Bloating in rabbits is a pathology very familiar to veterinarians. It can indicate the presence of various diseases and have a different degree of danger. To eliminate the risk of losing the animal, it is necessary to take appropriate therapeutic actions. Delay in this matter often causes death, both for adults and rabbits.
Intestinal problems in an animal can have a different etiological mechanism, but all causes ultimately lead to a violation of the microflora in the intestine, the beginning of the fermentation process and the appearance of gastrointestinal instability. A swollen stomach is a dangerous disease that can lead to a complete stop in the functioning of the digestive system. If the necessary measures are not taken, the violations cover the liver and cardiovascular system, the general condition of the animal worsens sharply, and death may occur.
Pathology comes unexpectedly, and the stomach swells quickly, and a completely healthy animal is on the verge of death in 2-3 days, and it dies painfully. There are cases when rabbit breeders noticed the mass death of animals due to improper feeding and consumption of poor quality feed in their food.
The etiological mechanism of flatulence in rabbits is mainly associated with malnutrition, excessive hypotension, stressful situations and some animal diseases. Bloating bowel problems can be caused by the following reasons
- Wrong diet. Some fruits and vegetables in any form can cause bloat (cabbage, legumes, bulbous varieties of plants), especially if a rabbit tries them. The situation is aggravated by poor-quality feed – the presence of mold, rotten food, frozen feed or vice versa, excessively heated vegetation (including from sunlight), plants after pesticide treatment. The intestines can swell as a result of fermentation, and this is due to a rapid transition to feeding fresh grass after a long period of feeding silage and hay; use of rotten hay and poorly dried grass. The process of rabbit digestion is aggravated by hard plant elements. Animals can get sick when they eat dry food that is low in fiber but too high in calories and enriched with protein. It is bad when rabbits get a lot of wet food,
- Dental pathology in animals. In their presence, the animals’ nutrition becomes irregular, and the rabbits themselves rely more on soft food with a low fiber content. As a result of this problem, the intestinal microflora is disturbed.
- Behavioral hypotension. Insufficient mobility of the animal, especially in the presence of excessive body weight, leads to a deterioration in the functioning of the digestive system and a decrease in the tone of the intestines. Food begins to stagnate in the intestines, leading to disease. Often this phenomenon is found during long-term transport or by keeping animals in a cramped cage.
- Infectious diseases of a bacterial and parasitic nature can cause intestinal obstruction. Chronic constipation in an animal leads to the same result. In this case, the cranial gut section is elevated.
- stressful situations. Any unexpected phenomenon and sudden changes in the conditions of detention can disrupt the digestive functions.
- climate factor. The influence of abnormal weather conditions is also noted as possible causes of the considered pathology. The strongest influence is exerted by warm weather and confinement in the rabbits.
If bloat is found in rabbits, the causes and treatment must be determined by the veterinarian, especially since sufficiently pronounced symptoms help to identify the pathology. The disease progresses rapidly. The animal stops passing food through the intestines. He suffers from flatulence. A painful condition occurs, which causes wild fear in the animal. The rabbit stops eating and drinking, lies down without moving in the corner of the rabbit. There is a noticeable tremor throughout the body, teeth grinding, there is a significant drop in temperature.
A swollen abdomen in a sick animal is visually noticeable, while the eyes protrude, and characteristic sounds in the intestines can be heard. One of the characteristic signs of the disease in question is the cessation of the defecation process. There may be no stool at all for 11-13 hours, which looks very strange considering the frequent bowel movements in the normal state. In some individuals, the stools continue, but the stools are in the form of very small balls.
When a rabbit’s abdomen is swollen, the intestines compress the diaphragm, which significantly affects the breathing process. Under such circumstances the animals seem to breathe rapidly. Increasing liver dysfunction and circulatory disturbances are noted as a concomitant manifestation of tympani. As a result of stagnation of food in the intestine, a favorable environment is created for the reproduction of pathogenic microorganisms, various infections. After overcoming the intestinal walls, they enter the bloodstream, causing sepsis and death in rabbits.
Principles of treatment of pathology
What to do and give if the rabbit’s stomach is swollen? The main thing is that emergency measures should be taken, and it is better when a specialist gives them. In the absence of a veterinarian, the rabbit breeder should provide emergency assistance to the animal himself. Rabbits should be treated for bloat with medication, massage, enemas and proper nutrition.
Massage is performed by stroking the abdomen for 6-12 minutes every 1.5-2.5 hours. Massage movements are carried out carefully and smoothly, and the effort is determined in a practical way – to such an extent that the animal calmly perceives the impact. During this procedure, the removal of gases from the intestines is ensured.
Experts recommend 2 main massage methods
- the animal is placed on its knees so that it cannot belch, and stroking movements are given in the direction from the neck to the base of the tail;
- the animal is placed on its paws and the abdomen is massaged by hand in the same way as in the previous version.
An enema is necessary to free the intestines from accumulated food. The tool is filled with warm water with the addition of a laxative. As a rule, a medicine based on mineral oil is used. You can prepare a solution for such a procedure by adding magnesium sulfate to the water, i.e. the so-called Epsom salt. The mixture is prepared at the rate of 1 tablespoon of salt per 35-45 ml of warm water.
In order to exclude the serious consequences of the pathology, the animal must first of all be given drugs that can stop fermentation, eliminate gas formation and relieve pain. In order for the rabbit’s stomach to stop swelling, such drugs are recommended
- Espumizan. The most suitable remedy for children. The introduction of the drug is made with a pipette or syringe. The maximum dose for an animal is taken at a rate of 19-22 drops per 1 kg of body weight, and it is divided into 3 doses, which are administered every 2.5-3 hours (the average single dose is 2.2 -2.3 ml.
- Simethicone. It is considered an analogue of the previous remedy. Implementation scheme – tablet and suspension. In the initial stage, it is injected into the animal’s mouth every hour in an amount of 1.5-2.5 ml. After reducing the pain syndrome, the procedure is performed 3 more times every 2.5-3 hours.
- Tympanol. It should not be taken by rabbits. The agent is given as a mixture with water in a ratio of 1 to 4. Tympanol is taken 5-6 times during the day.
- When pathogenic microorganisms or infectious etiology of the disease is linked, antibiotics are given. The most commonly used Farmazine, which can be administered by injection or solution in the oral cavity.
- To reduce pain allows the use of antispasmodics – No-shpa or Ketanol. They must be used carefully and in a dose of no more than 0.25 ml per 1 kg animal body weight.
- To normalize intestinal motility, you can enter Metoclopramide or Ciasprid. A positive effect is achieved by using vegetable oil (1 teaspoon).
- Glucose in the form of a solution or Ringer Locke helps to exclude dehydration of the rabbit’s body. Solutions are administered by injection according to the schedule – 3 times a day in a dose of 8-9 ml per 1 kg of body weight.
- Vitamins B. Their introduction is necessary to normalize the vitamin balance in the body and strengthen it.
- Probiotics should be prescribed when you use antibiotics, as well as to restore normal intestinal microflora. Bene Bak, Vetom, Zoovet are used.
In a serious course of the disease, the blood circulation is disturbed, and certain dysfunctions occur in the internal organs. To stabilize the rabbit’s condition, oxygen is introduced, a dropper is placed, drugs based on Prednisolone and antibiotics are introduced. If the pathology has affected the caecum, then using a syringe with a needle, puncture it to remove gases. Be sure to give an injection of B vitamins.
When treating the disease, rabbits can be fed hay and dried vegetables. An improved drinking regime is offered and it is recommended to use cold tea brewed with chamomile. A decoction of hay is very useful. Vegetables and fruits are completely excluded from the diet.
Bloating in rabbits is very life-threatening for the animal. It is only possible to prevent serious consequences by taking emergency measures when the first signs of the disease appear.