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Decreased Movement of the Gastric Muscles in Rabbits



If not treated appropriately, hypomotility and stasis of the gastrointestinal tract are both capable of becoming immediately life-threatening situations, especially if your rabbit has not eaten in one to three days. First, intravenous fluid therapy will be given to replenish electrolytes and nutrients. Typically, intestinal and stomach motility modifiers is then prescribed. But if non- or low-invasive techniques cannot be reliably used to move the contents of the intestines out of the body, surgery will need to be performed to remove them.


Meanwhile, if the hypomotility or stasis is due to the presence of a foreign object, injury to the intestinal tract can occur due to the presence or movement of the object, surgery may be necessary to remove the foreign body and relieve pressure. Antibiotics may also be prescribed as a preventative measure against opportunistic infection, and analgesics and sedative agents may be prescribed if your rabbit is in pain.


Living and Management


Preventing obesity is vital, as it is a known risk factor in intestinal disorders. However, it is important that your rabbit continue to eat during and following treatment. Encourage oral fluid intake by offering fresh water, wetting leafy vegetables, or flavoring water with vegetable juice, and offer a large selection of fresh, moistened greens such as cilantro, romaine lettuce, parsley, carrot tops, dandelion greens, spinach, collard greens, and good-quality grass hay. Also, offer your rabbit its usual pelleted diet, but do not feed your rabbit high-carbohydrate, high-fat nutritional supplements unless your veterinarian has specifically advised it.


If your rabbit refuses these foods, you will need to syringe feed a gruel mixture until it can eat again on its own. And unless the rabbit is still debilitated from the surgery, encourage it to exercise (i.e., hopping) for at least 10 to 15 minutes every 6 to 8 hours.