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3 Things Rabbit Owners Need To Know About G.I. Stasis

Gastrointestinal stasis, also called G.I. stasis, is a serious problem for rabbits. It means that food isn't moving through the digestive system like it's supposed to. Here are three things you need to know about G.I. stasis in rabbits.

What causes it?

G.I. stasis can have many different causes. It may occur as a result of an improper diet, such as a diet low in fiber. G.I. stasis can also develop if your rabbit stops eating, which can happen if they are stressed, sick, or in pain. A lack of exercise, such as living in a small cage and not being able to run around, can also lead to digestive problems.

You can prevent G.I. stasis by ensuring that your rabbit has a large cage to run around in and a constant supply of high-quality hay to eat. If your rabbit is sick and doesn't feel like eating, hand feed them to keep their digestive system working.

What are the signs of G.I. stasis?

There are many different signs of G.I. stasis. You may notice that your rabbit isn't producing as many fecal pellets as they usually do, or that they aren't producing any at all. Any pellets that are present may be smaller than the ones you are used to seeing.

Changes in your rabbit's behavior are another clue that something is wrong.  If your rabbit isn't interested in eating or is lying down instead of playing, they may be feeling ill. You may also hear your rabbit grinding their teeth together which is a sign that they are in pain.

If you notice any of these signs, make sure to take your rabbit to an emergency vet right away. G.I. stasis is fatal if it's not treated.

How is it treated?

Your vet may want to take X-rays of your rabbit to make sure there isn't an obstruction in the digestive tract. If there is no blockage, your rabbit will be diagnosed with G.I. stasis and treatment can start.

Your vet will give your rabbit intravenous fluids to replenish nutrients and water that they are missing as a result of not eating. Painkillers can also be helpful if your rabbit seems to be in pain.

Medications to stimulate the digestive tract will also be given. These medications will get your rabbit's digestive tract working again and help them produce fecal pellets. Your vet may want to monitor your rabbit to make sure the medication works, so prepare for the possibility that your rabbit will need to remain at the vet's office until they're feeling better.

If your rabbit isn't eating or producing fecal pellets, take them to a vet like North Lexington Veterinary Clinic right away.