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Urgent help needed - bunny listless/not eating

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by Rach1802, Sep 29, 2013.


  1. Rach1802

    Rach1802 PetForums Junior

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    Hi guys,

    I'm not sure if I've posted in this section before or not, I usually use the dog one as they're far more trouble than the buns!

    We have two rescue rabbits - Peanut, possibly an English cross, and Suzi, most likely a lop/lion head cross. Both are about 3 or 4 and live both indoors and outdoors. They have a double tiered cage inside and a huge pen outside (to give them loads of space but separate them from the dogs when they are out). They're both neutered and we feed them hay (constant access) and two meals a day of Pets at Home adult nuggets. They've never had muesli food.

    Both of them have had stasis at one point each over the last few years and each time they've been given a motility injection to get them 'moving' again. However, last night we noticed that Peanut wasn't eating his dinner. We had to go out but tried feeding him when we got back and he still wouldn't have any. He also hasn't eaten his breakfast. We're pretty sure he ate his breakfast on Saturday but when we thought about it neither of us saw him hopping about outside during the day, just sitting in one of their toys. He seems quite listless though he his hopping about from time to time and grooming himself. I also haven't seen him have a drink, though he never drank frequently (that we saw) before.

    We have syringed a mixture of grass and Suzi's poop into his mouth (recommended by a vet last time when he did this over a weekend) but I don't have pineapple juice and the shops aren't open yet. He didn't seem to swallow it to start with but it must have gone somewhere as he didn't spit it out. We've also massaged his belly.

    Unlike last time he has this, his eyes and nose seem a little runny - there's a little white discharge around his nose and in the corner of his eyes, a bit like sleep.

    I guess I'm asking you guys whether this is enough or whether he should go to an emergency vet today? I know it's awful but I'm worried about the emergency cost on top of the meds and everything else. We're a bit tight on cash at the moment and while I would pay it if I have to I would rather nurse him myself if I can.
     
  2. Rach1802

    Rach1802 PetForums Junior

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    Here's the guys in their bucket (all the expensive toys in the world and they love an old ice bucket best!): 427816_10151458032665298_1047845302_n.jpg
    Suzi is on the left and Peanut is on the right.
     
  3. Funky

    Funky PetForums VIP

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    If he is not eating now for 12 hours he needs to go to emergency vet where they give him painkiller and metaclopromide (guts stimulant)-he probably would need to stay with them.
    Longer you wait less chances he has unfortunately.
     
  4. Rach1802

    Rach1802 PetForums Junior

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    Thank you, to be honest I thought as much. I'll give them a call now.
     
  5. Rach1802

    Rach1802 PetForums Junior

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    He's booked in for 10.30. Fingers crossed. :(
     
  6. Funky

    Funky PetForums VIP

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    Let us know! I keep my fingers crossed for little guy for speedy recovery!
     
  7. Lil Miss

    Lil Miss PetForums VIP

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    i agree its definatly a vet job, good luck let us know how he gets on
     
  8. Summersky

    Summersky PetForums VIP

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    Definitely an emergency trip to the vets, where he can have a full check over.

    Do let us know he gets on.

    I would expect the vet to give him fluids (sub cu or IV), to rehydrate him, and to flood the guts with fluid. That can help things move along. Also a gut stimulant and some painkiller (initially Metacam).

    With the runny nose/eyes, it sounds that there is something else going on, which may have stopped him eating, so that needs looking at/treatment too.

    Many of us have a "first aid kit" at home - rabbits always seem to go down at the worst times. It might be worth you setting one up, as quick intervention is vital, and can sometimes avoid the need to go to the vets as an emergency.

    Ours includes syringes for feeding) and Metacam (painkiller). We also always have some baby food (Ellas Kitchen Apples Apples Apples), which can be used to mask the taste of meds, or syringed into a non eating bunny. Pellets can be mixed into a slurry that can be syringed too, and vets can give you sachets of recovery food. For people with buns prone to stasis, some vets will train you how to administer sub cu fluids (we always a bag in the fridge).

    There's a list on here somewhere for suggestions for a kit.

    I hope he is OK.
     
  9. Rach1802

    Rach1802 PetForums Junior

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    Thank everyone, we're back now. The vet thinks he has an infection (hence the runny eyes and nose) which has stopped his stomach from doing what it should. Despite him not feeling gassy last night or this morning, and us massaging his belly, there was definitely gas at the vets. He's been given an antibiotic and a gut motility injection. No painkiller or fluids but he did drink a bit this morning so he shouldn't be too dehydrated. He also drank when we got back. He has to go back tomorrow, when we'll settle the bill. Eek! :eek:

    I've given him some carrot but he's not interested. I'm not too worried though as Suzi the eating machine hasn't touched hers either so they're obviously still freaking out from their trip to the vets. I've also syringed about a teaspoon of pineapple juice into him, which I picked up after our appointment.

    Thanks Summersky, I will ask about metacam and recovery sachets when he goes back tomorrow. I've been thinking we should set something up like that as they always pick the weekends to scare us! We know you have to act fast with stasis too.

    He has to stay inside because he's a little under temperature so I'm going to keep a close eye on him. I've cancelled my plans and bought some Galaxy so I can sit and read A Clash of Kings and just be with him. :)

    Thanks again everyone, sometimes it takes a little shove to make the decision even when you know you need to.
     
  10. Summersky

    Summersky PetForums VIP

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    I wouldn't feed carrot if I were you - they are very sugary, best avoided at all times (other than the green tops), and can actually cause stomache upsets. Also avoid any gassy greens.

    There are different schools of thought about pineapple too.

    OK to tempt with fresh cut grass, and the odd dandelion leaf (not too many though as they are a diuretic).

    Bit strange that the vet didn't give him painkillers (unless he gave it by injection and didn't say?), because rabbits can shut down very quickly when they are in pain.

    If his temperature is low, you need to try and raise it - you can buy something called a Snugglesafe, which you microwave for a few minutes. It then holds it heat for a several hours. Another good standby.

    As a quick alternative, you can fill a sock with rice, tie a firm knot, and microwave that. That stays warm for a while and some buns like to snuggle up (but make sure that they have space to move away if they want to, and that they don't chew the sock).

    To keep heat in the cage, you can wrap a fleece around 3 sides and the top.
     
  11. Rach1802

    Rach1802 PetForums Junior

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    Thanks again. I only gave him a little bit of carrot, just because I know it's his favourite and I wanted to tempt him. Suzi's hoovered it up now though! I will try him with fresh grass in a bit. The vet recommended the pineapple juice to alter the acidity of his stomach. I'll also try a dandelion leaf as I think there are some on the drive.

    Not sure on the painkiller - he gave him two injections in the scruff and I'm pretty sure one was antibiotic and the other was the motility drug. I don't think any of our animals have had painkillers unless they've had surgery. Maybe our vet is super cautious.

    I have a wheat bag - can I wrap that in a tea towel and give it to him? I normally keep the curtains shut where they sit because it can get quite warm when the sun comes over, but I've left them open for now. Suzi also keeps him warm as she's a chunky bun and they're almost always snuggling.
     
  12. Funky

    Funky PetForums VIP

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    Yep sounds about right with being poorly over weekend - and bank holiday Monday too!
    I would ask as well for metaclopromide to keep at home so you can act fast!
    It is very sweet you are going to stay and watch him :D
    Our bunnies always fall for kale- they love it.
     
  13. Summersky

    Summersky PetForums VIP

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    A bunny friend will definitely help keep him warm, and reduce stress. :)

    A well wrapped wheat bag will do the job. :)

    Re painkillers - Metacam is usually the first line of treatment, so I'm not sure about that. It's also an anti inflammatory.

    Pineapple juice is an old remedy. Some still recommend it, others belive that, in the quantity it will begin to have an effect, the sugars in it will create more harm. Is your bunny in moult?

    Vet care for rabbits has changed dramatically over recent years, and vets have to work hard to keep up to date (as do we :)). This is why many vets are sadly so lacking.
     
  14. Funky

    Funky PetForums VIP

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    Best bet is stick to forum as people here are very knowledgable about bunnies.
    Regarding closing curtain-two of my bunnies love to be in sun and Funky always sit near radiator if is on:confused::rolleyes:
     
  15. Rach1802

    Rach1802 PetForums Junior

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    These guys usually prefer to be cool - they will sit under the shaded half of their outside pen if the sun even so much as peeks out. However, he does need to warm up so Suzi will just have to put up with it being a bit warmer. I've put a blanket over their cage but I don't think I'll go as far as putting the heating on, it'll be too much of a contrast I think.

    He still hasn't eaten and Suzi's pinched everything I've put in so I'm going to take him out for cuddles in a bit to warm him up and try to get some dandelion leaf or grass into him.

    Still looking for the wheat bag - might have to do rice in a sock at this rate.

    Thanks again guys. I know what you mean about vets, it's a tricky one. I do trust ours but I think it would be impossible for them to be experts on absolutely everything. So far we require a rabbit expert who has in-depth knowledge of northern/spitz dog breeds and an insight into canine behaviour problems. Let me know if any of you come across one! :p
     
  16. StormyThai

    StormyThai Moderator
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    Well done for taking him to the vets :) However I urge you to find a better rabbit vet, pain relief in situations like this are vital, the gas would build up due to him not eating for so long so that is just an added symptom to what is actually going on.
    Did the vet check the teeth? root or spur issues could present itself with the symptoms you have described..

    I would also hold off on the pineapple juice because the sugar content could very well unbalance the gut flora more than it is already. And as a blockage has not been diagnosed it is of little use.

    For now I would seek a vet that will give you pain relief (rabbits will not eat when feeling unwell so this could lead into full on GI stasis which is hard to bring them back from), get his teeth checked, get some fibreplex (pro and pre biotic to help the gut flora) and get him on a wrapped up hot water bottle or snugglesafe to get his temp up..

    I can not express how urgent getting pain relief is and needs to be sorted today :eek::
     
  17. Funky

    Funky PetForums VIP

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    Call your vet an ask what it gave him!
    We always have two injection-pain relieve (otherwise bunny will be in pain and won't start eating) and gut stimulant.
    Metacam (painkiller) in injection works faster but you can get one as well in little bottle and give it to mouth by syringe-apparently it has quite sweet taste and bunnies take it without problem.
    Those two injections are MUST -sometimes thy also give fluids in injection.
    Call vet and check what injection has been given.
     
  18. Funky

    Funky PetForums VIP

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    Do you have "bunny" friend -somebody who may have metacam?
     
  19. Rach1802

    Rach1802 PetForums Junior

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    No, there isn't anyone who would have metacam. We have every faith in our vet and we've been reassured that they're very experienced with rabbits. How would we go about finding one that is specifically good for buns? I have to say, there's a whole lot of nothing in Suffolk and finding anyone who's an expert in anything is always a challenge. We found a vet we trust and stuck with him. He's got two buns through stasis before now.

    He's not in full moult - they had a mad one about a month ago when it got really warm - but he is still shedding a bit.

    Found the wheat bag so just wrapping that up and putting it in.

    Most important of all, HE JUST ATE SOME DANDELION LEAVES!!! Only 3 or 4 but better than a few minutes ago when he wouldn't touch them. It's hard to give him stuff without Suzi snarfing it but at least he's now eaten something.
     
  20. Rach1802

    Rach1802 PetForums Junior

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    Oh and his teeth are perfect. They only had their check up/myxy/vhd jabs about 3 weeks ago.

    I will hold off on the pineapple juice, though only 1-2 teaspoons was recommended.
     
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