Three Little Ladies Rabbitry, Jersey Wooly
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Mucoid Enteritis

Check this out for other health issues: healthRabbit Health Issues

Mucoid enteritis also known as mucoid enteropathy is a serious illness that often affects weaning kits, but can affect adult rabbits as well. Mortality rates are very high, and immediate medical assistance for the rabbit is critical.

Symptoms of Mucoid Enteritis

Often the first visible signs will be mucous and feces packed near the rabbit’s bottom. The rabbit’s droppings will be covered with a clear jelly like mucous. As the digestive system of the rabbit discontinues its work, the rabbit will quit eating, will become dehydrated, and bloated. The rabbit may show signs of pain, including squealing, and grinding its teeth.

Treatment of Mucoid Enteritis

There are several factors at work when treating mucoid enteritis:

1. The bunny may be in pain because of the build up of gas in the stomach. If this pain is not alleviated the bunny will not eat or drink. Although, this will not treat the root cause, it is none the less, very important to treat this. Simethicone infant drops will effectively reduce this problem. Simethicone drops can be found at any drug store. Although some antacid and anti-diarrhea medications may also work, they can cause the digestive system to cease functioning as it should and cause even further complications.

2. The cause of the mucoid enteritis must now be treated. Harmful bacteria have grown in the intestinal tract of the bunny, and it needs to be removed while leaving the good bacteria in the digestive system. Neomycin Sulfate is very effective in removing these harmful bacteria. You can find this medication under a couple of different brand names. Biosol is marketed for scours in pigs and goats, and is the most common form of this medication. You may also find it in pet stores under the name Dri-Tail. While Biosol contains 200 mg per cc of neomycin sulfate, the Dri-tail is a much diluted form of neomycin sulfate. While on Biosol, we will feed unflavored yogurt to our bunnies to encourage the growth of good bacteria. BeneBac is another product that will encourage the growth of the proper bacteria, and can be used instead of the yogurt.

3. The bunny now has some relief from the discomfort of mucoid enteritis, and we have started our battle against the harmful bacteria. But the health of the bunny is still at great risk. The bunny has lost nutrients and electrolytes from the diarrhea, and dehydration is a very real possibility. Mucoid enteritis usually occurs in kits changing from nursing to pellets. Discontinue feeding the pellets to the bunny. Feed only grass hay and oats. You will need to supplement their feeding to get them back up to health. Mix one half Pedialyte and water and encourage the bunny to drink as much as possible. If the bunny will not drink on its own, then you need to do so by syringe. Feed the bunny NutriCal to give it some immediate palatable nutrition. NutriCal is marketed for dogs and cats. If the bunny is already dehydrated then lactating ringers may be necessary. You will only be able to get these from a vet. If your bunny is showing signs of listlessness get them to the vet immediately. The sooner you treat the dehydration the better chance of survival your bunny has.