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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 16214
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've been busy with work lately and have simply been making

Customer Question

I've been busy with work lately and have simply been making sure my rabbit had enough food in her pen and left the door open for her so she could hop around.
I've gotten my first few days off in awhile and this morning I found her on her side barely able to stand unless I prop her up and whenever she tries to hop around she falls over! She is very skinny as well.
She'll drink water and eat leafy greens but for some reason she won't eat the hay I give her. I think she must have stopped eating at some point and just collapsed today.
I don't know if this means she is sick, or if she simply refuses to eat the brand of hay I got for her.
Since I've been so busy with work I was already thinking of finding someone who would take her in for me, since I don't have the time to play with her anymore.
I'm really worried that while I've been so busy she may have gotten sick or something without my noticing.
I have no idea how old my rabbit is. I'm afraid my mother picked her up from a friend.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Pet
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

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

Now this is a serious state of affairs for Ms. Bunny.

Her selective grazing away from her roughage raises concerns of a primary oral issue (dental disease being the most common cause). Furthermore, her weakness and obvious weight loss tell us that this has been going on for a while (and therefore unlikely due to not liking the brand of hay). And with all this in mind, I am concerned that we may have a rabbit on the brink of GI stasis here.

Therefore, this is very much a situation where you need to tread with care and be proactive here. If you question her liking this hay brand, then offer another. As well, see if she will take any pelleted feed. If she won't, then we'd want her seen urgently to have her assessed. The local vet can assess the state of her teeth and address this if that is the root cause for her selective grazing. At the same time, they can examine the rest of her to ensure there is no other reason for her weight loss and that she still has some gut motility. Depending on the vet's findings, they can address the underlying trigger and initiate treatment. 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 fiberous food (ie Oxbow critical care diet, Supreme Recovery diet). Just for your information, you can see how to syringe feed rabbits here @ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8iGZVYVm5Bg

In regards ***** ***** if she is severely dehydrated then the vet might give sterile fluids under her skin. Otherwise, you can try tempting her with pedialyte (fruity flavors are best tolerated) or diluted Gatorade (50% diluted with water). These will help replenish electrolytes and get some glucose into her system. If she isn't keen on it, you can give pedialyte via dropper of syringe. A typical dose for animals is 48mls per kilogram of body weight per day (obviously divided over all day drinking). This is her maintenance rate and it is a good starting place for supporting her against dehydration.

Overall, Ms. Bunny's signs are very serious. Her collapsing suggests that she has essentially been staving herself. And if she is only eating veggies, then its not likely a simple case of not liking her hay. Instead, this screams possible dental issues with secondary gut stasis (one of the few rabbit emergencies). Therefore, we need to act quick to give her any chance of recovery here. Thus I would advise that she should see her vet immediately. They will be able to treat her for both issues 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.

If you don’t already have a rabbit vet, and wish to find one near you, by checking here (http://rabbit.org/vet-listings/).

I hope this information is helpful.

If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!

All the best,

Dr. B.

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If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need as this is how I am credited for assisting you today.Thank you! : )

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

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Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Hi Natty,
I'm just following up on our conversation about Ms. Bunny. How is everything going?
Dr. B.