Friday, March 1, 2013

Flicka has a brush with GI stasis

Flicka has lived here for a year now and has had a couple of episodes of tummy trouble - a little gas taking its time to work its way out.  She would look uncomfortable for a few hours and had to be coaxed to drink water and move around.  Like many whose rabbits are prone to this problem, we can find no reason for these episodes - no change of diet, environment or stress - all we can do is help her through them.

This week she had a particularly bad episode which led to her staying overnight at the vet hospital.  Here's how it went down...

Wednesday morning and she's binkying around as normal, scoffing her breakfast and eating plenty of hay, then disappears to the bedroom for her usual morning nap.  At lunchtime we offer her some food which she refuses.  We try to get her drinking and moving around but she just wants to hunch up and focus on her sore tummy, which feels large and tight.  I phone our vet and luckily he has a free consultation at 4.30pm, so we take her in.  He agrees that her stomach feels 'stodgy' (but no obstruction, thankfully) and admits her for an overnight stay and treatment for suspected GI stasis.  She is given Metacam (pain relief), a gut motility drug, sub q fluids (under the skin) and is syringe fed liquid Recovery Food every 2 hours through the night.

She doesn't produce any droppings until around 8am, so it is likely she was on her way into stasis and we were right to take her in.  She starts eating veggies, is given more pain relief and gut motility drugs and is allowed home in the late afternoon; cue - a touching reunion and much mutual grooming with her partner, Bailey.  She is clearly delighted to be home and runs around frantically chinning everything, including us!  A final dose of gut motility drug and some Fibreplex before bed and the next morning she is bright as a button and 100% back to her normal self.

A slightly scary episode but not an uncommon one at all for rabbit owners.  Our first night without Flicka was an eye opener - made us realise (a) how much noise she makes (think, herd of horses!), and (b) how much we love her.  She may look (and act) tough and strong, but she's as vulnerable as the next bun and just as easily lost.  To lose a rabbit to stasis is heartbreaking and all too common, even with all the correct care being given.

Lesson learnt: rabbits are so fragile - each and every day with them is a gift. is a complete rabbit information resource and non-profit site raising the profile of rabbits as pets.  Join us on Facebook


  1. It's been over a year since BJC crossed the Rainbow Bridge, but I remember those days well. Waiting and watching for poops. And every once in a while, when I'm deep cleaning, I'll find a little "present" underneath the furniture. Enjoy your time with Flicka.

    1. thank you Vicki, so sorry for your loss but loved the "presents" story... how sweet :-)