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Rabbits/gi stasis in young bunnies


Dear dr Krempels,
first of all i would like to wish a happy new year for you and your loved ones. 2 days ago one of my pet bunnies was diagnosed with gi stasis. (She is about 3 months old and weighs about 2 pounds). My vet gave her a shot of antibiotic and a shot of metoclopramide. She also told to give her 2 shots of metoclopramid the following day. (1/2 ml each shot). I gave her tummy massage and fed her with a syringe. Today her condition has improved dramatically and she begun to eat hay and drink water on her own. She also seems more willing to play and hop around. However what made me really anxious is the fact that (according to my vet) if a young bunny gets a gi stasis at this age, it is very possible that this will be happening over and over again. In other words her prognosis was very bad. My question is if this is true, and if there is a way to minimize the risk of this happening again. I apologize for my english and i'm waiting for your response.
with regards,
thanos (tom) sitistas.

Dear Thanos,

It's not necessarily true that a bunny who suffers ileus will be a chronic problem.  It depends on what triggered the ileus in the first place.  Was it an infection?  Stress?  A congenital condition?

Unless the cause is known, it's not possible to say for sure that she will have the problem again.  What's important to do now is to try and find out that cause.  Please see:

for complete information.

Hope your bunny stays well from now on.



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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:

Find a rabbit vet at 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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