Rabbits/Bunny in stasis and vet running out of ideas
Expert: Dana Krempels, Ph.D. - 3/2/2013
Question My 7 year old girl is experiencing stasis and I can't seem to help her out of it. She has been through stasis before, but I don't recall it taking so long to get her gut turned around and functioning on her own again. A few weeks ago I noticed her stools getting a bit smaller and the amount of her output was getting less. I started her on Cisapride (with vet approval)with no change. She had been having nose bleeds (chronic rhinitis & sneezing all her life)and was on Zithromycin for some time. After a particularly bad bout of congestion, the vet prescribed an Amikacin mix nebulizing treatment and after two days, she was in fine form--playing like she hadn't played for a long time. I really thought we had finally found the magic potion. But just another day and she was getting lethargic again. Vet said to make sure she was hydrated, so I continuously put her water bowl in front of her to make her drink. Last week she got a bad nose bleed (complete with coughing & trouble breathing)and then the stools got really small. I took her to the ER vet for Sub Q fluid. He said he could hear wheezing in the thoracic inlet. Her stools continued to get small (almost like crumbs-some the size of a pin head). Regular vet said to stop Amikacin, give fluids, Cisapride, simethicone, and meloxicam. I can get her to eat some critical care and sporadically some kale and parsley.She will attempt to eat some hay if she's feeling like it. Her stools are still tiny (jagged little pieces)and I usually have to massage her tummy to get those to come out. She is a bit sensitive when I try to massage her. I worry that I can't get her gut to produce bigger stools after a week. I wonder if the Cisapride has outlived its potentcy (Nov '12 at room temp). I am getting panicky. I love this little bun so much and want her around a little longer and not in any pain. Are there any good signs here? Is super tiny poops better than no poops at all? The vet did suggest Reglan, but said he was cautious as it caused rupture in a couple of his patients. I don't know if I want to chance that. I don't think she is obstructed since she is passing these tiny stools. I truly appreciate any help you can offer here. Thank you. I can supply my phone number if you request to speak privately.
Answer Dear Charla,
GI stasis/ileus is not a primary disease. It is a *symptom* of another disorder causing pain/stress. Perhaps the most common cause is dental disease. Please read these articles to help you find the culprit for the chronic GI problems:
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: THE INTERNET IS NOT THE PLACE TO SEEK HELP IN AN EMERGENCY.
If your rabbits is LETHARGIC
If your rabbit is NOT EATING
If your rabbit is PHYSICALLY INJURED (including broken bones)
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.
Organizations Houserabbit Adoption, Rescue, and Education, Inc. (H.A.R.E., Inc.) president
National House Rabbit Society (Board member)
Publications Exotic DVM
Warren Peace (Journal of the House Rabbit Society of Miami)
Various newsletters of the House Rabbit Society, nationwide
Education/Credentials Ph.D - Biology
B.S. - Biology
B.A. - English
Awards and Honors Lightspan Academic Excellence Award for web site on rabbit health and biology