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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16119
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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If you could please help me with my 6 yr old rabbit

Customer Question

Hello, if you could please help me with my 6 yr old rabbit I would greatly appreciate it. We have a family rabbit that we got from a shelter and ended up being pregnant and had two bunnies. Now, she is 6 and we noticed that she looks like she lost weight and not really drinking water. She also made a different munching should that we had not heard before. She came with us on vacation and traveled in a car for 10 hours which she took turns using the restroom and eat along the way. Basically never left in a hot car. She did eat some carrot today although not as much as she usually does. We offered watermelon, which she showed no interest. We have an appointment with a bunny doctor tomorrow at 2. Can you give me any information what might be wrong? We love this rabbit dearly!! Please help
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 1 year ago.
Hello, my name is***** and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian. I'm so sorry to hear about Professor losing weight, not really drinking, different chewing noises not really wanting to eat and I'd like to help. Her abnormal chewing noises may be due to abnormal tooth wear, grinding her teeth due to pain from sharp tooth edges or abdominal pain or nausea. A loss of appetite in a bunny is a serious problem. If they don't eat constantly or take in enough fiber their gut motility slows down tremendously. Once a bunny's intestines and stomach aren't moving properly they can experience abdominal pain which can decrease their appetite further. Poor mobility can also cause bacterial overgrowth which inhibits normal digestion and increases painful gas accumulation, which further suppresses the appetite.There are several things that can decrease appetite in a bunny her age. Tooth problems and abnormal wear of molars can make it painful to eat. A mass in the abdomen, unfortunately ovarian tumors are common in unspayed females, or a respiratory infection are other possible causes.Ideally your bunny would be seen by an experienced rabbit veterinarian as soon as possible, so I am glad to hear that she has an appointment. Here is a link to help you find one in the area you are in now in case she gets sicker and cannot wait until tomorrow: http://www.rabbit.org/vets/vets.htmlIf she isn't drinking she needs subcutaneous or intravenous fluids given daily as if she is dehydrated that will only make her sicker.While you are waiting to have her seen I recommend keeping her confined, and force feeding her with a mixture of ground pellets, pedialyte and vegetable baby foods like green beans, squash or carrots every few hours to try and stimulate gut motility. If you can find Oxbow critical care diet that is even better for force feeding. She should be force fed frequently, every 3 hours during the day if you are able. If you cannot find Oxbow critical care your veterinarian should have this or can order it for you. If you are unable to get this in the meantime continue using a mix of ground up pellets, no sugar pedialyte and veggie baby foods in a syringe.Make sure she has constant access to timothy or mixed grass hay. She needs fiber to restore normal motility.Ideally she would also be placed on a probiotic to restore her normal gut bacterial population. Here is an example of a rabbit probiotic: http://www.nutramaxlabs.com/vet/products/Proviable-rb.aspxI also recommend she be medicated with Reglan (metoclopramide) every 6 to 8 hours to try and restore normal gut motility. Your veterinarian can prescribe this.Best of luck with your bunny. I hope things work out for her.Let me know if you have any further questions.

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