Where I blab about bunnies and encourage your bunny (and other animal) stories.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Belly rub for the non-bubble belly bunny

My poor tiny Kayla (she's barely 3 pounds and definitely full-grown at nearly five years old) spent most of Saturday with her belly pressed to whatever flat surface she could find -- her favorite (hay-filled) litterbox, the rug under my bed, the rug on the floor of her cage. They lay very differently when they have gas bubbles in their tummies, so I tried to let it work itself out, but by Saturday night, I decided that Hops had run her around all that he could (activity helps the bubbles work themselves out). I had to step in and make my girl feel better.

So I catch Kay (the hardest part is always getting them, they're fine once I'm holding them) and put her in my lap and give her a belly massage. She got a bit fidgety, so I put her on the bed and lay down next to her and gave her Belly Massage, part 2. Poor girl... She hopped down after a few minutes and I checked on her about an hour later and she was hopping around and taking raisins -- Momma done good.

Moral: When your tummy hurts, let someone give you a belly massage. It'll cure what ails ya.

Bunny info: Gas is actually pretty dangerous in bunnies. Gas bubbles that don't break up and don't pass through their systems can cause gastric statis, which can kill a bunny in a few days. (Such fragile creatures, they are.) Massages can help break up big bubbles into smaller ones, which pass through easier. The second step if massages don't work is to pin prick a Gas-X tablet and squish it in their mouths. (See Bubble Belly Bunny Baby.)

Signs of gas include the bunny constantly pressing her belly onto the ground, not eating pellets and/or salad, not taking raisins. There are others like loud belly sounds (although Pea's belly is always grumbling and I don't think it's gas because she eats very well and plays like she's in no pain at all -- some bunnies just have grumbly bellies, I guess) and hard tummy, but the posture and eating habits clue me in first.

Kayla's the bunny of mine who gets gas the most. The others have no real health concerns at all (although I suspect Pea is blind in her right eye, but that's unconfirmed). I'm lucky to have such healthy kids (so far)... I guess I wasn't so lucky with Amber (who died a week before his third birthday in 2001).


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