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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 18998
Experience:  General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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I have a rabbit that has not eaten or pooped all day. Is there

Customer Question

I have a rabbit that has not eaten or pooped all day. Is there any thing I can do for him to help?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Veterinary
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He was fine last night, took his treat and this morning I empty his litter box and there was poop and pee in it. I fed him and he did not go after his food. He lays and his eye looks dull. He has been like this all day. Of coarse it is Sunday!
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
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Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today. I do apologize that your question was not answered before. Different experts come online at various times; I just came online, read about your wee one’s situation, and wanted to help.
This is very troubling news about Bugs.
I again that there wasn't a vet that could aid you sooner, but I did want to send a message as this is VERY serious for him. This is because when a rabbit goes off their food, for whatever reason (ie GI upset, diarrhea, respiratory disease, pain etc), this can cause their gut to slow or stop, which can lead to cessation of passing feces and gastric stasis. And this is a situation which it is one of the few true rabbit emergencies. So, if you think he is eating less and not passing stool, then it would be prudent for him to be seen by his vet before this can progress any further.
Just to note, some of the other signs we can see with gastric stasis:
· Decreasing or sudden lack of appetite for food +/- water)
· Changes to fecal production (from soft stools, to strangely shaped fecal pellets to diarrhea or no fecal production at all)
· Off color/lethargy/ hiding
· No GI sounds or loud uncharacteristic grumbles/growl
Now in regards ***** ***** "why" he is lethargic, showing a decreased appetite can be a little trickier. There are of course a range of primary issues we must consider, and this is something that a full physical exam by your vet will be able to shed light upon. The vet will be able to listen to his guts, check him temperature, and have a general evaluation of what underlying trigger might be ailing him.
Depending on the vet's findings, they can address the underlying trigger and initiate treatment. To keep the guts moving and get them back on track, often these cases need pain relief, pro-motility drugs, +/- antibiotics. If his signs are severe, he 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 him.
Typically, anorexic rabbits need to be hand or syringe fed (usually hourly) to continue nutrition input to meet their body's requirement and keep his guts moving to prevent/address stasis. To support Bugs, it is worthing getting a vet to dispense a critical care feeds that you can syringe feed the bunny. A very good product for this is Oxbow’s Critical Care feed or Supreme Recovery diet and most vets will be able to provide this to you. This is a highly nutritious herbivore feed that can be easily made into a slurry for syringe feeding. And it is much easier to use then trying to create a balanced critical care diet at home. Though for emergency purposes, you can start syringe feeding veggie baby food with his pellets crushed into it. The fiber with this will be too low, but its a start with helping him against this dangerous situation.
Now be warned that if you do undertake syringe feeding him, then this can be a challenge (we all end up with rabbit food on us when we are syringe feeding rabbits). To administer it in as stress free means as possible, I would advise having a peek of this guide (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8iGZVYVm5Bg) since a video is worth at least a thousand words. If he is quite resistant to being fed, then do watch the end of the video for 'towel wrapping' him to keep him snug and secure while you are feeding him.
Overall, a depressed appetite and a lack of stool is a very serious situation for a rabbit and this shouldn't be ignored. I would advise that he should see his vet immediately. They will be able to treat him for this and advise you on how to administer critical care diet and nurse him through this situation. Overall, prompt treatment and supportive care are the best things we can do to get this under control and give Bugs the best chance of recovery and getting back to himself.
If you don’t already have a rabbit vet, and wish to find one near you, by checking here (http://www.rabbit.org/vets/vets.html).
Please take care,
Dr. B.

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