(RIP) Chest Congestion, Possible Pneumonia or Heart Condition

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plasticbunny

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IMMEDIATE INFORMATION:



Description (Breed, color, weight): Flemish Giant, 11 lbs
Age: 8 months
Sex: F
Concise Summary of the Rabbit's Condition: A few days ago, I noticed that Molly had lost weight. Her vertibrae were becoming easy to feel and she felt lighter to pick up. I checked her teeth first, they were fine. I felt her jaw, it was fine. I did see her eating but am not sure how much as I've been working overtime the past week and haven't spent much time in the rabbit room. I do know it's not her usual amount. I had made an appointment for Tuesday at the vet, the earliest I could get in.

Today I noticed her making a noise partway between a sneeze and a honk. I also heard a congestion noise and when I put my ear to her side I could hear rumbling as she breathed. Her lower respiratory tract is obviously congested with fluid. I listened to her sinuses as well and they don't seem congested, and there's no discharge. My first thought was pneumonia; however, upon further research I'm leaning more towards Congestive Heart Failure.

From what I've read, CHF's first symptoms can be weight loss, loss of appetite, and tiredness, among others. Because of how the heart of a bunny with CHF works, blood can then pool in the lungs and cause lung congestion. She is young, but because she is a large breed I'm concerned she could be more prone to this.

With pneumonia, it seems that it is usually caused by an upper respiratory tract infection (which Molly did not have), which then progressed to a lower RTI. She is also not running a temperature at all, and she is not gasping, laboring to breathe, or tilting her head up. This is why I'm now doubting pneumonia.

Molly has a vet appointment with a different vet (the only exotic vet that's open Sundays) tomorrow morning. I'm praying she makes it through the night.

Any thoughts on what else it could be are welcome. Any advice is welcome. Prayers and best wishes are definately welcome.



ADDITIONAL INFORMATION / CHECK LIST: (Please fill in relevant info).

Fecal and Urinary Output

- are the bunny's poops and pees normal? No. Peeing is occuring outside of the litter box. Poops are smaller andharder, so there is obvious dehydration. Output is the same.
- when did they last use their litterbox? Using regularly.
- any unusual behavior? straining to pee? unusual litter habits? Lazier, not lethargic or unresponsive, but laying around more.
- what litter and/or bedding do you use? Aspen litter, hardwood floor.

Medical History

- spayed/neutered? Yes.
- has s/he been to the vet or been sick before?Yes to the vet, No to sick.
- is s/he on any medications? No.

Diet

- what specifically does your bunny eat? Hay,pellets, safe veggies.
- when and what did s/he eat last?Not sure.
- any changes in the way s/he eats? (ie: not eating a particular food, odd chewing motions, etc) I haven't seen her eat pellets in a few days, though my boyfriend has. Decreased appetite regardless.


Other

- movement - any unusual movements? Is s/he hopping normally? Resting a lot.
- is the rabbit molting? No.
- any weight loss? Yes.
- any sign of drooling? wet face? No.
- runny eyes? No.
- wet nose? coughing? sneezing?Sneezing slightly, but no discharge.
- is s/he breathing normally? Breath is not labored and no blue tint on lips/nose/gums. Has obvious congestion in lower respiratory tract.

Additional

- any plants, chocolate or other substances within reach? No.
- has the rabbit been outdoors? No.
- any other pets? if so, have they been ill? Yes to pets, no to ill.


 

naturestee

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From what I can tell from your information, pneumonia or congestive heart failure may be the most likely diagnoses. There's really no way to tell what is causing fluid in lungs without a vet exam, including an x-ray. I'm hoping for pneumonia because it is more treatable. Congestive heart failure can sometimes be managed with diuretics. I'm really glad you could find an appointment for tomorrow instead of waiting till Monday. Hopefully the vet is good with rabbits and will figure everything out.

http://www.medirabbit.com/EN/Cardiology/Failure/congestive.htm
 

Maureen Las

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naturestee wrote:
From what I can tell from your information, pneumonia or congestive heart failure may be the most likely diagnoses. There's really no way to tell what is causing fluid in lungs without a vet exam, including an x-ray. I'm hoping for pneumonia because it is more treatable. Congestive heart failure can sometimes be managed with diuretics. I'm really glad you could find an appointment for tomorrow instead of waiting till Monday. Hopefully the vet is good with rabbits and will figure everything out.

http://www.medirabbit.com/EN/Cardiology/Failure/congestive.htm
I agree with Angela. (naturestee).

My bunny, Babette, developed a lower respiratory infection very suddenly wth some labored breathing and a terrible loud cough/sneeze that sounded like a human clearing their throat. She also had a temp/ She responded immediately to antibiotics and although she was initally on baytril it did work effectively the first couple of times that it was prescribed, however the same infection kep returning.
I have never personally had a bun with congestive heart failure but it sounds like this could also could be a possibility
 

TinysMom

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I don't have the answer for you - based on the symptoms I'm leaning more towards the heart problem but I'd rather see it be something that can be treated with pneumonia.

What time is your appointment on Sunday? I'll definitely be praying - but if I know what time the appointment is I won't have to check in every 15 minutes or so for an update.
 

plasticbunny

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Thank you, everyone.

Molly is still alive but I can tell she is worsening. Her ears ar starting to get a bit warmer and she hasn't moved from the same spot or the same sitting position all night. I picked her up and she didn't fight me at all... I have never missed having the air knocked out of me by a giant Flemish kick before. I've managed to get a few hours of sleep and that's all I can hope for right now.

I have all sorts of thoughts running through my head. If it does prove to be congestive heart failure, I'm not sure what I will do. If she's able to live a normal happy life on medication than I will do that, but if there's a chance she'll be suffering... Well, I just don't know. I don't know what the right thing to do is. :cry4:

This is very unexpected and I'm alternating between "oh, she'll be fine, I'll just give her some pills everday and it will all work out" and "I'm going to lose my rabbit today".

Her appointment is at 10 am EST (now Peg doesn't have to spend her entire day on here, though you know you will anyway, Peg, lol). Everyone's best wishes. I will update when I can.
 

Kipcha

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Although I do not have any advice I can give, I really hope that Molly makes it through this alright. From what I've heard on hear, she's got spunk and spirit, she seems like a fighter.

Waiting to hear from the vet visit. Sending good, healing thoughts...
 

TinysMom

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I'm on my way out the door to church - so I won't be back till about 1 pm CST....its gonna drive me crazy not knowing but I can't skip church for this.

I'm praying for you and for her....I really REALLY do not want to see the forum lose another flemmie...I just adore her.

I'll be checking this thread the minute I walk back in the door.
 

plasticbunny

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It's pneumonia!!!

:pinkbouce::weee::pinkbouce::weee::pinkbouce::weee::pinkbouce:

Wow, I never thought I'd be excited for my rabbit to have pneumonia, lol.

There are MANY things to share, but you'll all have to wait a few more hours because I'm going to go take a NAP!

Thank you all for your support, it means so much. Molly would say thank you but she kinda mad at me for letting her get poked and isn't saying much right now. So I will thank you all on her behalf :biggrin:
 

gmas rabbit

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Thank goodness, we were all so worried about her. I wonder if the heat brought it on. Get so rest, pet and hug her, maybe she will give you one of those big flemish kicks in a day or so. May sure you give her some probiotics of some sort so that her gut doesn't shut down from the antibiotics. I am so, so relieved.
 

plasticbunny

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Yay!

The vet listened to her heart and said that it was very strong, and was functioning normally. She did,'t even need an xray, so that saved me a bundle :)

He said it was pneumonia, but that I caught it early so with aggressive treatment she should recover easily. Her ears and upper respiratory tract are clear. His thoughts are that it was likely caused by Pasturella, but I find that odd that she never showed signs of URI first? Doesn't Pasturella live in the sinuses and cause URI that can then escalate to LRI? I suppose it's also possible that she inhaled a fleck of dust or something as well.

So, she's on Doxycycline andBaytril to treat the infection, and Florentero to restore intestinal bacteria (thanks for the imput, Brittany!). She's also on Metacam for her bronchial inflammation.

She hasn't eaten or drank as far as I've seen since yesterday, so I asked for some Critical Care and he had no idea what that was. So, we're syringing pumpkin which she really hates :(. Later I'll syringe her some cilantro and pellets, and she may like that better. Her medicine is strawberry flavoured, though, which she didn't seem to mind. I also got a large bag of sub-Q fluids and I'm to give her 50 mLs 2 times a day. Can you believe she fights the syringe worse than that?

I asked about a nebulizer and he said I could try it but because her pneumonia wasn't advanced it wasn't necessary.

Gus didn't have an issue with her smell when I put her back in the room with him. I'm letting them run around together now because I want her gut to stay active, But I'll put her away in a dog crate tonight so I can moniter her eating/drinking/poops. So far her urine has lightened in color so I'm sur she's becomming hydrated again.

Will post with updates in a few. Thank you again for all your well wishes! :biggrin:
 

gmas rabbit

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Critical care you get from the pet store, it is by Oxbow. You can google stores that carry it in your area. She does sound like she is improving. I am so glad. Ben is a giant breed too, so relate to the worry about the heart. I think with these guys as in humans, exercise is the answer to avoiding problems. Pets to Molly.
 
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