Rabbits/sick bunny


I brought my rex moo into nc state vet college mon morning with a bout of stasis. He has reoccurring bouts from time to time. He got subq fluids, force feeding critical care and meloxacam. From there we gave him a stronger pain med and a mobility agent for his stomach. Yesterday he took a turn for wlrse and started having diarrhea.....we made the decision to put him on a fluid iv and continue pain meds and critcal care.....im at a loss and bunspace suggested I ask if you had any suggestions.

Dear June

Chronic ileus is usually a sign of a some undiagnosed health problem causing pain or stress.  Has anyone checked your bunny's teeth?  Other than incorrect diet, this is probably the #1 cause of chronic GI slowdown.  Please read:


There is also the possibility of undetected intestinal parasites, some species of which do not constantly shed propagules.  Coccidiosis (caused by the protist Eimeria) and various types of worm parasites can cause intestinal pain and the resulting ileus.  I recently learned of a bunny who was suffering from chronic ileus and there was no sign of any problem.  Then one day his caregiver noticed ONE, TINY ricelike bit of white in a poop...tapeworm!  It was practically impossible to detect.  But they treated the bunny with Droncit/praziquantel, and he never had another problem.

Some bunnies will get occasional gas pain that can be so bad it makes them shocky and hypothermic.  For this, see:


Getting the bunny's body temperature to normal range, then treating with pediatric simethicone (for gas) and pain medication (metacam/meloxicam at 1mg/kg once Q 24 hours is a safe choice) can be very helpful.

I hope this will help with your bunny.



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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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