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Please help - very sick rabbit :(

(24 Posts)
Pandoraphile Mon 06-Nov-17 12:11:11

Out of the blue our two pet rabbits (brothers) became very ill yesterday. Eyes matted up, sneezing and coughing and not touching food or water.

We took them straight down to the emergency vet and they were given abs and some meds to help their stomachs. I was syringe feeding them and they were inside in a large box with hay (normally outdoor rabbits) but sadly one passed away this morning. He was definitely the weaker one.

I took the other rabbit straight to our own vet this morning and he's definitely stronger. He was hopping around and eating this morning but not so much now. He's had all required meds, been syringe fed and had his eyes bathed. He's in a new indoor cage with bedding and his own food bowl. He's in the kitchen so he'll stay warm and I've covered his cage with a towel to keep it a bit darker.

I'm so desperate to save this little guy sad Does anyone have any tips for nursing a sick rabbit back to health??

MsMims Mon 06-Nov-17 12:15:56

Have the Vets you’ve been to been rabbit savvy? They’re actually classed as exotic pets and need specialist care. Have you been given drugs to stimulate their guts? It’s so, so important that you keep up with the syringe feeds every couple of hours until he’s eating independently. Also which antibiotics do you have and has a culture been sent off to check for the type of infection?

Nasreen Mon 06-Nov-17 13:16:26

Agree with MsMims; a rabbit savvy vet is definitely required when it comes to ailments. Persevere with the syringe feeding every couple of hours if you can, it is vital they keep eating and their gut is stimulated. How are his droppings? What is the ailment, any idea?
Keep a close eye, if he won't take the syringe try hand feeding strands of hay or single pellets out of your hand. I had to do this after my bun was neutered and he wouldn't eat.

Fingers crossed for your rabbit.

Pandoraphile Mon 06-Nov-17 14:01:12

Thank you. Yes, they've seen two different vets and both of them explained about the gut issues. They've taken a swab of his eyes too. He's fighting when I initially start to feed him but then calms down.

I just don't know what more I can do for him.

Is quiet and dark good??

Pandoraphile Mon 06-Nov-17 14:02:10

There were some droppings in the cage this morning but none since. I am syringe feeding every couple of hours.

Nasreen Mon 06-Nov-17 14:12:54

Yes I expect he needs to be kept quiet and warm. Is he moving at all? It's a tough one with rabbits, but you are doing all you can, that is the main thing. Hopefully this one is stronger and will pull through. Did you get them vaccinated for Myxomatosis and VHD1 and VHD2?

Pandoraphile Mon 06-Nov-17 16:19:06

Yes they're all up to date with their vaccs.

He's cleaning himself a lot but other than that he's hopped around a bit but not much. I think the key is going to be to get him eating.

I'm doing the school run now and terrified he will have gone by the time I get home sad

Nasreen Mon 06-Nov-17 17:07:55

How is bun Pandoraphile?

Pandoraphile Mon 06-Nov-17 19:25:48

He's hanging in there. He's had all night time meds, we've syringe fed him and also syringe watered him. His poor eyes are still mostly closed but they've been bathed and he's had his eye drops. He's hopping around a bit, usually when someone comes near the cage, but not much. Oh and he did one poo! Not great but better than nothing.

Thanks for asking smile

Nasreen Mon 06-Nov-17 19:59:59

Oh bless him..
Really hope he gets better soon, can imagine it's a worry for you. Will you syringe his food during the night too, do you think? Rabbits are not easy to nurse are they smile

Pandoraphile Mon 06-Nov-17 20:37:30

I'm cautiously optimistic. My dd has come home from boarding school for the night to look after him (he's hers and she's desperately upset) and together we removed and counted his poos! There were loads, I hadn't realised. He's a bit more active too. And his breathing is better. Anyway, I'm getting ahead of myself.....

Now we're doing something for his brother and finding a box to bury him in. It's so very sad 😞

But thank you for thinking of him - it does help. I'm hoping if he makes it through the night then he'll be more stable. Dd is planning on a mattress and sleeping bag in the kitchen so she can syringe him through the night.

Nasreen Mon 06-Nov-17 21:00:18

I am feeling optimistic alongside you then....
Love how you are all taking care of him and looking good on the poo front at least! smile

Small steps...

Keep us posted and lets hope for stable night.

FernieB Tue 07-Nov-17 09:58:03

Really hope he’s better this morning. Keeping an eye on the poo is the best thing as it really tells you what’s going on with them. Offer him all his favourite foods, he may just fancy a nibble of something. Getting them eating again is tough, but once they start they usually don’t look back! Keep on with the syringe feeding, little and often is best. Good luck.

Nasreen Tue 07-Nov-17 11:34:51

How is bun today? Any improvement?

Pandoraphile Tue 07-Nov-17 14:45:13

We fed him overnight and counted 14 poos.

Physically he is definitely improving. But he's definitely depressed. Not eating or drinking. We've had him out of his cage cuddling him for ages.

Pandoraphile Tue 07-Nov-17 14:48:34

I honestly think we've done everything we can to help him and now it's up to him if he wants to live or die.

I called the vet earlier and they said there wasn't much we could do, but they recommended that we put the dead rabbit back into the cage for an hour or two so he stops waiting for him to come back. So we did..... just waiting now.....

Nasreen Tue 07-Nov-17 14:59:28

I wonder if he is grieving for his brother, poor little thing sad
Not nice for you to have to handle the dead rabbit either?
If he does make it, maybe look at the rescue centres to see if there is another rabbit he could be bonded with?

Pandoraphile Tue 07-Nov-17 22:15:41

Well I don't know what - but something has worked! He's been cuddled for hours and syringe fed today. Then we put the dead rabbit back in for a couple of hours and he lay down with it, licked it, lay across him at one point and hopped around it.

Just this evening he nibbled at a carrot and now he's eating from his food bowl! Hallelujah! I'm keeping my fingers firmly crossed that this is it...

EastMidsGPs Wed 08-Nov-17 14:40:32

Great news ... come on little 🐇you can do this and be well 🍀

Nasreen Wed 08-Nov-17 16:05:04

Yay sounds promising!! How has he been today ?

Pandoraphile Wed 08-Nov-17 18:20:50

Not so great sad I really, really hoped he'd turned a corner last night but this morning he was all hunched up and miserable again. We've been to the vet for his check up and he's recovering well physically, but not mentally. So we'll just keep keeping on......

EastMidsGPs Wed 08-Nov-17 20:50:04

EastMidsGPs paws crossed

pinkhousesarebest Wed 08-Nov-17 20:56:16

Hoping for good news. Love rabbits.

FernieB Thu 09-Nov-17 09:57:04

Keep at it with him. My 6 year old boy was ill earlier this year and needed a dental op. He was off his food about a week before the op and took a good couple of weeks to recover. I thought he’d given up - he wasn’t eating and was on critical care for the full 3 weeks. So, just be patient and hopefully he’ll come through.

I just kept cuddling him, keeping him warm and trying him with different foods. In the end I tried him with an alternative brand of nuggets (a more herbally smelling one) and he took to it. I was always reluctant to change his food as rabbits tums are very sensitive but I was desperate.

Really hope he turns a corner soon. Poor boy has been through a lot recently, no wonder he’s a bit down.

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