Milo the rabbit and his gut stasis problem
Milo is a little bunny who sometimes has trouble with his intestinal system. He is prone to a disease in rabbits called Gut Stasis. This means that he stops eating and pooing and his intestines stop moving as they should. This is very serious in a rabbit as they need to be constantly eating and defecating to keep their intestines moving. If they stop it can be fatal. Unfortunately in some cases it is too late to save them by the time the rabbits are brought to the clinic, so early recognition and prompt treatment are very important.
Luckily for Milo his Mum knows the signs to watch for so when she got up and he didn't run to greet her as normal, she knew something was up. She checked him carefully and noticed that he hadn't eaten or defecated all morning. She quickly made an appointment and brought him to the veterinary clinic. When he presented to the clinic his gut was not making its normal sounds and he was showing signs of gut stasis.
He was promptly treated with intravenous fluids, pain relief and an intestinal motility stimulant. He was also sent home with some Oxbow recovery food for his mum to syringe into him. Luckily this wasn't needed as Milo started eating almost straight away after the medication and the pooing followed not long after!
There are a number of things that can predispose rabbits to gut stasis. One of the most common is a diet that does not contain enough fibre. It is very important for rabbits to eat lots of good quality grass hay to promote good gut function and reduce the incidence of dental disease. Rabbits like all of us also need to get lots of exercise to prevent obesity and help with intestinal motility.