Etta came home this evening, and she’s doing mostly better. The vet said they don’t know specifically what caused her stasis, and that they don’t know in about 50% of cases. They did get her to start eating some hay on her own, and they sent her home with a package of Critical Care. I’m supposed to hand feed her until she’s eating/pooping normally. I also have to give her a medicine called Trimebutine to keep her gut moving. The good news is, I’ll have plenty of critical care leftover in case this ever happens again.
Archive for 'Rabbit Care'
Etta is in the bunny hospital right now. She has a case of GI stasis. They did blood work and nothing is wrong with her kidneys or liver, and her teeth are fine. But her belly is distended, and there is a lot of gas in it. For whatever reason, she just decided not to eat or drink yesterday. She’s dehydrated, so they’re doing sub-q fluids and trying to hand feed her. I think she’ll have to spend the night at the vet tonight. Gus has been pretty mopey without her, so hopefully I can go pick her up in the morning.
I just saw this cool post on The Rabbit House about why hay is good for bunny teeth.
Like the sandpaper, the reason grass is good for wearing teeth is how rough the surface is, not how hard it is.
The pictures are really interesting, I never knew hay was that rough.
This hasn’t been the best weekend for Gus and me. I woke up yesterday with a terrible sinus headache, then later in the day Gus started acting ill, too. He was fine in the morning when I fed him his pellets. Then in the afternoon I cleaned his litter box and he still seemed to be doing pretty well. Then I let him out for play time in the evening and he wasn’t acting quite as playful. He’s normally a very lazy bun, so I didn’t think too much of it. When I put him back in his cage for dinner and bed time he refused to eat anything. He wouldn’t even take a treat (piece of dried banana). He loves food, especially fruit, so I knew something wasn’t right. I decided to leave him alone over night to see if he would feel better by morning. This morning I got up and checked on him right away, and he still hadn’t eaten anything, and there was nothing in his litter box. I blended up some pellets with water to make a mush which he seemed somewhat interested in. He licked up a little bit of it, and I put some on my fingers and he licked that up, too, but wouldn’t eat a decent amount of it. It must have been enough to perk him up though. Over the course of the next 2 hours or so he drank some water on his own, ate a little bit of hay, and played with his crumpled paper & cardboard. Finally he ate some more hay and used the litter box. He’s now eating some more pellets & hay on his own. I think the problems are behind us now, he seems much happier already, but he scared me pretty good! I’m going to keep a close eye on him and hopefully avoid a vet visit.
Yep, that’s right. The doctor says I’m allergic to my bunny. The good news is, I don’t have to give him up. It’s not a bad enough allergy that it’s affecting me too much. He says I need to wear a mask and gloves while cleaning the cage and wash my hands after petting him. I can do that! And it’s not just Gus that I’m allergic to, there are lots of other things, so that makes me feel a little better. He also put me on Flonase and told me to use a neti pot every day in the shower. We’ll see how this goes!
I took Gus to have his first vet check up today. I originally called them to schedule a nail trimming, but they said they like to do a yearly exam first. She looked at his teeth, down his ears, felt his body, checked his “under the tail” area, and trimmed his nails. He was very a good little boy, sat on the counter nicely, and only squirmed a couple times during the trimming – a well behaved bunny. She said he looks great, and to keep doing what I’m doing. It was so much quicker and easier for them to trim his nails than for me to attempt it, so I’ll be taking him back in 6 or 7 weeks to do it again. I also think it’s a good idea to get him used to the vet’s office while he’s healthy so that if any health issues come up he’s comfortable going there.
I keep hearing this question from friends and family when I tell them I’ve adopted a house rabbit: Don’t rabbits smell bad?!? Or they tell me stories about a friend of a friend who had a rabbit that reeked. The short answer to the question is: NO! Rabbits do not smell bad. Any animal (humans included) can smell bad if they aren’t properly cared for. Even my husband, who isn’t crazy about animals or pets, says that my rabbit does not smell bad. That’s a pretty huge endorsement.
Here’s why Gus, and other house rabbits, don’t smell. First, he’s neutered. He doesn’t feel the need to mark his territory. Second, he uses his litter box very well. It’s not hard to litter train a rabbit. If you put their hay into the litter box, they will naturally use it. Gus uses his litter box 95% of the time. The other 5% are accidents if he gets too far away from the box and can’t make it back in time. I clean these messes up immediately. I didn’t have to do any other work to make him litter trained other than put the hay into the box. Lastly, he eats a high quality diet. He has a bowl of fresh leafy green vegetables every night, Oxbow pellets in the morning, and unlimited access to timothy hay during the day. He only gets a couple bits of carrots, bananas, etc. as a treats once per day. It makes sense, what goes in, must come out – if you feed a rabbit junk, it will come out smelling bad.
So yes, if you do not take care of your bunny, he will smell bad, just as any pet. But with some proper care, good food, and an absorbent litter, there should be absolutely no smell.
I’ve been learning a lot about pet rabbit care in preparation of bringing home my new little bunny. Rabbit food is one of the more complicated topics when it comes to rabbit care. Rabbits’ digestive systems are very sensitive so you need to be careful about what types of food you provide. It can be broken down into 3 separate categories.
1. Hay – Hay is the most important part of a rabbit’s diet. Make sure it’s fresh and not moldy or stale. A good brand to look for is Oxbow. Timothy and orchard grass are 2 good types of hay to feed. Alfalfa should normally only be given to very young rabbits. Hay should be available to your rabbit at all times.
2. Vegetables – A variety of fresh vegetables is necessary for a healthy rabbit. Here is a link to a long, great list of veggies for your bunny: http://binkybunny.com/Default.aspx?tabid=144 For a 6lb. bunny, you should provide 2 cups of veggies daily. You can adjust the amount based on the weight of your rabbit.
3. Pellets – Rabbit pellets are the last on the list because they need to be fed in moderation. You only need to feed 1/4 – 1/2 cup of pellets per 6lb. rabbit. Try to find one that is timothy based. Again, Oxbow is a great brand to look for.
Finally, make sure you aren’t feeding things like bread, cereal, meat, candy, etc. Bunnies don’t need and should never be given these types of food. Rabbits are perfectly happy eating their strict diet, and can become very sick if they eat junk food.