Nursing a Rabbit Through Stasis

Unhappy Tigger

Not quite my usual perky feisty self

Any time a rabbit absolutely refuses to eat or drink, get serious about it right away. Rabbits are constant foraging eaters and need that to keep their intestines moving. Anything that stops movement through the intestines can quickly lead to the death of the rabbit. This is one of those times to get thee to a vet ASAP since the causes of GI stasis can vary. You might be dealing with a tumor, infection, hairball, tooth problems or something else entirely. 

Expect if you are dealing with stasis that there will be a time of nursing your rabbit. This can include medications, force feedings, forcing fluids, getting subcutaneous fluids at the vet or possibly being shown how to give them at home. You will have to monitor how much your rabbit eats on its own and how much bunny is urinating and pooping. This can mean adjusting the rabbit’s living space or possibly separating a pair temporarily so that you can know who is doing what.

At first while your rabbit is really ill, they may not be themselves at all.  It may be a real struggle to get the bunny to cooperate with being medicated, force-fed, having their tummy rubbed, being cleaned up, so basically being regularly picked up and messed with.  You know how you feel about people poking and prodding if you don’t feel well.  The bunny may be listless, uncaring, grumpy, irritable, scratching, biting, wildly fighting or any combination back and forth.  Keep your calm and your patience.  As your rabbit recovers, their usual personality will return.  They just may seem like they really hate you while you are trying to save them.  Again, think about whether you have ever chewed out the doctors or nurses when you were ill.

Tigger is currently on a number of medications and holding her own.  She is eating and drinking on her own now and alternating between very tiny or very messy poops.  She is very grumpy and irritable today which is pretty normal for HRH Princess Tigger.  She has another vet visit early next week.  We will see if she needs further diagnostic tests or treatment.  Last August, she needed to have some sharp tooth points filed down.  That required anethesia for a good exam and to do the filing.  Anesthesia is risky at her age.  So, in conjunction with the vet then and now, we decided on other treatments first.   

Here is a great article to bookmark:  Nursing Your Rabbit Through Gastrointestinal Stasis (Information And Tips To Be Used In Conjunction With Ongoing Care From Your Rabbit Vet).

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