Wednesday, October 25, 2017


Rabbit hydration can save your rabbit's life.   In fact I would argue that urgent rehydration has saved my rabbits' lives multiple times.
Here's my story.  Take note of the time stamps.  At 9 PM, my rabbits water bowls are usually replaced.  Lily was still her typical self throughout the night (running & playing).  As I left for the office at around 5 AM, I noticed that her water bowl still seemed rather full.  I replaced her water and left.  Stupid me, I didn't think much of it because I've been very worried about Daisy and her hay intake and took for granted that I may have two sick bunnies at the same time. 
In the middle of meetings, I would typically send SMS to my sister as she normally watches over the bunnies in our absence.  I kept asking about Daisy as I normally do.  At about 3 PM, she told me that she noticed Lily wasn't eating or drinking.  Holy crap -- it suddenly dawned upon me that it may have started from the past night.  That's 18 hours! 
Naturally, I drove home with my wife (I always drive in rabbit emergency situations) and naturally employed my public utility driver ethics on the road.  This was a very urgent situation.  Our vet was in VIP Mandaluyong only until 6 PM (QC to Mandaluyong can be as brutal as 2 hours if you're lucky).   Given those constraints, we didn't have time to observe Lily at all.  I had my sister prepare her stuff so that we can leave right away.  
#Lily_SaveRabbitsPHSo let's pause a bit.  By this time I already knew that she will need 100 CC of fluids.  Whatever the diagnosis may be, I knew that she will need rehydration.  So why not oral rehydration at home?  It will be nearly impossible for a rabbit that doesn't want to eat or drink to be force fed that much.   SubQ was a lot more efficient and fast acting.  
In the car, Lily was already lethargic.  The behavior persisted even when we got to the vet (yes, we made it with time to spare).  So this is where understanding your rabbit's normal behavior comes in handy.  Lily hates being in the vet, especially with dogs.  She thumps and thumps when there are barking dogs.  That time, she was just quiet and not active.  
So while there, she was given 100 CC of a Sodium Chloride solution (.9% I think) along with Baytril (prescribed following a fecal exam), B Complex and a pain killer.  Once that was done, I had the confidence that she would be okay.  
Upon getting home, she started eating small bits of kamote leaves soaked in drinking water.  Within the hour, she pooped some really small dehydrated fecal pellets and peed dark colored urine -- both clear signs of major dehydration.  But she recovered.  By the following morning, she was back to producing giant poops.  
On the side, she was prescribed Baytril and so I'll keep giving that for a couple of days.  I'll also observe and give gut motility as needed.  I was also prescribed pain meds, but did not give that anymore since she regained her appetite right away (key point -- if rabbits are not eating, they are most probably in pain).  
So let me end this with another reflection.  This was a happy ending.  I would reckon, however, that if she did not receive the hydration at that point, things could have easily gone really bad.  Not eating will induce GI.  No drinking will compact the contents of the tummy and make pooping even harder.  Without the first aid, that story would've been over in a day (bad ending).  
For rabbit owners, if your rabbit has the not eating & drinking symptoms, don't hesitate.  You need a rabbit vet immediately or your rabbit can die.  You're not counting days.  You're counting hours. 
In succeeding posts, I'll talk a little more about hydration. I've had a good number of episodes related to this.  Until then, please keep your bunnies hydrated.   


Post a Comment

No spamming please. ;-)

Related Posts with Thumbnails