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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 21195
Experience:  General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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My Grandaughters rabbit has stopped eating. Seems to be boundup.

Customer Question

My Grandaughters rabbit has stopped eating. Seems to be boundup. What can we do?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.
Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.
This is very troubling news about Mr and is a very serious situation. When a rabbit goes off their food and potentially is not passing stool, for whatever reason (ie GI upset, diarrhea, respiratory disease, pain 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 rabbit emergencies. So, if he isn't passing stool or eating, then it would be prudent for him to be seen by his vet before this can progress any further.
Now in regards ***** ***** "why" he is showing a decreased appetite can be a little trickier. There are of course a range of primary issues we must consider, and this is something that a full physical exam by your vet will be able to shed light upon. The vet will be able to listen to his guts, check him temperature, and have a general evaluation of what underlying trigger might be ailing him.
Depending on the vet's findings, they can address the underlying trigger and initiate treatment. To keep the guts moving and get them back on track, often these cases need pain relief, pro-motility drugs, +/- antibiotics. If his signs are severe, he may need to be hospitalized. Or if you are able to provide diligent supportive care at home, they may advise you on how to syringe feed him.
Typically, anorexic rabbits need to be hand or syringe fed (usually hourly) to continue nutrition input to meet their body's requirement and keep his guts moving to prevent/address stasis. To support him, it is worth getting a vet to dispense a critical care feeds that you can syringe feed the bunny. A very good product for this is Oxbow’s Critical Care feed or Supreme Recovery diet and most vets will be able to provide this to you. This is a highly nutritious herbivore feed that can be easily made into a slurry for syringe feeding. And it is much easier to use then trying to create a balanced critical care diet at home.
That said, in regards ***** ***** to do until he is seen, you can start syringe feeding veggie baby food with his pellets crushed in. Now be warned that if you do undertake syringe feeding him, then this can be a challenge (we all end up with rabbit food on us when we are syringe feeding rabbits). To administer it in as stress free means as possible, I would advise having a peek of this guide (HERE--> since a video is worth at least a thousand words. If he is quite resistant to being fed, then do watch the end of the video for 'towel wrapping' him to keep him snug and secure while you are feeding him.
Just in case he isn't drinking either, if he is severely dehydrated then the vet might give sterile fluids under his skin. Otherwise, you can try tempting him with pedialyte (fruity flavors are best tolerated) or diluted Gatorade (50% diluted with water). These will help replenish electrolytes and get some glucose into his system. If he isn't keen on it, you can give pedialyte via dropper of syringe. A typical dose for animals is 4.8mls per 100 grams of body weight per day (obviously divided over all day drinking). This is his maintenance rate and it is a good starting place for supporting him against dehydration.
Overall, anorexia of the rabbit is a very serious situation and this shouldn't be ignored. I would advise that he should see his vet immediately. They will be able to treat him for this and advise you on how to administer critical care diet to nurse him through this situation. Overall, prompt treatment and supportive care are the best things we can do to get this under control and give this little one the best chance of recovery and getting back to himself.
If you don’t already have a rabbit vet, and wish to find one near you, by checking here (
I hope this information is helpful.
If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!
All the best, *****
If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need as this is how I am credited for assisting you today. Thank you! : )