Note that So I am going to try to remember the sequence of events on this to help others know what to watch for. Dino had an abcess removed from under his chin and a tooth pulled. See this page for more details. When he came home he didn’t eat or poop. He had been at the vet overnight after his surgery and the vet thought that once he was home he would do better but he didn’t. He had his normal dental exam and then the next day he had surgery – that is 2 days in a row being put under with sleeping gas. That is a lot of any human let alone a bunny. We made what we thought was the best decision at the time to get this taken care of quickly, but in retrospect I should have waited.
When he came home he was showing signs like he wanted to eat and would hop over to his food and then just stare at it. He might take a bite or two and then stop. This was not like him, he is always a good eater. Another strange thing is he was leaning up against stuff like the wall, his house just leaning in a sitting upright position. See below.
Now this is a normal position for him but not for hours on end in the same exact spot. This can be a sign of pain and its important to pay attention to your bunny for these kinds of warning signs. Normally when he relaxes he meatloafs and sits like the pic below (Baby in perfect meatloaf stance).
So with the little guy not eating or pooping in 24 hours off we went to the emergency 24 pet hospital that treats rabbits (the only one in Northern IL) – Blue Pearl. They admitted him, took xrays and determined he was in GI Stasis. They began the meds to help relieve the gas build up and so it began Dino in the hospital for GI Statis – his first time (our 5th or 6th time now).
So when our daughters Baby and Gracie had GI Stasis we left them at the hospital until they were well enough to come home. Usually for 3 – 5 days. The hospital is an hour away from us in good traffic so we never made the trip to see them. But with Dino he just didn’t seem the same. Something was wrong and usually rabbits go into GI Stasis when something else is wrong. So a vet will look for a primary cause to make the rabbit stop eating and pooping. Now Dino did just have surgery and a tooth pulled but they were not sure if that was the cause.
All this happened on a Saturday so on Sunday I told Boo we should go visit him as we were paying an extra nightly fee to be able to visit him or call and check on his condition over night. So we saw him on Sunday morning for a hour and a half and then mid afternoon for an hour. We went home for the rest of the day and returned at night for another 3 hour stay. During these visits were in an exam room with him on the floor. He was not himself. He seemed hyper and irritated. He began to bite me and my clothes which never did. He sorta did this crazy hop in one place and within 3 hops into the air, he made a circle but never moved from the same spot. He never did any of these behaviors before. We had consult with the doctor on staff. She said buns can take 5 or 6 days before they start eating again and he was exhibiting signs of nervousness. He was in the best place he could be with the best care. I was anxious for the rabbit experts to come in on Monday morning because Dino needed them.
On Monday morning Dr Moy from Chicago Exotics called me and asked me a lot of questions. She was not sure what was going on and asked me if he always moved his eyes back and forth. I said no I’m not sure what you mean. She explained that he was rapidly moving his eyes from left to right, right to left, left to right. No I said I’ve never seen him do that. They put him on additional pain meds. Later that night when we visited him, he was moving his head back and forth from left to right, right to left, left to right. This was new, we’d never seen him do this before. This must be what the dr was referring to. The eye movement back and forth is called Nystagmus and buns will move their head back and forth to compensate for the eye movements. Its a nervous system issue. Another new thing and he still was not getting better.
By Tuesday I was really worried. He seemed over stimulated, and hyper and not eating, not pooping. The vet did an e cuniculi test to see if that was causing the Nystagmus but it wasn’t which is a good thing because then we’d have another whole level of medications and conditions to monitor and get through. He might have vertigo that can be caused by an inner ear infection. His ears had some normal stuff in them but to be sure they would start him on ear drops and they also started him a med for vertigo/balance.
I spoke with the vet again on Wed morning and said I thought he might be in pain or over medicated. I told her all of the abnormal behaviors he was having so they ordered a stronger med, buprenorphine. Once he got that med, he really bounced back. He began to eat but not poop. How he couldn’t poop was beyond me with all the drugs the little guy was on and oh yes he was losing weight – quite a bit of weight as he was getting force fed critical care multiple times a day but that was not enough to sustain him.
On Wed night our visit went really good. He ate some for us and pooped little tiny poops but it was a start. He might be on the mend.
I asked the hospital to put him in a very quiet area as this place is going 24 hours a day and he is not use to that. They put a towel over his kennel. He was surely over stimulated. He had been poked, prodded, blood drawn, force fed food, force fed drugs and each time they handled him I believe he got more and more stressed out. I think our visits helped immensely to help calm him down and let him know we were still around. We tried to be gentle, quiet and loving on our visits. I wish we had done that for Baby and Gracie when they were hospitalized. We would go to the hospital later at night so the drive would be shorter and then come home late when there was no traffic.
Over these days we brought him a poop dish from home with his own scent on it. We brought his favorite treats, foods, pellets. We brought a rug from home that had his scent on it too so that he was comfortable. During this whole time he was not relaxing during our visits until he got that heavy duty drug – then he settled down some for us.
So Thursday came with many more small poops but not larger sized normal ones so they wanted to keep him one more night. We visited and he was making small mouse poops so that was good.
On our visits we were trying to get him relaxed enough to eat and hopefully poop. He was sitting in that peculiar forward position which he does sit in but not all the time. He never stretched out or meatloafed at all.
On Friday when we picked him up, we got like 14 meds. See this page about meds and what they are for. Talk about being overwhelmed.
We were hopeful and excited when we brought him home. Our little boy home at last with us and Lucy his wife. Oh yeah Lucy was great while he was gone. She seemed to know he was gone but didn’t get depressed or anything. That was good because we didn’t have time to fuss with her at home during this time.
So when Dino came home, same thing again, no eating no pooping. What the heck – really after 7 days / 6 nights in the hospital he is not eating or pooping when he comes home. We did all the drugs and increased the amount of critical care we gave him and the number of times as this was the only thing sustaining him as he was not eating. Note that the vet did not send us home with the heavy duty drug buprenorphine.
So we coasted to Monday when we had a 9:00am appointment to have his abcess wound re-medicated. We saw a new vet at our practice who knew some about rabbits. I mentioned the buprenorphine that he was given at the hospital and she gave him a dose then and sent me home with some. Well an hour after getting that med, he began to eat and move around. He was getting this twice a day for 5 days and then once a day for 3 days then off. Gosh it was a miracle drug that got Dino to eat and poop and be normal again. Thank goodness something worked to save our little boy.
He has been home for awhile now. We are constantly watching his food intake and poop output. He is still on 5 meds a day at this point but he is doing well and we have to try and get him to regain some weight. His poops can still be mushy and large plops but sometimes they are normal so hopefully he is on the mend.
More on poops, this is large mushie mis-shaped poop as well as the one below.
See a variety of rabbits poops, its important to know what size is normal for each of your rabbits so it the size if off you’ll know.
Remember that when it comes to rabbit poop, size does matter and so does volume……
If you have a specific question about your rabbit, please email me at email@example.com.