Fresh Herbs: Treat or "Leafy Green"? - Paw Talk - Pet Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-02-2008, 10:45 PM Thread Starter
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Fresh Herbs: Treat or "Leafy Green"?

Opus is acting up again -=/

but not totally sick like last time, just less playful.
he's about 9 months now, so he's going through another molt.

anyway, his stomach has been feeling gassy but he's not grinding his teeth like he's in pain, so I've been steady giving him baby gas-x and fluids and sometimes pellets in soft form.

as i was researching his condition, i came across this article on the rabbit.org website: http://www.rabbit.org/journal/3-7/gi.html on Sluggish Motility in the GI Tract

and especially paid attention to this paragraph:

"I find that over 50% of the rabbits presented with this condition will take care of it themselves when they are given a big pile of leafy greens to eat. Most of the cases of stomach impaction we see have been on a primary pellet diet and have had little or no access to greens or hay. They are craving fiber and fluids and the leafy greens can be just the ticket. In addition we give all these patients good quality grass hay. We completely remove pellets from the diet (rabbits usually won't eat pellets when they are ill anyway). Whatever treatment is used, one can expect stools to be produced within three days. It is rarely necessary to perform surgery for this condition."

the only "greens" Opus will eat are the fragrant kind - basil being a favorite, then flat leaf parsley, cilantro, and mint being his least favorite but he'll still eat. he won't eat lettuce or anything else. a little bit of carrot once in a while but i stay away from the sweets.

so to make a long question longer, are herbs a treat, or are they good enough to be leafy green to include in their daily diet? will this help make him well again?

tia ;-)
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-03-2008, 11:06 AM
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Here's the House Rabbit Society's suggested veggie list, which says to give bunnies at least 3 different types every day: http://www.rabbit.org/care/veggies.html

Note that parsley, mint, cilantro, and basil are all on the list.

Flash's favorite is cilantro, so I usually give him that and parsley every day. I give him kale sometimes, which is another favorite, but that list says to give kale sparingly, so I've been cutting back. But if you're having a hard time giving Opus leafy greens, I'd recommend trying kale. My sister and I have never met a bunny that didn't like kale.

Most of the other veggies I give Flash aren't exactly leafy - celery, green pepper, broccoli, and carrots being the most common, just because I often have those around the house for myself. If you do give him celery, cut it up first. The "strings" in it can get stuck in their stomachs.

I've given him spinach and endive in the past, but spinach is the only veggie he's ever left in the bowl (though he ate about half of it), and I can rarely find good endive at the store. I wish I could, though. He seemed to really like the endive the one week I gave it to him.

Flash will really eat just about anything though, so I'm pretty lucky with him that way.

Also, are you giving Opus hay? All rabbits should get unlimited hay (usually timothy hay), as it helps with their digestion. Here's the full diet FAQ at the HRS web site if you haven't seen it:
http://www.rabbit.org/faq/sections/diet.html

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-03-2008, 11:43 AM
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I think he should be ok with herbs, they're only a different kind of leaf afterall and its good to get a bit of variety in his diet. Have you tried things like spinach and watercress???

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-03-2008, 10:28 PM Thread Starter
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thanks guys!

actually after i made that post, i found the hrs list -=)

so he's been eating it, and plenty of grass, but he's not drinking any water -=( or eating any pellets. his stomach is also making some gurgling noises.. what do you think that means?
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-04-2008, 08:32 AM
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Cant you take him to the vets, cos it might be serious if hes not drinking =[

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-04-2008, 08:33 AM
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Aww poor baby. My rabbit Zeus was having some tummy problems the other week, but I cought it early and it wasn't anything some baby gas-X and tummy rubs couldn't fix.

Some gurgling noises are normal, but if they're louder then usual or silent it means your rabbit is having digestion issues. It's good that he's eating. Make sure he keeps eating, and you can keep giving him the gas meds. Try tummy rubs too if he'll let you. Put him on your lap and gently massage his tummy as much as he'll let you. It can help them pass the gas if that's his problem.

If he stops eating completly or stops pooing, get him into the vet ASAP. Sometimes you can get them to feel better at home, but not always, and if he doesn't feel better soon you should probably take him into the vet.

http://www.mybunny.org/info/gi_stasis.htm
http://www.columbusrabbit.org/chrsbooklet.pdf (look at page 12)


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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-04-2008, 09:28 PM
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You said that he was molting, this sounds gross but look at his poo---is there fur in it? He may be getting a little bit of wool block. I breed English Angoras and always checking for wool block! I would give him one papaya enzyme vitamin(same as human) a day as well as keeping him off pellets. The papaya enzymes will attack all the fur. my babies love the vitamins but you might need to grind them up!--------------keep us posted plz

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-06-2008, 12:27 PM Thread Starter
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hi guys!

i took him to the vet yesterday. they gave him sub-q fluids and she wants us to give them again today and possibly through the weekend. she suspected early signs of hypomotility but not yet GI stasis so the fluids helped move things along and after the weekend he should be back to normal. i'm giving him lots of greens (basil, flat leaf parsley, cilantro, and small bits of kale) and hay and hopefully i won't have to force feed him again.

i did consider gas at first, so i gave him gas-x and tummy rubs a few times, but everything felt fine, and he wasn't grinding his teeth in distress or pain.

he's now eating grass on his own and she suggested i mix some critical care in with his pellets to get his appetite going again and it worked! hopefully i don't have to feed it to him everday -=/ he tends to get a little spoiled and bratty lol -=)

his poops were a little small and connected together with hair, so he is passing a lot of it. he grooms himself all day so i imagine now that he's molting he eats a lot of it. i comb him as much as i can but he hates it so much!

i was giving him 2 oxbow papaya tablets a day, but i'm backing off of them a little since he was close to stasis, and i don't want the sugars to cause any bacterial infections. i'll start back up on them slowly once he starts eating regularly. the critical care has some papaya and pineapple enzyme in it too.

so hopefully this is all over. i hate having a sick bunny! thanks for your concern guys -=)
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-06-2008, 12:53 PM
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I'm glad he's starting to feel better!


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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-06-2008, 05:49 PM
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I certainly hope your little bunny is feeling better!
Question for future [hopefully never] reference: how do you know if one's stomach feels "gassy"??
I would suspect an upset tummy if I heard sounds, or pain-induced tooth grinding...but I didn't know you could feel the gassy-ness. Any tips?
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-11-2008, 08:48 PM Thread Starter
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i have a friend that has a couple bunnies and she has said that she's never felt this in her own, of course we have 3 different breeds, but on Opus, we felt around for his stomach and we felt something similar to a super large firm hard-boiled egg. the vet had pointed that out to me the first time he got sick, and this last time, he wasn't grinding his teeth or acting funny, but when i felt his tummy, it felt gassy, so i gave him the gas-x and in about half an hour he felt better.
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