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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 16268
Experience:  I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
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I have a two year old male mixed breed (half lop half rex)

Customer Question

i have a two year old male mixed breed (half lop half rex) rabbit that has become emaciated, has large soft stool but is still eating and drinking. He is also losing significant amounts of hair.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Pet
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Hello, I am afraid that the expert you have requested is not currently available. Still I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.
How long has he had softer stools?
You noted that he is still eating, but is it as much as he used to? Less? More?
What are you feeding him?
Does he show any preference for the softer foods you offer?
Do you think he is drinking more? Passing more urine?
Does he have a wet chin?
Does he go outside in the grass?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
His chin seems dry. he is indoor ony. he is drinking more and passing more urine, two days ago he stopped eating and drinking so I syringe fed him water and softened pellet food, offered him some celery leaves. He since has begun eating all the pellets offered, and drinking large quantities of water. his stool has been enlarged and softened for about a month now, he is passing larger quantities of both stool and urine. he is being fed timothy based pellets only, recently my workload has increased and his cage has gone unchanged for a couple of days at a time, could this have caused him to become ill?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
also he is very alert and active, just extremely thin (i can feel his bones) and hair molting at a rapid pace.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you,
I have received your reply and will be back shortly with my thoughts about your wee one.
Speak to you again soon,
Dr. B.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you again,
First, I would note that your schedule and the state of the cage will not have any bearing on what we are seeing with your lad. As well, I do want to note that the molting and lapse in his coat quality is actually a side effect of what is causing his weight loss. The skin and coat are not considered to be critical organs. Therefore if the body cannot get enough nutrition to keep their weight stable, these organs tend to end up deprived of nutrition in favor of feeding the brain, liver, heart, and kidney. So, we often see this situation of poor coats and molting in animals with weight loss.
Now considering his other signs, we do have a few concerns. The problem with these soft stools is whether we are seeing the cecotrophs (often they look like tapioca or clusters of grapes) or if we are seeing genuine loose stool. If we are seeing the former, this is a major worry because cecotrophs are the true mainstay of the rabbit diet (since the digestion of their roughage happens in the hind gut and they must eat these to take in that nutrition). So, not eating these could cause severe weight loss for a rabbit. Otherwise, if this is his normal stool but loose/soft due to his increased water intake, then we again will have losses but due to nutrition being passed in the wrong stool as opposed to a lack of intake.
Further to this and our main concern here is the increased thirst and urination. When we see this it can be due to a range of issues. This includes metabolic diseases like diabetes but also organ issues like liver, heart, or kidney disease. Therefore, these would all be major worries if he is showing increased thirst, urination, and weight loss.
With all this in mind, the best course of action here would be to have his vet check a urine and/or blood sample. Each of these can potentially be tested to diagnose diabetes or kidney disease. Furthermore, bloods will allow us to check liver function and rule out any other abnormalities. And of course, if the vet is taking these samples, they can also check his heart to make sure this is not causing any issue.
So, these would be our concerns. We wouldn't be assuming infections or anything you have done. Instead, the above are more likely based on what you are seeing. So, if he has already had one day of poor appetite and is this thin, I do think it is worth being proactive here and getting him checked as urgently as possible. That way you can determine which issue is present, and address it for him to try to stabilize him and put some weight back on him.
If you don’t already have a rabbit vet, and wish to find one near you, by checking here (http://rabbit.org/vet-listings/)
Please take care,
Dr. B.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Hi,
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Dr. B.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The rabbit is eating and drinking just fine and very alert and active. Still thin, so I am planning on taking him to the vet next week, being that he does not seem to require emergency attention at this time.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for the update,
I agree that as long as his food/water intake are unchanged it is not an emergency. Still if you are having him seen next week, do keep an eye on those stools and potentially consider worming him (if you have a weight for him, his vet should be able to dispense Panacur OTC for him) to start ruling out issues for your lad.
All the best & have a great day,
Dr. B.
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