Help with a friends bunny please u/d 03/10

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Help with a friends bunny please u/d 03/10

Post by Thumper2001 on Mon Sep 23, 2013 4:59 pm

Hey guys, sorry I've not been around, I've been feeling rubbish.

I was hoping uz might be able to help me out with a friends bun. His situation is becoming a bit of a mystery. It's a long story but if you have time to have a read and let me know if you have any thoughts, myself and his owner would be very grateful!

7 year old buck, normally full of go and eating a well balanced, high fibre diet. A house rabbit. He began to show a difference in behaviour and appetite during the weeks at the end of May beginning of June. These changes were very subtle and were easily attributed to things like the hot weather or his moult.  
First he showed a lack of interest in his nuggies, leaving half of his daily allowance. He seemed okay otherwise but by early July he was spending just a little longer in his bed and picking at his food.... but only on occasion. He had the odd day when these symptoms were noticed and so it was still put down to the weather and his prolonged moult.

Then on the 2nd August he suddenly wanted no food, didn't drink and was passing string-of-pearls poo.
He was at the vets on the 3rd. He was given Baytril and put on Fibreplex. His vet diagnosed hair in his gut from moulting and felt the Baytril and Fibreplex would give him the help needed to increase his appetite and that plenty of hay and water would clear it.

At home he was a different rabbit, eating well and lively. This went on for two days but gradually after seven days he had slipped back to having no interest in food and having to be coaxed to eat. A vet appointment was made then at the twelfth hour he was himself again, playing and eating. The vet was cancelled as it was deemed catching him and the visit would do more harm than good because of the stress. But after thirty-six hours he was at the vet (12th Aug) as he was not eating again and he was given Zantac and Colvasone. He was losing weight fast. The vet felt a dental op was needed and he was booked in for the op, plus an X-ray on the 17th August.

He had the dental and the X-ray was taken to see the condition of his gut. He had a Zantac injection and a Metacm injection and was sent home where he went straight for his food dish.
The next day he wasn't so bright but a phone call to the vet reassured he would be okay and the dental problem appeared to have been the cause of his troubles. But after a few days he was back at the vet as a definite pattern had developed in his behaviour and eating. He was having a good day where he would seek out his food, though not eating enough and avoiding his nuggies and hay but eating grass and clover and dandelions picked wild. It was a case of good day/bad day and he was back at the vet on Thursday 5th  September. He was checked for fleas as they would account for the grooming. No fleas. A shot of Metacam was given but it was doubtful if it worked as he didn't show any change until the morning of Monday 9th when he was again his old self, interested in things and seeking out his own food. But one thing was evident, he was grooming excessively, on his back, sides, nether regions even his feet and legs. This grooming had been thought to be natural in moult but had suddenly escalated into an obsession. A phone conversation with the first vet he had seen resulted in owner and vet agreeing this behaviour could be pain related and it was agreed to try the rabbit on a two week course of Metacam to see if there was a positive response and enable them to get the rabbit into a healthier state before making further checks.

His owner took him back to the vet for a shot of Metacam as agreed (and something to maybe help boost his appetite) on the 12th September but saw a third vet who instead of giving the Metacam diagnosed a hair ball, and pointed out on the X-ray, taken at the time of his dental, the full stomach, which she felt was not to be expected in a rabbit with eating problems. His owner saw the X-ray too and noted there was no solid white masses in the intestine to show gas which they believe go with hair balls.

He was kept in for two nights; another X-ray was taken and he was started on a course of pineapple juice and laxative.

His owner suffered an injury at this time and was unable to syringe the rabbit when it was due home on the 14th, so he was kept until the 18th when the owner was told he would need to be syringed pineapple juice indefinitely, for weeks or months, no time limit was given. It was said he was active and eating and pooing.

But at home though he ate well and pooped well (the poops were small-ISH and hard), it was noted that he was still grooming excessively. It seemed like he was more itching/nibbling himself than grooming and it was being carried out at intervals. He would eat or hop around investigating, or rest- but at a moments notice he would stop and start intensive grooming. The fur on his back was noticeably thin, not as when he was taken to the vets.

Any thoughts guys? Hair ball, arthritis, mites, other?

What IS as clear as day is, he's ok when under the influence of metacam, so he's feeling something!

Thank you Smile


Last edited by Thumper2001 on Thu Oct 03, 2013 10:10 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Re: Help with a friends bunny please u/d 03/10

Post by Sparky on Mon Sep 23, 2013 5:27 pm

I'm going to mull it over a bit more and come back, but my first thoughts are:

You've mentioned him being given shots of Metacam but not whether he has had daily Metacam at home for any length of time. I'm thinking pain / discomfort - possibly a touch of arthritis creeping in, given his age.

I'd want to try him on Metacam for a prolonged period, at an effective dose, with a daily diary of his behaviour.




ETA - hope you feel better soon too Hugs Hugs Hugs 
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Re: Help with a friends bunny please u/d 03/10

Post by gentl on Tue Sep 24, 2013 5:08 am

Several things come to mind:

#1 Poor little angel is in pain.  I would suspect arthritis or chronic GI pain

#2  Poor little angel is miserable because of itching from allergy.  Has she used any new cleaner?  clothes detergent or fabric softener?  He's a house rabbit but does he go out?  Possible contact with fertilizer or insecticide?  Even if these things are 'bunny safe' they can still be allergic.  This has been an odd year weather-wise worldwide and pollen and mold levels have been off the charts at times and varieties of these have been greater.(Here in OK USA we've gotten red mountain cedar pollen from the mountains in Mexico over 1000miles away!) I've heard of an owner's perfume doing this!
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Re: Help with a friends bunny please u/d 03/10

Post by cheryl'n'bruce'flo on Tue Sep 24, 2013 8:14 am

I agree about the metacam. I would be wanting a continual course of a high dose for a long period of time to allow any injury to heal - I am thinking 6 months or so if it is a slight spinal injury or muscle issues. What is important in these cases is to get the bun moving as this will help to stave off arthritis. At 7 he may well have arthritis, but you would expect this to show in the xray. He could try some glucosamine. I have been trying Bruce on the Oxbow joint supplement and he loves it.

It could be mites, I understand they aren't pleasant for buns, but then again the fur loss could be from the over grooming. If he is targeting a specific area then it makes sense that is the source of the pain.

I think my best suggestion (apart from the metacam which I think it a bit of a no brainer whilst he is undiagnosed) it to get the vets to contact the specialists. If he is a rwaf member the vets can contact Richard Saunders. When my vet contacted the specialists JC was the fastest responder. Obviously other points of contact are Molly Vargas, FHB, the Royal **** Vets (which won't make it through the swear filter).


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Re: Help with a friends bunny please u/d 03/10

Post by Tuckerbunnies on Tue Sep 24, 2013 8:35 am

This sounds to me what with the build up of gas like a blockage. I wonder if they took his blood sugar levels as that tells you so much more but it does sound like a blockage and he will be in great pain if he has gas and will need a strong painkiller injection.

If he did have arthritis they would have seen that when they did an x-ray surely scratch 

Sometimes the over-grooming can be a sign of pain, I noticed Simon never stopped grooming when he was poorly and he had a blockage , they seem to groom endlessly to take their mind off the pain.

I hope the poor rabbit get's something sorted Bless him.

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Re: Help with a friends bunny please u/d 03/10

Post by Thumper2001 on Tue Sep 24, 2013 5:21 pm

Thanks for all the input guys, much appreciated. I will ensure it ALL gets back to his owner Smile

Sparky/Cheryl I think a longer term course of metacam *might* be what they are doing now, I would need to double check tho, my brain is mush Laughing



(Thank you also for the well wishes Sparky, I think its a bullet I'm needing Laughing)
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Re: Help with a friends bunny please u/d 03/10

Post by jolovesbunnies on Tue Sep 24, 2013 5:39 pm

Get well soon little chum.

Hugs

Jo xx

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Re: Help with a friends bunny please u/d 03/10

Post by Thumper2001 on Fri Sep 27, 2013 10:45 pm

Just a little update!

The little guy is on daily metacam now and the wheels are in motion re a referral to Richard Saunders. It's just taking a little longer than his owner would have hoped Hmmm
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Re: Help with a friends bunny please u/d 03/10

Post by cheryl'n'bruce'flo on Fri Sep 27, 2013 11:01 pm

Richard Saunders seems to take a little while to respond, but then again I suspect he is a busy man.


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Re: Help with a friends bunny please u/d 03/10

Post by Thumper2001 on Fri Sep 27, 2013 11:16 pm

Sorry for being unclear, I think it's their own vet that's holding things up!
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Re: Help with a friends bunny please u/d 03/10

Post by cheryl'n'bruce'flo on Sat Sep 28, 2013 8:58 am

Is there any other vet in the area that they can use?


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Re: Help with a friends bunny please u/d 03/10

Post by NickieM on Sat Sep 28, 2013 12:09 pm

What a worry for her.  That sounds awful.  

I think it does sound like he is in pain of some sort and with being 7, it could be arthritis.  I hope that they find out what the problem is and can make him feel happier.  Hugs

PS, Hope you're feeling better soon as well.  The first few weeks of pregnancy are sometimes pretty horrible.  Hugs


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Re: Help with a friends bunny please u/d 03/10

Post by Thumper2001 on Sun Sep 29, 2013 7:59 pm

cheryl'n'bruce'flo wrote:Is there any other vet in the area that they can use?
She's worried that if she changes vets now, it will be contradictory to the referral she's waiting for more info on. I can understand that.
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Re: Help with a friends bunny please u/d 03/10

Post by Thumper2001 on Sun Sep 29, 2013 8:02 pm

NickieM wrote:What a worry for her.  That sounds awful.  

I think it does sound like he is in pain of some sort and with being 7, it could be arthritis.  I hope that they find out what the problem is and can make him feel happier.  Hugs

PS, Hope you're feeling better soon as well.  The first few weeks of pregnancy are sometimes pretty horrible.  Hugs
It is a worry Sad He's so up and down and yet nobody has any firm answers.

Thanks for the well wishes Smile 19 weeks now and seeing no light at the end of the tunnel yet Laughing
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Re: Help with a friends bunny please u/d 03/10

Post by Thumper2001 on Sun Sep 29, 2013 8:09 pm

I have a question re the metacam dose he's having and I know some of you guys are well experienced with it Very Happy

He weights 1.8kg and is currently having 0.3ml. (I assume this is per day, I'm clueless Embarassed) He's slipped back again and his owner therefore wants to up the dose and see if it helps. Would doubling it to 0.6ml be ok for him?

If yes, when can this be upped? He had his 0.3ml at 2pm today and if it's safe to up it she would like to do it ASAP so she can report her findings to the vet at 8:30am tomorrow? Can she give another 0.3ml now or some point tonight?

Thanks as always Smile
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Re: Help with a friends bunny please u/d 03/10

Post by Blackberry on Sun Sep 29, 2013 8:33 pm

Is it dog metacam?

LJ is approx 2kg and was prescribed 1ml twice a day. The Boys are approx 1.5kg and get, from memory about 0.8ml twice a day.
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Re: Help with a friends bunny please u/d 03/10

Post by Thumper2001 on Sun Sep 29, 2013 8:45 pm

Oh, I don't actually know!!

Thank you for info Smile
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Re: Help with a friends bunny please u/d 03/10

Post by Blackberry on Sun Sep 29, 2013 8:56 pm

Dog metacam is approx 3x stronger than cat metacam, so less to get into a bunny, which makes life easier Smile

I should imagine your friend has dog metacam.

If the last 0.3ml dose was earlier this afternoon it should, in theory, be ok to give another small dose now.

Is it possible to phone her vet and check if it's ok? Our vet has it's own 24 hour hospital, so we can phone for advice anytime, but I know it's harder with out of hours coverage from a different vet.
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Re: Help with a friends bunny please u/d 03/10

Post by Thumper2001 on Sun Sep 29, 2013 9:02 pm

Blackberry wrote:Dog metacam is approx 3x stronger than cat metacam, so less to get into a bunny, which makes life easier Smile

I should imagine your friend has dog metacam.

If the last 0.3ml dose was earlier this afternoon it should, in theory, be ok to give another small dose now.

Is it possible to phone her vet and check if it's ok? Our vet has it's own 24 hour hospital, so we can phone for advice anytime, but I know it's harder with out of hours coverage from a different vet.
I have checked and it is dog metacam Smile

Thank you for your thoughts, it will all reach his owner Smile
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Re: Help with a friends bunny please u/d 03/10

Post by cheryl'n'bruce'flo on Sun Sep 29, 2013 9:27 pm

The easy way to work it out is that buns can have 5x the dose per kg than dogs. So when Flo's feet were bad as a 2kg bun she had a 10kg dose going by the syringe that comes in the box and fits the bottle snugly and maximises the meds you get for your money. Some vets will advise that this can be given twice daily, but my vet has never signed up to this. When Flo has been really bad we settled on a dose of 7kg twice daily as a compromise.


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Re: Help with a friends bunny please u/d 03/10

Post by KatieB on Mon Sep 30, 2013 7:00 am

Cheryl's Metacam advice is totally right. There is a syringe in the box that measures a kg dose . If a bun weighs 2kg it needs a 10 kg dose twice a day.


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Re: Help with a friends bunny please u/d 03/10

Post by Thumper2001 on Mon Sep 30, 2013 7:59 am

Haha, I hit the thanks button by accident! Laughing I am greatful for all replies, of course Very Happy

How is it that a teeny bunny can have more that a dog?! I can't get my head around that!!
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Re: Help with a friends bunny please u/d 03/10

Post by cheryl'n'bruce'flo on Mon Sep 30, 2013 8:01 am

Rabbits metabolise the drug differently.


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Re: Help with a friends bunny please u/d 03/10

Post by KatieB on Mon Sep 30, 2013 9:14 am

Yes It does seem like a lot. But if John Chitty says its the way it should be done. Its the way it should be done. the basic rule is 5x as much twice as often.


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Re: Help with a friends bunny please u/d 03/10

Post by Thumper2001 on Mon Sep 30, 2013 10:35 am

cheryl'n'bruce'flo wrote:Rabbits metabolise the drug differently.
Thanks Cheryl, I was curious and now I know Very Happy

Katieb wrote:Yes It does seem like a lot.  But if John Chitty says its the way it should be done.  Its the way it should be done.  the basic rule is 5x as much twice as often.
Oh, I wasn't doubting it, I just couldn't understand it Smile
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