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Author Topic: Very unwell young rabbit, advice and help needed  (Read 4665 times)

Luke_H

  • Joined May 2012
Very unwell young rabbit, advice and help needed
« on: May 27, 2012, 06:38:00 pm »
We are in the process of aquiring some animals on a produce and purpose front, as opposed to passengers! My nice new chicken coop had arrived from the company and we decided to go get some light sussex chickens for it, a friend of a friend has a small holding and breeds an array of feathered and furred livestock. They didn't have any LS chickens, nor any other foul which took my fancy. But we had a nose at some of the furred stock, and ende dup coming away with two little passengers in the shape of mini lops, two females from two different but mixed together litters, six and a half weeks old. My missus was instrumental in their purchase, reasoning with me that they would keep the lawn down nicely, provide good manure, be good for veg leavings etc, and maybe even some hoppy young at a later date. I used to keep and exhibit old english rabbits, french lops, nethie dwarves etc once upona time so rabbit keeping wasn't new to me.
And Moo and Roo, as named by our three year old, had a home fit for kings in the shape of an XL chicken coop, and have been very happy for the past week and a half.
However I noticed one was not growing as well as the other, Moo has doubled in size since coming whereas Roo has not, and this said small rabbit started to get a very sticky and mucky back end on thursday. Removed all greens etc, as thought she had just been gorging. Spoke with our vet who agreed it was most likely the same. She picked up yesterday, no mucky bum but a bit of white coloured mucus, but was quite content and eating etc. But today I let them out and she looked awful, back end was covered in muck...even when washing it off it was just getting dirtied, was very subdued and just lay down looking unhappy and rather raggetery. To me, with an experienced eye, it didn't look good. I was prepared to wait it out, and if worsened then do the deed. My OH being a very kind woman demanded we go to an emergency vet, and made me pay 150 pound for the rabbit to be seen. I don't mind deep down, its in practical when viewing them from a livestock POV but you know how it is when the woman has spoken!
The vet seemed to think it wasn't dietry but was more the stomach unable to be dealing with food in general, that the body may not have immunities or ability to get rid of this etc. It all sounded very in depth, and ehr temperature was very low too. She had an antibiotic injection and some fluids, and now has some to take by mouth. Kept her inside and warm for a bit but she looked even worse, for curiosity sake popped her back in the run with her mate and she perked up a bit and ate. But she doesn't look good at all,very quiet and subdued.
Any advice, experience of information really?
My gut tells me this is just one of those things, and it's a matter of time.

little blue

  • Joined Jun 2009
  • Derbyshire
Re: Very unwell young rabbit, advice and help needed
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2012, 10:23:01 pm »
tough one to answer,
can't really advice but will tell you my experience....

I looked after my friends rabbit long-term when she moved house (younger sister of my buck rabbit - different litter)
She often had a mucky bum, (the RABBIT, not my friend!) and didn't seem able to clean the softer stuff off herself.  My friend didn't tell me this, I suspect she thought it wasn't a problem, as the rabbit was quite spoilt!! 
I suppose she wasn't getting the reabsorption of nutrients needed, and she didnt live all that long, got thinner & less able to clean herself & got stroppy about being cleaned up by me.
having 7 perfectly normal rabbits of my own at the time, we just kept her as clean and comfotable as we could, kept her diet simple.
Little Blue

manian

  • Joined Sep 2010
Re: Very unwell young rabbit, advice and help needed
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2012, 07:58:09 am »
hi
sorry don't know anything about rabbits, hopefully someone will be here soon
Mx

Chris H

  • Joined Oct 2011
Re: Very unwell young rabbit, advice and help needed
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2012, 09:04:24 am »
Very wise of you to listen to a woman! I had a rabbit with same sort of problem, we stopped all green stuff including fruit, gave good quality dry food and a sprig of parsley every day. He lived to a ripe old age, might be worth a try, I have since heard of others who found parsley did the trick :bunny:
We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.

Luke_H

  • Joined May 2012
Re: Very unwell young rabbit, advice and help needed
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2012, 01:48:53 pm »
Sadly the little one didn't survive, she was a blue otter aswell...one of my favourite colours. Her lilac harlequin sister is quite sad today so will try search for another of a similar age. Should of just got my chickens for the coop!

colliewoman

  • Global Moderator
  • Joined Jul 2011
  • Pilton
  • Caution! May spontaneously talk rabbits!
Re: Very unwell young rabbit, advice and help needed
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2012, 11:14:22 pm »
SO sorry I'm coming into this thread too late, but for future reference...  (Am writing this for info for anyone so please don't think I am casting doubt on your rabbit keeping skills :-* :-* :D )

 
First up and can't believe I didn't spot this last night, she shouldn't have been sold at such a young age far too much stress for a tiny babe. Legal minimum is 8 weeks.



Was the mucky end runny or sticky?
If sticky this is uneaten caecotrophs (rabbits produce 2 types of poo, the normal 'pellets that you see in their litter trays and caecotrophs that are eaten straight from the anus, think of it as bunny version of chewing the cud!)  and can usually be sorted by a hay only diet then a return to a pelleted ration with hi fibre such as science selective (supa excel is known to cause excess caecotrophs)
If true diarrheoa then mucoid enteritis is the likely cause and very difficult to cure.
Rabbits digestive systems are not fully developed until about 15 weeks old so a change of diet can be fatal.


In all cases every rabbit needs a constant supply of ad lib good quality hay for proper gut health even, and a rabbit, particularly a poorly one with gut troubles can do very well on a hay only diet.


Gut stasis is also a big killer of rabbits as many aren't aware that if a rabbit's digestive system slows down or stops working for any reason (stress is a huge factor and one of mine goes into stasis after any car journey) the rabbit cannot restart it without help in the form of gut stimulants.
If ever a rabbit misses a meal or refuses food for more than a few hours it is a veterinary emergency. Waiting til morning or seeing how they are tomorrow will often be too late.


However being lops and the fact that one didn't grow as well as the other I would be inclined to think of some kind of congenital abnormality with regards to the back teeth  ???
What has the breeder said?
Sorry for your loss, binky on little bun :bouquet: :bouquet:
« Last Edit: June 01, 2012, 02:04:21 pm by colliewoman »
We'll turn the dust to soil,
Turn the rust of hate back into passion.
It's not water into wine
But it's here, and it's happening.
Massive,
but passive.


Bring the peace back

in the hills

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Very unwell young rabbit, advice and help needed
« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2012, 09:00:23 am »
Sorry about the little one  :bouquet: . So sad and well done for trying.
 
Colliewoman- your reply is really helpful to us so although too late for this little one, thanks for posting.
 
Our house rabbit is getting on a bit now but fit and healthy. We have been having problems in that he has had a sticky bum. Knew it was because he was either producing too many of those second type of poos or not eating them as he should but couldnt work out the reason. Have not been to the vet - because he is otherwise well and dont like to stress rabbits unless essential. Can you believe the problem started when we couldnt get his usual food ..... which was the Selective one you mentioned!!!! Have tried various other ones but none seem to suit him as well as the Selectives. From reading your post it looks as though this could be his problem ..... we did wonder. Will see if I can order the Selectives and will cut back on his other food so that he takes more hay.
 
You are right about their digestive systems. We nearly lost him as a young rabbit when for some reason he stopped eating. Vet couldnt find a cause but gave him injections to stimulate the gut. It was a close thing.
 
What funny things they are. ::)   ;D
 
Thanks again.

colliewoman

  • Global Moderator
  • Joined Jul 2011
  • Pilton
  • Caution! May spontaneously talk rabbits!
Re: Very unwell young rabbit, advice and help needed
« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2012, 10:20:36 am »
Science selective really is one of the best for buns I think :thumbsup:  Mine get an egg cupsul per day each as they have no job to do and I want them to eat their wild food and hay!
With regards to an ageing bunster, do try going back to the selective (if you cant find any and don't mind paying the postage I'll get it and send it to you!) if that doesn't work ask the vets about a gentle pain relief. Sometimes the oldies get stiff and cant quite reach round to take the caecals from their bums! Keep an eye for flies too ;)
We'll turn the dust to soil,
Turn the rust of hate back into passion.
It's not water into wine
But it's here, and it's happening.
Massive,
but passive.


Bring the peace back

in the hills

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Very unwell young rabbit, advice and help needed
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2012, 12:25:18 pm »
Ahhh ... thanks.  :)
 
Did wonder whether he was having trouble reaching them to eat ..... but watched him and doesnt seem to be a problem. Only an eggcup ful ........ think Im too generous with portions. He has put on a bit of weight so that might not be helping .... will cut him back slowly. But .... he wont like it.  ::)  Lets us know when hes feeling peckish and not wanting just the hay. Have to tell the children not to give in to those brown bunny eyes.  ;D  Thats the trouble with being indoors ... tends to get looked after too well  ::)   ;D

colliewoman

  • Global Moderator
  • Joined Jul 2011
  • Pilton
  • Caution! May spontaneously talk rabbits!
Re: Very unwell young rabbit, advice and help needed
« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2012, 02:06:59 pm »
Oh I'm sure he will try and convince you that he needs at least a shoe box full :D :D
Fat bellies also make it difficult to reach right round there, so yes be strict. Get one of the dog treat balls and put his pellets in there, then he has to exercise to get them out and they last longer ;) :thumbsup:
We'll turn the dust to soil,
Turn the rust of hate back into passion.
It's not water into wine
But it's here, and it's happening.
Massive,
but passive.


Bring the peace back

 

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