Shiro Is Not Eating : GI Statis or Teeth/Molar Issue?

Posted: October 20, 2010 in Inside The Playpen

Please keep praying for this sweetie pie...

Shiro’s condition is getting on and off. His GI Statis problem was came back on last 12 Oct, and it happens again these few days. He still doesn’t eat his hay. And i noticed, he is reducing his food intake, and only munch on fruits and veggies and soft food. He is losing weight since then.

He is getting skinny and skinny.

Just now (lunch hour) i went back home to check on Shiro and fed him some pineapple (bcoz he had a hard tummy this morning).

And when i petted him, i found a small lump under his chin, right under his left lower jaw. The lump is the same size of green bean, hanging inside his skin. Looks like an abscess.

Green-bean sized lump 😦

The lump is getting sligthly bigger as we get home afterwork. I will get the antibiotic tomorrow.

I’m not sure if he is having teeth/molar problem. All his teeth are looked ok.

Pls let me know if u guys think he is having teeth/molar problem from the photo.

Another photo.

When he was much younger, he used to sneeze a lot, and producing thick whitish discharge from his nose. The vet gave some antibiotics. After quite sometimes, there was no whitish discharged, and less sneeze. Today, he still sneezing sometimes, but no discharge from his nose.

Compared to other rabbits, Shiro grunts a lot. He makes a funny sound, like grunt + wheezing, especially when he is angry/uncomfortable/stress.

Last month, we sent him to a young lady vet nearby to deworm him and the other Fluffies bcoz he is getting skinny and skinnier. The vet said she suspected something is not right with Shiro’s lungs, but she wasn’t sure bcoz she has a very little experience on rabbits. She asked us to send Shiro to the other vet to xray, and to comfirm that problem. But Mr Am and I tought it is nothing to worried. That is how he sounds since we got him.

2 days after he recovered his 1st tummy issue (as i posted on 2nd Oct), he drank a lot. More than a double of his normal water intake. He wet his chin too. But when i checked under his wet chin, i didn’t find anything abnormal/lumpy. And after the 2 days, his water intake was back to normal. No more wet chin. But as i mentioned, his food intake wasn’t as good as before he had his GI stasis issue. He is forging on soft foods like veges, fruits, and alfalfa leaves.

I rub his head and chin everyday. I didn’t notice that lump, until i found it today (I’m not sure if it already there 2-3 days ago. I might overlooked on it).

Do u guys think he is having a teeth problem that leads him to reduce his food intake and caused those stomach upset / GI statis?

If he is suspected to have teeth problem, how to confirm? The sneeze, it is an early sign of teeth/molar problem? The abscess, is it a sign of teeth/molar problem too? If yes, what treatment will be performed on him? Anyone experienced this? Please write to me. Thank you.

  1. sillylupie says:

    Oh dear!! Shiro please be well soon!!

    We continue to purr / pray for your speedy recovery!
    Now Shiro dear, please eat and gain strength to fight!

    We love you very much!

    From Auntie Lupie & Gang…

  2. meowwmania says:

    siannya Shiro 😦

    aunty meow xde experience la psal rabbit ni, xdpt nak tlg mama kamu…mama nnti bwk jumpa vet lg yer

    aunty doakan smoga Shiro cepat sembuh, amin…

  3. sillylupie says:

    Hello lovely Auntie Nerq,

    Onion here.
    I am still very upset with mom over my “exposed” photo.
    So, Onion will reply as Onion was the one “constipated” – Onion knows.
    Mom buy fresh pumpkin from the market, cut it into cubes, microwaves it, then mash them and mixed with some “fishy” can food for me.

    Auntie Nerq can also “steam” instead of “microwave” – but you know, knowing Mom – she’s lazy.

    Feel free to ask if you need more info ya…

    Love, Onion

    P:S: Purrs to Shiro

  4. Brian says:

    My sisters and I are all sending healing purrs to you sweetie pie.

  5. Vivien says:

    get well shiro…………dont like the word lump ……… it happens to my bit bit and really scary….losing him……but reality he left me so soon…

    try to get it x-ray and try to remove the lump if possible because he still a baby…….

    we pray for you little buddy

  6. Nicole says:

    First, I am no expert, but here’s my response:

    I’ll start with the best possible outcome. I recently discovered a lump on my rabbit’s chin, too. Turns out it is only inflamed tissue/cyst. The vet suggested it could have been caused by a poke in the chin with a sharp piece of hay, or perhaps my own rough grooming (/shame-face). She said if it got bigger, we might operate to remove it; but, lucky us, it’s getting smaller. I have my fingers crossed that Shiro’s lump will be the same.

    Can you feel if the lump is just in the skin? If you move your fingers around the lump, does it feel like it is growing out of the jaw bone? If it’s just in the skin, it’s likely a cyst (cancerous skin tumours apparently aren’t common in rabbits). I recommend getting a cell sample tested (a cytology) to make sure. If it’s a cyst, you can wait to see if it goes away on it’s own; if it grows bigger, you may need surgery becuase the bigger it is, the more problems it can cause.

    My rabbit grunts a lot, too. This isn’t necessarily a problem: different rabbits have different vocal habits, just like humans. My rabbit also makes a grunt-wheeze kind of noise that worried me in the past (although, he makes it when he is excited or grooming, not angry or stressed). Turns out, my rabbit is fine, but a grunt-wheeze type noise could be a sign of breathing problems. Breathing problems may be about the lungs, but they may be about a dental problem.

    Shiro’s top front teeth have slight malocclusion, but I wouldn’t think this would cause a problem (yet). Otherwise, his teeth look fine in your pictures, but there are so many teeth we can’t see that could be causing problems. I know you don’t have a rabbit-savvy vet nearby, but do your vets have a scope they can put in Shiro’s mouth to look at the back teeth, gums, tongue, etc? This is good to do at every annual check-up.

    At this point, I recommend X-rays to see if teeth are growing into the jaw bone and causing an abscess, or growing into the nasal passages and causing breathing problems (the sneezing etc.), or if there is something wrong with the lungs. It’s likely that Shiro would have to be put under anaesthetic to be X-rayed: if so, make sure your vet knows which anaesthetics are safe for rabbits, because many that are safe for cats/dogs are deadly for rabbits.

    Tooth problems may have caused Shiro to change his eating habits, or his changed eating habits may have caused tooth problems. Overgrown teeth are a common consequence of G.I. Stasis because the bun hasn’t been eating roughage. Now Shiro is somewhat recovered but you say he is avoiding pellets and hay – again, this could cause tooth problems, or it could be the consequence of tooth problems.

    You can compensate for Shiro not eating pellets by increasing his veggie servings and by hydrating his pellets in warm water and syringe-feeding. This should help with the weight loss.

    But nothing can compensate for roughage. Rabbits need roughage to keep their G.I. systems running smoothly and to keep dental problems at bay. You must do everything you can until Shiro starts eating hay again. You can try different varieties of grass hay. You can be very picky about hay being fresh. You can try putting dried herbs in the hay. I’ve heard of people steaming hay, but I’m not sure if this would help the teeth. You can also try other types of roughage, like apple wood sticks or willow sticks (but watch for pesticides, also some have said that green wood can cause problems so dry the sticks first or else watch Shiro carefully), or even a cardboard box counts as roughage (use unbleached, plain cardboard).

    If the cytology shows it’s a tumour or abcess, or if the X-rays show a lung problem or serious dental problems, I recommend consulting with the rabbit-savvy vet you’ve mentioned in KL. You should call them, and urge your local vets to consult with them, before taking the trip, but in the end you may have to make the trip even though travel is stressful for rabbits.

    • Nicole says:

      After all that, I can’t believe I didn’t say this:

      I’m so sorry about poor little Shiro! He is obviously a very brave little bun, and you clearly care very much for him. My very best of luck to you.

      ~ Nicole

  7. Nicole says:

    Hello, I read your comment on my blog. That’s really good news the lump is only in the skin and isn’t getting bigger. Sounds like it isn’t a dental abscess: hopefully just inflamed tissue/cyst. I’m not sure it could be caused by syringe-feeding, but it could have been any number of things.

    Won’t the vets in your area do a cytology (cell sample and testing)? If not, you’ll really have to keep your eyes on it. If it gets bigger, something will have to be done…

    I don’t have experience with antibiotics. Are you using Baytril? There are a number of antibiotics that should be avoided – most notably penicillin and clindamycin – because they mess too badly with the G.I. system. And I’ve read that overuse of even safe antibiotics can be dangerous in the long-run because bacteria may become resistant to it.

    What have you been syringe-feeding? Because this is potentially a long-term situation, you might want to avoid the common syringe-feeders – like Critical Care – becuase these are formulated to be emergency foods and often have too much sugar to be used as a base food. Because Shiro’s not eating hay, use a formula (or pellets hydrated with warm water) with the highest level of fibre possible.

    It sounds like you’re trying everything I can think of to encourage hay. How old is Shiro? If he’s older than a year, alfalfa (versus grass, like the other hays you mentioned) will end up causing other complications because of protein levels. I don’t know what to say… just keep pushing the grass hays, I guess. Maybe try positive reinforcement?

    Frank’s never had an x-ray, but I know our vet would puts animals under general anaesthetic if they need an x-ray. They’re rabbit-savvy so they know which anaesthetics to use on rabbits. I’ve heard of vets x-raying rabbits without general anaesthetic, but I don’t know how that would work because trancing only works on some rabbits – Frank for instance does not respond well to it, he snaps out of it really easily and if that happened while he was alone on an x-ray table, it just wouldn’t work and anyway he could injure himself. Maybe some way of strapping the rabbit down… I don’t know.

    I think because of his bouts with stasis and his recent refusal to eat hay, and his history of breathing problems, some x-rays would be really really good for Shiro. He should have his blood tested (to check kidney functions, or is it liver functions? I always mix those 2 up) before going under a general anaesthetic as a safety measure. Also make sure the vet knows which kinds of anaesthetics are safe.

    All of this sounds so complicated and difficult… I can only imagine what you’re going through. Shiro is such a beautiful guy and it really breaks my heart to read about his problems. I know you are responsible, caring rabbit companions and I know you’re doing everything you can. My thoughts are with you. Please keep us updated on Shiro’s condition.

  8. Deborah Gallant says:

    When we had a problem with our little rabbit, with a lump under his chin. We used a penicillin shot for two months, given daily with a needle in the scruff of the back of the neck. Healed completely. No problem. My vet is very rabbit-savvy, however, we learned of this procedure through a rabbit site called Etherbun, where they are devoted to the health, care and behavior of domestic, companion rabbits. You have to join the group to be able to ask a question, and you can also sign up for email alerts. This is the site: The back molars of a bunny, which you cannot see without a scope, are usually the ones that cause the most problems. They can grow into the cheek, and also into the tongue, causing a lot of pain, and the rabbit will stop eating within a few days. My mother, who also has a bunny, had this problem with her cute little guy. They were able to fix two teeth by a molar rasp, with no anaesthetic, however, they had to do a molar grind on another tooth, which did require anaesthetic, because it was more overgrown. The same day she brought him home, he was eager to eat, and did not need any antibiotics (which my mother doesn’t like to use, unless absolutely necessary.) It would be a good idea to educate your vet as much as possible, by finding things out yourself on the internet, and then informing him. Vets we’ve used have been grateful and willing to learn more about bunnies. Hope this helps. Let us know how Shiro’s doing.

    • thefluffies says:

      Hi Deborah,
      Thanks for the link. I will go thru the site u’ve linked to me 🙂
      We have many vets here, but to find a good one is almost impossible. Most of the veteran are reluctant to share what drugs they use on our pets. And some of them are really stubborn, stick to their old methods and ignoring technology and latest meds in the market. It is so heartache to know that we have no proper drugs for emergency such as painkiller for bunny, safe anesthetic for bunny, safa antibiotic for bunny. For them, if it is safe to be used on kitten, it should be safe on bunny too.. That is why u can see most of the vets here treated rabbits’ fleas using Frontline which in a NO for rabbits and will cause severe damage on the rabbits.

      So far i only know one young lady vet who is quite well-verse in rabbits, but she is 5hours journey (she’s in KL) from our place.

      I’ve sent Shiro for x-ray yesterday. Today i’ll send the x-ray to the vet in KL. Hope we’ll hear from her very soon.

  9. Papa Hero says:


  10. Reese says:

    How are you Shiro? Oh, I can see that lump. I think lumps are signs of infection due to molar abscess. I also notice fur loss in the lump. Does your bunny drool? Those saliva burns the skin, making the wet area itchy and sore, and causing the fur to fall out.

    Get well soon bunny. I hope you can go back rest to your own rabbit hutches or cages now.

  11. nida says:

    Hi there, my bunny pon ada lump. Dalam lump tu ada nanah. taktau punca. But gigi dia panjang sikit. Boleh tahu mana nak hantar utk trim gigi rabbit tak? Atau specialist rabbit area kl? Thanks.

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