Not enough poops, lethargic and high temperature after anaesthesia?

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bunnychubbles

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Hello everyone

Yesterday (Wed) I took my female flemish giant Charlie (6mo, 5.4kg/12lbs) to be spayed. They anaesthetised her, but once they turned her over her breathing slowed due to her being 'a bit too fat' so they didn't go ahead with the operation, reversed the anaesthetic and let her recover. When I went to get her they had put her in a room with a fan because her temperature was slightly elevated (I mean, she is HUGE and fluffy). I brought her home at about 3pm. It wasn't until about 7-8pm that she had finally eaten a little bit of her favourite greens (soaked in water to at least help her get some fluid), but no hay or pellets and was still dopey.

Early this morning (Thurs) I have had her eating a fair amount of carrot tops, dandelion leaves, apple and grass which is promising however she still had not pooped. So I had a listen with a stethoscope and though I could still hear the odd gut sound, I wasn't satisfied. I made her drink water through a syringe (we must have had at least 10mls in her), massaged her abdomen, tried to get her up and hopping about, kept feeding her favourites but as soon as the vet clinic opened I rang and got to take her in.

The vet heard gut sounds, albeit not enough, we've been given some more Metoclopramide and some Renitidine to get things moving. At the vets she was happy, chilling out, looking around, active etc but the vet checked the temperature anyway and it was 41.5°C / 106.7°F
.. now correct me if I am wrong but that is emergency fever level?

She couldn't believe it so got another thermometer and tried again and got 41.1/105.9. We were stunned, Charlie did have warm ears (the vets room was hotter than at home) but not in any distress whatsoever and breathing no differently to normal on a hot day. So basically, we did subcut fluids and a drive home with the air-con on and a fan in her room.. I dont know what else to do as her ears are cool?!

She is still quite lethargic, though she can hop when she wants to. It's just sad that this was basically all for nothing as she couldn't even have the surgery and may have to go through this again (when she isn't as fat!). The vet is fantastic she has 100% survival rate for anaesthetics in rabbits.

Basically - why is her temperature high? And is it normal for bunnies to still be lethargic and not themselves a day after anaesthesia (she does not have any incisions as they deemed her too unsafe to start with).

I am absolutely beside myself I've actually made myself sick. I can't lose her now - she's my life. Is she going to die?

Here she is when she is happy
 
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bunnychubbles

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EDIT: I forgot to add that this morning just after I did ring the vet she did have one large soft poo, and I believe now she has done a few more normally-formed ones, but literally a little pile of about 10.. no where near enough though.

This is her now, she looks.. ok I guess but I am so worried beyond belief. We're just waiting and seeing, praying for some poos.. I can't take her to the vet again, because she certainly won't eat or toilet there and there is nothing they can do. She hasn't gone downhill at all either.
nvAs40sl.jpg
 

JBun

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If her ears aren't hot, her body temp shouldn't be elevated either. I would think that if a rabbit had a fever, that the ear temp would correspond as well, since that is a rabbit's primary cooling mechanism. If her temp was up, maybe it was due to being overheated at the vets and maybe it's back to normal now. I'm just not sure of any other reason the vet might get those readings when your bun appears to not show any outward signs of a fever.

It can sometimes take a couple of days for a rabbit to get back to normal because the anesthesia can make some rabbits quite nauseous. I have one rabbit that took 2 days til his eating was back to normal after his neuter. He wasn't in pain and was hopping around and behaving normally, but would only eat small amounts of leafy greens and that's it. So every half hour I would just keep offering more to him. Luckily he was getting enough that I didn't end up needing to syringe feed him, but if your bun isn't consuming enough on her own then you should probably ask your vet about syringe feeding if you aren't already doing that.

Hopefully your bun will be back to feeling better soon. I know how stressful post anesthesia care is and don't envy anyone having to go through it.
 

bunnychubbles

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If her ears aren't hot, her body temp shouldn't be elevated either. I would think that if a rabbit had a fever, that the ear temp would correspond as well, since that is a rabbit's primary cooling mechanism. If her temp was up, maybe it was due to being overheated at the vets and maybe it's back to normal now. I'm just not sure of any other reason the vet might get those readings when your bun appears to not show any outward signs of a fever.

It can sometimes take a couple of days for a rabbit to get back to normal because the anesthesia can make some rabbits quite nauseous. I have one rabbit that took 2 days til his eating was back to normal after his neuter. He wasn't in pain and was hopping around and behaving normally, but would only eat small amounts of leafy greens and that's it. So every half hour I would just keep offering more to him. Luckily he was getting enough that I didn't end up needing to syringe feed him, but if your bun isn't consuming enough on her own then you should probably ask your vet about syringe feeding if you aren't already doing that.

Hopefully your bun will be back to feeling better soon. I know how stressful post anesthesia care is and don't envy anyone having to go through it.

Yes that was very strange about the temperature, maybe just the stress + the heat in the vets room.

That is INCREDIBLY reassuring to hear thank you. Sad to think my wee bunny is nauseous though. And I still think she is quieter than usual. I did find another pile of poos when she went into her litter tray which was pleasant to see (and they were warm/fresh!). I have also been able to listen to some good bowel sounds with a stethoscope (I'm a human nurse lol)

This was about an hour ago :) Her little friend is very interested in her 'not so normal' friend but wanted to help out washing her ears.

bXNlz4cm.jpg
bXYpHcam.jpg
 

Aki

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A healthy rabbit's temperature can go up to 104° so the stress of going to the vet, a high temperature in the room and the residual effect from the anesthesia (anesthesia inhibits the thermoregulation center in the rabbit's brain, even if it generally causes hypotermia) might explain it. I agree with JBun, rabbits can take a while to recover from anesthesia completely. But from what you are describing and the photos, I wouldn't worry. It's just a shame that she went through this for nothing.
The whole 'she is a bit too fat for the anesthesia' sounds a bit weird to me. Shouldn't have they notice this before making her go under? Was it a gas anesthesia? Beside, I've known fatter-looking rabbits who got spayed with no problem :confused:.
Do you have to make her lose weight before attempting another spay, then?
 

doodlebugger

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We have a bunny that has been deemed as too fat to be spayed. We have tried everything possible to get her weight down. She doesn't get any banana except a teeny tiny piece once a day, and we have switched her pellets, and she gets exercise daily (more than she used to). The vet told us that it is just a really big risk because she is overweight. So, that is our only choice - to help her lose weight or to never get the spay (which puts her at risk for cancer).

We have had a few bunnies who have had surgeries, and the first day or two after having anesthesia, they tend to be a little less active and occasionally we have had to deal with stasis. I'm not sure about the temperature, but I wonder if the medications could be causing her to be less active? I don't recall if either of those can make them sleepy or not??

I hope Charlie is doing much better by now!
 

bunnychubbles

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I haven't had the courage to return to this site and see my posts. I feel I need to let you know Charlie is no longer with us. She died about 48 hours after I originally posted this.
 

missyscove

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I'm sorry for your loss. That fever would definitely have me concerned as well. I suspect there was something going on before the anesthetic event.
 

bunnychubbles

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I'm sorry for your loss. That fever would definitely have me concerned as well. I suspect there was something going on before the anesthetic event.

Yes that is my guess. See I noticed she was often hot and I assumed it was because it was summer and she was big and fluffy. So in the two weeks before the anesthetic even I was having to put the fan on her to help her out a bit. One of those things we'll never know xx
 

JBun

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I'm so very sorry to hear about your bun :( I know it's usually recommended to spay/neuter pet rabbits, but it's something I always dread doing, and stress the entire time. I lost a bun due to his neuter surgery, and know how sad and difficult it is when it happens.
 

Thumperina

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I'm so very sorry to hear about your bun :( I know it's usually recommended to spay/neuter pet rabbits, but it's something I always dread doing, and stress the entire time. I lost a bun due to his neuter surgery, and know how sad and difficult it is when it happens.
with my females (who are about 5 yo by now) the vet told me honestly that he wouldn't spay them at this age. He said that the risk is higher than possible benefits

So very sorry that you lost her, bunnychubbles. She seemed like a very lovable bun. Binky free, Charlie !
 

Aki

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I'm so sorry for your loss.
But nothing says the problem had anything to do with the operation, it's very probable it has just revealed something that wasn't yet apparent. The operation in itself, when done by a competent vet, is not risky outside of the normal risk linked to the anesthesia (in the French main association related to house rabbits, which counts hundred of members and more than a thousand bunnies, only 3 deaths were linked to an anesthesia during the past 4 years and they were caused by underlaying conditions - we got a lot more deaths caused by the new myxomatosis vaccine). So, well, you couldn't have suspected anything and took the right decision even if it's probably hard to think so right now...
Contrarily to Thumperina's vet, I totally would get a 5 years old doe spayed if she seemed healthy. Five years is not old for a rabbit anymore and the risk of cancer is about 80 times what the operation risk is. A lot of vets do it (on the other hand, I would try to look for a vet who feels confident doing it beforehand ^^').
 

Thumperina

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thanks Aki. The same vet told me - ask me how many rabbits with cancer have I seen? No single one, he said. Not sure if its due to the fact he is not just a rabbit vet. He is a general vet . What are cancer rates in your French society?

I haven't heard that being overweight makes the surgery impossible. My bunnies are not small at all
 

RavenousDragon

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Being overweight (unless it's EXTREME) hasn't ever been a problem in my personal experience. Cancer, though, is seen all the time (again, my experience). In my personal experience, about 80% of rabbit uteri after the age of 5 have either cysts or cancer (cysts are painful, but harmless). But again, that's just a personal experience.
 

bunnychubbles

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If her ears aren't hot, her body temp shouldn't be elevated either. I would think that if a rabbit had a fever, that the ear temp would correspond as well, since that is a rabbit's primary cooling mechanism. If her temp was up, maybe it was due to being overheated at the vets and maybe it's back to normal now. I'm just not sure of any other reason the vet might get those readings when your bun appears to not show any outward signs of a fever.

It can sometimes take a couple of days for a rabbit to get back to normal because the anesthesia can make some rabbits quite nauseous. I have one rabbit that took 2 days til his eating was back to normal after his neuter. He wasn't in pain and was hopping around and behaving normally, but would only eat small amounts of leafy greens and that's it. So every half hour I would just keep offering more to him. Luckily he was getting enough that I didn't end up needing to syringe feed him, but if your bun isn't consuming enough on her own then you should probably ask your vet about syringe feeding if you aren't already doing that.

Hopefully your bun will be back to feeling better soon. I know how stressful post anesthesia care is and don't envy anyone having to go through it.

A healthy rabbit's temperature can go up to 104° so the stress of going to the vet, a high temperature in the room and the residual effect from the anesthesia (anesthesia inhibits the thermoregulation center in the rabbit's brain, even if it generally causes hypotermia) might explain it. I agree with JBun, rabbits can take a while to recover from anesthesia completely. But from what you are describing and the photos, I wouldn't worry. It's just a shame that she went through this for nothing.
The whole 'she is a bit too fat for the anesthesia' sounds a bit weird to me. Shouldn't have they notice this before making her go under? Was it a gas anesthesia? Beside, I've known fatter-looking rabbits who got spayed with no problem :confused:.
Do you have to make her lose weight before attempting another spay, then?

I'm sorry for your loss. That fever would definitely have me concerned as well. I suspect there was something going on before the anesthetic event.

I'm so sorry for your loss.
But nothing says the problem had anything to do with the operation, it's very probable it has just revealed something that wasn't yet apparent. The operation in itself, when done by a competent vet, is not risky outside of the normal risk linked to the anesthesia (in the French main association related to house rabbits, which counts hundred of members and more than a thousand bunnies, only 3 deaths were linked to an anesthesia during the past 4 years and they were caused by underlaying conditions - we got a lot more deaths caused by the new myxomatosis vaccine). So, well, you couldn't have suspected anything and took the right decision even if it's probably hard to think so right now...
Contrarily to Thumperina's vet, I totally would get a 5 years old doe spayed if she seemed healthy. Five years is not old for a rabbit anymore and the risk of cancer is about 80 times what the operation risk is. A lot of vets do it (on the other hand, I would try to look for a vet who feels confident doing it beforehand ^^').
I know its five years later but I realised I never updated you all, you might be interested.
She died of malignant hyperthermia. It's a rare reaction to certain drugs used for anesthetic that causes a hypermetabolic crisis - severe hyperthermia, muscle rigidity, seizures and death. She was seizing at home before we rushed her in. It's also seen in humans, but thankfully for us an antidote (dantrolene) can be used. Was nothing to do with the competency of the vet - she felt so upset about the whole thing she wiped the charges for all the care. Which, given Charlie stayed 2 nights in the hospital would have been thousands.

We no longer have rabbits, too traumatic to go through all that.
 

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