To a rabbit owner, Gastrointestinal (GI) stasis is a scary experience to avoid at all cost! In the past week, we had 2 rabbits that fell ill because of GI stasis and we hope to share our experience. It is an extremely common problem but if left untreated, can have fatal consequences.

Sammy is usually an active girl who loves to eat. Past Sunday, she was abnormally quiet and refused her dinner. Typically we will give a dose of appelin (appetite stimulant) and RidWind (gas reliever) follow by a tummy massage to ease any discomfort. However, her caregiver didn’t have them handy. We recommended for her to be brought to the vet for treatment.

At 10pm, Sammy was admitted to 24-hour Advanced Vet Care. The vet took an X-ray and found a bloat in her stomach. She immediately gave her applelin, RidWind and put her on IV drip to stay hydrated. Within hours, Sammy started munching on food. However, she was not producing stools.

The following day, Sammy produced poo in small quantity. Her X-ray showed no gas and her GI tract was moving again. Her dental and blood test were all clear suggesting no underlying problem. However, she was still not her usual self so the vet advised for her to stay 1 more night.

On Monday, Sammy was better and cleared for discharge. Back home, she was kept separated from her bonded mate, Yoshi, to monitor her appetite and stool production. She was still not eating her normal diet and pooping her typical amount but we know it will take time to recover. She requires critical care as well as a slew of medication every 4-6 hours.

Sammy is still recovering but with the early discovery of her GI stasis, we were able to treat her. Any delay could result in gas accumulation which can be very painful and fatal. Her episode of GI, which was likely caused by stress/weather, costs $1273.

GI stasis is extremely common in rabbits due to their sensitive digestive tracts. We hope every rabbit owner is well-prepared for such situations:

– Know your rabbit to recognize abnormalities
– Act with urgency and without delay
– Have a well-equipped first aid kit handy
– Have the contact of your usual vet AND an emergency vet handy
– Be prepared financially for the medical bill
– Be patient in her recovery which can take weeks

For more information about GI stasis, please read here: T