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Poorly rabbit!

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by peterandwendy, Nov 23, 2012.


  1. peterandwendy

    peterandwendy PetForums Newbie

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    Hi
    This is my first post but really need your help. Our female 7 year old lop-eared rabbit, Wendy, is having a few problems :sad: She has a large ball of excrement on her behind and we are not sure how long sure it has been like that but don't think it can be longet than a few days. She's normally fit and healthy and her and her companion, Peter are as thick as thieves and he won't leave her side. Today we have also noticed that she also has very swollen genitals, she is unable to walk well and keeps falling over...but we thought this might be due to the faeces. She was also very disorientated getting back into the hutch. We cant get to the vets until the morning. Do you know what it might be?
    Thanks
     
    #1 peterandwendy, Nov 23, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2012
  2. Louiseandfriends

    Louiseandfriends PetForums Senior

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    Get her to the vets. xx
     
  3. peterandwendy

    peterandwendy PetForums Newbie

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    Hi Louise

    We will I promise...but we can't there until the morning but its worrying me :crying: x
     
  4. hazyreality

    hazyreality PetForums VIP

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    It sounds like she is unable to clean/eat the wet poo's (caecotrophes) that she is doing and it is building up in a ball. I would try to clean that off yourself, if you are brave enough to try, get a small pair of scissors and carefully cut the fur just below the ball to remove it all and then clean it up with warm salt water. If you don't want to risk cutting it out then you can use water to soften it up and pull it out bit by bit.

    Is she overweight?
    What pellets do you feed?
    Does she eat plenty of hay?

    The swollen genitals will need to be checked by a vet though, that one I can't hep with.

    *Heidi*
     
  5. peterandwendy

    peterandwendy PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks for replying Heidi. We would have tried to cut the ball off but because she looks so sore down there I didn't want to chance it. Our other rabbit Peter used to have the same trouble but that was because he was overweight at the time...he's not now...we did cut his fur and try to cut the stuff off as much as possible. Wendy is usually so healthy, she isn't overweight, eats plenty of hay and grass but she's been quite lethargic recently...I thought it was just old age...but perhaps she hasn't been eating enough. They do have rabbit museli but not much.
     
  6. Summersky

    Summersky PetForums VIP

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    I agree with everything that Heidi said.

    Only the vet will be able to diagnose the underlying problem, sadly, so an urgent trip to the vet is vital.

    It could be a digestive problem - has she had excessive greens lately?

    Is she too overweight to reach under to clean and eat her soft poo?

    Could she have injured herself - eg spinal injury, that is stopping her reaching under to eat her soft poo and clean herself? You said that she is struggling to walk.

    She really will need cleaning, to allow her to go to the toilet properly. If she is sore, she will need painkillers. If you can't snip the poo off, you may be able to soak it with warm water on kitched towel and ease it off.

    There are still flies about, so she is still at risk of fly strike, so please keep her as clean as possible.

    Make sure her hutch/area is as clean as possible - lots of hay, no shavings.

    Also rabbit muesli is rabbit junk food, so do aim to gradually switch them across to pellets such as Science Selective. For now, though, try and tempt her to eat to keep her strength up.

    Do let us know how she goes.
     
  7. peterandwendy

    peterandwendy PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks Summersky. She's not overweight at all so maybe she has injured herself in the garden...they do have free rein out there.

    We are going to try to get some of the stuff off...she's looks so uncomfortable...we can't leave it overnight like that.

    I will let you know how she gets on.

    Thanks
    x
     
  8. B3rnie

    B3rnie Guest

    I agree with this :)

    The one thing that sprang to mind due to her wobbliness is possible E.C, but due to her age, swollen genitals it could also be kidney issues.
    Has she lost any noticeable weight recently or started to drink/urinate more?

    Be very careful about cutting the faeces off because rabbits skin is extremely thin so it tears very easily. A warm bowl of water and a towel is your best bet, but make sure she is 100% dry before she goes back out to her hutch otherwise she could catch a chill.
    The vet will most likely prescribe antibiotics, pain relief and I would also put her on a 28 day course of Panacur just to cover all the bases.
     
  9. peterandwendy

    peterandwendy PetForums Newbie

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    Ok...we've managed to get rid of the bulk of the stuff so we thought that would help her but her hind legs are just giving way so I think it might be something more serious :crying:
     
  10. B3rnie

    B3rnie Guest

    Does she have a head tilt and/or are her eyes flicking? Does she appear drunk or are her back legs completely immobile?
     
  11. peterandwendy

    peterandwendy PetForums Newbie

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    Hi
    She doesn't have head tilt and her eyes seem ok.
    She does appear to be drunk...her hind legs keep collapsing and she cant get comfortable and keeps falling over when she wriggles

     
  12. B3rnie

    B3rnie Guest

    It could be a couple of things really, either spinal/pelvis damage or E.C.
    If you really can't get her to the vets tonight then I recommend phoning then as soon as they open and get an emergency appointment. She will need pain relief as soon as possible.
     
  13. peterandwendy

    peterandwendy PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks so much for that. We will be on the phone to the Vets first thing.

    I'll let you know what they say
     
  14. B3rnie

    B3rnie Guest

    Yes please keep us informed, I hope you get to the bottom of it.

    If you do treat for E.C (28 day course of Panacur) then make sure you treat her bonded partner too because E.C is passed through urine spores so her bonded partner could be at risk when the spores are released.
     
  15. Summersky

    Summersky PetForums VIP

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    Hi,

    Do let us know how you get on at the vets today. The vets will diagnose and medicate, but we may be able to offer other ways to support your bun to complement the vets treatment.

    Do find out your buns current weight.

    Do ask for painkillers (vets first choice is usually dog Metacam for rabbits - they will give doasgae, although it is on the leaflet, it is quite hard to work out and there are variations)

    Good luck
     
  16. happysaz133

    happysaz133 PetForums VIP

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    I'm really sorry to hear this is happening to you :( Same thing happened to Rosie, my 8 year old bunny in 2009, unfortunately the vet was unable to help her. He said it was arthritis due to her age, and that was why shy couldn't clean herself either. Sady she has to be put to sleep.

    I hope its a better outcome for your bunny. Sending good vibes.
     
  17. peterandwendy

    peterandwendy PetForums Newbie

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    We took Wendy to the vets this morning but unfortunately he was unable to help her. At first he thought she had slipped a disc or something but then when he saw her trying to walk, he thought it was her hips. He also said there was obviously more underlying issues, arthritis being one of them. Her ears were abnormally cold and she was wasting away and phyiscally unable to clean herself. He said putting her to sleep was the only fair thing to do. She didn't need much of the injection so he did say she was ready. It's heartbreaking. She's been with us since she was 8 weeks old. My 17 year old daughter is a mess at the moment but there was nothing anyone could do.

    Now we are worried about her partner Peter, who is nearly 8 years old and is going to be lost without her but he's going to get lots of cuddles and attention. We really thought he would go first as he's had a lot of health problems but he keeps bouncing back.

    Thanks for all your help and messages...it's been much appreciated.

    R.I.P Wendy xx
     
  18. Summersky

    Summersky PetForums VIP

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    I am so sorry to hear that, but you did your best.

    Bunnies do suffer from arthritis, jsut like us. It can be helped in the early stages with metacam, but once it progresses, there is little you can do and bun ewould have been in pain. You did the kindest thing, snd like you say, she was ready.

    For Peter, if you are in a position to, let him spend some time with Wendy's body. That will help him realise what has happened. He may sniff her, he may ignore her.

    Without that, he may wait for her to come back, and pine.

    For now, keep him occupied with plenty of toys -boxes and loo rolls stuffed with hay and a few treats are fine, - anything to stop him moping. Pile in extra hay, as he won't have a friend to keep him warm, and popin a fleecy blanket ot snuggle up in if you have one.

    Peter is a mature bunny but would still really beneft from another friend. I know it is the last thing you want to think about, but perhaps you could consider talking to rescues and see if they have any females of a similar age that are looking for a home. The older ones are often the forgotten ones. They should help you with dating and bonding.

    (((((((((((((Hugs to you all))))))))))))))))

    Run free at the bridge Wendy!!
     
  19. hazyreality

    hazyreality PetForums VIP

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    Sorry to hear the sad news about Wendy :(
    Run free, fit and well again, in Rainbow Bridge x x x
     
  20. peterandwendy

    peterandwendy PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks for your messages.

    We had to leave Wendy with the Vet as we were too distraught to bring her back...I didn't think about Peter needing to see her :(

    He is going to be lonely but we can't take another rabbit. My daughter will be going to University next year and unfortunately I am allergic to all things furry! We could ask around and see if anyone else has a mature female who needs company that he could go and join but I don't think we could bear to give Peter up like that. So difficult to know what to do. We don't want him to be unhappy and pining but don't want to give him up.

    We will put a blanket in the hutch to keep him warmer and get a couple of new toys...see if it helps.

    Thanks for the advice Summersky x
     
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