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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 22468
Experience:  General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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My rabbit is listless and floppy. She doesnt want to eat and

Customer Question

My rabbit is listless and floppy. She doesn't want to eat and I'm not sure when she last had a drink but I have just tried to sirined feed her water. She has mucky poo stuck to her bottom.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 4 years ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.


First, I must say that I am very concerned about Clover.

As I am sure you can appreciate, as a prey species, rabbits strive to hide when they are feeling unwell (since making that known would make them a target for predation). Therefore, they often will hide when they are sick until they are in too advanced a state to do so. And then we end up with severely affected rabbits.


Now I do have questions about her (ie whether she could have gotten into anything toxic or ingested a dangerous plant from the garden? anything that could obstruct her gut? is this collapse is associated with any other signs like head tilts or seizures? any chance of head trauma? etc), but with her being in such a state, I am concerned that you don't really have time to discuss this and really need to get her seen by a local vet urgently to give us any hope of helping her through this (especially as some out of hours facilities will charge more the later in the evening it is when you get them in).


Otherwise, if we quickly outline what you are seeing, first and foremost a rabbit who won't eat is at serious risk of GI stasis (an emergency in rabbits on its own). Furthermore, you noted that you were not sure when she last drank but if she has soft feces stuck to her back side (along with moist gums, no sunken eyes or skin tent), we can at least assume it hasn't too long since she has drank. What is most alarming is this listlessness and floppiness. The reason these are a major worry is because they suggest severe deterioration but also raise concerns of neurological or brain disease (which could be induced by toxin, traumas, infections, or nasty parasites like E. cuniculi).


Overall, the signs you have described are vague and could suggest a range of potential issues. That said, these are all serious emergency signs that need immediate intervention for the rabbit patient. Therefore, I strongly advise that this is a situation where you do not want to delay having her seen because if she is as your describe then she is in a guarded precarious state.


And just to note if you do want to have Clover seen now, I wanted to mention that most veterinary practices here do have contingency plans for emergency care for their patients. This means that if you ring the practice, they will likely have a message to direct you on how to contact their emergency service. And if you don't have a vet you can find one local to you, you can check you can check the RCVS Register (HERE) to find your local Vets Now (LINK) who are open all nights/weekends.


Please take care,


Dr. B.


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