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Anna
Anna, Pet Expert/Biologist
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 9740
Experience:  40 yrs.: herps, pocket pets, rabbits, poultry, dogs, horses. Biology degree. Vet assistant.
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Rabbit Heart Disease

Resolved Question:

yesterday, An x-ray revealed that she had a significant amount of fluid around her heart and it was compressing her trachea, the size of heart become bigger than the normal size, hence her need to raise her nose to breathe. She was placed on Lasix and appeared to return to her normal self. however, what should we do for her in the future? any treatment can help the heart back to normal? btw, she is suffering the early stage of kidney disease, BUN 39/dl,
she is 7 yrs old and her weight is 0.9 kg, she is Netherland Dwarf
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Pet
Expert:  Anna replied 5 years ago.
Hello,

Have you seen a veterinary cardiologist, or your regular vet?

Are you willing to travel to see a specialist? If so, give me your state.

Thank you for the additional information.

Anna
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
i cant as i am in Hong Kong.
Expert:  Anna replied 5 years ago.
Thank you for getting back to me. I'm sorry to hear that you won't be able to see a specialist. At age 7, your rabbit is quite elderly for a Netherland dwarf. I raised them for a number of years, and it was unusual for them to reach that age. You must take very good care of her.

I'm afraid there isn't any way to reverse such severe heart disease. Your vet is doing everything that is recommended. The Lasix will help reduce fluid and keep your rabbit more comfortable. Fluids are the standard treatment for kidney disease. In the USA, there are experimental treatments available at the larger veterinary teaching hospitals, but they are very expensive, and in an elderly rabbit, not likely to be successful.

Even in the area of supportive treatment at home, there isn't a lot you can do. A supplement called co-enzyme Q10 has been found to helpful in some cases of heart enlargement and failure. It has also been useful in kidney failure. Much of the research on it was done in Japan. It is usually available over-the-counter in pharmacies and health food stores. You could give your rabbit a capsule or two each day. I would use a needle to puncture the capsules, and then squeeze them onto her food. Other than that, about all you can do is continue regular follow-ups with the vet.

Here is an online group you may be interested in. It's for owners of rabbits with kidney disease. You would be able to talk with others to see what has helped their rabbits, and the people also offer each other emotional support.

     http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/cfr-rabbits/

I wish I could tell you there is a way to reverse this disease, but unfortunately, there isn't. Even the best medical care in the world can only result in management, not cure. In humans, a heart transplant is often the solution. I mention that to give you a better idea of what you are dealing with. I hope the Lasix and the fluids will keep your rabbit's illnesses under control for a long time. Give the co-enzyme Q10 a try, too - it can't hurt anything. I can tell that you love your rabbit, and I know how difficult it must be to watch her grow old and frail. I can only reassure you that you're doing the best for her. If you have more questions, just let me know by clicking on REPLY. I'll be hoping for the best possible outcome for your rabbit.

Anna
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

thx, i would like to have more info about the co-enzyme Q10, what is the brand name? how many mg for 1 capsule?

Expert:  Anna replied 5 years ago.
Coenzyme-Q10, also known as ubiquinol, is sold under thousands of brand names. Some well-known ones include CoQsol, Q Absorb, Source Naturals, and TwinLab. some of the larger vitamin-sellers, such as VitaminShoppe and Vitacost have their own brands. The important thing is to make sure you use a gel or oil-based capsule. The powders and tablets are not well-absorbed by the body. There deoesn't seem to be any toxicity at any level of administration, but for a rabbit, I would go with 60 mgs. per day. Capsules come in a variety of sizes from 10mgs. to over 100mgs. This site has many brands and sizes listed, so you can see what is available:

http://www.vitaminshoppe.com/search/en/query.jsp?q=co-enzyme+Q10&image.x=12&image.y=10&image=Go&intsource2=main

You may also be able to order some there, but shipping may be expensive.

The following site contains extensive information on the research done on Co-enzyme Q10, how it works, safety data, etc.:

http://faculty.washington.edu/ely/coenzq10.html

I have used co-enzyme Q10 myself for over 10 years, and I've used it in dogs with heart conditions. We've all had good results. Again, if you have more questions, just let me know.

Anna
Anna, Pet Expert/Biologist
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 9740
Experience: 40 yrs.: herps, pocket pets, rabbits, poultry, dogs, horses. Biology degree. Vet assistant.
Anna and 7 other Pet Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
thx a lot!
Expert:  Anna replied 5 years ago.
You're very welcome. I hope the medications, fluids, and co-enzyme Q10 will help your rabbit.

There's no need to click on accept again. Thank you for accepting above.

Anna
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Hi Anna,

i bought the CoQ10, Brand Name: Catalo

http://www.catalohealth.com/

ingredients:

Natural Natto Extract,

Natural Coenzyme Q10,

Natural Say Lecithin

other ingredients:

Medium Chain Triglycerides,

Beeswax,

Glycerine,

Purified Water,

Gelatin

 

which is the softgel, so i make the gel out of the shell when give to my bunny.

 

However, i am worrying the other ingredients, such as Beeswax...

they can be adopted by rabbits? any harm?

 

can you pls help? i found the COQ10 products over a week, coz i dont know the ingredients are OK for rabbit or not.

 

thanks for your help.

 

 

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Hi Anna,

i bought the CoQ10, Brand Name: Catalo

http://www.catalohealth.com/

ingredients:

Natural Natto Extract,

Natural Coenzyme Q10,

Natural Say Lecithin

other ingredients:

Medium Chain Triglycerides,

Beeswax,

Glycerine,

Purified Water,

Gelatin

 

which is the softgel, so i make the gel out of the shell when give to my bunny.

 

However, i am worrying the other ingredients, such as Beeswax...

they can be adopted by rabbits? any harm?

 

can you pls help? i found the COQ10 products over a week, coz i dont know the ingredients are OK for rabbit or not.

 

thanks for your help.

 

Expert:  Anna replied 5 years ago.
Hello again,

I'm glad to hear that you found the COQ10. The other ingredients shouldn't be a problem. There's actually very little of those - such as beeswax- that are used to make the outer shell of the capsule. It's impossible to find any supplements that don't have "other ingredients" in them. None of these should be harmful.

Please don't click on accept again.

I hope the COQ10 helps your rabbit.

Anna
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

thanks again, however, she just gone. RIP.

i still have 3 rabbits so i hope i can do the best to keep them heathly.

Expert:  Anna replied 5 years ago.
I am so sorry to hear that. I hope it helps to know that you gave her a long, healthy life. You're an exceptionally caring rabbit owner, so I'm sure you'll do a great job with the others. I know that words can't really help, but I can only offer my condolences.

Anna

Please don't click on accept. Thank you again.

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40 yrs.: herps, pocket pets, rabbits, poultry, dogs, horses. Biology degree. Vet assistant.