Rabbit Information

Rabbit care

Pg. 23 Bowel Stasis

This is where the bowel slows down or stops moving.

Causes

(1) Insufficient fibre in the diet.

Rabbits are grazing animals who need to eat constantly to keep the gut moving.

(2) STRESS

Change of owner, loss of a companion, change of diet, fear when a new pet enters the home e.g. a barking dog, can all cause stasis of the bowel.

Rabbits are highly sensitive about their companions, people and places, as they are herd animals which get very attached to those around them and their territory.

It is very stressful for a rabbit to have a change of environment

The signs of bowel stasis are when the rabbit stops eating, and when the droppings are tiny hard balls, or none at all.

This is serious, and may lead to death.

TREATMENT

Keep your rabbit warm and comfortable. Leave bunny with its companions.

Give copious fresh hay, and whatever treats it enjoys, such as parsley, bock-choy etc. to encourage eating.

Syringe feed with finely sieved baby vegetables .These can be purchased from the baby food section in a jar at your grocery store. Packets of dried critical care food is also available for rabbits

NO high carbohydrate foods, (e.g. Commercial rabbit treats, bread,) which will exacerbate the problem. NO pellets either

Gently massage the abdomen.

Syringe feed with warm water to rehydrate.

Too much interference, e.g. surgery and a lot of veterinary interference will increase the stress.

Bowl surgery on rabbits has a very low survival rate and a high rate of recurrence of the same problem  due to scar tissue formation

My Story-I had a rabbit who went into bowel stasis after having the calici virus immunization, probably caused by the stress of the car ride and reaction to the immunization.When I noticed he was not eating, doing really small hard poo, and was sitting all hunched up, I started syringe feeding water, which did the trick