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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 20904
Experience:  Small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats, happy to discuss any questions you have.
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I have a female rabbit I've had him for almost a year now

Customer Question

I have a female rabbit I've had him for almost a year now when I found out she was little she was a baby I've been out of work so I haven't been able to feed her quite properly for about the last 3 weeks but I had some Timothy Hay that I had been feeding her for the three weeks that I was unable to get her any food I noticed today that once I got her some food she would not eat her food she also did not put up a fight with me to take her out of her cage and she normally puts up a fight
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 10 months ago.

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

Now I must say that I am very worried about your lass.

The reason is because a decrease in appetite is a very serious problem for this species. This is because they have a more complicated gastrointestinal tract then other domestic pets and if you imagine these guts behave like conveyor belts. They should always be moving, which is why access to slowly digestible foods like hays are fed ad lib.

Yet when they start to go off their food, for whatever reason (ie dental disease, GI blockages, etc), this can cause their gut to slow or stop, which can lead to gastric stasis, a situation which it is one of the few true emergencies for this species. So, if she cannot be tempted to eat/drink properly, then it would be prudent to have her seen by the 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
  • Stretching out and lethargy (associated with gut pain)

Whatever the precipitating cause, this situation is serious. I advise getting her seen as soon as possible. The vet will able to provide medications to restart the gut ((ie prokinetics, pain relief, +/- fluids, antibiotics) while checking for those aforementioned common triggers. Care is often intensive, and she will likely need to be force fed a highly nutritious food (Oxbow’s Critical Care or Supreme) to restart her GI’s normal movement until she is eating on her own. Just to note, if there is any delay in your getting her seen, you can consider syringe feeding veggie baby food mixed with crushed pellets. This isn't as nutritionally balanced (or provide enough fiber) but it is a short-term means of getting food and some fluids into her in this moment of urgency.

As well, if you are concerned that she might be becoming dehydrated, you can try and encourage her to drink by offering fresh water. If she is not amenable then you can also try pedialyte or diluted Gatorade (50% diluted with water). These will help replenish electrolytes and get some glucose into her system as well as get fluids in. You can also give pedialyte via dropper or syringe. A typical dose for animals is 4.8mls per 100 grams of body weight per day (obviously divided over all day drinking). As well, the fluid that you give in the syringe feeds will help meet this daily total as well.

Overall, if your lass isn’t eating and she is so lethargic, then this is a serious emergency situation for your lass. Therefore, we do need to act quickly to get her eating properly and prevent the development of GI stasis. So, in this case it would be ideal to get her vet involved immediately while providing supportive care until she is seen to head off any stasis taking root. And since you noted that funds are an issue, I want to say that there is help. First, if you have a VCA or Banfield veterinary hospital near you, then you might consider taking advantage of their free first consult offers. You can find vouchers for this via VCA: ( & Banfield : ( Otherwise, you could consider checking out the Humane Society's database ( or ASPCA’s database ( Both have a lot of branches nationwide, along with ties to other assistance organizations that can keep down costs and surely will be willing to help.,

Please take care,

Dr. B.


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