Heart disease in the rabbit: a lesson from Bea (May23/10)

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Postby DAISY_AND_PEACHES » Sun Mar 14, 2010 3:08 pm

I'm a bit late, but I am so sorry to hear of this situation.
I do wish you and yours well.
She's quite the adorable little bun, btw :)

This is an educational thread as I've not heard of this in rabbits before. Well, I'd heard of it, but never spoken to someone who's dealt with it.
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Postby Ellie » Wed Mar 17, 2010 7:29 am

Thanks Bindi and D&P for your replies.

Bea is off the puffer. No, not because she doesn't need it, but because she struggles too much against it and runs away.

The vet is ordering Prednisone (a steroid). It'll be given regularly with her other meds. That makes 3 meds twice daily for her now.

The med should in by Friday. It'll be fruity flavoured.
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Postby Ellie » Sun Apr 18, 2010 2:24 am

Bea showed no improvement with the Prednisone. So, we started thinking her breathing issues were caused by another bout of pneumonia.

We put her on a 7-day course of Baytril. Again, no improvement.

We then began to think that her worsening breathing was a sign of worsening pulmonary edema (lungs filling with fluid). We contacted the vet again to see if we should bring her in for an x-ray and to discuss other treatment options.

The vet agreed with what we thought and didn't think the x-ray was necessary. After he did some research into other drug options, she's now on Prilium. It's used to reduce pulmonary edema and strengthen heart function in dogs. Our vet got a dosage recommendation from someone in Australia who used it on two rabbits. For Bea, at approximately 2.7 pounds, this is 0.2cc once daily.

It comes in a powder, so our vet compounded it into a liquid. It must be kept refrigerated and be discarded after 77 days.

This replaces the Prednisone, but not the Furosemide or Theophylline.

All in all, Bea is still doing well. Breathing aside, she's still a happy, active girl. If you didn't know to recognize the poor breathing, you'd think nothing was wrong with her....
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Postby Bindi » Sun Apr 18, 2010 2:46 am

Bless her, I hope she does get better, I know how sad it is when you see them unwell and it seems you can't do anything or nothing is working, even if you and I have different problems. Hugs to both our buns :)
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Postby Ellie » Wed Apr 21, 2010 7:28 am

I am happy to write that Bea's breathing has improved dramatically on the Prilium! Last night, she was doing little Bunny 500s in the room!

Of course, this doesn't cure her heart ailment, but it's good to see her symptoms alleviate.
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Postby lovemybunnies » Thu Apr 22, 2010 5:24 am

oh yay! That's exciting! Even if it's not gone it's still good to see improvement! :D :D
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Postby jennyc1013 » Thu Apr 22, 2010 5:39 am

glad she's feeling a bit better :D
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Postby Patrice » Fri Apr 30, 2010 4:32 am

Hi, I'm new here, and just read through all this thread.
I was holding my breath for her as I read each post.
I'm so pleased that her breathing has improved, she is so darn cute!
My what big ears you have!
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Postby Patrice » Fri Apr 30, 2010 4:33 am

Hi, I'm new here, and just read through all this thread.
I was holding my breath for her as I read each post.
I'm so pleased that her breathing has improved, she is so darn cute!
My what big ears you have!
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Postby Ellie » Mon May 24, 2010 6:56 am

This is the final post on Bea.

Early Saturday evening, hubby noticed Bea looking very lethargic. When he presented her with her veggies, she did not come for them, which is very unusual for her. He then tried to give her the meds, to which she usually rushes to and laps up, but struggled to get up and move to him. She was also cool to the touch and her breathing was shallow and rapid.

Hubby immediately took her to the emergency veterinary hospital, where they gave her some potassium and put her in an incubator. Her vital signs stabilized and body temperature went back closer to normal. Within a couple of hours, however, she was gone. The vet on duty suspects she had a heart attack.

Bea did very well on the Prilium, so much so that you wouldn't know she had any health issues. Mere hours before she died, she was acting perfectly normal.

Thank you all for the questions and kind wishes you posted in this thread. As I wrote in her Rainbow Bridge post, I sincerely hope this thread continues to be helpful to anyone whose bun ever experiences heart disease.
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Postby Bindi » Mon May 24, 2010 8:14 am

Goodbye Bea x
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