Mineral masses found in GI tract


Hi all,

I have three bunnies, one of whom (7 y/o female) has had three severe bouts of GI stasis since May of this year, all requiring multi-day hospitalizations. After only 3-4 hours of not eating, each time she was admitted with a temp of between 96 and 99 despite us using heat packs at home. We have done a bunch of research on home care and spoken to many vets about what could be happening, and all of them agree that it doesn't seem to be due to the husbandry. We have had tests done for lead and e cuniculi, both of which came back negative. (She did have a CRP of 178.75, which we understand to be approximately 10 times the normal level, but this is possibly due to her having the bloodwork one while she was sick with stasis.)

More intriguingly, she had a CT scan with contrast, which showed "two small mineral objects in the dorsal aspect of the fundus. The largest measures 1.2cm x 4.5mm thick. The other is only 4mm wide." Neither the exotics vet nor the radiologist have ever seen anything like this in a rabbit, and they have no idea whether it could be the cause of her issues. They also don't know how to treat it or what we should do going forward. To us, 1.2cm seems quite large for a rabbit, but nobody is really able to tell us anything about this.

We have had our bunnies for several years; they were adopted at approximately 4 years old. Her twin sister has also had two less severe episodes of stasis in the past 12 months (but which still required heat support). The sister has been healthy since February of this year (knock on wood), and it's unclear whether these incidents were related. The third rabbit, who is unrelated to the sisters but lives in the same area and has an identical diet, etc., has had no issues.

The generic advice we've gotten about stasis in rabbits hasn't been helpful (hay, stress, grooming, diet, etc.), especially given the increased frequency of illness lately. I am most interested in whether anyone on this forum has ever heard of mineral masses showing up in a rabbit's GI tract and whether something of this size could be the cause of her issues. I was quite disappointed to hear that veterinarians in the Boston area, even exotics experts, have never encountered anything like this before and have no idea what to do about it. She is a sweet rabbit who is full of life when not sick, and I'd like to do whatever I can to make sure she stays that way. My experience with these bunnies is generally that stasis means 3 days in the hospital and $2000-3000 at a time, so I'm frustrated with this and less inclined to believe that stasis is a normal thing that can be treated at home. There is definitely an underlying condition here, but what it is remains a mystery.

Many thanks,