View Full Version : Sterling's health issues

06-14-06, 05:59 pm
My poor bunny Sterling is getting older, although he is still very active and alert he has been having some pretty serious health problems. He will be six years old in August, I know he is getting old but I hope he will stick around for a few more years.

A couple months ago I took him to the vet for some clear eye discharge that he was having on and off. The vet examined his eyes and found the beginnings of a cataract which is a sign for E. cuniculi (a protozoan parasite). He had blood drawn to test for E. cuniculi and it came back positive.:sad: So he was put on panacur for three weeks to try to kill off the E. cuniculi, and he was also put on some eye drops in case of any bacterial infection that might be causing the discharge. I don't think the drops helped that much, but lately he has not been having any more discharge.

He was doing pretty good up until these past few weeks. He began to have loose stools and even liquid stools on and off. I reduced and then eliminated his veggies (much to his annoyance) to try to help with the loose stools. But then I woke up this morning to find his cage (and himself)covered in diaherrea. So... I brought him right in to see the vet (a different one this time because the other doctor was not working today). She suspected some GI problem and possibly GI stasis.:( When she examined his mouth, she found a molar spur.:ashamed: And when we took x-rays of his abdomen, the doctor saw the beginnings of some bladder sludge.:guilty: So the x-rays showed some gas in his abdomen and they gave him an injection as well as oral medication to help move things through his system. He had his molar spurs trimmed and his bottom cleaned up.

I am really hoping he will get through this, maybe the molar spurs were causing the problems. I have to bring him back for a urinalysis for the bladder sludge because his bladder was empty at the time. I also need to encourage him to eat more hay, so I might stop off at the store to get him different kinds to try. If anyone has ideas please let me know...

SW <3 Guineas
06-14-06, 07:13 pm
You know, like us, when animals get old they find themselves slowly shutting down. I don't mean to pass away, I just mean their immune systems don't work as well.. Like when they are babies their weaker. I think it's great you take him to the vet as soon as symptoms show, there is nothing worse than leaving the poor fellow to fend for himself. I suggest just giving him more hay and fleace to sleep on inside a box, just to make him comfortable. My old guinea pig really appreicates this extra warmth at night, I always find it helps to reduce illness. I'm not sure there is more you can do? Any ideas anyone? what do you feed your lovely rabbit?

06-15-06, 09:22 am
He gets oxbox pellets and timothy hay, but with the diaherrea he isn't getting any veggies to be on the safe side. He isn't big on eating hay which is probably making the situation worse. Has anyone found anything helpful for getting rabbits to eat hay? He gets a big handful in his litterbox and also has a hay rack on the second floor of his cage. I am trying to think up other ideas.

I just put him in my room to run around and added a big concrete mixer with a huge pile of hay for him to dig in (and hopefully eat too).

06-15-06, 09:40 am
You only give him a limited amount of pellets right? If not then start limiting his amount, no unlimited pellets.

If you have him on a measured amount of pellets then cut back some.

Give him 2 hay days a week (no pellets--although I'm sure you know what I meant)

Try mixing some fresh cut grass in with his hay. The fresh grass may make him more intersted in his hay, especially since you have cut out veggies and provide him with some fresh food, while he's trying to get at the fresh grass he will likely eat some hay too.

I wouldn't cut out fresh veggies altogether. Just feed them very limited. All animals, including humans, need fresh raw food (veggies or meat) to provide them with the necessary enzymes for a healthy GI tract and immune system. By fresh I mean never cooked or frozen. Cooking and/or freezing kills natural enzymes.

You may want to give this product a try. http://nzymes.com/product-granules.htm It's called Nzymes and I have been using it for my dogs for years. It works WONDERS! You will notice from the website that it is geared for mainly dogs, cats, horses and people (yes it is a human grade food product) but I know it can be used safely on small animals like rabbits, GPs, chinchillas, rats, etc.. The link above takes you to the granules page (which is what you should get) but here is the homepage as well http://nzymes.com/index.htm

It is a natural product that supplies live Enzymes and enzyme boosters to the body. It cannot make things worse and may make things better.

In fact I can think of a few other animals and people on this site that should give this product a try.
-PM- try it with Jasper.
-Slap - get it for yourself
-Susan - couldn't hurt girl

I'm sure there are others but they are slipping my mind at the moment. No I'm not a rep for this product but in all honesty I was so impressed with what it has done for my dogs that I seriously considered becoming a rep years ago when I fisrt started using it.

06-15-06, 05:07 pm
Has Sterling had a blood panel done lately? Especially a CBC- Complete Blood Chemistry. Panacur (brand name of Fenbendazole) is suspected of causing serious side affects in a small number of rabbits. Here's an article on it, you may want to print it off for your vet in case he's not familiar with the side affects:

Is he sure that the cataract is caused by E. cuniculi? As I understand, a large percentage of rabbits are E. cuniculi positive although few get symptoms so it can be hard to tell whether or not the symptoms are related. Cataracts can also be caused by other problems. This is a great article- it does have pics of rabbits with cataracts but they're not as bad as on some of the other Medirabbit articles:

Hope that helps a little. Hugs to you and Sterling!

06-15-06, 07:37 pm
Is he sure that the cataract is caused by E. cuniculi?

The vet who examined the eye told me that cataracts are pretty rare in rabbits and could be a sign of E. cuniculi, which is why we tested him and then treated him for it.

Thanks for the articles, I am going to call tomorrow and ask some questions. A blood panel and the enzyme supplement are definant possibilities.