Rabbit Gastrointestinal Syndrome (RGIS), also known as stasis, is a common health problem in rabbits. It is a condition where the normal motility of the rabbit's gut slows down or stops altogether, leading to a buildup of gas and bacteria in the intestinal tract. RGIS can be a serious condition and requires immediate veterinary attention from your Nashville rabbit vet.
Here is some important information about RGIS and how it can be prevented and treated:
- Decreased appetite
- Decreased or absent fecal production
- Abdominal discomfort or distension
- Hunched posture
- Weight loss
- Poor diet (e.g. not enough fiber, too many carbohydrates)
- Pain or discomfort (e.g. dental disease, injury)
- Changes in environment
- Certain medications (e.g. antibiotics)
- Provide a diet that is high in fiber (hay and grass) and low in carbohydrates (pellets and treats)
- Provide unlimited access to fresh water
- Provide regular exercise and playtime outside of the cage
- Reduce stress in the environment by providing hiding places, a consistent routine, and a clean-living space
- Treatment of RGIS depends on the severity of the condition. In mild cases, it may be treated with fluids and supportive feeding +/- pain medications. In more severe cases, hospitalization and intensive treatment may be necessary.
- Treatment may include fluid therapy to correct dehydration and electrolyte imbalances, medications to stimulate gut motility, pain relief, and syringe feeding to provide nutrition.
- It is important to monitor the rabbit closely and ensure they are eating and passing feces. In severe cases, a feeding tube may need to be placed to provide nutrition.
- Surgery may be necessary in rare cases where there is an obstruction in the intestinal tract.
If you suspect your rabbit may be suffering from RGIS or any other health problem, it is important to seek veterinary attention immediately. Prompt treatment can improve the chances of a successful outcome and prevent further complications. At Priest Lake Veterinary Hospital, our experienced rabbit veterinarians are dedicated to providing the best care for your furry friend.