Rabbit shaking and lying down?

Discussion in 'Health & Wellness' started by Hurnown, Nov 27, 2012.

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  1. Nov 27, 2012 #1

    Hurnown

    Hurnown

    Hurnown

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    My English Spot/Dwarf rabbit is almost 2 years old, I've had him since he was 5-6 months old. Earlier this year, in May, he had the same symptoms: shaking/feels like spasms from his head to his scruff area. I don't know if it's when I pet him, but whenever I do, he shakes. Like what happened in May, he was perfectly fine before everything happened, he was actually more active than usual, so I gave him a few treats. Three hours later, my mother said that he was lying in the litter box, he stayed in there for more than an hour. When I came down to eat dinner, he switched to the stairs(his favourite spot). I went to see what was wrong, and I felt that he was shaking from head to scruff and that his stomach was VERY soft. Usually his stomach would be bouncy, a bit hard, and note that he sat in the litter box, and we can't tell if he did poop or not. Anyways, how should we help him? He seems to respond to me, so I don't think it's a seizure. When it happened in May, he was perfectly fine the next day. It is a little cold at our place, it's around 4 degrees celsius, but the last time it happened was in SPRING. I don't want to risk not helping him anymore, my parents don't want to take him to the vet because they're assuming that he'll be fine, and that the cost is too expensive. But just because the first time he was okay, doesn't mean the second would be. How should I help him? I need help, thanks.
     
  2. Nov 27, 2012 #2

    Bill Jesse

    Bill Jesse

    Bill Jesse

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    Sorry I cannot give you a diagnosis but have some questions. Is he shaking constantly or is it like a twitch? Is he eating apart from the treats? How about water? Are the treats something new to him and is there a possibility they contain some things that don't agree with him?

    How is his temperature? Should be warm around the ears and neck. You say its cold but does he live in the cold? Does he play outdoors in the cold and then comes in to a warm house.

    Treats are something I do not give my rabbits. Some people do and I have no problem with that. If he is eating, drinking and pooping that is good. Does he eat hay? If he refuses hay yet at one point liked it, try rubbing some around his mouth. He will try to run from it but will eventually get angry and take a bite of it.

    Rabbits do not mind the cold. Its the heat that gets them. It is cold here too and my bunnies live in a shed which is not heated or insulated. On the very cold nights I was tempted to bring them in but thought better of it.

    I don't know what else to add but hope he gets over it quickly. I can understand your parents not wanting to take him to a vet as it is expensive. And unless you have a good rabbit vet you may not get satisfaction.
     
  3. Nov 27, 2012 #3

    JBun

    JBun

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    Is he eating, drinking, and pooping? If he is, that's a good sign. This isn't just the hiccups is it? If people don't know about rabbits getting the hiccups, it can actually seem like there is somthing wrong cause it shakes their whole body and almost seems like they are having a convulsion or something. If it's not hiccups, he may have some sort of medical problem, and that would be something a vet would need to check out.
     
  4. Nov 27, 2012 #4

    Bill Jesse

    Bill Jesse

    Bill Jesse

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    I have seen my rabbits with a gas problem on occasion. They lie stretched out and tremble a bit. Generally shaking is a sign of pain but we won't jump to that conclusion in this case.

    If it is gas you can try rubbing his tummy or you could give him Gas-X which comes in a chewable table for adults and children. WhatI have done is break of a small piece and mix it in water and then use a plastic syringe to give it orally.

    Another thingI did not mention earlier. Is it possible he was frightened? My neighbour's gardener has a leaf blower that is so loud I'd like to stick it up his..., anyway and one of my rabbits is totally frightened of the sound. She lies hunched up trembling. Of course I try to be there when he comes around and I sit in her pen with her.
     
  5. Nov 27, 2012 #5

    Hurnown

    Hurnown

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    Hello, thanks for replying. He is constantly shaking, it's like a phone vibrating. He usually just lies down, but sometimes he would stand up on his legs and sit back down and then lie down. He looks a bit sleepy as well, there's no discharge or anything though. No, he stopped eating since he lied down in the litter box. He lives indoor and we let him out the whole day until we sleep. I don't think he was frightened, though while he was lying down, my dad went to the basement to do something and he was afraid of it, meaning he's still responding. Other than that, I don't think he's frightened that this is happening to him. Something as scary as the vacuum to him, he would only hide in a corner until it is over. His ears are cold, but the neck is pretty warm. He's currently sitting on the bottom stairs and I can't keep looking after him because I have a lot of homework to do :/. If this is still happening tomorrow, I'll take him to the vet no matter what.
     
  6. Nov 27, 2012 #6

    Imbrium

    Imbrium

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    sounds like a vet trip would definitely be a good idea... try to get him to eat something before you go to bed if you can - it's a medical emergency if a rabbit goes 8-12+ hours without eating and/or pooping so getting him to eat late tonight would give some peace of mind. if he's not eating the usual stuff, you can bribe him with some tidbits of fruit to see if he accepts those... canned pumpkin (plain, not the pie filling kind) is especially good, as it's got a decent amount of fiber in it.

    if you have critical care food (comes from vets), you can syringe feed that. if you don't, you can make a pellet slurry - take some pellets and add water or pedialyte; microwave. let sit for 5-10 mins so the pellets can "fluff", then mix together (breaking up the pellets as much as possible); add more liquid if needed to get it to a good pudding-like consistency for syringe feeding. critical care will work with a syringe as-is but with the DIY slurry, you may find it necessary to cut the tip of the syringe off to make the opening larger. if you happen to have a mortar and pestle, grinding up the pellets before you start can help.

    basically, just do what you have to do to get him to eat something so he doesn't develop GI stasis on top of whatever's causing him to shake.
     
  7. Nov 27, 2012 #7

    Hurnown

    Hurnown

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    What if I don't have a syringe? My rabbit doesn't like me touching his mouth either :(.
     
  8. Nov 27, 2012 #8

    Imbrium

    Imbrium

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    Jennifer

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    if you can get to a grocery store, you can get a syringe for a couple bucks. failing that, you might be able to make do with a turkey baster if you've got one around. mine aren't big fans of having their mouths touched either... a towel (for both clean-up and a restraint) and a good technique go a LONG way.

    here's a great video on syringe-feeding [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8iGZVYVm5Bg[/ame]
     
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  9. Nov 27, 2012 #9

    JBun

    JBun

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    So he's not eating or drinking at all? You could try feeding him some green leafy veggies if he won't eat his food or hay. Cilantro,parsley, or green leaf lettuce(not iceburg) are all good if you have any. Sometimes a rabbit will eat veggies even when it won't eat it's regular food.

    Also, can you tell if he's grinding his teeth at all? How long do you think it's been since he ate? It would be a good idea to clean out his litter box tonight. That way you will know if he poops at all tonight. It really sounds like he may be in pain and you should get him into the vet right away. Can you hear any gurgling from his stomach? Does his stomach feel hard or bloated at all? It's possible he may have gas and it's making him feel sick and in pain and that may be why he is shaking. It's actually a pretty serious thing if rabbits get it because they can get really sick. If it's been a while since he's eaten or pooped, and you think he may have gas, you can try giving simethicone. You'd probably need to go to the store to get it. It's in the pharmacy by the medicines for upset stomach and gas meds. It's infant gas relief liquid suspension. You will also need to buy a syringe without a needle, or just take the needle off if it does have one. You give him 1cc each hour for 3 hours, then 1cc every 3-8 hr. if he's still feeling sick. Usually after 2 hr. you will be able to tell if it's helping cause he would start feeling a little better and maybe eat something. If you go to the store to get this, pick up some plain canned pumpkin(not the pie filling) and you can syringe feed that too. You have to be careful when syringe feeding and not squeeze it in his mouth too fast, and give him enough time to swallow. You just put the syringe into the corner of his mouth and slowly squeeze the meds or food in there. You may have to hold onto him or wrap him in a towel to be able to do this. I hope your little guy is going to be ok.
     
  10. Nov 27, 2012 #10

    Hurnown

    Hurnown

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    Hey, thank you all for your help. Apparently, while I was microwaving the pellets, he jumped right out of the blanket and straight to me. Although I'm happy, we still couldn't find the cause. I gave him a piece of dried papaya and he ate it right away, I put him back in the cage for time being, he'll probably eat his pellets. He always grits his teeth when I pet him, he did let off a few snorts or like a sigh and his tummy was VERY soft. All I felt/heard was the vibrating of his body, nothing else. Again, thanks everyone :)
     
  11. Nov 27, 2012 #11

    JBun

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    I hope your bun is doing better today.

    Gritting his teeth when you pet him is actually tooth purring and it usually means that they like you petting them. Grinding their teeth when they're in pain is different. It's usually louder and they are usually huddled up in a corner and doing it more often, when you aren't even petting them. So that's the difference.

    Let us know how your little guy is doing today.
     
  12. Nov 27, 2012 #12

    Bill Jesse

    Bill Jesse

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    Rabbits certainly make us worry at times. I know I do. Go to your local pharmacy and buy some 1cc syringes. They are dirt cheap. Keep them on hand. You won't need the needles - hopefully. The gas medicine is Gas-X for children but only give him a small amount when you have to. And as I mentioned earlier if he won't eat then wave some hay in his face until he gets angry and takes a bite. He will probably keep eating it after he tastes it. A small piece of banana (very small) and a small piece of apple are loved by bunnies. Another thing I have seen people give are plain Cherrios, but do not give him many and not as a rule. The aim is to get him eating.

    If you can find it the book about caring for ill rabbits in the 21st Century is very good. I forget the title as I have loaned it out. It even covers the various medications - dosages - and what they are good for.

    Finally is there any chance he has a blockage? Do check the litter box to make certain.
     
  13. Sep 13, 2014 #13

    Bill Jesse

    Bill Jesse

    Bill Jesse

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    How ironic that you start a thread on shaking bunnies. I reply and now my bunny is shaking. Not always though but mainly when she is idle. The shake is very faint, almost like a vibration but not as bad as a cell phone.
    In her case she eats like a horse, drinks, poops and is somewhat active although not as much as she was before the shaking started.
    I have massaged her tummy. She eats lots of hay but have noticed her lying down more often than not. Usually stretched out on her tummy.
    She has had her vitals checked and all was okay.
    I am baffled by thgis.
     

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