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Anna
Anna, Pet Expert/Biologist
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 11135
Experience:  40 yrs.: herps, pocket pets, rabbits, poultry, dogs, horses. Biology degree. Vet assistant.
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Anna - My rabbit is a lionhead and she is 7 years old tomorrow

Customer Question

Anna - My rabbit is a lionhead and she is 7 years old tomorrow -
She has been in good health until three weeks ago when I noticed she was not eating that much ( not interested in the pellets at all - only greens )
She does drink water - Her faeces are very small and there are probably 50 to 80 of them per day - I do give her timothy hay -
I have noticed when I handle her that she starts to struggle and then calms down - her coat is shiny and she seems perky - ran around chasing the cats last night - But I just cant get her to eat that much -
She has been to the vet and they said the x ray was inconclusive - there does appear to be a hard bit on her intestines that the vet noticed but that has broken down a bit today - she is on the liquid food every two hours and some greenery - no temperature and no elevated glucose -
The vet is doing some blood work - But they still cant tell me what it is -
No poo stuck to her bottom and no blockage lower down - do you have any advice please?
Sonja
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Pet
Expert:  Joan replied 7 months ago.
Hello,My name is ***** ***** I have been a vet tech for 30+ years with interest in small animals and exotics. Anna is not on right now, but will be on later. She is very experienced in Rabbits. I can try to assist you but If you would like to wait for Anna, I can let her know.Joan
Expert:  Anna replied 7 months ago.
Hello Sonja. Thank you for requesting me. I was not online at the time you posted your question, and I'm not sure why I was being shown as online. I apologize for the delay that caused.There are several considerations. A lion head at age 7 is considered a senior. Smaller rabbits like this generally live 5 to 8 years. A few go longer, but for the most part, it's larger rabbits, like New Zealands that have the longer life span. Sometimes older rabbits develop appetite loss for no apparent reason. However, that hard but on her intestine may have something to do with it. If it is diminishing in size, it may be some hardened stool, rather than a tumor. If your vet does think it may be a tumor, you may want to do some further testing. If it's hardened stool, the steps you are taking are appropriate. You'll need to continue with the liquid food because if you stop that, gastrointestinal stasis may develop.I would add some probiotics to the food. BeneBac is a good brand sold in pet stores. You can also use the liquid ones for humans if you can find one that is nondairy. They are sold in health food stores.To encourage more normal stools, fiber and liquid can help. Try spritzing her hay with a little water to make it more palatable .As far as further testing, exploratory surgery would give you answers, but in my experience, a 7-year-old rabbit is unlikely to survive surgery.I would continue as you have been. I know this isn't what you want to hear, but I believe you deserve honesty. Your rabbit may simply be experiencing complications of old age. If she isn't, she should get better with the measures you are taking. If those measures don't help, there probably nothing that will.If you have more questions just let me know. I hope your rabbit will eventually pass that hard bit, and return to her normal eating habits.Anna
Expert:  Anna replied 7 months ago.
Hello again, I'm just checking to see how Blackberry is doing. Do you need more information? Anna