Sunday, December 18, 2016
So you want to get a rabbit 7 - A Baby Rabbit Diarrhea Emergency
I love weekend nights. With no work obligation, I can typically stay up the whole night to play with and care for my rabbits. I was a little tired last night though coming from a company year-end party and so I was only able to check on my baby Ethan once last night at around 2 AM. He was fine. No outward signs of a problem. The poop was not golden brown, but it was within the realm of normal.
I stayed with the girls’ room for the rest of the night (Ethan, being new, is still in isolation). When I was jolted awake by my body clock, it was past 6 AM. Naturally my first instinct was to check on Ethan.
I was shocked at the sight. He was sleeping bent (not unusual for a rabbit, but it was for him). I also saw splotches of wet poop throughout his cage. I knew there was trouble. When I tried carryng him, he had some convulsive actions but couldn’t stand.
I woke Jean up and told her to run and prepare the glucose solution. Within minutes, I held him in a trance position (I wouldn’t do this if it weren’t an emergency). For the next 2 hours it seems, I kept trying to force feed him the glucose solution using a dropper but he hardly responded with a throat motion (i.e. didn’t seem like he was swalowing). During that whole time, his breathing seemed really shallow and was not moving. At some point, his head started shaking (like saying no) which seemed like a convulsive reaction too. I just kept hoping.
Jean also prepared an Oxbow critical care bowl, but first he needed to respond to the glucose. After a a while, I lay him down on my lap (with mats of course so he won’t fall). I offered him a pellet. Ever so slowly, he finally moved and tried to get it. The next few minutes would be more hopeful as he kept responding to pellets. I spooned some critical care to him, but he would only take a few. In the next half hour, I would give him a pellet every few minutes until he could stand on his own.
After he did stand, he stayed on a pooping position (yeah you know what this looks like) for over an hour and must have pooped over a dozen nuggets. Jean and I had breakfast separately so that he’ll have company. Throughout that time, he stayed in place and was pooping. The output? Wet, but formed.
At that point, I figured the worst was over (at least for the day). He’s still here beside me. It was harrowing experience even though we’ve been through that several times with Lily over the year.
If you’ve not read my prior posts, let me just say that I’m already extremely careful with my rabbits’ diet. Still, things like this happen. It’s very important to check on your rabbits (especially babies) at least every few hours. In my case, in 4 short hours, my rabbit got sick and was no longer able to stand on his own. We were fortunate this time around.
I am also taking a risk and just straight shifting him from Oxbow Timothy to Choppy Timothy. Yes, his poop was nice with Oxbow but he’s also been very picky. And so it almost looks like he’s lost weight since I got him. Choppy seems to be more palatable to rabbits. It’s a risk because it’s a change in diet, but then again it’s Timothy to Timothy. If this gets him stronger faster, then maybe it’s worth the risk. The adventure continues...