In industrial and amateur rabbit breeding, a huge problem is bloating in rabbits, which is called tympania or gastrointestinal stasis. Occlusion of the intestine and its filling with pressed fecal masses can occur for various reasons, including helminthic invasion and feeding with poor-quality feed. If you do not start treatment in a timely manner, animals most often die, experiencing very serious pains before death.
Features of the gastrointestinal tract of rabbits
Like other herbivores, domestic rabbits have a very long digestive system, which allows them to extract nutrients from coarse plant foods.
Proper operation of the jaw apparatus, consisting of 28 teeth, allows you to carefully chop the grass, hay, vegetables and grain. Enzymatic saliva breaks down maltose and starch, after which food enters the stomach, where it is exposed to hydrochloric acid and other groups of enzymes.
The specific specificity of the gastrointestinal tract of rabbits lies in the fact that these animals do not have smooth intestinal musculature, which pushes the digestible food towards the anus.
Food is promoted only due to pressure from new feeds consumed by animals, so even a temporary lack of appetite can lead to blockage of the intestines and provoke bloating in the rabbit.
Causes of intestinal blockage and excessive gas formation
When timpani or gastrointestinal stasis occurs, the rabbit's abdomen swells up strongly, being filled with waste products and gases produced by the body (flatulence).
The animal sharply loses its appetite and does not drink water, feels depressed, practically does not move and tries to hide in a dark corner of the cage. His stomach rumbles, breathing becomes faster, his body temperature drops to 37 degrees Celsius and below, and because of the experienced pain, the rabbit gnashes his teeth.
The main causes of bloating in rabbits are:
- experienced stress, accompanied by a prolonged lack of appetite;
- the use of fresh hay and low-quality feed, in which mold and fungus are present;
- a sharp transition from milk to solid food and from hay to fresh grass;
- lack of movement leading to food stagnation;
- intestinal blockage with wool;
- obesity, narrowing the intestinal lumen;
- contamination with worms that activate the gas and seething;
- infectious diseases of the oral apparatus.
The cause and treatment of abdominal bloating in rabbits are inextricably linked with each other, therefore, first of all, you should feel the belly of the animal and watch its behavior for several hours.
Find the cause of the problem
When you encounter a similar problem for the first time and think about what to do if a rabbit has a belly gut, then it is best to immediately seek advice from a veterinarian. An experienced doctor will quickly determine the possible pathology. He will tell you how to treat your pet, proposing to use the necessary medications or folk remedies.
Due to the fact that flatulence and tympania are common diseases, certain methods have been developed to treat bloating in rabbits at home.
At the initial stage of development of the disease, it is impossible to determine the factors that caused it, among which may be infectious diseases and the development of worms in the body. Therefore, if a rabbit has a swollen belly and inside starts to rumble, then it must be urgently separated from other animals, transplanted into a separate cage.
Be sure to feel the pet's belly. If you feel compaction and transfusion, as well as hear rumbling and gurgling sounds, then these are the first signs of the disease, from which you must immediately get rid of.
Remember that the development of diseases such as timpanii and flatulence are rapidly, and within a few hours your pet may die from pain.
Delaying treatment is dangerous
If you decide to professionally engage in breeding rabbits, you should always have on hand the medicine that allows you to treat bloating in your pets.
The easiest way to put an animal is a laxative enema by inserting no more than 10 ml of warm water mixed with magnesium sulphate and vegetable oil into the anus. To prepare such a mixture in 500 ml of water, add a tablespoon of magnesium sulfate and a teaspoon of vegetable oil.
It is best to use sunflower oil obtained by the method of cold-pressed. It is less saturated with fatty acids and has a more gentle effect on the intestinal mucosa.
In most cases, it provokes diarrhea and relieves a swollen stomach from accumulated stool and gas. The animal receives temporary relief, but is not cured from the causes of the disease.
In the early stages of detecting bloating in rabbits, a therapeutic massage can be given to the animals, lightly stroking the tummy towards the tail. If the pet starts to scream in pain and tries to break free, then this procedure should be stopped immediately.
For bloating, various medications used in human and veterinary medicine are excellent. In any pharmacy without a prescription, children's "Espumizan" is released, which gives excellent results in the treatment of young animals.
So that the baby’s tummy doesn’t continue to swell and doesn’t gurgle in it, the little rabbit is pipetted with this medicine right in the mouth. A single dose of the drug is 20 drops per 1 kg of live weight, and give it three times a day with an interval of 3 hours.
Excellent use of the drug "Simethicone", which is an analogue of "Espumizana". Besides the fact that this medicine relieves the rabbit from gas and swollen abdomen, it also relieves pain. At the stage of emergency treatment it can be given 1-2 ml every hour. To avoid an overdose, after alleviating the suffering of the animal, Simethicone is given no more than 3 times a day with an interval of 3 hours.
Treatment of adult animals
Adults can be given "Tympanol" containing tincture of wormwood and hellebore, as well as a defoamer. This is an extremely concentrated medicine used to treat cattle and horses, which have swollen stomachs due to overeating. Therefore, you need to be very accurate to calculate the dosage of the rabbit.
Usually, in 160 g of warm water, 0.4 ml of emulsion is required, after which the resulting solution is thoroughly mixed. Using a pipette, an adult animal is given 1-2 ml of medication no more than 5 times per day. Rabbits give this medicine is not recommended.
A reliable way to reduce gas and flatulence is the use of activated carbon. The medicine needs to be crushed and mixed with a small amount of warm water.
The resulting suspension can be given to the rabbit at the rate of 1 tablet of activated carbon per 1 kg of live weight. In order to avoid constipation, this drug can be used no more than 3 times a day.
If the rabbit's stomach is swollen due to intestinal blockage, the breeder faces dehydration of the pet's body. In this case, to maintain strength, glucose solution (10 ml per 1 kg of live weight) or Ringer-Locke solution is injected into the skin (the dosage is the same).
Relieve pain symptoms and restore intestinal microflora
Rabbits, whose abdomen is swollen from excessive gas or intestinal blockage, are in severe pain, which is why it is recommended to use painkillers.
With the advanced stage of the disease, you can not do without the "No-Shpy", which can be administered subcutaneously to the sick rabbit up to 2-3 times a day. To prevent an overdose, first show your sick pet to the vet.
In many cases, a specialist in external signs can determine the infectious causes of this disease and prescribe treatment with antibiotics.
After removing the symptoms of the disease and eliminating the causes that caused it, you will need to restore the intestinal microflora of the pet. To do this, you will need to add probiotics prescribed by a veterinarian.
The organism of adult herbivores is not able to digest lactose. This is the main reason why rabbits are strictly forbidden to give yogurt and kefir, which can cause even more serious problems of the gastrointestinal tract.
Use of folk remedies
Many rabbit breeders refuse to apply drugs on principle, preferring to treat flatulence, timpani and gastrointestinal stasis with the help of proven folk methods.
An excellent anti-inflammatory and depressant fermentation effect has the usual moonshine or alcohol tincture, diluted to 30% concentration. If you pour 1 tablespoon of this liquid to a young animal, it is almost guaranteed that the formation of gas in his body will stop. For an adult rabbit, you will need to increase the dose to two tablespoons, although this method should not be abused.
Remember that a higher concentration of alcohol will cause burns to the mucous membranes of the esophagus and the stomach of the animal. In rare cases, it will end in death.
Chamomile flowers have excellent antiseptic properties. One tablespoon of crushed flowers is filled with a glass of boiling water and infused for 30 minutes. The cooled infusion is filtered and given to rabbits instead of the usual drink. 30-40 ml of chamomile infusion is enough to restore the digestive processes, although in the future it can be used regularly for prevention.
Replace water with therapeutic infusions and decoctions.
A proven way to reduce gas formation and restore the gastrointestinal tract of a rabbit is to use mint or lemon balm infusions that grow in almost every garden. They are brewed in the same proportion as chamomile. Antiseptics contained in plants kill pathogenic bacteria, and the presence of menthol relieves pain in an animal.
To increase the appetite and improve digestion, rabbits can be given a decoction of oats, which also have anti-inflammatory properties.
To prepare the drug, take a glass of unrefined oats (this is very important), and fill it with 1 l of cold water. Grains should be infused in water for 12 hours, after which the container should be put on a slow fire, bring to a boil and boil for at least half an hour.
Cover the container taken from the fire in an old blanket and place in a warm place for another 12 hours. Ready broth filter through a sieve. It can be given to rabbits instead of water at the rate of 40 ml per day.
Medical diet from timpanii and flatulence
Often the cause of bloating in rabbits is the improper feeding and use of feed contaminated with germs and fungi. If you want to keep your pets healthy, be sure to put them on a diet.
With flatulence, it is recommended to stop feeding for about 10-12 hours, giving the animals only purified water or chamomile extract. Then the feeding is restored by giving the rabbits fresh hay or oats, to which you can add a little fresh mint or lemon balm. Pumpkin and zucchini are considered excellent dietary foods.
For several days, rabbits should not be given fresh greens, fruits, and cabbage, beans and beet tops. After 3 days after the swelling has passed, the animals can begin to add grated carrots to the feed.
A standard dietary course is one week, after which a rabbit that has had a tympania can be transferred to regular feeding.
Prevention of gastrointestinal diseases
Any problem is always better to prevent than to deal with it. This also applies to the maintenance of rabbits, in which most of the health problems arise due to oversight of the hosts.
If the cells are not cleansed in a timely manner from the waste products of animals, their wool and food residues, then they can develop staphylococcal infections that lead to various diseases of rabbits.
If animals eat their wool along with the food, then in their intestines whole coils may form that block the movement of the digested food, cause bloating, sharp pain, and lead to the inevitable death of the rabbit.
Obesity of the rabbit due to excessive overfeeding and small movement, as well as the use of overdue and low-quality feeds can be the causes of intestinal blockage.
Therefore, only full compliance with sanitary and hygienic standards, timely cell cleaning and feeding with fresh products can prevent the development of gastrointestinal diseases.
To be fully prepared, read the article "Symptoms and treatment of diseases of rabbits."
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