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Anna, Pet Expert/Biologist
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 11513
Experience:  40 yrs.: herps, pocket pets, rabbits, poultry, dogs, horses. Biology degree. Vet assistant.
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My rabbit was fine earlier.. He ate earlier & I let m out of

Customer Question

My rabbit was fine earlier.. He ate earlier & I let him out of his cage to exercise early... He will not move or stand.. He is awake will move his head but will not stand or hop
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Pet
Expert:  Anna replied 2 years ago.
Hello and welcome. My name is ***** ***** I'm a biologist with over forty years of experience raising and showing rabbits. I'm sorry to hear Mr. Bunny is ill. Some additional information will be useful.
Will he eat anything at all?
Has he been passing normal droppings?
Look closely at his head. Is it tilted a bit to one side or upward?
Thank you.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
He ate earlier.. I put him on the screened in porch for a few hours earlier.. He had left quite a few droppings .. Brought him in & put him in his cage.. I was gone for several hours & when I got home & went to his cage he normally gets so excited when he hears me.. He was in his house face first &'would not move.. I got him out of his cage & placed him on the floor .. He laid spread eagle & would not move.. He is moving his head & responding to touch but will not sit or stand
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I have tried hand feeding him his favorite thing which is kale & trying to get him to drink.. No success
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Cannot get to the vet until tomorrow .. Any suggestions?
Expert:  Anna replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for getting back to me. I'm working on your answer and will post it as soon as I have it typed up. I'll be back in a few minutes.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you
Expert:  Anna replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for waiting. The symptoms Mr. Bunny is exhibiting tell us something serious is going on. He may even have two health conditions at once. The problem with rabbits is that they can get sick quickly and deteriorate quickly. They are quite fragile. If there's any way possible for you to see a vet tonight, that would be best. The weakness and inability to walk are serious, but the appetite loss is the most significant problem right now.
One of the most common things we hear about rabbits is "My rabbit stopped eating, and then he died." Appetite loss is very serious in rabbits. It is considered a medical emergency. It is even more serious if the rabbit isn't defecating. A condition called gastrointestinal stasis develops. The digestive system simply shuts down. The original cause can be anything from eating something they shouldn't to a slight illness. Regardless of the initial cause GI stasis is an emergency in its own right. This is one of the leading causes of death in rabbits, if it is not treated. There could be gas in the stomach that cannot pass or there could be a blockage in the intestines. You need to get him to a rabbit vet as soon as possible. You can read more here:
Here is where you can find a rabbit vet:
If there’s no blockage, the vet can often prescribe a gut motility drug that will solve the problem.
Until you can get to a vet, you can give your bunny a stomach massage. Most rabbits actually enjoy this and it can get things moving again sometimes. Place him on his back on your lap and gently massage. If you can get some children's liquid simethicone (sold in pharmacies), give him some from a syringe. You can't overdose it, and it helps break up any gas bubbles in the stomach.
You can also crush some pellets to a fine powder. Then mix them with water to make a slurry. Use a syringe to put a few drops at a time in the side of his mouth. don't put it straight down his throat. That can lead to aspiration into the lungs and pneumonia.
If you have more questions about this, just let me know by clicking on REPLY. I hope the first aid measures will be enough to keep Mr. Bunny going until you can get to a vet, and taht he will reacha full recovery.
My goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back, I am happy to address follow-up questions. Please remember to rate my service only after you have all the information you need. Thank you!
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
He is trying to eat a little.. It is almost like he is having some type of seizure.. He lays his head down & his pupils become very dilated & I can see his stomach moving up & down.. Almost like he is going to vomit.. I rub him & call his name & he comes out of it.. Could it be seizures????
Expert:  Anna replied 2 years ago.
Rabbits can have seizures, but it's unlikely that a seizure would end because you rub him and call his name. Rabbits cannot vomit, and the fact that it seems like he needs to probably means he is in stomach pain. Even if he is having seizures, there is nothing you can do about it on your own e crept keep him in a safe place. He is critically ill. I wish you could get him to an emergency clinic tonight. Otherwise, it's crucial to get some food into his stomach. With some food and some luck, he may survive until tomorrow.
Let me know if you need anything else.