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Anna, Pet Expert/Biologist
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 11550
Experience:  40 yrs.: herps, pocket pets, rabbits, poultry, dogs, horses. Biology degree. Vet assistant.
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My rabbit is not eating, not pooing, breathing really heavily

Customer Question

My rabbit is not eating, not pooing, breathing really heavily and if you touch her she goes on her side. However, when the bottle was put right infront of her face she drank some.. I think it might be because of the snow but i dont know.. Does anyone have any idea?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Pet
Expert:  Melinda B replied 8 years ago.


Your rabbit sounds very sick, I am sorry to say. I do have some questions.

Does your rabbit live outdoors, and if so, how cold is it there and is the inclosure protected from wind and rain? What is the normal diet for your rabbit? How old is your rabbit?


It is very important for rabbits to eat every day. The symptoms you describe are not very specific, but very serious. The rabbit could be suffering from hair impactions in their intestines, severe dental problems that can lead to starvation, and a variety of infections including pneumonia.


I recommend you have your rabbit seen right away by your Veterinarian.

Please take care.

Dr. Melinda

I can not diagnose or prescribe medications without an examination. If this information was helpful, please use the ACCEPT button; I thank you.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.

She lives outside and it has been snowing the past few days, we have a cover for her hutch and we put extra hay and straw in.

Her diet is rabbit food and we always put carrot and apple in her hutch too!

She was fine yesterday its just today.

She is 1 and a half now.

Expert:  Anna replied 8 years ago.

Melinda has gone offline, so I'll try to help you. What you have described is an emergency situation. I've raised rabbits for over thirty years, and when they stop eating and stop passing droppings, you need to take them to a vet quickly. Regardless of what caused the appetite loss to begin with, when a rabbit stops eating and pooing, a condition called gastrointestinal stasis is likely. This is one of the leading causes of death in rabbits, if it is not treated. There could be gas in her stomach that she cannot pass or there could be a blockage in the intestines. You need to get her to a rabbit vet as soon as possible. A rabbit can die in just a few hours from this condition. The vet will need to determine if there's a blockage. If there is no blockage gut motility drugs usually take care of the problem. Here's a site where you can read more about GI stasis:

It's best to try to find a rabbit vet because some vets who treat mainly dogs and cats aren't familiar with rabbits' sensitivities to certain medications. Here is where you can find a rabbit vet:

Rabbits which aren't fed a good quality grass hay are more likely to develop digestive problems. Carrots and apples are too high in sugar to be fed regularly. Once your rabbit recovers, The most important thing you need to do is get her rabbit some good-quality timothy hay. Don't use alfalfa because it can lead to other health problems. Rabbits should be allowed to eat as much of this good grass hay as they want. You can usually buy it in a pet store in bags. If you live in a rural area, you may be able to buy a whole bale - a lot of people feed it to horses. Just make sure it's clean and mold-free. If you can't find any locally, here is an online source:

I can't emphasize enough the importance of feeding your rabbit hay. It will keep the digestive system working properly.

A five pound rabbit should also get about 1/8 cup of pellets daily. A variety of fresh produce, especially greens, is also important. Iceberg lettuce, however, isn't good. It has no nutrients in it and can lead to diarrhea. The following link will take you to a site with detailed information on rabbit feeding, including lists of the best produce, and what foods to avoid:

Any time you need reliable rabbit information or just want to learn about rabbits, this is a great site:

If you have any more questions about this, just let me know.


Customer: replied 8 years ago.

Hello again,


the reason why i havent accepted these answers is because they were not accurate. After a few hours of research my mum realised there was a chance my rabbit was bloated. She massaged my rabbits belly for 5minutes and then got her to have a drink and then she was fine. We have kept her inside so that she will stay warm.


Thank you for your help anyway.. i will recommend this website to anyone else i know with pet problems. However, i will not accept the answers :)

Expert:  Anna replied 8 years ago.
Of course, you never have to accept an answer unless you want to. I'm not asking you to accept, but I do want you to know that my answer is accurate. Being bloated is a symptom of GI stasis, and if you look at my answer, you'll see that I mentioned "gas she cannot pass' as a possible cause of the problem. I'm glad that you were able to get the gas to pass by massaging. That does work sometimes, and is one of the steps mentioned in the site I gave you a link to. A lot of times, however, massage doesn't relieve the gas pressure. Regardless of the cause, I'm very happy that your rabbit is all right, and I'll go ahead and close your question.