Nonfood Item Obstruction of the Digestive Tract in Rabbits



Because gastrointestinal obstructions can be a life-threatening situation, your rabbit will be treated on an emergency basis. Intestinal and stomach motility modifiers may be prescribed, but if non- or low-invasive techniques cannot be reliably used to move the obstruction out of the body, surgery will need to be performed to remove the foreign object. In addition, injury to the intestinal tract can occur due to the presence or movement of a foreign object, and antibiotics may be prescribed as a preventative measure against opportunistic infection. Analgesics and sedative agents may also be prescribed if your rabbit is in pain.


Fluid therpay will be given through oral or intravenous routes for dehydrated rabbits, which is a common finding. Meanwhile, gastric decompression techniques will be employed to relieve the intestines of internal pressure due to fluid and gas buildup.


Living and Management


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, as the initial goal is to get the rabbit to eat and to maintain its weight and nutritional status. If your rabbit refuses these foods, you will need to syringe feed a gruel mixture until it can eat again on its own. Moroever, do not feed your rabbit high-carbohydrate, high-fat nutritional supplements unless your veterinarian has specifically advised it.


After the foreign body is removed, the rabbit may resume normal activity, which will also promote gastric motility and help it recover that much faster. Encourage your rabbit to graze and exercise (i.e., hopping) outside its cage, under supervision, for at least 10 to 15 minutes every 6 to 8 hours.