Weight Loss & Excessive/Soft Cecotropes

Discussion in 'Health & Wellness' started by DottiesMomma, Mar 11, 2016.

Help Support Rabbits Online by donating:

  1. Mar 11, 2016 #1

    DottiesMomma

    DottiesMomma

    DottiesMomma

    Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2016
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    NULL
    I'm very worried about my bunny. She is a spayed 4 year old lop. Her weight is normally about 5.5 lbs but she is now far too thin and is just under 4.5 lbs.

    In addition to her weight loss, she has been producing too many cecals (or she's not eating what she produces???)... some of which are extremely mushy.

    I've had the vet examine her teeth. They are in good shape.
    I've had the fecal float test done. Nothing unusual presented.
    I've had her blood work done. Everything on the test looked good.
    She is spayed, so uterine cancer isn't possible.

    I took her off her oxbow pellets for a month. No improvements. In fact, she lost a fraction of weight and so an exotic vet I consulted with over the phone (there is no exotic pet or bunny specialist in my area) told me to give her about a half tablespoon of pellets a day to try and get her weight stabilized.

    I had also taken her off fresh veggies which was a mistake and the exotic vet told me to re-add them slowly to her diet. I've now done that. It hasn't made anything worse with the excessive cecals.

    She has a constant supply of Timothy Hay, Botanical Hay, and Oat Hay. Orchard Grass Hay occasionally.

    The veggies she gets daily are Romaine lettuce, parsley, a sprig of basil, green lettuce (never ice berg) and dandelion greens when I can get them. The exotic vet told me to maybe avoid spinach and kale for now so that's what I've been doing.

    I'm going to start her on bottled water tomorrow as that's the only thing I haven't tried.

    I've also been giving her a bit of the Oxbow Critical Care food to try and get her weight increasing. My poor little girl is way too skinny!!! I can feel her spine, hip bones and shoulder bones. It's breaking my heart!!!

    She seems behaviorally OK. Sometimes a bit more affectionate than other times but I'm not sure if it's just because I've been spending so much extra time with her to try and get her better.

    Anyone have ideas? Advice? A similar experience? Please help me help my sweet Dottie!!! I love her sooo much. :'(
     
  2. Mar 13, 2016 #2
    This is definitely odd especially since the vet has all ready checked her.
    Usually when poop issues arise the easiest solution is removing or decreasing pellets and other foods like veggies. I might decrease the veggies shes getting and offer a tablespoon of plain old fashion rolled oats. (or half to start to see how her tummy takes that) Oats can be good for weight. Perhaps a bit of alfalfa hay, but again a small amount. (same reason you wouldn't want to give a lot of Kale or Spinach, the excess calcium, but the protein in it may do her some good)
    You should be able to feel your rabbits spine, but it shouldn't be protruding. Its hard to gauge how "skinney" she really is with out actually putting a hand on her.

    Jenny would have some great input for this type of issue I imagine
     
  3. Mar 14, 2016 #3

    missyscove

    missyscove

    missyscove

    Christina - Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2006
    Messages:
    6,648
    Likes Received:
    336
    Location:
    Central Coast, CA
    If she's losing weight I don't think I'd limit her pellets if she's done well on them in the past.

    If you've done bloodwork (and I assume someone rabbit-savvy looked at the results), presumably a CBC/chem, I'd say the next step is radiographs and/or an ultrasound. Perhaps also a urinalysis.
    Is she eating well? If the oral exam was done with her fully awake it's possible to miss some dental disease in the back of the mouth and some rabbits are really sensitive and something as simple as a single point could stop them from eating well
     
  4. Mar 21, 2016 #4

    DottiesMomma

    DottiesMomma

    DottiesMomma

    Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2016
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    NULL
    Ugh. She now is in GI Stasis.

    I have her eating little bits and she is producing tiny hard droppings. But not many. We have a vet appointment within the hour. I'm terrified the stress of going to the vet and getting X-rays done will cause her more harm. Plus they will need to sedate her to properly examine her cheek teeth as now I'm thinking the vet may have missed seeing spurs. My bunny is a Holland Lop which I know can be prone to them.

    Ugh... I'm worried out of my mind given she is so underweight.
     
  5. Mar 22, 2016 #5

    amandaaaa_xxo

    amandaaaa_xxo

    amandaaaa_xxo

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2016
    Messages:
    87
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia.
    Hi DottiesMomma!,

    I had a similar issue with my rabbit. He's also a holland dwarf lop (2years old). Apparently I can't say "holland" because I live in Australia. Weird. Anyway. There was a period where he wasn't eating much at all and lost heaps of weight. He was 3.5kg and dropped to 2.2kg. He was producing very soft cecotropes and very small dark hard feacal pellets. We had him examined by a rabbit doctor in which she used a scope to look inside his mouth, and she found spikes. Three pointy cheek teeth and cuts on his little tongue :( all of this emerged when he started drooling. It first starts off with minimal eating, small dark hard poop and then drooling (if it's a dental problem). He had his dental surgery to file them down. It's been more than a month now and he gained a little weight :) and seems very happy and content now.

    I'm not sure what your bunny is presenting with, but I hope your little bunny gets better soon!!
     
  6. Mar 25, 2016 #6

    flemishwhite

    flemishwhite

    flemishwhite

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2015
    Messages:
    277
    Likes Received:
    22
    Location:
    NULL
    Such a good reply. They bony teeth spikes can be a devastating problem. They need to be ground off.

    As for fattening up rabbits....My very limited experience with rabbits (3) is that if you give them all the green leafy vegetables and straw to eat that they want, they won't get fat. If you give them all the pellets to eat that they want, if the pellets are just compacted straw and grass grains, they won't get fat. If the pellets contain MOLASSES or other high calorie ingredients, they will get fat. If you feed them treats, like apple slices, guava, cherries, bananas, dry roasted unsalted almonds, etc they will gain weight. Unfortunately they just love so much to eat this stuff, that they will socialize..interact with you...be affectionate with you..that it's hard to turn them down! All of my rabbits' weight gains are due to them wanting their treats.........In the morning, if we are late getting out of bed, our two Flemish babies are scratching on the bedroom door wanting their treats...banana slices/apple slices, etc. (Our Flemish 6 months old baby rabbits are now somewhere around the 9 to 10 pound weight range!!)
     
  7. Mar 25, 2016 #7

    JBun

    JBun

    JBun

    Jenny - Health & Wellness Mod Staff Member Administrator Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2012
    Messages:
    8,080
    Likes Received:
    2,162
    Location:
    Utah, , USA
    I'm sorry I missed this and hope she recovered from the stasis and is doing alright now. I don't know if you are still looking for solutions, but if so I have a few thoughts.

    If no further testing has been done as of yet, that may be the next step when she is more stable or if it becomes a necessity. If she is eating reduced food amounts than from before when the weight loss started to occur, then there are several things that could cause a rabbit to eat reduced amounts and thus lose weight. Like missyscove mentioned, it could be dental problems that were missed in a conscious exam. Spurs way at the back of the mouth can be missed, or there could be infection or elongated tooth roots causing pain, and these would take xrays to pick up on.

    Other painful conditions can also lead to reduced food consumption and weight loss, as well as uneaten cecals. Something like arthritis, and if so daily meloxicam can help with this and could help get her eating more normally again.

    However if you have confirmed your rabbit is continuing to eat her normal amounts of food(amounts she ate before she started losing weight) including ensuring that the same amount of hay is also being eaten and that the quality(leafy vs course) also hasn't changed, then I would suspect that it isn't a dental problem. Usually dental problems lead to less food consumed and thus the weight loss.

    Parasites could still be a possibility even though a fecal test didn't pick anything up, which can happen, and especially if normal food amounts are still being eaten. Pinworms and coccidia would be the most common ones to affect rabbits. Though other stomach worms and tapeworm can also sometimes affect rabbits. Having a fecal sample tested, collected from several days, can sometimes give a more accurate test result. Even with a negative on test results, treating for parasites may still be something to consider if nothing else is turning up.

    There are also other types of cancer/tumors that can occur that could be a cause of weight loss and messy cecals. I just recently lost one of my buns to a thymoma, and he had experienced weight loss as well as some messy cecals over several months time.

    Heart problems could be another cause as well.

    So next may be to try a multi day fecal test, xrays of head, chest, and belly, dental exam under GA, maybe a urinalysis, and if still no results maybe try worming anyways to see if it makes any difference.

    I really hope she is doing alright after your scare and that your vet is able to get to the bottom of her health problems.
     
    Maureen Las likes this.
  8. Mar 31, 2016 #8

    DottiesMomma

    DottiesMomma

    DottiesMomma

    Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2016
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    NULL
    Hello everyone..

    Thank you soooo much for your advice and information. I am devastated to report that my Dottie girl died very suddenly. It seemed we were getting her through her bout of stasis as she seemed to be eating/pooping and perking up... Until suddenly she wasn't... she just suddenly got very weak. I was holding her as I was sitting cross legged on the floor. She hopped off, collapsed and died in my arms when I scooped her up. I had been communicating with an exotic vet in another city for several days hoping to get her through this crisis but when this happened I called them in a frantic emotional mess and they believe Dottie had a heart attack from being weakened from something other than the stasis... After Dottie died, we had a good look at her teeth and we couldn't see any Spurs. So the vets feel she had a hidden cancer that just showed hints of its existence on the tests and in her symptoms. I ended up choosing not to have them conduct a necropsy so that I could cremate her and bring her home.

    I'm absolutely devastated. My little holland lop was a huge part of my world. I'm know all but monies are special, but she was my special little soul. The house feels empty even though we have several other furry kids.

    Thank you all so much for your advice and information. I know someday I will adopt another rescued bunny or two in need of a home. I will definitely retain all that I have learned through my Dottie's tragedy.
     

Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page

Group Builder