    cuteus

    cuteus

    cuteus

    Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2019
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    long island
    You did not say how old your boy is. As they get older and arthritic they might not be able to handle the fur from grooming, so a good daily brushing will help him. My Houdini is also dealing with some GI issues and got to the point of really small and infrequent poops. Stopped eating his pellets, and hardly any water is gone from his bowl. I have always given him a big helping of parsley and cilantro and since they are soaked and fed wet, he is getting his water that way. I have him on simethicone every 8 hrs and Metacam every 12. He does have arthritis and an eye discharge but is hard to think of those as the reason for his eating changes. I got Critical Care fine grind and mix it with a bit of pumpkin (baby food). Another way of getting water in him. Buns seem to change their habits unexpectedly and sometimes not for the best. They won't eat stuff they used to love and it is scary. You do what you have to. Houdini is not gulping down the parsley and cilantro like he used to, so I got romaine baby lettuces which he loved. Another water source. Ideally, I want the water bowl used, but until it happens I keep trying different things. Maybe a bit of pineapple juice in the H2O to tempt his appetite? Plus it has enzymes that help digestion. Fresh papaya also good for GI. I know the sugar content is a concern but small bits at time and watching the droppings should catch any issues early. Good luck!
     
  7. Aug 16, 2019 #7

    Hartlea

    Hartlea

    Hartlea

    Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2019
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Texas
    He’s pretty young... just about 9 months!
    However, just a bit ago, I put a little Apple Cider Vineagar in his bowl (literally just a drop) and as soon as I placed it in front of him, He drank for a minute straight. Hmm... I had taken the ACV away when this began... so maybe he just didn’t like water without it as much? I don’t know... I was very pleased when I saw this, but I’m still going to keep an eye out on this. Hope he continues!
     
  8. Aug 16, 2019 #8

    Hartlea

    Hartlea

    Hartlea

    Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2019
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Texas
     
  9. Aug 16, 2019 #9

    cuteus

    cuteus

    cuteus

    Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2019
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    long island
    What a relief! They are so finicky and stubborn! I hope he continues to improve and beats this setback! We parents have to watch these kids like (was going to say a hawk but not a good pun in a prey animal case :) ). Best to you!
     

Share This Page