Lost my bunny to GI Stasis

Discussion in 'Health & Wellness' started by Scott Andrews, Jul 16, 2019.

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  1. Jul 16, 2019 #1

    Scott Andrews

    Scott Andrews

    Scott Andrews

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    I know this could go into the rainbow bridge section, but I am trying to understand what happened. I am absolutely devastated. I have always been a dog person and have lost dogs, but this hurts far worse than anything.

    On Saturday my daughter went to feed the bunny (technically it was hers, she got her while away at college, but she moved back home last year and I got very attached) She saw a bloody discharge from her eye. We are not sure what happened....the bunny is kept in the basement and allowed to free range. She has a crate there but we keep it open for her to come and go as she pleases. We had bunny proofed it long ago and she really seemed to like the extra space to run around. It is a finished basement so it worked for all.

    Anyway, the nearest emergency vet was an hour and a half away. We took her, the vet checked her, didn't find anything, put dye in the eye, checked all vitals, sent us home. Sunday night we noticed she hadn't eaten so we marked her water bottle to see if she was drinking. Monday morning I checked and saw she had not had anything to drink and immediately started trying to get her into a vet. Her regular vet was on vacation, backup vet was gone for the day and they would not contact her, third bunny vet in town also on vacation so it wasn't until about 5 pm I could find one to get her in.

    He diagnosed her with GI Stasis. Gave her 10cc of fluid orally and 12cc subQ. Gave us a prescription of Regulan and some Critical Care and sent us home. The bunny was very lethargic. We used a syringe to feed her, most of the time she just let it run out of her mouth, but we did get some in her as well as fluids. We massaged her belly and she pooped a little bit which we took as a good sign.

    We let her rest an hour and then fed her some more, with a little more fluid. It was again very hard to feed her because she was so lethargic, but we did get some in, and got her to poop a little more. We went to bed at 10 pm, and then I set my alarm for 4 am to feed her again. When I got downstairs I saw a big pile of poop on the towel she had been laying in on front of the cage, a few in the cage, some of the Critical Care spilled, but Bonnie was lying in the back of the cage dead.

    I am tearing up trying to understand what we did wrong. When the vet gave her fluid orally she coughed a couple of times, I have wondered if he got some in her lungs, I also wondered if we got some, in her lungs or if we fed her too much. I mixed one tablespoon of Critical Care with 2 tablespoons of pedialyte but that was far too solid to get into the syringe so we watered it down quite a bit. We gave her about 15CC of that mixture.

    Please help me make sense of this. She had such a great personality I can't believe it.
     
  2. Jul 16, 2019 #2

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

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    I'm sorry for your loss. Bonnie really knew how loved she was.
     
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  3. Jul 16, 2019 #3

    EricaWD

    EricaWD

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    I'm sorry for your loss, we are in the midst of illness as well with one of ours, and I know how hard it is. I'm sorry she didn't get better.
     
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  4. Jul 16, 2019 #4

    Niomi

    Niomi

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    You took her to the vet and you did everything you could to save her life. You did nothing wrong. For whatever reason, it was her time to go. Life isn't fair and it doesn't always make sense. So sorry for your loss.
     
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  5. Jul 17, 2019 #5

    Blue eyes

    Blue eyes

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    So sorry you lost your bun. Hopefully JBun will see this and be able to provide some insight.

    Honestly, it sounds to me like there was more than just GI stasis going on. Usually it would take longer than that for a rabbit to die from GI stasis. That he pooped also makes me think this. The bloody discharge from the eye has nothing to do with GI issues (that I've ever heard). The vet may have missed something (or done something wrong? - rabbit coughing?) Jenny (JBun) may have more to offer.
     
  6. Jul 17, 2019 #6

    Scott Andrews

    Scott Andrews

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    She may have stopped eating Friday night. Or ate just a little. Saturday morning is when we saw the eye. Her food bowl was not empty. We would give her unlimited hay and a cup of pellets with dehydrated fruit. She always ate the fruit then the pellets. She had eaten some fruit but not her whole bowl.

    When we took her to the emergency vet for her eye her vitals were good and temp ok. She definitely had low energy though.

    When we got home we filled her bowl and Sunday saw it was not touched.

    Did we overfeed her? She seemed normal Friday. I thought when she pooped we were home free
     
  7. Jul 17, 2019 #7

    Scott Andrews

    Scott Andrews

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    Also....I didn’t think the eye was related, but that was the stress that started it all. Then the 3 hours in the car to the vet etc
     
  8. Jul 17, 2019 #8

    Mackenzie Salm

    Mackenzie Salm

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    I had the same situation and when there is legit nothing you can do but make sure she drinks lots of fluids. There are special vaccines that the breeder I got one of my rabbits from uses. you can only get it online so you wouldn't have gotten it in time anyway. Blaming yourself won't do anything I did that for 2 years and I finally came to my scenes that there was nothing I could have done about it.

    I didn't even notice it at first because I was in a rush so I went to feed her and she usually comes right up to get the food but she didn't. I thought nothing of it then I had a gut feeling to move her. So I moved her and their was diarrhea everywhere. I cleaned her off which was hard because it had such a horrible smell to it. I live by so many farms so I am so use to bad smells of things like cow manure but it was really smelly I couldn't stand it. I was only 12 and I told my mom to bring us to the vet but she wouldn't let me and she was like oh she will be fine. Stayed with her until I saw yelled at to go to bed.

    The next morning I didn't go to see her because my mom told me that she was fine and everything was fine she fed my rabbit and she ate (I really think she was lying and just making sure I don't go down there because she was dead) I came home and my mom said don't go downstairs (she lived in our basement) I ran downstairs and she was dead. And wow what a surprise my mom had bought my favorite ice cream on her way home from work. I was planning on getting a rabbit later that week either way. So I took like 2 weeks off then got my other rabbit I was planning on getting either way.

    Worst 2 weeks of my life. I felt worthless. I felt like I didn't have a reason to be on Earth anymore. Because at the time I only had my cat then. But my cat bit me while I was outside crying my eyes out because I had just saw my dead rabbit. So I did not like him for a while. I have always needed quit a few animals for me to feel like I have a purpose in life (right now I have 8 animals to feel like I have a purpose and working my way to one more).

    Okay sorry that got a lot longer then what I wanted. It has been 2 years and I haven't told anyone the whole story so I kinda just had it all bottled up inside of me. I still do blame myself of her death to this day even though I know there wasn't anything I could do about it. I know this didn't help but I kinda just needed to get this off my chest plus I doubt anyone read my whole story and got down to here. Congrats if you did.
     
  9. Jul 17, 2019 #9

    Scott Andrews

    Scott Andrews

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    Thank you and I am sorry for your loss. I am glad you got it off your chest instead of keeping it bottled up.

    I thought she would be ok because we got a lot of fluid in her...the vet did and we did.
     
  10. Jul 17, 2019 #10

    JBun

    JBun

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    I agree with Blue eyes that it's unlikely that GI stasis was the primary cause of death, or what was really going on with your rabbit. GI stasis, or a gut slowdown, can have a variety of causes as any painful health condition will also cause stasis in a rabbit. So I also think there was a much more serious underlying condition going on. Since the coughing wasn't reoccurring or continually occurring, I would suspect some fluids could have been aspirated but not the actual cause of death, as you would have noticed other signs of respiratory distress if your rabbit had developed aspiration pneumonia. Not swallowing the critical care and letting it drip from the mouth is usually a pretty bad sign and most often means the rabbits condition is critical and they aren't going to make it.

    Ocular hemorrhaging could be linked to the possible cause of death, or it could just be a secondary sign such as from an eye injury, but it's doubtful that an eye injury would lead to your rabbits death, when it happened so quickly and in the manner you describe.

    If the ocular hemorrhage was a secondary injury and unrelated to the primary cause of death, then there are a variety of things that could have occurred to cause severe lethargy and sudden death. There could have been a systemic infection that developed for an unknown reason, or a liver lobe torsion, or internal hemorrhage such as from a severe ulcer, or heart failure.

    If the ocular hemorrhage was a primary clinical sign, that could indicate a much more serious and rare cause of death. Rabbit hemorrhagic disease is a severe viral disease that will usually cause bleeding from the mouth, nose, eyes, and/or genitals, and will cause sudden death in rabbits. The likelihood that this is the cause is extremely rare, and there have only ever been a few cases of the disease in the US so far. But because of the bleeding from the eye, it is a possibility. And something a vet might miss because of it's rarity here.
    https://rabbit.org/vhd/
    http://wildpro.twycrosszoo.org/S/00dis/viral/Rabbit_haemorraghic_disease.htm

    Even if your vet had done a full work up with blood panels and xrays, it's quite possible that nothing more could have been done, especially if rhd was the cause. I'm very sorry. I've lost a few rabbits over the years and it breaks my heart every time.
     
  11. Jul 18, 2019 #11

    Scott Andrews

    Scott Andrews

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    Thank you so much for the reply. We though she poked herself in the eye hopping around....she had the discharge and was holding it closed, but never knew for sure...but that is why we took her to the emergency vet Saturday. Her temperature was normal at that time and vitals good. Thinking back on the whole thing though I am not sure when she really stopped eating. I filled her bowl on Friday night. We saw her eye Saturday morning and at that time she was acting different and had only eaten the dehydrated fruit from it. Sunday night wasn't until we realized she definitely was not eating and marked her water bottle. I don't think she had haemorraghic diseas...she had no other bleeding. The vet couldn't find a cut, but thought she may have one on the corner of her eyelid where it couldn't be seen.

    Monday was very frustrating because I couldn't find a vet. The one who spayed her was on vacation. The vet I take my dog too wouldn't see her until 7/29, not even when I told them it was an emergency. I finally found someone close and got her there at around 5 Monday. He is who diagnosed GI Stasis. He had listened to her tummy with a stethoscope and said he couldn't hear anything. The only time she coughed is when he was putting fluids in her with a syringe. At the time he seemed confident she was going to be ok. He said she was very sick, but would be ok. I thought when she pooped Monday night we were home free.

    I keep wondering if we just put her through too much. The trip to the vet Saturday...that was an hour and a half each way in the car plus the poking and prodding....the trip to the vet Monday, force feeding her etc.

    I just can't believe how much I miss her. And she wasn't even my bunny...she was my daugther's. She was just my grandbunny. My daughter got her while away at college.
     
  12. Jul 18, 2019 #12

    sandra.ess23

    sandra.ess23

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    I lost my bunny suddenly as well this week. I believe it was GI stasis or some thing along those lines. While I was trying to bring him to the vet, he panicked so much and died. It has been very difficult to stop blaming myself and thinking of all the things I should have done differently to keep him alive.

    Bunnies are great at hiding symptoms. It sounds like you did everything you could have once you saw signs that she was ill. Some breeds are more susceptible to GI stasis. I know going forward I will be bringing my other two in for regular vet visits as a preventative measure.

    I am very sorry for your loss. It sounds like you provided her with a lot of love and care try to take comfort in that.
     
  13. Jul 18, 2019 #13

    EricaWD

    EricaWD

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    Sorry for your loss, Sandra.
     
  14. Jul 18, 2019 #14

    Mackenzie Salm

    Mackenzie Salm

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    Yeah I know thats the thing its like its not my rabbit I won't get attached to it I'm not attached to it then it passes and your crying more then who actually owned it. That happened with me to my sisters cat. I find it weird to this day but I guess thats how it goes when your an animal lover lol
     
  15. Jul 19, 2019 #15

    Scott Andrews

    Scott Andrews

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    thank you and I am very sorry for your loss as well
     

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