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1 23rd April 03:32
anna & the bunny twins
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Posts: 1
Default Happy (baby bunnies) and sad (liver disease)

Hi everyone,
I've been lurking here for a looong time, but have just not found the time
to post in ages. I enjoy reading, though, since everyone is so bunny-loving
and have such great advice. I am afraid this will be a very long post, bear
with me... Someone might remember our bunny Elvis, a french lop? (I was
using the screen name Stellar at that time). Sadly Elvis passed away a
month ago, just 1 year old. It all happened very quickly, and needless to
say we are heartbroken and devastated.

He stopped eating and pooping during the day and in the evening he appeared
to be a bit uncomfortable. In the morning we took him to the vet, and he
spent the entire day there, getting subcutaneous fluids, vitamin B, a
motility-inducing drug (called Metopram) and painkillers (Rimadyl). The vet
could feel a plum-sized lump in his stomach, a blockage of some sort. In the
evening he had eaten some greens and hay and was looking better, and most
importantly he had passed some dry, minuscule droppings - just a little
pile, but still. We took him home with the advice to take him back if he
doesn't pass much more droppings by morning. In the morning he was looking
less active and he hadn't eaten much or passed anything after we went to
bed, so we took him back. The vet put him back on the same routine and was
going to take x-rays if he did not improve. But again, he was looking better
after a few hours and we hoped that the worst would be over. I was actually
in the middle of writing a post to alt.pets.rabbits about all this, hoping
to get some advice, when my phone rang. I never posted my message. It was
the vet on the phone, our sweet baby had passed away. He had suddenly become
restless and they had put him on a stronger painkiller (Temgesic). He calmed
down, but passed away very quickly after that. It is SO difficult to
understand, I am again crying when writing this. The vet initially suspected
that his intestine had twisted, cutting of blood circulation causing almost
immediate death. I don't know the name for this condition in English, but it
happens also to horses.

This was a Friday, and it was not possible to get a proper autopsy done on
him, as he would have had to be sent to another city (there's just one place
in Finland that does) and because of the weekend they would not have looked
at him until Monday, which could have been too late. The vet said she can do
an autopsy if we want to, but she does not have the equipment for
histological exams. We were very happy we didn't need to package and send
him away, I don't even think we could have dealt with parting with him. The
vet was really really nice to us and Elvis all the way. She also charged us
only with the medicine cost, nothing for the hours they spent taking care of
him. She did the autopsy after office hours.

The results were a surprise, to say the least. There was nothing wrong with
his intestines, and there wasn't really a blockage in his stomach, just some
poops clumped together that weren't a problem. What he had died from was a
ruptured stomach (causing shock and death very quickly). He apparently had
an ulcer which made the stomach lining weaker in that spot. What the vet
feels caused the ulcer, was his seriously fatty liver! She said very
frankly, that everything they and we did, didn't help him, on the other hand
it didn't harm him either. The fluids and painkillers probably made him feel
better, which I'm happy for. But what the vet nor we can understand, is why
his liver was fatty. He was young, he was on a reasonably good diet - hay,
good pellets, veggies. The vet said that not eating causes fat to ac***ulate
in the liver on bunnies and cats. He did not eat very well for a few days
during the summer due to too much excitement (he was taken care of by the
lady we got him from, got to meet bunny-girls etc.). But the vet feels that
it was not enough to cause that much problems. Elvis was scheduled to be
neutered in two weeks time, and the vet said that he would never have woken
up from the anesthesia, his liver was in such bad shape.

The diagnosis is not absolutely certain, as the vet couldn't run any tests.
A bunny-savvy person (not a vet though) later told us that liver coccidiosis
can look similar to fatty liver, and the vet could not rule that out,
although she was leaning more towards fatty liver. Either way, the vet said
that there would not have been much you can do. One thing that made me feel
a bit better, was when the vet said that Elvis died in the middle of
munching hay, he had some hay in his mouth. Apparently the painkillers
really made him feel better, and also it must have been very sudden, he
didn't have time to suffer much. At least that is what I hope...

Four days ago we went to take home a new bunny, Elvis' son actually, 8 weeks
old. We ended up bringing home two baby bunnies instead of one, a boy
(Kengu, Finnish short word for kangaroo, he often sits on his back feet,
looking at us...) and a girl (Elvira, although I often call her Princess,
she's somehow dignified and royal)! They are the cutest and friendliest
little creatures. We are going to separate them at 10 weeks, until he's
neutered. They have quite distinct personalities. The boy DEMANDS headrubs
and attention, he shows his emotions, both positive and negative, quite
clearly! The girl is more mellow, doesn't mind to be picked up and stroked,
but she doesn't run to you to be petted in the same way. The girl is better
with the litter training, I am wondering if the boy is in this way
demonstrating that he needs even more attention from us?

Needless to say, since they are Elvis' children, we are worried his liver
condition might be hereditary. If anyone has heard of anything similar,
please tell me your experiences with it! Also, do you know of any treatment
against fatty liver?

When I'm holding one of the babies, I usually put them back in their pen if
they appear restless, scratch me or nip on my shirt. Kengu will often thump
when I let him down, and I'm not sure whether that means he was unhappy on
my lap or unhappy with the way I put him down or... He does enjoy sitting on
my lap, he tooth purrs and seems to fall asleep when stroked. I have the
feeling he's trying to tell me something, I just don't know what... Twice I
put him back when he gently nipped my shirt, and he peed immediately (in the
toilet, good boy!!), so I figured he's telling me he needs to go. But then
again, twice he just thumped and laid down when I put him down. Oh well, I
guess it just means "Put me down right now, my hair is a mess" or

Elvis was a bit older when we adopted him, so I'm sure I'll be back with
more questions about the babys.... I have some pictures at (I hope you can access
them?? I'll post them somewhere else if there are problems)

Anna & the bunny twins
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2 23rd April 23:29
External User
Posts: 1
Default Happy (baby bunnies) and sad (liver disease)

Anna, I am so sorry to hear Elvis is gone. Rabbits continue to make acid in
their stomachs, even when they are not eating. If there is no food to work
on, the stomach can digest itself. This may have been what happened with
Elvis. Poor little guy.

Not eating for a while can cause hepatic lipidosis, but I don't know if this
looks like fatty liver.

I am sorry that Elvis left us, but I know that the Bridge bunnies will be
happy when they know there will be music on the other side. I can see them
dancing to "Jailhouse Rock" now. I hope that your sadness passes. Elvis is
okay. He is just in another place.

Anita, Jessie, and Toofer from the bridge
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3 23rd April 23:29
External User
Posts: 1
Default Happy (baby bunnies) and sad (liver disease)

i'm sorry that elvis has passed on. i know how much it hurts and how the
simple act of writing it down brings it back so vividly. please know you
have my sympathies.

now on to the twins....ADORABLE! i can't stand to look at the picture
because i want to pick them up and snuggle them

i'm happy you have a bit of elvis still with you. i can't give you any
advice regarding the liver problem. hopefully someone on the ng will be
able to help.







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4 23rd April 23:30
karin, daffy and eric
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Posts: 1
Default Happy (baby bunnies) and sad (liver disease)

Hej Anna,

I remember you, of course :-)
Nice to see you again - but very sad to hear about poor Elvis :-( I'm so
sorry, that must have been just awful for you. Try to take some comfort in
the fact that he was comfortable enough to be munching hay when he passed
away. I can't really help you with the liver disease questions - I've never
heard of anything like it before.

On a lighter note, I'm happy that you decided to get those new little baby
buns. They do look like little copies of their father, just as handsome and
huggable as he was! I bet they keep you busy, too - but what a wonderful way
to be busy!

Please let us know more about the twins, when you have time?


Karin, Daffy and Eric
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5 24th April 19:11
External User
Posts: 1
Default Happy (baby bunnies) and sad (liver disease)

Anna, I'm so sorry you lost Elvis. How wonderful you now have the
twins. Losing our fur kids is always hard on us. The twins are so
cute. Take care.

Rhonda, Mocha and Eugene
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6 1st May 17:46
External User
Posts: 1
Default Happy (baby bunnies) and sad (liver disease)

Anna - I am sorry for your loss. Very, very sad.

Lisa & the "Fab Four" - Cartman, Wendy, Boo Boo and Hershey

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7 4th May 03:15
External User
Posts: 1
Default Thank you and some more info!

Thank you for all your kind words! I'm so happy there's a place like this
for us bunny lovers to meet - it's not always so easy when people
surrounding you don't understand bunnies and how much they mean for you..

I had some help from a wonderful lady at HRS ( and I now
understand a bit better what happened to Elvis. She guided me to this very
good article ( ) on GI stasis which was
probably the cause behind this Elvis' illness. Apparently not eating even
for quite a short time can cause fatty liver (I think this is the same as
hepatic lipidosis!) and gastric ulcers.

Now I will try to read and re-read the article so that next time (hopefully
there is no next time, of course) I will know what is happening when a bunny
shows similar symptoms.

Take care,
Anna & the Twins
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8 4th May 03:15
anna & the bunny twins
External User
Posts: 1
Default Thank you and some more info!

.... So this is really from me, but I posted from home where I usually don't
read news... Therefore the old screen name...
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9 4th May 03:15
External User
Posts: 1
Default Thank you and some more info!

Hello Anna or Stella...

I feel the same way regarding this group and all the wonderful people
posting here. They are all very nice, helpful, and caring. It is
particularly so when Bunbun and I live in Hong Kong, a city in China where
first thing that comes to people's mind when I mention rabbit is how to eat

Bunbun had a similar problem last week. I think it is most important to
keep your bun hydrated at all times (force feeding water using a syringe may
be necessary). Pineapple juice may also help get things moving as it
contains a certain enzyme which rabbit intestines need to get things moving.
I also force fed him some Gerber Apple Sauce just so that his stomach
doesn't stay empty for too long. These procedures should be helpful til
your vet visit, which I think is a must.

Bunbun started to eat on his own again yesterday morning after a visit to
the vet. He gave him a shot (forgot what drug) and he prescribed a powder
which is an enzyme ****tail mix (I think it's called AvriPro or something
like that) for me to add to his drinking water. So far, Bunbun seems to be
recovering and has regained most of his stregth and alertness altho his poop
is still deformed and hard but it's starting to smell right (yes, I do pick
them up and sniff them from time to time...heh).

Get well vibes being sent to your bun from Hong Kong :-)


"Anna & the Bunny twins" <> ??? ???...

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10 4th May 03:16
External User
Posts: 1
Default Thank you and some more info!

carson. i hate to tell you , but the first thing to come to peoples mind
in ca . is eating them too. i a sooooooo sick of peoples nasty mouths..
it just isn't funny..

beth and her cute little fuzzbutts

(with hair the color of strained peaches)
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