Rabbits/GI Stasis


My rabbit had a dental nearly 2 weeks ago and recovered very well. Wednesday of last week he suddenly stopped eating or drinking. Because I couldn't get him to a vet immediately, I gave him critical care and water by syringe for 2 days until he turned a corner and started eating moderate amounts of veg and dried herbs and drinking voluntarily.  The vet gave him an injection of Emeprid on Saturday morning which got him eating more but then he just stopped again.  There has been hardly any poo since then.  I'm giving him water by syringe + diluted V8 juice and critical care.  We have an oral dose of Emeprid which I hesitate to give because it may be adding to the problem.  He may have a blocked gut.  Not sure what to do, please advise.

Dear Christine,

Please see:




to learn how to take his temperature.  This is critical.

The best way to get a static GI moving is via enema administered with a pediatric ear syringe.  Instructions are included in the ileus article above.  It is amazing how quickly the gut starts moving again after an enema!  Within minutes.  If not, a little massage and metoclopramide and/or cisapride can help, too.  

If he is not bloated and hard in the abdomen, he does not have a full blockage.  Ask the vet about pain medication, which can help tremendously.  Metacam is okay, but we see much better relief with Banamine for acute abdominal pain.  It is much safer for rabbits than it is in dogs and cats.

I hope this helps.



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Dana Krempels, Ph.D.


I've lived with companion rabbits for more than 35 years, and consider them members of my family. I can answer any questions about the biology and health of rabbits, from the commonplace to the unusual. But please note:

RULE #1:

...it is an EMERGENCY.

Find a rabbit vet at www.rabbit.org/vet for immediate help, and don't risk your bunny's life by spending time asking questions online! If you can't get in touch with your vet, read these Emergency Sick Bunny Instructions.

If you have found a wild baby rabbit, please read these EMERGENCY INSTRUCTIONS FOR WILD BABY RABBITS and then use this link to FIND A LOCAL WILDLIFE REHABILITATOR who can give you the right advice.

RULE #2:
Help me help you! Please make your subject line informative if you have an urgent question. then LET ME KNOW IN THE SUBJECT LINE so I can give your question highest priority over non-urgent questions. If you don't do this, then I can't guarantee timely assistance!

For all the best, most accurate rabbit health, care and behavior information, visit The House Rabbit Society.


I have been rescuing and rehabilitating domestic and wild rabbits for about 30 years. I have written articles for many rabbit rescue publications, as well as for the veterinary journal, Exotic DVM. I own EtherBun, the internet's largest listserve dedicated to health, care, and behavior of domestic rabbits.

Houserabbit Adoption, Rescue, and Education, Inc. (H.A.R.E., Inc.) president National House Rabbit Society (Board member)

Exotic DVM
Warren Peace (Journal of the House Rabbit Society of Miami)
Various newsletters of the House Rabbit Society, nationwide

Ph.D - Biology
B.S. - Biology
B.A. - English

Awards and Honors
Lightspan Academic Excellence Award for web site on rabbit health and biology

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