Not Eating?!

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StickyBird

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Well, this morning whenI woke up and let Umbra out for his breakfast and playtime, he didn'twant to play... Instead, he just went into my closet (hissleepy spot), and laid down. I thought that was a bit unusualseeing as he usually is hyper and runs around my room in themorning. Then I offered him pellet food, and he wouldn't haveanything to do with it. He did willingly eat quite a fewoats, but even those I had to stuff in front of him to make himinterested.

He was perfectly fine last night, and Ican't think of anything that he has eaten (on purpose or accident)besides pellets, hay, and oats. I'm more than a bit worriedright now, and now I have to be at school until 12 today...Any ideas?
 

Carolyn

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Welcome back, Melissa,

Any chance of the little guy having a hairball? Perhaps youcould offer him some pineapple or dried papaya in case he is havingtrouble moving it through?Can you feel any hardnessorlumps in the stomach area?

He may just improve later on and be a bit tired. I had Tuckerdo that to me at one point and I panicked. He had skippedbreakfast and lunch and he never does that. By dinner time,he was fine. Of course, I'm hoping that's the case with ourlittle Umbra, but in the meantime, you might just offer him some extrahay and rolled oats as fiber to help move things along.If youhave any NutriCal in the house, I'd give him a small dose to encouragehis appetite.


Most importantly as you know, keep him hydrated, even if you have to syringe feed him water.

Keep us posted.

* * * * * * * * * * *

Just for information, this is what Rick Stahl had said on the RabbitWeb about hair blockages. Just thought you might find itinteresting.

"Rabbits ingest fur constantly, especially during a molt. Thebest treatment for fur block is prevention. My feed has sufficientcoarse fiber to keep my rabbits' GI tract cleansed and moving but whenI note a rabbit beginning molt I add extra fiber, either hay or straw,whichever is handiest. This keeps everything moving and even in wooledbreeds furblock is a rarity.

If a rabbit is eating something it is usually GI Stasis, which cancause furballs. If a rabbit stops eating, even hay, I use meattenderizer to break up the furball and get it moving. The tenderizerdissolves the gastric mucous that binds the fur together, allowing thefur to be passed. Oil and vaseline, while working with minor cases willdo nothing to a blockage, other than maybe make it worse. Best thing isto break up the blockage. There are several things used to breakup themucous binder, meat tenderizer works for me, it's easier to keep n handand to administer- I mix it with enough water to make a liquid thensyringe feed a couple of cc's at a time, 2-3 times a day, until the furpasses and the rabbit is eating again."



* * * * * * * * * *

-Carolyn


 

StickyBird

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Thanks Carolyn. I wassuspecting that it must've been something like a fur blockage.Yesterday morning, Umbra was being a bad bunny, and I had to squirt himquite a bit with the water gun, and afterwards he was grooming himselfwhat seemed to be non-stop, and he's beginning to molt, so I think hemust've ingested a lot of hair. When I got home and let him out, heseemed a lot more active and actually was willing to eat some pellets(and then I offered him some oats and he decided to skip the pelletsafter that and go for the oats; that's so like him). I'm still going tofeed a bit of Papaya to him when my mom gets back from the store withit though. Anyway, hopefully, he'll completely back to himself comenighttime.

Again, thanks for the help! You're such a good friend! Especially to a worrier like me!

-- Melissa and Umbra
 

Carolyn

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HiMelissa!

How's the little guy doing today?

-Carolyn
 

StickyBird

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Well, his attitude hasimproved greatly. Yesterday morning, he didn't want to doanything but lay in my closet, and this morning he was happy enough todo a few binkies and go on my bed. He didn't really want toeat at first this morning, but I think that was because all yesterday Ispoiled him with oats. And whenever Umbra is spoiled withoats, he refuses to eat pellets in hopes of getting oats.That little stinker! Fortunately, after I gave him a piece ofbanana (from the banana I was putting in my cereal), and offered himsome pellets, he started eating them. He ate a bit of haybeforeI left too, so I'm hoping that he'll be okay the restof the day considering I have college today from 8 till 5. Ithink he just needs to get back into his routine again.

-- Melissa and Umbra
 

Carolyn

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Glad to hear he's eating something.Tucker will hold out for the treats if he thinks they'recoming.

Little stinkers, aren't they?!

-Carolyn
 

LuvaBun

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Hi Melissa. It sounds like Umbra is getting backto normal, thank goodness. Pretty smart, these rabbits, knowing if theyhold on long enough then they'll get what they want :D- Jan
 

StickyBird

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Okay, I'm havin' a fewproblems again. Exasperating, I know, but it seems thatUmbra's appetite is still not back to normal... The daybefore yesterday, he grudgingly ate a good chunk of papaya, but laterthat night would eat none (I don't think he liked it much), andyesterday, would barely eat much at all. A little hay, closeto no pellets, and a few handfuls of oats, but that was it.His poops have gotten pretty small, and I'm not sure if it's because ofmore hair, or because he's not eating much or what. He seemsmore active than he was the morning this all started, but he's stilljust not himself all the way.

So, here's the question, should I trypineapple instead of papaya? Maybe he'll like itbetter? And I have another question. I'd like toget some NutriCal, but I'm not sure where to get it. Iremember seeing some NutriCal for pet birds in the feed store at theend of my street, but nothing else... Is there a special onefor rabbits?

Yipes... I need help...

--Melissa and Umbra
 

Carolyn

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Hi Melissa,

Yes, I would try the pineapple. The smaller poops could alsobe a sign of blockage or dehydration. Make sure hegets plenty of water. Syringe feed it to him if you haveto. You can also give him an apple or some lettuce just toensure he's keeping fluids in him. The pineapple reallyshould be fresh. You can pick some up from a salad bar if youhave one at your grocery store.

The NutriCal isn't made specifically for bunnies. As you'llsee, it actually advertises for Cats and Dogs, but Pamnock has alsogiven it to horses. I definitely think it's a good idea topick some up. Usually a pet supply store, a tractor supplycompany store, or a feed store will carry it. I know it sellsat Petco if you have one nearby:http://www.petco.com/product_info.asp?sku=3052106786&dept_id=-2or it also looks like this:http://www.arcatapet.com/item.cfm?cat=5867I've even seen it with a ferret's picture on the front of it.You might be just fine getting the NutriCal for the birds, just checkout the sites listed above so that you know what to look for in thesense of ingredients or comparison.

Keep us posted.

-Carolyn
 

StickyBird

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Okay, I'll take a tripto Petco when I get off of school. How do I administer it tohim anyway? And also, how bad does this have to get before Istart thinking about the vet? Just wondering. Idon't want to have to think about the vet, but I'm not really sure howfar to let it go before doing that.

Anyway, I'll also try the lettuce, and thepineapple. I know he'll like the lettuce, I just hope helikes the pineapple. I've also heard of other people usingcat hairball dissolving stuff (not quite sure what to call it) fortheir rabbits too. However, I'm not sure if it's safe or not,so I think I'll try a pineapple first. Too bad they're sodarn expensive. Oh well, at least I like them better thanpapayas.

Well, I'll keep you guys posted when Ifind out more. And thanks for the info.!

--Melissa and Umbra
 

Carolyn

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Have you thought of the meat tenderizersuggestion by Rick Stahl? It's another way togo. Between the pineapple, rolled oats, and timothyhay, he should be able to move it if it is a hairball. Haveyou checked the pellets? Are there any bugs in it or is itnot fresh? I wouldn't use the cat furballmedication. I'd try everything else first before decidingwhether to take him to the vet or not.

I'd try the other things first and definitely get theNutriCal. You don't need much, about an inch from thetube. It's high in calories so you have to be somewhatcareful, but Umbra will at least still be getting the nutrients he'snot by cutting out the pellets. Don't overfeed onsupplemental vegetables, but do keep in mind that if he's not drinking,he'll have to have some form of moisture/water going through.Water is the most important because rabbits die quickly fromdehydration. TheNutriCal will help hisappetite,boost his immune system, and give him what he's notpresently getting.

Has the weather changed in your area? Sometimes when it's hottheir appetite will decrease. Have you checked his teeth andgums? Does he seem in pain? If rabbits are in pain,they won't eat. Feel any lumps or abnormalities?

-Carolyn
 

Carolyn

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Stickybird,

Arethe rabbit pellets your feeding him fresh? Ifthe date on the package is over 8 weeks old and it's not frozen to holdonto the nutrients, you might want to get another bag of it and startover. If Umbra is eating the oats, it could be a sign thatthe pellets have gone bad or he's not liking them. Have youchanged brands lately?

GI Stasis can be fatal if not treated. If you can't get aheadof the problem soon, within 48 hours or so, I would consider avisitto the vet. Some information on GI Statis isas follows:http://fig.cox.miami.edu/Faculty/Dana/ileus.htmlI don't want to alarm you, but you do have to be verycareful. Does he appear bloated or does his tummy feel fulland/or any lumps in there? Check him over thorougly and seeif he responds or reacts with pain as you feel around. Lookfor any redness or infection.

Keep that waterfilled.

If the dish he's got his pellets in his dusty, he may not be eatingthem because of that either. If he stops eating, I'd get himto a vet right away to help get his system moving again. Ifhe's got a block, it could be that it's too big for him to move ithimself.

Are there any bugs in his pellets or any bugs in his stools?You may not be able to see it, but if you take them to the vet, he cansee them under a microscope so take a sample in with you if/when youtake Umbra in.

Keep us posted.

-Carolyn
 

StickyBird

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Okay, I can't rememberexactly when I bought the pellets, but I know they can't be more thanone month old. He usually finishes a bag in about a month'stime (4-5 weeks). He is eating the oats, but certainly not asmuch as he usually would. I gave him a bit of appleyesterday, and he ate a large wedge of it (well, large for what heusually has) very enthusiastically, but wouldn't touch thepellets. When he is in his cage, he nibbles on a little haybut to nowhere near his usual standard. Yesterday morning, hedid eat a bit of his pellet food, and that's why I thought he wasgetting better, but today and yesterday afternoon-night, he didn't wantthem at all.

He is drinking a little less water thanusual, but he is still drinking. I felt around his bell andsuch this morning and yesterday, and I feel nothing out of theordinary, his belly feels squishy as usual, and I don't feel anyhardness or lumps (but I'm not an expert at these things).Eyes, nose, and breathing is all clear, and he moves around fine so hedoesn't seem to be in any pain. He certainly doesn't have thesame level of energy, but he seems able to do all of the things hewould normally do. I'll make sure to keep the water fresh andstuff for him.

The wheather around here has actually beenquite pleasant lately. A week ago, it was pretty hot, butit's calmed down a bit, so it's not that it's too hot. Irecently did have to switch hays, but that was a couple weeksago. And I did have to switch pellet food, but I did itgradually, and that was completed about a month ago. I doremember that when this all started, I realized that I had let Umbra'swaterbottle go too long without washing it out (I usually do that oncea week, but I had been careless and let it go for almosttwo).

It's really frustrating though, because Ithought yesterday morning that he was better... His poopswere nice and big, his appetite was coming back, and he was moreactive... But now it just seems as if he's taking a U-turn soto speak, back in the wrong direction... I wish he would haveliked that Papaya, because I really think that did help him.Hopefully he'll like the pineapple... Well, I've gotta go eatsome lunch (like I'm that hungry ;)), and try not to dwell on it toomuch.

--Melissa and Umbra
 

StickyBird

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Well, thought I'd givean update, seeing as I haven't since Friday! Friday night was prettybad... Umbra was really weak from not eating much all day. Butmiraculously overnight, he ate a bunch of his hay, and a lot of water,and yesterday, I fed him some NutriCal, and he ate it up quickly! Whichsurprised me, seeing as it smells horrible... But the rest ofyesterday, he ate more than he had eaten Friday, gained some moreenergy, and by the time I went to bed, he was even excited to see me!Anyway, today he's pretty close to normal, in fact, I really don'tnotice anything wrong with him. Poops are looking good too. So, I'dlike to thank all of you guys that helped me, and supported me.

--Melissa and Umbra
 

Delphinum

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Aww that's good Melissa. We've had toget our Max through a similar thing. It's great to hear thatUmbra's well again! :D
 

Carolyn

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Is everything still okay with my little buddy?

-Carolyn
 

mygrl2k3

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I finally found some papaya tablets for people atwalmart. Some of you guys talk about using that to preventfurballs. Do rabbits eat it ok and how many tablets would i give them.

Cristy
 

Carolyn

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mygrl2k3 wrote:
Ifinally found some papaya tablets for people at walmart. Someof you guys talk about using that to prevent furballs. Do rabbits eatit ok and how many tablets would i give them.

Cristy

Hi Cristy,

Some rabbits eat papaya pills like they're treats. You dohave to be careful of some brands as they carry a lot of sugar inthem. Some suggest feeding them one every day in a heavymolt.

I give my rabbits one or two dried pieces of papaya a week, but theyalso have a pellet food that has 18%+ of fiber and unlimited amounts oftimothy hay available which helps keep their systemmoving.I'vealso seen it advisedthat that is 1-3 papaya pills or dosages a week is fine. I goby the amount of shedding my rabbits are going through. Somebreeders feed pineapple or papaya enzyme, juice (not canned as the heatin the canning process kills the enzymes) to help prevent or treatwoolblock. The theory is that it weakens the fiber and allows the woolto pass thru the system.

If your little one doesn't like the taste, you can grind them up andput them in with a banana or something that the rabbit doesenjoy as a treat.

-Carolyn
 

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