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Dr. Gary
Dr. Gary, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 19765
Experience:  DVM, Emergency Veterinarian, BS (Physiology)
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My bunny has been suffering from GI Stasis for over 3 weeks

Customer Question

My bunny has been suffering from GI Stasis for over 3 weeks now...X-Rays,dental exam&blood work show no underlying issue. He has been in & out of the vets office.I have been force-feeding (1st 2X a day, but his weight went down, so now also force-feeding &ndrinking him 4X a day,10-15ml each time.)He's on baytril, cisapride & metacam. Initially he was drinking & eating some things on his own- now (since I've upped the amounts)he's not drinking, and eating only a few greens here & there. Could the reduction of "choice eating & drinking be b/c of all of the force-feeding & force-drinking? He is pooping, but not a lot- some really small, some almost normal sized. He is still peppy, but my vet is scaring me... everything I read says that it is a gradual process... How long can this take? I'm trying everything & willing to try more, but already invested over $1000, if he's hospitalized its another $1000, which I will gladly spend, if he'd be cured, but how does hospitalizing them help? Can he come out of it after all of this time? How long can this take?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Gary replied 4 years ago.
Hello, I'm Dr Gary. I've been practicing veterinary medicine since 2007. I look forward to helping with your questions/ concerns.

I'm sorry for the long wait.

This is very strange. I usually expect my GI stasis bunnies to be eating within 2-3 days of starting treatment. Going on for weeks is highly unusual. You're not even feeding as often as I have owners feed. I'll usually have them syringe feed Oxbow Critical Care every 2-4 hours until the bunny is eating. I'll basically have them feed every 2-4 hours and only skip it if the bunny ate in that time period.

I'll also usually put these guys on Metacam, Metoclopramide (similar to Cisapride) and Baytril for 5-7 days.

If the antibiotic (Baytril) has been on board for over a week, I would consider stopping it. It's not likely an infection at this point.

Sometimes the best thing to do is just stop all the meds and only feed them Critical Care. I have had a few bunnies that finally respond once we stop the meds and just treat with food. Again though, once he is eating on his own, I would slow down and stop the syringe feeding. I don't usually have owners syringe water- there is plenty in the critical care.

If things don't turn around in the next couple days, I would consider seeing an exotics specialist. It may be that you need a new set of eyes looking at him to see if there is something that was missed that may require other care. I'd want to rule out a foreign body, cancer (Lymphoma) or fungal infection.

Best of luck with him, let me know if you have any other questions.