Constipation in a rabbit is a fairly common problem, which, however, can cause serious complications and lead to the death of the animal in a short time. This is explained by the fact that the rabbit, like most rodents, constantly chews, respectively, its stomach is constantly full of food; and if, for any reason, normal intestinal motility is disturbed, then intoxication of the animal’s body, which causes a fatal outcome, develops in a few days.
Therefore, it is important to identify the disease at the initial stage and to begin the qualified treatment of the animal as soon as possible, since the surgical assistance of the veterinarian in most cases will save you from any unpleasant consequences.
Recognizing the onset of a disease of the gastrointestinal tract in a rabbit is not difficult: it is enough to carefully conduct daily cleaning of its cage and pay attention to any changes in the amount and consistency of excrement. A serious cause for concern is the absence of rabbit feces for more than 10 hours, as well as the secretion of mucus with feces or an unusually loud rumbling in the animal’s stomach.
In addition, a low activity, lack of appetite and sleep, or, conversely, drowsiness and apathy will also become evidence of poor health of the rabbit; as well as bulging from colic eyes of the animal and clanking of teeth.
Causes of Constipation
There are 2 categories of causes of gastrointestinal diseases in a rabbit. Most often, they are associated with some physical external factors: unsuitable food for the rabbit or its abrupt change, gas accumulation in the intestines, ingestion of foreign objects, violation of the temperature regime or severe stress of the animal.
Often the cause of intestinal obstruction is the hair swallowed by a rabbit, which together with food and saliva forms an indigestible lump, which violates the proper intestinal motility.
The second group includes causes of an infectious nature associated with the ingestion of pathogenic bacteria such as Clostridium spp, which produce toxins dangerous to the animal, into the rabbit’s body.
First aid and treatment
Of course, if you suspect constipation in your rabbit, the optimal solution is not to risk the animal’s health, but to deliver it promptly to the veterinary clinic, where the animal will undergo the necessary examination and competent treatment will be prescribed according to its condition.
However, there are situations when it is not possible to get to the veterinarian, in which case it is necessary to provide first aid to the rabbit on its own.
To restore intestinal motility and planting it with beneficial microflora, it is useful to give the animal a syringe (without a needle) of a warm decoction of tansy with chamomile, as well as bifidobacteria in powder based on the weight of the animal. It is also useful to give the rabbit about 5 ml of liquid paraffin, and then give him a neat tummy massage in the direction from the chest to the hind legs.
In severe cases, you can first give the rabbit the antibiotic tetracycline in the appropriate dosage to prevent the death of the animal.
For the period of the disease, it is necessary to provide the rabbit with maximum freedom of movement, gently making him run: thus, he will soften stagnant stools faster. The rabbit’s diet at this time should consist of fresh juicy food and suitable hay, it is useful to give him also fresh tops or dill.
Prevention of intestinal problems
The best prevention of constipation in a rabbit will be its full feeding and timely visit to the veterinarian. The daily diet of the animal should consist of fresh grass hay and high-fiber green granules, as well as fresh greens and tops. Also in the free access of the rabbit should always be clean water.
In addition, one should not forget that the sedentary lifestyle of the animal can become the cause of the disease, so you should provide it with a free enclosure for movement and, if possible, ensure daily long walks.