Have you ever puked? Well, let’s be grateful that we can always let out the excessive amount of foods in our stomach. Yes, it might be uncomfortable, but it can save our life. Sadly, the rabbits can’t vomit as we are. The reason lies to the valve proximal to their stomach. It develops well that it prevents them from vomiting. How irony! This condition is very dangerous for rabbit, but you can administer these 7 safe treatment for bloating in rabbits.
Bloating and The Causes
The bloating is not exactly a disease. Just like dizziness or fever in human, bloating is a symptom of the present disease that might attack your rabbit. No one exactly knows what cause this bloating. It could be because overeating and/or exercising immediately after eating. And sometimes there are diseases that cause bloating, such as Mucoid Enteritis, Bacterial Enteritis, GI Stasis, and Coccidia.
The rabbit’s stomach becomes swelling because of the accumulation of gases in their stomach, that cannot get out through natural body reaction. This gas can also be caused by bacteria who multiplies themselves excessively. The bloating can also be caused by incorrect feeding. For instance, if accidentally your rabbit swallows the plastic or something like that.
In order to always ensure about your rabbit’s health condition, the best thing you do is to observe them carefully every day. Their usual activities, their characters, and their physical condition. Consider also the differences between domestic rabbits and wild ones (hare) to determine the abnormalities. The change of those activities may tell you something about your pets. In bloating cases, first reaction that might happen is appetite loss. Your rabbits might still want to eat their treats, but get reluctant to eat their pellets. Sometimes, your rabbits might show the sign of diarrhea, but sometimes, in the other hand, constipation.
Of course, another change of rabbit’s body will follow. Their abdomen will be distended and they can totally lose their appetite, which lead into anoreksia in the short amount of time. You might find they often shut themselves off in the corner of the cage because of their pain. It makes them become rarely doing their usual activities. The dilated stomach is so very painful for rabbits that there are few rabbit-savvy veterinarians will suggest to put the rabbits sleep so they’re not in pain too long.
The next thing you will find that your rabbits become lethargic and weak. You might find the sign of dehydration also, and they will become non-responsive and shocky. Usually, if the rabbits don’t get the treatment, they will die in 4×24 hours. That’s why you can never postpone the bloated rabbits to go to veterinarian.
Since bloating is a dangerous situation with the limit possibilities to heal, you gotta go to veterinarian instantly. Your vet will tell you what to do, and of course, he/she will have to do something to save your rabbit’s life. You need to be aggressive in treating them since you’re against the clock here. Time can be your best friend or worst enemy. Once your vet diagnosed acute bloating, your rabbit only have few hours to live. And euthanasia might be suggested. No, you don’t want that. So, you need to know there are 7 safe treatments for bloating in rabbit that you can do together with your vet.
1. Fluid Therapy
Most often, the case of bloating leads into dehydration, since rabbits refuse to eat and drink. That’s why fluid therapy is important to maintain the fluid level in their body. Dehydration can decrease the blood supply to major organs and results in hypothermia and shock. If your rabbits are reluctant to drink, your vet might transfer the liquid through an intravenous catheter. It means that your rabbits need infusion that goes directly to their blood vessels.
2. Gastric Decompression
Of course, this kind of treatment can only be done by the vet. It includes sedating rabbit and put the tube that will help transfer food directly to your rabbit’s stomach. However, the rabbit may have many hairs, hays, and foods that block the tube. To prevent this, your vet might administer some operations to get rid of them.
3. Homeopathy Therapy
While you get the therapy for your rabbit, you need to keep your rabbit moving to encourage gastric motility. You can try these useful tips to make your rabbit busy at home, since the weak conditions can’t allow them to wander around in the large space yet. There are few natural selections to make your rabbit comfortable, too. Birch bark and chamomile will relieve the pain your rabbit feel, while blackberry is good for treating the diarrhea. In bloating case, your rabbit will lose appetite. To increase his/her appetite, you can use dandelion, celery, and dill. To help gas and regulates gut mobility, plantains can be good for your rabbit, too. As well as fennel, grass, licorice (anise), oats, and Raspberry’s leaf and twigs.
To relieve a bit pain in your rabbit’s stomach, you can also put him/her on his/her side then try to massage your rabbit, especially in stomach area then go gently towards his anus. A skin-to-skin touch always help and cannot get hurt anyone.
4. Keep Your Rabbit Warm
As we all know, the body normal reaction to maintain our temperature needs energy, too. So, when your rabbit’s body try to fight off the disease, he/she will need much energy. Providing warmth to him/her will safe the energy that your rabbit use to fight off the bloating.
5. Pain Medication
Medicine actually can’t really help to relieve the bloating itself. But, the use of analgesic may reduce the pain, at least it can make your rabbit becomes more comfortable. Your vet might prescribe are butorphanol, buprenorphine, hydromorphone, oxymophone to treat gastrointestinal pain. Cimetadine (Tagment) or Ranitidine (Zantac) also can prevent the gastric ulcerations. In this case, antibiotics is rather controversial, so your vet might prescribe it, or maybe not.
Since bloating in rabbits is a very serious condition, you and your vet must take an aggressive counter-attack to relieve it immediately. After those few treatments mentioned earlier, the vet might still need to perform a surgery to get out the obstructions of your rabbit. Mostly, the surgery is safe for your rabbit and more importantly, can remove the bloating in your rabbit. This is your best option to save your rabbit and put out his/her misery of consecutive pain.
7. Dietary Therapy
After the surgery, it’s very important to maintain the nutrition your rabbit needed. The fresh greens which is good for your rabbit includes romaine lettuce, parsley, spinach, collard greens and/or cilantro. To add into it, you can give your rabbit the good quality of hay, which is timothy hay. If your rabbit still refuse to eat, you can make a gruel out of it and feed him/her with syringe to ensure he/she swallows it. Since bloating reduce rabbits’ appetite, you need to treat your skinny rabbit to gain healthy weight again.
There are also the instant gruel that you can get in the market, like Critical Care for Herbivores (Oxbow Pet Products) or Emeraid Herbivore (Lafeber). Bloating can be caused by the hair that comes into digestive organ of rabbits also, so make sure you brush your rabbit regularly. This way, you can prevent the excessive hair comes into rabbit’s stomach while they self-grooming.
Those are 7 safe treatments for bloating in rabbit. I really hope it will not happen to your rabbit. But, you don’t need to worry, because if the bloating is instantly treated, in most of the cases they can be healed.