Posted by: sarah | 2005/06/13

Mysterious Bunny Sickness


My bunny is sick and we have taken her to the vet many times and $800 later we still do not know whats wrong. We took her to Animal Kingdom where I have been told by numerous people was very reputable.
Our bunny is almost a year old. She was fixed at six months. For awhile now she's been getting sick - the vet says it's gutstasis. She bunches up and her back end goes up and down and she'll let out a little grunt and sometimes she pees and sometimes she poops. It's almost as if she's constipated but I can't figure out the peeing part. (she was pottie trained but now she goes both pee and poop wherever she wants. They say to put her litter boxes in the area she pees and poops in her cage - but she goes everywhere - there is no certain area.) Her poops will get either really big or small and have I noticed the last time there was mucus around them. I took her to the vet this last time and they said she's lost 1.5lb since Feb. They had to syringe feed her because she didn't want to eat. They did blood test because the vet thought maybe the weight loss was caused by some liver disease etc. Well the blood tests came back fine and we are left with no answers and a bunny who the last week has been acting very depressed. I can tell that something is not right. My mom had made a comment that her eyes were really goopy and that it's probably from her sitting on the air conditioning vent. She loves to lay on it when the airs on. Then I thought maybe that's causing a problem but I have no idea. I can just sense something is not right. She is so boney I can feel her ribs. She gets plenty to eat but she detests hay. I've tried Timothy, Bermuda and Oat.
I have no idea what to do. I am very lost and upset about this situation. I'm a college student and can not afford to put out more money. I was hoping that maybe you would have some insight as to what could be wrong. She's like a child to me - I don't want anything to happen to her. Your thoughts and suggestions would be much appreciated!

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberVet

Dear Sarah

Unfortunately it is very difficult for me to even guess at what is wrong with your bunny on the information supplied. The weight loss would definitely worry me - have her teeth been checked? Straining to urinate and defecate could indicate an intestinal problem or possibly bladder stones (an x-ray could help here) or a pelvic problem, for starters. Have her feces been tested for parasites? I suggest you either talk to your vet again and try to find out exactly what they have ruled out and what the next step would be, or try to find a dedicated rabbit vet if your current vet is not fully au fait with the species. The houserabbit society has a good website (google the name) for further information.

Good luck
Dr Willemien van Wyk
Bird and exotic animal veterinarian

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