Bloating In Rabbits Possible Causes And Treatment Options

Bloating in rabbits: possible causes and treatments

Farmers engaged in rabbit breeding know firsthand how eared pets are prone to disease. One of the most common is bloating in rabbits. The rapid development of the disease often leads to the death of the animal. This can be avoided with timely and proper treatment.

Why does this happen

With bloating, a rabbit is diagnosed with tympanum or gastrointestinal stasis. These names are united by one concept – bloating. A similar condition occurs in case of stagnation of food in the intestines of an eared pet or its complete blockage.

The main cause of this disease is a structural feature of the digestive system. Rabbits lack smooth muscle in the stomach, so the food shifts under the pressure of the next portion eaten. Any break in nutrition threatens the intestinal lumen, which results in stagnation of food, fermentation and gases.

In addition to the physiological reason, there are others:

  1. Stress – fright, a change in feed, uncomfortable transportation, bad weather and the like can trigger diarrhea or FSW.
  2. Poor quality of food – the presence of mold or rot, as well as unharpened grass or fresh hay depresses the digestive system and leads to fermentation in the stomach.
  3. Insufficient amount of water – at least one liter of liquid is required per rabbit per day.
  4. A sharp transition in nutrition. In spring and autumn, a change of diet occurs, and if this process is carried out without preparation, animals can bloat their stomachs from fermentation.
  5. The use of a large number of products that contribute to increased gas formation. These include: cabbage, silage, root crops, legumes and alfalfa.
  6. Inactivity – with a lack of movement, congestion appears much more often.
  7. The presence of wool in the intestines – shreds get inside with food. In large quantities, they close the intestinal lumen, and the stomachs of rabbits swell.
  8. Obesity – overweight provokes squeezing of the intestines, thereby narrowing the lumen of the intestine and interfering with the advancement of food.
  9. Bacteria in the intestines – microflora is not always able to cope with them.
  10. Helminths. Propagating in the body, they emit gases that inflate the stomach.

Another cause of tympanum are diseases of the oral cavity and teeth. This is found in older pets. Stomachs bloat when animals cannot normally grind and chew food, which is why stagnation occurs. If untreated, the rabbit dies.

ATTENTION! More often than others, tympanum is affected by small rabbits, laid off from their mother.

A sharp transition from milk to adult nutrition strikes the fragile digestive system, leading to bloating.

Symptoms of the disease

You can recognize bloating in a rabbit at the very beginning of the development of the disease. The main symptom is a huge swollen belly, similar to a drum. There are other signs:

  • complete rejection of food;
  • immobility;
  • lethargy;
  • bulging eyes;
  • low temperature;
  • respiratory failure;
  • gnashing of teeth.

Stool retention of more than 10 hours is also a characteristic symptom of bloating. But, if the pet has diarrhea, and with clots of blood or mucus, this is also a sign of gastrointestinal stasis, only accompanied by an infection from which rabbits can die.

IMPORTANT! If symptoms of the disease manifest, you should immediately consult a specialist, otherwise the animal may die.

The attending veterinarian will listen to the pet, take an X-ray and, based on the results, determine the area of ​​obstruction.

How to deal with tympany

Experienced rabbit breeders even without a doctor know what to do if the rabbit has a swollen stomach. There are several ways to deal with the disease, but first you need to ease the pain with massage. The procedure is simple:

  1. An eared animal must be placed on its knees in a prone position.
  2. Lightly, in a circular motion, stroke the pet’s tummy from top to bottom along the entire length.
  3. The pressure force should be gradually increased, while monitoring the well-being of the rabbit.
  4. You need to continue until the stomach becomes soft.

ATTENTION! If the animal breaks out and squeals during the massage, stop stroking.

Massage is not a complete treatment for bloating, but it helps to temporarily relieve the animal of pain and alleviate the course of the disease.

Eliminate a swollen belly under force and an enema. It is carried out with boiled and necessarily warm water – this will help reduce stress.

For 1 liter of water, 1 tsp is taken. vegetable oil and 1 tablespoon Epsom salts. For greater effectiveness, an enema is recommended to be accompanied by a light massage. Reduced abdomen and slight softness hint at the correctness of the action.

Drug treatment

A medication for bloating a rabbit may include the use of the following medications to help with tympanum.

  • Espumisan. A popular remedy for flatulence saves not only children, but also helps the rabbit body. It is in free sale, and it is not difficult to purchase a medicine. The only catch is that the instructions do not contain dosage recommendations for eared pets. But veterinarians have long calculated the maximum dose per kilogram of weight – that’s 20 drops. It is necessary to give Espumisan to the rabbit with a pipette only three times a day with a break of three hours.
  • Simethicone. It also helps with a swollen abdomen, but at the same time relieves pain a little. In the first three hours, the medicine is given in 1-2 ml every hour. If the condition of the rabbit improves, then enter three more times within nine hours.
  • Tympanol.Suitable only for adult animals. Dosages for eared pets are not there either. The maximum daily dose is 0.5 mg per kilogram of weight. The drug should be diluted with water. The mixture is divided into five parts and given during the day.
  • Activated carbon. The safest medicine. One tablet is needed per kilogram of weight. The medicine should be crushed and diluted with water. You can take up to three times a day.

If the rabbit has diarrhea, then the present infection is treated with antibiotics. In the absence of diarrhea, such treatment is contraindicated, since there is a likelihood of a pet dying.

IMPORTANT! If treatment of tympania with diarrhea was carried out using antibiotics, then upon completion it is necessary to restore the intestinal microflora of the animal.

Various probiotics are suitable for this. As well as the course of treatment in general, only a veterinarian should prescribe them.


Alternative methods of treatment are justified only for experienced rabbit breeders who have repeatedly encountered tympanum and successfully helped rabbits. Otherwise, when the owner does not know exactly why the rabbit has a bloated stomach, it is necessary to consult a veterinarian.

  • Alcohol-containing drinks cope with bloating. Vodka or moonshine should be diluted to 30 ° and treat the bunny with one tablespoon of the drink. For an adult rabbit, you need to double the dosage. Such a medicine will quickly relieve flatulence and fermentation.
  • Infusions of medicinal herbs with antiseptic and antiviral effects will help cope with the disease. For this, chamomile, mint or lemon balm are suitable. One tablespoon of the grass must be brewed in a glass of boiling water, let it brew for half an hour and offer the sick rabbit 30-40 ml of chilled broth.
Read more:  Hay For Rabbits - Which Hay Is Better How To Prepare And How Much Rabbit Needs

Do not completely rely on traditional medicine. It manifests itself well only in combination with drugs. By combining treatment, you can achieve a quick recovery and prevent pets from dying.

Prevention of bloating in rabbits

Avoiding bloated belly in rabbits is quite simple. To do this, preventive measures should be observed:

  • provide rabbits with spacious housing – crowding is the enemy of eared pets;
  • monitor the quality of the diet – fresh hay, the presence of mold or rot is unacceptable;
  • feed according to the regimen – 2 times a day is enough. Randomness can cause diarrhea or FSW;
  • regularly clean the cage – remove shreds of wool and trampled food;
  • control the presence of clean water – the drinker should be freely available.

These are fairly simple rules for keeping animals. Performing them, you can save rabbits from many diseases.

When bloating in rabbits, it is important to determine the cause and begin treatment. In some cases, this can be done independently, but if you are not confident in your abilities, it is better to turn to specialists for help. Timely diagnosis and quick help can save the animal’s life.

In rabbits, their stomachs swell and death occurs, how to treat correctly, what to do

Digestion in Pets – unstable process. Breeders often report bloating in rabbits.

The name of this disease is gastrointestinal stasis (abbreviated as FSA), or tympanum. This can be life threatening.

Why rabbits may swell their stomach, causes and symptoms

There is no smooth muscle in the structure of the rabbit stomach, which contracts and promotes the swallowed portion of the feed, as is the case with living things.

A new portion of food in rabbits moves forward due to the fact that the next one is pushing it.

Disruptions in the digestive tract immediately cause stagnation in the intestinal lumen. The abdomen of a rabbit quickly swells up like a ball, and in case of emergency emergency refusal, it quickly dies.

The causes of malaise are many:

  • stress caused by loud noise or bright light;
  • a sharp change in weather;
  • ferrets, stray dogs, weasels and other predators;
  • change of diet – the stomachs of rodents are not able to instantly switch to a new feed;
  • dehydration (rabbits need to drink up to 0.5 l of water per day);
  • improper nutrition – a lack of dietary fiber makes digestion difficult;
  • poor or inappropriate food that causes fermentation in the stomach;
  • ingestion of pieces of wool, hair, etc., not subject to digestion.

Bloating in a rabbit

Tympany develops due to impaired intestinal microflora, its main causes:

  • Inactive lifestyle due to too small a cell or a large content of adult individuals in it.
  • Diseases of the teeth and the oral cavity as a whole, which are more susceptible to adult rabbits. It is painful for an animal to chew food – it swallows large pieces or refuses to eat food at all.
  • Frequent treatment with antibiotics that kill not only pathogenic, but also beneficial intestinal microflora.

Attention! A rumbling rabbit stomach doesn’t always mean illness! Some foods (legumes, white cabbage, raw grass) are difficult to digest with a gentle stomach, hence flatulence.

Symptoms of FSW, unlike other diseases

FSW in rabbits is determined at the initial stage; it is especially easy for experienced farmers to recognize it.

Important! Even a slightly bloated abdomen can signal an animal’s malaise.

Do not panic and prepare for the worst – a rabbit can be quickly helped.

Causes and treatment of bloating in rabbits

In rabbits, quite often there is an upset stomach and intestines, because their digestion is very unstable. Bloating in rabbits is a known issue that is very common on the farm. It comes suddenly, which can lead to serious consequences if treatment is not started in time.

In herbivores, which include rabbits, the digestion process is continuous.

Causes of bloating in rabbits:

  1. Dehydration These animals must drink a lot of fluid, which they need for proper digestion.
  2. Stress. It can occur during a change in nutrition. Change the diet only gradually.
  3. An unbalanced diet and the lack of fiber in it, which are necessary for good digestion.
  4. Bacteria.
  5. Into intestines wool.
  6. Abrupt change of scenery, transportation or loud noise.
  7. Fixed lifestyle.
  8. Diseases of the oral cavity, including teeth.

Treatment should be carried out immediately and it will be much more effective in the early stages.

Symptoms of FSW, unlike other diseases

An experienced rabbit breeder will easily identify problems with the stomach at the very beginning of their development. The main symptom that can be seen visually is a swollen belly. These animals suffer from this disease quite often. There is no serious problem.

  1. Lack of condition and refusal of food. Pets are very fond of eating and jumping, so the state of apathy can be immediately noticed.
  2. When palpating the abdomen, small lumps are felt. You can hear that gurgling in the stomach. It may also be accompanied by rumbling. These signs indicate that food and fluid have accumulated in the intestines.
  3. Violation of the stool for 12 hours, as well as discoloration of feces.

These signs will help beginners to identify the disease in the initial stages.

Experienced rabbit breeders are better off using a stethoscope. It costs quite inexpensively, but it helps to listen to the intestines and determine the presence of a disorder.

When the disorder is very severe, the animals experience incredible pain and a defensive reaction – they will pretend to be dead. A sign that accurately indicates the presence of FSW is respiratory failure. The intestines increase in size and presses on the diaphragm, because of this, respiratory arrest is possible.

If the animals have diarrhea or blood in the feces, then this may indicate rabbit disease. Most likely, this is a more serious disease. In this case, you should immediately contact a veterinarian.

How to treat bloating in a rabbit

What to do if a rabbit has a swollen stomach?

  1. Isolate the rabbit from other individuals.
  2. Carry out a full inspection. For this, the animal must be put on its back and grabbed by the paws. The other person should feel the stomach for lumps. Determine when the rabbit swelled.
  3. If the fears were justified, then proceed to treatment.

Traditional treatment

Home treatment is the easiest method. For this, you can use decoctions and massage courses.

Massage is easy and everyone will cope with this task. Fingers need to be carried out in circular movements clockwise from head to tail. Such a massage helps to get stuck masses. You can not put pressure on the organs of the animal, because they are very tender. The duration of the massage is 5-7 minutes.

For prevention, a decoction made from medicinal herbs – chamomile, wormwood and dandelion helps. This solution should be added to food. A good alternative is vodka, which can be fed to rabbits from bloating. You can replace it with moonshine or alcohol. The main thing is that the liquid strength exceeds 30 degrees. If the animals refuse to drink the solutions on their own, you need to use a syringe without a needle, with which to pour liquid into your mouth. The required dose is 1 tablespoon for cubs and 2 tablespoons for adults. For acute symptoms, medical treatment should be sought.

Read more:  How Rabbits Move


Treating bloating in rabbits is much more effective with proven medications. Medications that may help: activated charcoal and tympanol. Coal must be crushed and give 2-3 tablets per glass of water. Tympanol should be given at the rate of 0.5 mg per 1 kg of weight. Means do not carry a life threat to rabbits. The medicine is suitable if the rabbit’s stomach swells. Young individuals are found with this ailment very often, especially if they were early removed from the female.

Simethicone is a suspension that helps with bloating. The required dose is 1 ml for the first few hours. After improvement, you can give the medicine 2 times every 3 hours.

Oil-based laxatives should not be used by beginners. It is better to consult a specialist.

A sick animal needs to drink in large quantities. Do not use enemas or heating pads. You should also not try any means that are at hand. They can do harm. It is better to consult a doctor who can prescribe antibiotics.

Many inexperienced rabbit breeders want to make the rabbit an enema from bloating, but this is not necessary. Enema is done only with constipation.

What to do with this disease, diet and food

Patients and only recovered individuals should follow a diet for several days. The optimal period is from 4 days to 1 week. It is necessary to exclude vegetables, herbs and fruits, which can trigger a disorder. Let’s eat oats and hay. You can give pumpkin, which is a diet treat. Parsley, chamomile and sage have a good effect on digestion.

Prevention of tympanum and FSW in rabbits

Any breed can suffer from this disease, but cubs are especially vulnerable.

It is impossible to exclude disorders in rabbits, but there are a number of recommendations that will help reduce the likelihood of an onset of the disease:

  1. Do not give your pets a very large amount of vegetables and fruits.
  2. Carefully monitor the quality of food. It should not have mold and signs of rot.
  3. It is necessary to exclude sugar and the food in which it is contained.
  4. Rabbits should drink as much water as they need. The drinker must always be filled.

You need to carefully consider the choice of diet and carefully monitor the condition of rabbits. This will help to recognize the problem in the early stages. Obesity and overweight in rabbits should not be allowed.

It is best at the first signs of an ailment to consult a veterinarian who will prescribe the correct course of treatment. Do not endanger the lives of your favorite pets.

Causes and treatment of bloating or flatulence in rabbits

Bloating and persistent flatulence are one of the most common rabbit problems that breeders discover when inspecting animals at their farm or farmyard. Meanwhile, the cause of the problem can be both malnutrition and eating disorders, as well as more serious diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. In this case, bloating as a separate disease should not be considered, in this case, it is necessary to consider the problem in a complex. This article will tell you how to determine the causes of flatulence, how to eliminate and prevent a violation.

Causes of occurrence

Possible causes can be easily eliminated and complex, requiring some therapy.


Most often, bloating in rabbits is the result of improper diet or feeding errors. So, lead to increased gas formation:

  • too much cabbage;
  • excess legumes in the daily menu;
  • dry and fresh alfalfa grass in the diet;
  • vegetables that were frozen in freezers.

In addition, the following disorders can cause flatulence:

  • submission of poor-quality or stale food (in particular, concentrate);
  • a sharp change in diet;
  • binge eating;
  • too little or excess fiber in the diet;
  • ingestion of a foreign body in the digestive tract.

A sedentary lifestyle, obesity, constipation, too hot stuffy weather, stressful situations, and wool getting into the stomach can also provoke an increase in gas formation.

Harbinger of what diseases

Tympanum, or another abdominal disease in rabbits, can be triggered by an imbalance in the intestinal microflora. Such diseases can disrupt the microflora:

  1. Diseases of the teeth and oral cavity – infectious stomatitis, anatomical pathologies. The crawl cannot grind food normally for better absorption, which leads to constipation and violation of the microbalance of the gastrointestinal tract.
  2. An overdose of antibiotics – they destroy the microflora.
  3. A sedentary lifestyle of an animal – a small space in the cells, lack of output lead to stagnation of food.
Bloating In Rabbits Possible Causes And Treatment Options

All of these causes can lead to gastrointestinal stasis, a disease in which the rabbit’s gastrointestinal system gradually slows down and then stops functioning completely. This leads to a gradual disturbance of microflora, the animal stops drinking and eating, and subsequently dies from dehydration and hunger.

Increased gas formation can be in rabbits of any breed, age and gender.

With FSW, the rabbit may pretend to be dead. This is due to the fact that they experience severe pain, and the accumulation of gases and undigested food strongly presses on the diaphragm, which leads to respiratory arrest.

How to distinguish FSW from other diseases

Gastrointestinal stasis is a serious disease of rabbits, in which there is poor appetite, impaired stool and mobility, lethargy. The pathological condition is associated with impaired peristalsis and intestinal patency. Such a problem is very dangerous and without a timely solution can lead to the death of the animal.

Bloating on the background of FSW can occur when eating fresh grass, beets, poor-quality combined feeds, as well as the ingestion of wool or foreign objects into the stomach.

Gastrointestinal stasis can be distinguished by characteristic symptoms:

  1. Complete lack of appetite and thirst. Like any herbivore, a rabbit eats food constantly. Therefore, to notice a lack of appetite is quite simple.
  2. Rumbling or the complete absence of any sounds.
  3. Change in the size of feces. Feces become small, constipation is observed.
  4. Constant pain. Due to severe pain, the animal suffers and constantly grinds its teeth.

In the absence of proper treatment, rabbits die a few days after the onset of the disease.

Before starting therapy, it is necessary to establish the cause of the disease. Next, you will need to carry out a set of special events.

Regardless of the cause, massage can improve intestinal motility and reduce gas formation. The procedure is as follows:

  1. The animal is laid on its back.
  2. Make stroking movements from top to bottom. Pressures should not cause pain.

Massage can be repeated after two hours. Repetitions are carried out until flatulence decreases.

For an enema, it is recommended to use warm water. It will require dissolving laxatives (preferably mineral, for example, magnesium sulfate). As a rule, a spoonful of the drug is used per liter of liquid. Before setting an enema, you should consult your veterinarian and get detailed instructions from him. Subsequently, the procedure can be repeated every time flatulence occurs.

Activated carbon

Activated pharmaceutical coal is a universal budgetary tool against increased gas formation. For one animal, during an attack of flatulence, two or three tablets in a crushed form and dissolved in a glass of water are enough. Serve in the absence of thirst using a syringe or pipette.

Read more:  Fun For The Pet Make Toys For Decorative Rabbits


For rabbits, you can use some drugs that are used for flatulence in humans. Among them:

  1. Espumisan. Use up to twenty drops of the drug per kilogram of weight. Give medication to rabbits three times a day. To do this, you can use a pipette or syringe.
  2. Simethicone. The medication is an analogue of Espumisan. It should be applied every hour, pouring one or two milliliters.
  3. Antibiotics. Medications are prescribed by the veterinarian in case of infection.

To relieve pain, No-Shpa solutions are used. In addition, a diluted glucose solution is used to maintain vital activity in the absence of appetite.


Comprehensive preventive measures can prevent bloating of any type.

In order to exclude the possibility of increased gas formation due to malnutrition, it is recommended that animals make a balanced diet. It should contain a sufficient amount of fats, carbohydrates (including coarse fiber) and proteins, as well as vitamin and mineral complexes. To a minimum, the supply of cabbage of any varieties, as well as legumes, should be reduced. Cereals are useful to soak for three hours in warm water before serving.

Vegetables and herbs should be thoroughly washed and dried. No soil particles should remain on it. Soft vegetables and fruits are recommended to be excluded.


The diet of an adult healthy rabbit should consist of:

  • cereal mixtures (corn, barley, oats);
  • combined feed high quality (it is best to purchase specialized species);
  • hard vegetables and seasonal fruits;
  • hay and dried fresh grass.

It is possible to give rabbits sour milk products in limited quantities. Fresh milk from the diet is important to completely eliminate. It is recommended to feed animals twice a day.

Gastrointestinal stasis is a common problem in rabbits. That is why people involved in rabbit breeding are most often interested in the treatment and prevention of FSW. Without timely treatment, bloating leads to the death of the animal. Digestive problems in these animals can occur for a variety of reasons. Therefore, you need to be very attentive to their condition. If the rabbit does not show interest in food, urgent measures must be taken. Violation of intestinal motility, bloating and constipation is observed more often in young individuals.

Causes of FSW

Bloating in rabbits

The causes of digestive problems in rabbits can vary. Violation of intestinal motility occurs due to improper feeding. Very often bloating occurs due to insufficient amount of hay in the diet. You also need to be very careful to give alfalfa hay to the rabbit. Its quantity should be limited. Alfalfa can create a breeding ground for the development of strains of certain bacteria, especially Clostridium, which adversely affect the intestinal microflora, which causes digestive problems. A sharp change in feed can also cause bloating and constipation. Improper nutrition leads to the formation of gas, causes constipation and disrupts intestinal motility.

Bloating in rabbits can be from:

  • fresh grass
  • beet tops,
  • last year or poorly dried hay (read in detail: what hay is needed and how much to give),
  • poor-quality feed (see article on rabbit food),
  • ingestion of wool into the stomach during molting.

The stress that an animal suffers due to a change in its familiar environment, noise, during transportation can also cause FSW.

Symptoms of FSW

Symptoms of rabbit disease with FSW or bloating appear immediately, which allows you to take immediate action. The first alarming symptom is the refusal of the animal to eat food. Like any herbivore, a rabbit constantly chews. His stomach is never empty. If he does not eat for a long time, an ulcer develops in the stomach. With bloating, rabbits stop eating and drinking, they are tormented by constipation and severe pain. Loud sounds appear in the stomach, or instead of the usual noises, there may be a complete absence of any sounds. Rabbits can have either a slowdown or a complete cessation of peristalsis. The slowdown of peristalsis can be determined by peas (fecal balls), which becomes smaller. The animal becomes sleepy, passive, clanks and grinds its teeth in pain. Without treatment, the animal dies within a few days.

FSD treatment

Veterinarian examines a rabbit

To improve the intestinal motility of the rabbit, you can do a light massage of the abdomen. If the animal is able to move it should be driven in the aviary or in the yard. This will improve the functioning of the gastrointestinal tract. To relieve swelling and reduce pain, the animal can be given activated carbon. This drug is diluted in water and dripped into the mouth with a syringe without a needle. You can give dill water or 2 ml of espumisan. Remedies for bloating should be alternated with a massage of the abdomen. Most often, this treatment helps to get rid of bloating and constipation. If all of the above remedies do not help, you should give the animal 3 ml of vegetable oil.

With minor constipation, rabbits show an interest in food. Then they need to be given juicy grass, vegetables and a drink.

Bloating and constipation in rabbits can be treated with various medications. A safe solution is Simethicone suspension or tablets.. This drug can also be used to prevent FSW. Give it 1-2 ml every hour from bloating and as an anesthetic. When the pain decreases, the medicine is administered every 3 hours for 9 hours.

Cisapride and metoclopramide stimulate intestinal motility. These drugs are effective to use at the same time, since they affect different parts of the intestine.

The water balance of the body in a rabbit can be maintained with Locker Ringer’s solution. This medication is used as a subcutaneous injection.

Enzymatic intestinal acids are used to soften solids in the intestines. In critical cases, veterinarians prescribe a potent pancreatic enzyme based viokase. This drug dissolves proteins, fats, carbohydrates. But you need to use it carefully, as it can burn the esophagus.

To improve appetite, rabbits are given vitamins B.

Professional Tips

Oil-based laxatives should be given only as a last resort. To use such a tool in many cases is even dangerous. If the contents of the intestines of the animal are dehydrated, the oil substance will only prevent the restoration of fluid balance and further fragmentation of feces.

With constipation, the rabbit can be given an enema with warm water. For an enema, you can use a 10 ml syringe.

With constipation, you need to ensure that the animal receives a sufficient amount of liquid (per 1 kg of weight 100 ml.).

So that the animal does not have stress and the condition does not worsen, it should not be often taken to the veterinarian and sedimented from relatives.

Prevention of FSW

Prevention of FSW is the proper nutrition of rabbits. They should get the right amount of fiber and water. You also need to give enough vegetables. A good prevention of constipation and bloating are regular walks that improve the tone of the muscles of the intestines.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This