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Anna, Pet Expert/Biologist
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 11545
Experience:  40 yrs.: herps, pocket pets, rabbits, poultry, dogs, horses. Biology degree. Vet assistant.
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Lop Ear Rabbit not eating, very quiet, lethargic, still has

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Lop Ear Rabbit eating very little...given Timothy hay or veggie salad (ate few pieces of lettuce/munching on hay), very quiet, lethargic, still has normal stools at this time. Did rub her stomach for a while, heard some "growling" in stomach area. She's losing LOTS of hair, found an actual bald spot on her right rear thigh. VERY concerned
Woke up this morning, Fussy is nibbling...a piece of hay, a few pellets, BUT her hair is falling out! Has a bare skin spot on her right rear leg?!?!

Some additional information will help me to answer your question.

Has Fussy eaten anything at all this evening?

Do you feed her any hay?

Is there any discharge from her nose or eyes?

How is her breathing?

How lethargic is she - refusing to get up, sitting quietly, etc,?

Thank you.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Fussy has NOT eaten anything at all tonight, that I know of. Yes, she has timothy hay all the time. No discharge from nose or eyes.

Her breathing does seem different. She's been shedding a LOT.

She's been getting up, sitting in her litter box now, sitting quietly.

Thank you for getting back to me. When ever a rabbit stops eating for a few hours, it is considered an emergency. That's because a condition called gastrointestinal stasis develops. Your rabbit has signs of gastrointestinal stasis. This is one of the leading causes of death in rabbits, if it is not treated. There could be gas in the stomach that she cannot pass or there could be a partial blockage in the intestines. You need to get Fussy a rabbit vet as soon as possible. Here is where you can find a rabbit vet:

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. If there’s no blockage, the vet can often prescribe a gut motility drug that will solve the problem.

I realize it may be difficult or impossible to see a vet tonight (though that would be ebst). If that's the case, there are soem steps you can take that may help Fussy get through the night. If youc an gett o a store, buy some infants' simethicone. It's a liquid and is used for human babies who have gas. You can use a syringe to put some in the side of your rabbit's mouth - don't put it straight down the throat. Wait for her to swallow before giving more. The amount isn't critical - youc an't overdose it. It's also important to get some food into her stomach. You can crush some pellets to a powder, then mix that with enough water to makle a slurry. Use a syringe to feed it to fussy in the same way you give the simethicone. It may also help her to place her on ehr back on your lap, and then gently massage her stomach. Many rabbits seem to like this and it can help get the digestive system moving again. Here's a site where you can read amore about gI stasis:

I do hope you can see a vet quickly - this condition is very dangerous. I've been raising rabbits for over 30 years, and I've seen rabbits die within a few hours of appetite loss. If you have more questions, just let me know by clicking on REPLY. I hope Fussy will be fine.


Anna and other Pet Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I am still wondering, asking if you know, why she's losing LOTS of her hair. I mean LOTS. While massaging her stomache, I found a bald spot on her right thigh...bare skin. I don't understand. I am hoping the massaging helped, she actually ate a few pieces of lettuce and munched on a piece of hay, then laid down.
I hope Fussy is doing better by now. Last night, the hair loss was a secondary concern because her other symptoms were critical. If they're under control and she's eating now, we can take a closer look at the hair loss.

Check the bare skin. Do you see any very tiny fine, short hairs on those areas?

Is her skin flaky or red?

Does she scratch or bite at herself often?

Thank you.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

I will apologize, Anna, I was having problems with the Disclaimer page not letting me continue...wouldn't do anything. Tech Support had to find a solution for me.


Fussy is doing better, got her appetite back. I was able to have a good long talk with my Rabbit Rescuer, Robin, I got her from. She gave a couple of natural method cures. If that didn't work, there were a couple other solutions which you mentioned, along with another webpage I read that agreed with the solutions. I had NO clue, Fussy LOVED the pineapple juice and crushed pineapple -first method used. She begs for it, lol. I am restricting her on it. She is munching now on her salad.


She is still shedding a lot, but, no, in looking, the skin was clear, no rash or redness. It appears there are fine short hairs. Robin mentioned that some bunnies have "blowouts" like this. I will continue to monitor her.


Again, I apologize for the confusion with your help. You were being helpful.



There's no need to apologize.Yes, the shedding sounds normal. When you can see those new little hairs, that's a sign that things are going well with the shed. This time of year, I have many rabbits with little bald spots.

I'm glad to hear that Fussy is doing better. I always hate to hear that a rabbit has stopped eating - it's so dangerous. Make sure you always have grass hay available. I hope she continues to improve.


There's no need to click on accept again. Thank you.

Edited by Anna on 9/3/2010 at 2:26 AM EST
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

She's still being a little fussy, hence her name fits her, lol She's still being picky about carrots. I do keep a vacuum close by for all the hair! lol Robin suggested she may need her teeth checked. I'm maxed out on funds, like many, but will see what I can do...wanting to make sure she gets what she needs.

I didn't realize how difficult it is in finding a good exotic pet vet/clinic. She did go to Banfield for her physical about two months ago, in order to get a flea control.


Thanks again.




Thank you for the photo, Mary. Fussy is a real cutie. Don't worry about those carrots, though. They aren't really that good for rabbits, being too high in sugars. Much of what we thought was true about feeding rabbits has been found to be wrong in the last few years. Many breeders, rescuers, and even vets have not become aware of the new recommendations. Because you're a fairly new rabbit owner, I'm going to give you some additional information.

Rabbits should be allowed to eat as much good grass hay as they want. 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 plain pellets daily. Don't use the gourmet varieties that contain dried fruits, seeds, and nuts. 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. Remember, don't click on accept again.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

I appreciate your help, Anna, I have been sticking to the diet Fussy came with. She gets romaine hearts, parsley, celery, 3 cherry tomatoes, all chopped up. A bowl in the morning before I go to work and a bowl in the evening. She does have a continuous supply of timothy hay, all the time. She gets a tbls. of T pellets morning and night also...per Robin.


She was getting the dried berries, as treats, as Robin showed me, just as a special treat, but I have stopped buying them...expensive. But feel with the fresh fruit she's getting, it's healthier.

I will try to just slack up on the carrots, to her preference.


Thank you for your help.



You're welcome, Mary.