Rabbit Thymes

Rabbit Thymes
In This Issue



hare care

How to Know If Your Pet Rabbit Is Sick

It's no secret to a lot of us that rabbits make wonderful pets, but if you've never had a rabbit before and you are thinking about getting one knowing more about them as pets and what to expect is important. Each month we will be sharing a video that features Actress Amy Sedaris, who is a loving mom to her own pet bunny, and rabbit expert Augy E. Cotter, Ed.D., LVT from the House Rabbit Society.

In this Month's video, learn how to know if your rabbit is sick.


Gastrointestinal Stasis: The Silent Killer

It's an all too familiar story. "My bunny stopped eating, and then she just died." When we ask for details, we often learn that not only did the bunny stop eating, but she had been producing extremely small or even no fecal droppings, or showed symptoms of "runny stool." The runny stool sometimes misidentified as "diarrhea" in rabbits is more often composed of unformed, almost-liquid cecotropes.

Rabbits produce two types of pellets: fecal pellets (left in the litterbox) and cecotropes (soft, pungent, normally shaped like a cluster of grapes and reingested by the rabbit to obtain essential nutrients). Liquid or mushy cecotropes can result from an imbalance of the normal bacterial and fungal flora of the cecum (the bunny's intestinal "fermentation vat"). The floral imbalance can be caused by a number of factors. Often it is caused by a slowing of the normal peristaltic muscular contractions which push food and liquids through the intestines. The slowdown or cessation of peristalsis of the intestine is known as gastrointestinal (GI) stasis or ileus.

What Causes GI Stasis?
A rabbit's intestine can become static for a variety of reasons, including (1) stress, (2) dehydration, (3) pain from another underlying disorder or illness (such as gas, dental problems, infections, or urinary tract disorders) (4) an intestinal blockage or, (5) insufficient dietary crude fiber. Left untreated, the slowdown or complete cessation of normal intestinal movement (peristalsis) can result in a painful death, in a relatively short period of time. If your rabbit stops eating or producing feces for 12 hours or more, you should consider the condition an EMERGENCY. GET YOUR BUNNY TO A RABBIT-SAVVY VETERINARIAN IMMEDIATELY.

See the list of some of the rabbit-saavy vets around the Twin Cities.

How Can GI Stasis be detected?
Symptoms of GI stasis include very small (or no) fecal pellets, sometimes clinging to the bunny's bottom. In some cases, very small fecal pellets will be encased in clear or yellowish mucus. This potentially serious problem (enteritis, an inflammation of the intestinal lining) should be treated as an emergency.

With GI stasis, the normal, quiet gurgling of the healthy intestine may be replaced either by very loud, violent gurgles (gas moving around painfully!) or silence. The bunny may become lethargic, have no appetite and may hunch in a ball, loudly crunching his teeth in pain.

Read more about GI Stasis and treatment options.


How Hoppy Hour is Heping Wild Baby Bunnies!

Hi all, Bouncer Erica here to let you know just what we are doing with all that stinky bunny poop at Hoppy Hours!

Did you know that bunnies are lagomorphs? Lagomorphs are rabbits, hares and pikas. Yes Virginia, there is a Pika-chu. Lagomorphs produce two kinds of poops, fecal pellets, the round, dry ones and cecotropes. The latter are produced in a region of the rabbit’s digestive tract called the cecum, a blind-end pouch located at the junction of the small and large intestines. The cecum contains a natural community of bacteria and fungi that provide essential nutrients and may even protect the rabbit from potentially harmful pathogens.

If you have never seen these little slimy poops it is because our sweet bunnies eat them directly as they poop them! Sounds icky, but 'cecals' are nutrient filled and if a rabbit is deprived of their cecals they could get malnutrition.

Enter MCRS and Hoppy Hour. You may have seen a few of the Bouncers scanning litter boxes and scooping poops into baggies. Sometimes bunnies produce an overabundance of cecotropes at Hoppy Hour and leave them, well, all over the place! These fresh, potent cecals are taken directly to The Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Roseville and handed to the veterinary staff where they mix a solution to syringe feed to the baby cottontails that have been brought in for care.

A vet that volunteers over at the Wildlife Center and also with us at the Golden Valley Hoppy Hours said that the survival rate of the baby bunnies have increased! The mortality rate was about 17%, but last report was it was down to 3%! Isn't that wonderful! Your bunny's poops are saving the babies!

So thank you all that bring your bunnies to enjoy Hoppy Hour. We are helping our own rabbit community with education and support and we are caring for the precious wildlife whose world we share.

Hoppily yours, Erica

If you are interesting learning more about cecotropes may I suggest reading about them here. http://www.rabbit.org


Peach Bunny Cookies

testedNever one to turn down a treat, Greyson stayed true to form with this recipe. He LOVES them!

As far as I know Greyson has never had any peach so I want to start mixing in some different fruits to spice things up for him as well as me. Give it a try; your buns will appreciate the effort!

Peach Cookies
• 1 peach
• 1/4 cup ground pellets
• 1/4 cup ground oats
• 1 tsp honey

Purée the peach using a food processor and add the rest of the ingredients. Mix thoroughly and roll out to 1/4 inch thickness on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (makes for easy cleanup). Bake at 325°F for 30 minutes. Turn off oven and let them fully dry in the oven. Once dry, break into bunny sized treats.

hoppy endings and intakes

Eight bunnies found their forever home last month: Chip, Opie, Madison, Kuzco, Jeffery, Maggie, Roger, and Suzie Q.

Our newcomers last month are: Thomas, Marshmallow, Rio, Luna, Penelope, Carrick, Stella, and Glinda.

See all of our adoptable rabbits on Petfinder.com.

open volunteer positions

Adoption Event Co-Coordinator

In this very important position, you will be responsible for the coordination of adoption events located in South St. Paul every other week.

You will be responsible for scheduling potential adopters, coordinating the attendance of appropriate rabbits, attend & oversee at least one adoption event a month, and other duties as necessary.

Please contact MCRS at info@mncompanionrabbit.org if you are able to help. Thank you!

Volunteers are not just important to MCRS, they literally are MCRS. Volunteers do everything that needs to be done within the organization from picking up the mail to caring for homeless rabbits to keeping financial records to scooping litter boxes.

Interested in Volunteering? See all of our available volunteer positions on our website.

All media, please contact Shelley Chirhart, MCRS Public Relations & Marketing Manager at info@mncompanionrabbit.org or 651-768-9755.

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Special events
•Aug 6 Bunny Basics in Woodbury
•Aug 8 Adoption Event in SSP
•Aug 9 HH & Supply Sales in SSP
•Aug 10 Bunny Basics in Golden Valley
•Aug 12 HH & Supply Sales in SSP
•Aug 14 HH in Uptown
•Aug 16 HH in Golden Valley
•Aug 19 HH & Supply Sales in SSP
•Aug 22 Adoption Event in SSP
•Aug 23 HH & Supply Sales in SSP
•Aug 26 HH & Supply Sales in SSP
•Aug 28 HH in Uptown
•Aug 30 HH in Golden Valley
•Sept 2 HH & Supply Sales in SSP
•Sept 3 Bunny Basics in Woodbury
•Sept 5 Adoption Event in SSP
•Sept 6 HH & Supply Sales in SSP
•Sept 9 HH & Supply Sales in SSP

see our website for the full calendar and additional information.


  supply sales

Did you know that in addition to hay and pellets we have a lot of other great items for sale?


simple rewards

Cottontail Cottages or Hopper Hideaway: Looking for something new for your rabbit to play in? This may be the answer. These cardboard houses offer them something to explore and to chew on. They are easy to assemble, and last for a fairly long time.

To purchase supplies from our South Saint Paul location, check our events calendar for the next supply sale!


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