Hello My house rabbit has heart disease and he was prescribed with enalapril. It's been 4months since he started to take the medication.Today he was in a very good mood in the morning,but now he hardly moves and his heart is beating rapidly. We want to avoid taking him to the vets as it really distresses him and he got worth after the last visit. We think it maybe related to gastro intestinal problems (not defacating enough), but would be great to have some feedback on this. Thanks! J
Hello, I am Dr. Zoe, a licensed veterinarian here to help. We need to determine if this could be related to his heart first. Is he having any breathing trouble (labored breathing)?
Reduction in amount of stool definitely is a problem. Is he still defecating or has he actually stopped? If he has stopped then he may be entering gastrointestinal stasis which does require some therapy and I can give you some hints to work through this at home...or at least try. Heart disease, though, is not something that can be dealt with at home.
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The low stool production and low appetite suggests gastrointestinal stasis. This is not usually a primary problem but occurs secondary to something else (and it could be the heart but let us remain optimistic that it is not). Perhaps, this is a hairball and we need to support him through it. What can you start at home? First, you need to start syringe feeding. You may either pulverize his pellets with water in a blender or use people baby food of the fruit/vegetable varieties. And you would feed 12 to 20 ml every 6 hours until he is eating well (and defecating well) on his own.
Next, you need to administer pineapple juice 5ml once daily for 5 days (this helps break up any hair balls).
And the last two things to do at home are to 1) Give a probiotic such as plain yogurt 1 ml once daily for 5 to 14 days. 2)(Optional) Simethicone (pediatric suspension is best such as mylicon) at 1 ml every 12 hours to help with gas relief.
All the items I mentioned you can get OTC. I do want to say that the cornerstone to getting rabbits through this is subcutaneous fluids which must be done by his vet. So, if he is not picking up a bit by tomorrow, then you may really need to consider having him seen at least for this.
Please let me konw your questions. The Oxbow diet is awesome. While you are doing all this keep all his favorite fresh foods fresh and available, and new hay and pellets.
You are certainly welcome.
Sounds like a good plan to start this evening. I do encourage you to get started on the pineapple juice as soon as you can.
The best way to do this is to place him on a towel on a counter pointed away from you. Then you feed him by coming around the side. This way he cannot see you coming from the front. I like using a 6cc syringe because I feel I have better control. I also prefer people baby food over pulverized pellets because the pellets just do not go through the syringe tips very well.
When you come around from the side you are holding his head gently with your opposite hand that has the food syringe and allowing him to back up into your body. Some people prefer to burrito wrap the bunny in a towel/wash cloth to help them avoid squirming away.
I reocmmend you do the pineapple juice by itself just to ensure you get as much in as possible. I worry if he starts spitting food we will not be certain how much he got into him.
Sounds like a plan. Please keep me posted on his progress and let me know if you have more questions in the future.
12 yrs in practice, specialist canine/feline medicine
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Hello Thank youOur rabbit pepper has now had 2ml pinnapple jucie and 3ml oxbow critical care after. Your advice helped a lot-thanks.We will let you know the progess.From pepper family:)
Hi Pepper family,I am writing to check on Pepper this morning. Love to hear an update.Thanks,Dr. Zoe
Hello DR ZoePepper is doing okay now,thanks to the pinapple jucie.He is still slightly weak, but he has been hopping around.and has started to eat,little by little.He seems to be happier and has deficated.Thank you again,Pepper family
Wow, this is wonderful! Keep up the good work. We are not done syringe feeding yet. We only stop when the rabbit is eating well and resents us feeding him.Keep me posted!
Hi,I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?DR. Zoe
Thanks very much - all is well now - we really appreciated your help. I hope the payment has come through - let us know if there is a problem.
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Certainly, got your rating and thank you very much. Always feel free to let me know if you have future questions.