GI stasis, or ileus, is a condition in which the rabbit’s gastrointestinal system becomes sluggish or stops moving altogether. It can result from various factors, including poor diet, dehydration, stress, dental issues, or other painful underlying medical problems. The signs of stasis may include reduced or absent fecal output, decreased appetite, lethargy, and a hunched posture. True stasis is often a symptom of a more serious condition as opposed to a disease itself.

Here are steps to address a rabbit in stasis:

  1. Seek Veterinary Care: If you suspect your rabbit is suffering from stasis, consult a veterinarian experienced in treating rabbits. Prompt medical attention is essential to determine the underlying cause and initiate treatment.
  2. Hydration: Dehydration is a common cause for stasis episodes. Encourage your rabbit to drink water by providing clean, fresh water in a bowl, never a bottle. A veterinarian may also administer subcutaneous fluids to hydrate the rabbit.
  3. Proper Nutrition: Maintain a proper diet rich in fiber to stimulate the digestive system. Offer fresh hay and remove high-carbohydrate foods such as carrots, pumpkin and fruit from the diet.
  4. Pain Management: If your rabbit is in pain, your veterinarian may prescribe medication to alleviate discomfort.
  5. Gentle Movement and Exercise: Encourage your rabbit to move around to help stimulate their gut and break up any gas bubbles that may be trapped in the GI tract.
  6. Medication: In some cases, your vet may prescribe medications to stimulate gastrointestinal activity.
  7. Address the Underlying Cause: Stasis is generally a symptom of an underlying issue, such as dental disease, infection, liver lobe torsion, etc. Identify and address the root cause to prevent recurrence. Always request bloodwork and radiographs from your vet to get a proper diagnosis and to rule out obstruction.
  8. Prevention: To prevent future stasis episodes, provide a proper diet, maintain dental health, and create a stress-free environment for your rabbit.

What we don’t recommend :

  • Force feeding critical care before a vet has ruled out obstruction with x-rays. This can cause more harm to your rabbit.
  • Laxatone. The ingredients in laxatone do nothing beneficial for rabbit gut motility. Additionally, if there is dehydrated hair in the GI tract, feeding laxatone can coat the hair and inhibit hydration of the mass, making it less likely to move along through the GI tract. The main ingredient in Laxatone is petrolatum, which is a byproduct of gasoline and banned in the EU.
  • Papaya and pineapple. The enzymes in these fruits can actually irritate the lining of the stomach of a rabbit who isn’t eating, again causing more harm than good. Fruit or any other high sugar food can be detrimental to a rabbit in stasis.
  • Simethicone(baby gas drops.) Recent studies show that simethicone does nothing beneficial for the type of gas rabbits produce. Encouraging your rabbit to move around will help break up any gas bubbles more efficiently.
  • Abdominal massage. It’s possible to bruise internal organs while massaging the abdomen. Again, encouraging the bunny to move around will have the desired effect.

Stasis is a serious condition that requires immediate attention. Knowing the symptoms and acting promptly by consulting a rabbit-savvy veterinarian is vital. By following the prescribed treatment plan and maintaining a proactive approach to your rabbit’s health, you can help ensure a happy and healthy life for your beloved companion.


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