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Pet Doc
Pet Doc, Veterinarian
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Experience:  Veterinarian - BVSc
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Im a new bunny mom & have my 1st scare ...outside of my bunnys

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I'm a new bunny mom & have my 1st scare ...outside of my bunny's cage, there is a splatter of what looks like carrot puree. It's fresh. I've called local clinics, but can't find a rabbit hospital nearby that's open at this hour. I don't know if this can wait until morning, but I'm very concerned!! He's still being semi active, eating hay, and drinking.

Pet Doc :

Hi there,

Pet Doc :

Thanks for your question regarding your boy Duke

Pet Doc :

When did you notice this splatter?

Pet Doc :

Have you seen him defecate today?

Customer:

I noticed it just as I was going to put him to bed ...about 30 minutes ago. I changed his litter & fed him around 7:30 this evening. He ate his dinner. Litter seems normal - I see poop, but no signs of loose stool.

Pet Doc :

Great to hear. It sounds as though Duke is pretty healthy and happy.

Pet Doc :

There are a few things this splatter could be

Pet Doc :

What are you thoughts on this?

Pet Doc :

Does it look like anything you have fed him?

Customer:

Adopted him from local shelter. He's very happy & full of energy.

Pet Doc :

Just so you know - rabbits cannot vomit, so that rules that out

Pet Doc :

It also sounds like his feces are a normal consistency which is EXCELLENT

Pet Doc :

Also the fact he still has a good appetite is great to hear. Typically if he had gut stasis or bloat, he wouldn't even look at his food let alone eat it

Customer:

Ya, looks like vomit ...but I know they can't. But his poop looks normal. He's got very routine bathroom habits.

Customer:

Trying to remember ....I gave him a small baby carrot last night, but that's it.

Pet Doc :

Could this have been from bird droppings or another animal if it was outside of the cage?

Pet Doc :

Ok.

Customer:

Other than that, it's just pellets, hay & lettuce

Pet Doc :

Ultimately, it sounds as though Duke is absolutely fine at the moment

Customer:

no - he's indoors & no other animals here

Pet Doc :

Ok I see

Pet Doc :

So long as he is still eating as per normal and his feces look normal, that is a very good start

Customer:

Maybe it's the new bunny mommy in me, but I'm really worried - 1st scare

Pet Doc :

Just so you know - lettuce isn't recommended for rabbits

Pet Doc :

This can cause diarrhea

Pet Doc :

I know it seems crazy given all the rabbit story books out there!

Customer:

I called a few urgent care clinics & that's what they all said - that they think he's ok 'til morning

Pet Doc :

but yes - do avoid lettuce

Customer:

REALLY?!? Both shelter & vet told me to feed him lettuce

Pet Doc :

His diet should be 80% high quality hay - preferably timothy hay or something similar

Customer:

he eats a lot of that

Customer:

yes, he has access to Orchard Timothy Hay at all times

Pet Doc :

10% fresh greens (Romaine, collard, parsley, cilantro, dandelion are great)

Pet Doc :

5 - 10% pallets

Pet Doc :

pellets sorry

Pet Doc :

Yes, try and avoid lettuce

Customer:

he's just under 5 lbs, what's the best mix of pellets & greens, in quantity?

Pet Doc :

Romaine lettuce (as above) is ok

Pet Doc :

You can read more here: http://www.rspca.org.uk/allaboutanimals/pets/rabbits/diet/myths

Customer:

I give him Spring Mix - should I stop that entirely?

Pet Doc :

Ooo - sorry, quantity is difficult

Customer:

I was told it was good for him to have a mix of different kinds of greens

Pet Doc :

It depends on the types of lettuce in that

Pet Doc :

Yes, most greens are good

Pet Doc :

typical 'iceburg' lettuce causes diarrhea

Customer:

yes I heard about iceberg ...I don't give him that

Pet Doc :

small quantities of dark leafy varities is fine

Customer:

he eats the dark green & purple-ish colors of lettuce

Pet Doc :

but free access to good quality hay is a good start

Customer:

he has all the hay he can eat

Pet Doc :

a handful of mixed fresh greens 2 - 3 x daily

Customer:

so what do you think the "carrot puree" splatter is?

Pet Doc :

No more than 1/8 of a cup of pellets per day

Customer:

...and why?

Pet Doc :

I doubt it is from your boy

Pet Doc :

As you know - it can't be vomit

Pet Doc :

It is very unlikely to be diarrhea (given how you have described it, plus the normal feces you have seen in his tray)

Customer:

it has to be from him. I just had the carpets cleaned, it's by his cage, and there's no one here except me & Duke

Pet Doc :

perhaps he chewed some of the carrot and lost some out of his mouth?

Customer:

from yesterday??

Pet Doc :

That would be all I could think of to be honest

Pet Doc :

From yesterday

Pet Doc :

There would be no other logical explanation

Customer:

it's sprayed ...not just dribbled out of his mouth. Plus, that's nowhere near where I feed him treats

Pet Doc :

The other option is that it could be a nasal or penile discharge

Pet Doc :

But to be that color is very unlikely

Customer:

he's been fixed, no nasal drip that I've ever seen

Customer:

...and it made it almost a foot out of his cage

Pet Doc :

So that rules those out!

Pet Doc :

Still the most logical explanation is that this came out of his mouth

Pet Doc :

How it got a foot away from the cage I don't know!

Pet Doc :

I think that will remain a mystery :-)

Customer:

but he hasn't eaten anything in 3 hours

Customer:

mystery isn't working for me ....I'm scared

Pet Doc :

Don't panic. We won't be able to work out what the carrot looking material was without having your Vet check it in person

Pet Doc :

In the meantime, you can keep an eye on your boy

Pet Doc :

It sounds as though he is currently happy and healthy

Pet Doc :

The fact he hasn't eaten in 3 hours isn't a concern

Pet Doc :

More than 12 would be a worry

Pet Doc :

You could try him with a few fresh greens now if you have some?

Customer:

he hasn't eaten because he finished his dinner (by 8 pm).

Customer:

I'm not worried about that - he's eating hay.

Customer:

I was just saying he hadn't eaten recently in reference to your comment about it likely coming out of his mouth

Pet Doc :

Did you see him eat the carrot you gave him last night?

Pet Doc :

Or could this still have been in his cage?

Customer:

nope, he ate it

Customer:

he inhales carrots - he doesn't leave a trace behind

Customer:

I don't feel comfortable leaving him alone tonight. If I sleep out here tonight by his cage, are there signs / noises he would likely make if in distress?

Pet Doc :

The main thing to monitor would be his breathing

Pet Doc :

We would typically assess a bunnies health by 1.) whether they are eating 2.) their stools

Pet Doc :

and of course their respiratory rates

Pet Doc :

If he becomes reluctant to move and is breathing very quickly ( > 60 breaths per minute) then get him to your local ER Vet

Customer:

guess I'll just watch him tonight, but I'm still feeling very uneasy about it

Pet Doc :

From what you have seen and what you have told me, there is no need to go straight to an ER Vet

Pet Doc :

As you are uneasy, I would recommend keeping an eye on him if you can stay awake

Customer:

I haven't been able to find an after-hours clinic that treats rabbits. Do you have a list of any that you could provide?

Pet Doc :

I am sure he will be fine, but it will probably calm you if you know he is doing ok by keeping an eye on him

Pet Doc :

I don't have a list of ER Vets that treat rabbits, but I do have a list of ER Vets?

Pet Doc :

Where are you based?

Customer:

Orange County, CA

Pet Doc :

Did you try: orangecountyemergencyvet.com/‎ ?

Customer:

no, I'll try that.

Pet Doc :

Ok great.

Pet Doc :

Again - from what you have said to me, I don't think there is a need to rush him to an ER Vet

Pet Doc :

But, it is handy for you to have a contact IF you need it

Customer:

thanks - appreciate it

Pet Doc :

No problem.

Pet Doc :

Keep an eye on him as above

Pet Doc :

Feed him as recommended above

Pet Doc :

Do get him seen if his respiratory rates goes very high, or if he goes off food altogether, or stops defecating

Customer:

I called number on that website - they said they didn't have a doctor onsite tonight that treats bunnies, and that was it....said sorry, and hung up!!

Pet Doc :

All Vets can treat rabbits

Pet Doc :

And an ER Vet will treat a rabbit if it comes in to them

Customer:

not a single one that I've called

Pet Doc :

They will - it is their job, so don't panic about that

Pet Doc :

It would be more of a matter of finding an ER Vet with a Vet available!

Customer:

but they may not be versed in rabbit GI issues ....they've told me that

Pet Doc :

Still a physical exam by a Vet might be more useful than no physical exam at all

Pet Doc :

Let me do another quick check for ER Vets for you

Customer:

I'd appreciate it ....someone that can actually help

Pet Doc :

These aren't ER Vets - but just so you have it, some great Bunny Vets in Orange County: http://www.bunnybunch.org/vetnews2.html

Pet Doc :

Have you tried: http://www.pethospitalorange.com

Pet Doc :

or: http://www.scvsh.com/

Customer:

i'll try them

Pet Doc :

Orange County


The Westminster Veterinary Group
Dr. Tia Greenburg
Dr. Naomi Barns
Dr. Fumie Yamato
XXXXX
Westminster, CA 92683
(NNN) NNN-NNNN/p>

Arbor Animal Hospital
Dr. Daryl Mabley
XXXXX Ste F
Irvine, CA 92620
(NNN) NNN-NNNN/p>

Northwood Animal Hospital
Dr. Gayle Roberts
XXXXXbr/> Irvine, CANNN-NN-NNNNbr/>(NNN) NNN-NNNN/p>

Pet Doc :

Hopefully one of these can help you

Pet Doc :

The last three are exotic vets who deal with rabbits all the time

Customer:

Northwood Animal Hospital / Gayle Roberts is his vet

Pet Doc :

Drs Heidi Casale, Andrea Glasser -- VCA Rossmoor El Dorado Animal Hospital
10832 Los Alamitos Boulevard, Los Alamitos, CA(NNN) NNN-NNNN


Dr Tia Greenberg -- The Westminster Veterinary Group
XXXXX Westminster, CA(NNN) NNN-NNNN
http://www.westminsterveterinarygroup.com


Dr Tom Greek -- Eastlake Animal Hospital
20429 E Yorba Linda Boulevard, Yorba Linda, CA ((NNN) NNN-NNNN


Dr Mabley -- Arbor Animal Hospital
XXXXX Ste F Irvine, CA(NNN) NNN-NNNN

Pet Doc :

Oh great

Pet Doc :

It would be really great if you could monitor him tonight and get him to Gayle tomorrow if you still aren't happy

Pet Doc :

I think monitoring him tonight is the best plan

Pet Doc :

In the meantime, perhaps call around a few of the links I have given you to see if you can find an ER Vet who deals with rabbits

Pet Doc :

If you don't have any luck with that, then I would definitely recommend asking Gayle who she would recommend you call after hours so you have a number on hand should you ever need it

Pet Doc :

I have to log off for the next couple of hours, but I will be available after that should you need me again

Pet Doc :

Is there anything else I can help with before I leave?

Pet Doc :

Are you there?

Pet Doc :

Ok - I will switch to Q & A mode.

Pet Doc :

As above - I will be offline for the next 2 hours or so

Pet Doc :

If you have any further questions after that time, please just reply to this thread

Pet Doc :

Don't forget to click a smiley :-) face if this has been useful

Pet Doc :

Talk soon,

Pet Doc :

Dr Edwards

Pet Doc and 4 other Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
Hi Carrie,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Duke. How is everything going?

Pet Doc