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One of our rabbits seems to acting a bit off. She was fine
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Hi, one of our rabbits seems to acting a bit off. She was fine yesterday afternoon but early evening she went off to hide in the corner and wouldn't eat anything. This morning she came running out of the hutch and had a drink of water from her bowl and is now hiding again and still won't eat. We've crushed some pellets up with water and fed her a bit with a syringe. Just wondering what might cause this. Many thanks
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replied 1 year ago.
Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian & I would like to help you with your wee one today. Now I have to say that I am very concerned about Mustard.The hiding is a common prey species behaviour when they feel unwell. That said, its her lack of appetite that is the major red flag here. This is because when a rabbit goes off their food, for whatever reason (ie GI upset, diarrhea, respiratory disease, pain etc), this can cause their gut to slow or stop, which can lead to gastric stasis, a situation which it is one of the few true rabbit emergencies. So, if she won't eat, then it would be prudent for her to be seen by her vet before this can progress any further.Just to note, some of the other signs we can see with gastric stasis:Decreasing or sudden lack of appetite for food +/- water)Changes to fecal production (from soft stools, to strangely shaped fecal pellets to diarrhea or no fecal production at all)Off color/lethargy/ hidingNo GI sounds or loud uncharacteristic grumbles/growlNow in regards ***** ***** "why" she has stopped eating, this can be a little trickier. There are of course a range of primary issues we must consider, and this is something that a full physcial exam by your vet will be able to shed light upon. The vet will be able to listen to her guts, check her temperature, and have a general evaluation of what underlying trigger might be ailing her. Depending on the vet's findings, they can address the underlying trigger and initiate treatment. To keep the guts moving and get them back on track, often these cases need pain relief, pro-motility drugs, +/- antibiotics. If her signs are severe, she may need to be hospitalized. Or if you are able to provide diligent supportive care at home, they may advise you on how to syringe feed her.Typically, anorexic rabbits need to be hand or syringe fed (usually hourly) to continue nutrition input to meet their body's requirement and keep her guts moving to prevent/address stasis. To support her, it is worthing getting a vet to dispense a critical care feeds that you can syringe feed the bunny. A very good product for this is Oxbow’s Critical Care feed or Supreme Recovery diet and most vets will be able to provide this to you. This is a highly nutritious herbivore feed that can be easily made into a slurry for syringe feeding. And it is much easier to use then trying to create a balanced critical care diet at home. Just to note, you can crush her pellets into veggie baby food to make them more palatable for the short term. Overall, a depressed appetite is a very serious situation for a rabbit and this shouldn't be ignored. I would advise that she should see her vet immediately. They will be able to treat her for this and advise you on how to administer critical care diet and nurse her through this situation. Overall, prompt treatment and supportive care are the best things we can do to get this under control and give this little one the best chance of recovery and getting back to herself. Finally, just to note, some veterinary practices in our country have weekend office hours. As well, I wanted to mention that most veterinary practices here do have contingency plans for emergency care for their patients even when they are not open. Therefore, it is worth ringing the practice. If they are open, you can get her seen today. If they aren't, then they will likely have a message to direct you on how to contact their out of hours service. And if you don't have a vet you can find one local to you, you can check the RCVS Register (http://www.rcvs.org.uk/find-a-vet/) to find your local Vets Now (https://www.vets-now.com/find-an-emergency-vet/) who are open all nights/weekends. In any case, there are options to have her seen today. Please take care, Dr. B. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. **Afterwards, I would be grateful if you would rate my service by clicking on the "Rate my Expert' button at the top of the page as this is the only way I am credited for helping you. Thank you for your feedback!: )
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