sick rabbit question

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by lonelyfarmgirl, Oct 10, 2006.

  1. lonelyfarmgirl

    lonelyfarmgirl Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    6,437
    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2005
    Location:
    Hoosier transplant to cheese country
    we have a buck who had been a spoiled cage rabbit for years. lots of fresh veggies daily, and so forth. Very large, healthy, thick. Well, when my harem buck died, I put him in my ground run with a few does. About 3 weeks went by and he started losing weight. (I didnot change his food supply when I put him in there) So I put him back in a cage. He had bad diahrea (sp?) and lost an alarming amout of weight. Well, upon consulting my veterinary guide to everything, I determined the symptoms probably pointed to bacterial enteritis. A gut infection mostly due to sanitation. Since he went from clean cage to not so clean ground. So... straight dry food diet, and baytril in his water for 10 or 12 days. He seems fine at this time, but if I give him one crumb of anything non commercial pellets, he gets the runs again, and he is not gaining weight. How do I put weight on a rabbit? Can someone help?
     
  2. MaggieJ

    MaggieJ Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    11,280
    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2006
    Location:
    Prince Edward County, Ontario, Canada
    Have you tried rolled oats - just the ordinary oatmeal from your kitchen? I feed it to my young rabbits as well as pellets when they begin eating solids.

    What kinds of "crumbs" of other foods have you tried? He is likely eating only enough of the pellets to get by on. None of my spoiled rabbits really LIKE pellets all that much.

    Hope someone who has been through a similar problem will give you some suggestions.
     

  3. trixiwick

    trixiwick bunny slave

    Messages:
    4,389
    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2004
    Location:
    Southeastern PA
    Don't know how well this will go down with him, but sugarless commercial cereal has worked for us in the past. Fiber One is especially good because it has so much, well, fiber. Cheerios will also go down easy with most rabbits. They also sell something called Critical Care (which I have only ever gotten from my vet) which is sort of a super-high-calorie hay powder you reconstitute with water into a gruel that rabbits love.

    Good luck!!!
     
  4. lonelyfarmgirl

    lonelyfarmgirl Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    6,437
    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2005
    Location:
    Hoosier transplant to cheese country
    I have oats, I will try those thanks
     
  5. MaggieJ

    MaggieJ Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    11,280
    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2006
    Location:
    Prince Edward County, Ontario, Canada
    Lonelyfarmgirl, was your buck able to handle the oats without problem? I'd be interested to hear an update as soon as you can tell one way or the other.
     
  6. rabbitgal

    rabbitgal Ex-homesteader

    Messages:
    1,508
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2005
    Bacterial enteritis? nasty.

    I had a brood doe (with a litter) that came down with a mild case of diarrhea a while back. Unfortunately, I didn't have a culture done to find out exactly what was causing it, but I did have some powdered cow colostrum on hand (contains natural antibodies against E. coli, which is one of the causes of scours in calves and rabbits). I removed her water and gave her and the litter a dose of colostrum instead along with a water soluble multi-vitamin. The next day, the diarrhea cleared up...now I have no idea if the colostrum actually *helped* or if the diarrhea cleared up on its own. But it didn't seem to hurt her.

    Now I normally never would have tried this, but our dog trainer carries a product called Transfer Factor, a supplement designed to boost animals' immune systems. It's manufactured from eggs and...you guessed it...cow colostrum. The company claims that the antibodies in eggs and colostrum help provide immunity against all sorts of diseases...some of the testimonials claim that their animals have been cured of cancer and all that. Now, I don't necessarily believe their claims, but it makes sense that if this product is supposed to be so great, why not the real stuff? Colostrum was a WHOLE lot cheaper than this product.

    Crazy ideas from rabbitgal aside, I would definitely try to get your boy to eat some good hay and rolled oats to help get his GI tract working again...you can also feed him small amounts of yoghurt to reculture his stomach with "good" bacteria. That's been proven to work in many cases of diarrhea. Sounds like he may have gotten too many new foods at once and that threw the bacteria population in his GI tract out of balance.
     
  7. lonelyfarmgirl

    lonelyfarmgirl Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    6,437
    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2005
    Location:
    Hoosier transplant to cheese country
    well, he loves the oats, and eats them just fine. He didnt get to many new foods at once. He is 5 or 6 years old, and has had daily fresh friuts and veges his whole life. he had been a cage rabbit that was put inside a ground run. being on dirt was probably a shock to his system. He is ok at this time. somedays he is a little loose, but not quite diahrea. mostly solid wastes now though. well keep on the oats and see if he puts on any weight. I dont know where to get good hay for rabbits here, except what you can buy in the tiny packages at the pet shop. I would love to get ahold of some for the rest of my herd over the winter. I have multiple litters in the burrows now, and with winter coming they are eating more. who knows what to get and where?
     
  8. MaggieJ

    MaggieJ Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    11,280
    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2006
    Location:
    Prince Edward County, Ontario, Canada
    Check the agricultural listings in your local papers' want ads. Lots of local farmers with surplus hay advertise at this time of year. Some feed stores also carry bales of hay. Timothy is the preferred hay for rabbits. Alfafa is richer and opinion varies as to how much is safe to feed.
     
  9. lonelyfarmgirl

    lonelyfarmgirl Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    6,437
    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2005
    Location:
    Hoosier transplant to cheese country
    as I am in Indianapolis, unfortunatley the ag section of the paper is slim to nil. I will try farm world, and see if there is anyone around here. sams condition has not changed at this time. Ill keep this updated as he improves.
     
  10. Danaus29

    Danaus29 Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    20,048
    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2005
    Location:
    Ohio
    Can you get maple leaves? Rabbits love them and you should be able to get some this time of year.
     
  11. MaggieJ

    MaggieJ Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    11,280
    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2006
    Location:
    Prince Edward County, Ontario, Canada
    Try a google search of small towns near Indianapolis... Most of them should have local papers, probably weeklies. Lots are even online these days.

    There weere several other suggestions in this thread other than hay and oatmeal. Perhaps it is time to look at some of them.
     
  12. lonelyfarmgirl

    lonelyfarmgirl Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    6,437
    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2005
    Location:
    Hoosier transplant to cheese country
    Yea, I gave him some maple leaves, and some dried beans vines last night, and he ate them up. He is still a little runny, but not diareah anymore. How the heck do you spell that? We gave him some chunky type wheat bread this morning that had been soaked in kefir, and he liked it. hopefully it will help his tummy bacteria go back to normal. I'll give him some more tonight.
     
  13. lonelyfarmgirl

    lonelyfarmgirl Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    6,437
    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2005
    Location:
    Hoosier transplant to cheese country
    update..so far sammy seems ok. he still hasn't put on as much weight as I would like, allthough I let him out of his cage yesterday, and he attacked my great dane..good sign! I finally was able to find some timothy hay. Someone gave me the phone number of some mennonite guy and I called him becasue he sells DE. Well, after driving out there to get it, it was far, I asked him did he know anyone with timothy hay, and he drove me down the road to a guy who had about a thousand bales. I bought a van load at 3$ a bale, and he said he would save me 10 or 15 more for later. So I am also going to give sam some DE. maybe he picked up some intestinal worms in the process. Well see what happens.
     
  14. MaggieJ

    MaggieJ Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    11,280
    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2006
    Location:
    Prince Edward County, Ontario, Canada
    Glad to hear he's doing a bit better. It may take awhile for him to regain his old weight, but as long as he's moving in the right direction... Give him an extra scritch behind the ear for me.
     
  15. lonelyfarmgirl

    lonelyfarmgirl Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    6,437
    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2005
    Location:
    Hoosier transplant to cheese country
    thanks! by the way, he's a blue merle mini lop with white stripes on his feet.
     
  16. MaggieJ

    MaggieJ Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    11,280
    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2006
    Location:
    Prince Edward County, Ontario, Canada
    Sounds beautiful... and well worth coddling a bit!
     
  17. lonelyfarmgirl

    lonelyfarmgirl Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    6,437
    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2005
    Location:
    Hoosier transplant to cheese country
    well, I suppose an update on old sammy is about due. I ve been giving him DE every other day, plus pellets, timothy hay and oats.

    anyway, sammys coat still looks pretty bad, but he has put on noticeable weight. still not where he was, but clearly improving. I think he possibly picked up a parasite when he got sick to begin with. One weird thing though, he drinks more water than any rabbit Ive ever seen..probably 25 ounces a day or more. I guess thats good though, water flushes the system right?

    We probably will never put him back out with the herd. once a house rabbit, always a house rabbit I guess. once he's better, Ill see if I can get a photo on here.
     
  18. MaggieJ

    MaggieJ Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    11,280
    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2006
    Location:
    Prince Edward County, Ontario, Canada
    Lonelyfarmgirl, when I read your last post and you mentioned yet again Sammy's ecxcessive thirst, I immediately wondered if rabbits can get diabetes. So I Googled "diabetic rabbits" and found out that they can get it, although it is relatively uncommon.

    Then I Googled "rabbits excessive thirst" and found lots of stuff that I don't have time to read. I'm including the link below because there seemed to be good info there on rabbit urinary problems. It is a very irritating site because there are ads all over the place, but once you realize you have to just skip by them there seemed to be good information. Most of it relating to excessive thirst is on the second of the three pages.

    http://www.petplace.com/small-mammals/urinary-disorders-in-rabbits/page1.aspx

    Hope you find this helpful. I've bookmarked it for myself... there is tons of info there on a wide variety of animal health topics.
     
  19. lonelyfarmgirl

    lonelyfarmgirl Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    6,437
    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2005
    Location:
    Hoosier transplant to cheese country
    very interesting website! thanks! I dont know how much you read, but it said,
    wait-the only symptom he exhibits out of the list is excessive thirst, although I am going to observe his urine and see how it is. He eats alot, and is very active, as he gets time out of his cage every day.
    ok- it is stuff about excess calcium from eating commercial pellets. this makes alot of sense to me, because before I put him in the ground pen, he stayed in a hutch on the porch. He got pellets, but the neighboor stuffed him silly on a daily basis with an incredible variety of veges. he got veges in the ground pen, but not as many, much more pellets. maybe since he was eating such a vege loaded diet, when he suddenly had to start eating lots more pellets, maybe he had a calcium overload, which brought on infection, and caused massive weight loss. I will reduce the pellets to very little, and increase the timothy and start giving him roots and greens again, now that diareah is no longer an issue..slowly of course. I'll see where it goes.
     
  20. MaggieJ

    MaggieJ Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    11,280
    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2006
    Location:
    Prince Edward County, Ontario, Canada
    I didn't read much of it this morning... just no time! Quite possibly does not even apply to Sammy's situation, but I did think I should bring it to your attention, just in case. It looked like a good site to check out next time I have insomnia. I'll either learn a lot or fall asleep... and that's a good deal either way!