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It is sometimes suggested to use GI stimulating
drugs (e.g. cisapride or metoclopramide) when a rabbit suffers from diarrhea. While both hypo- and
hypermotility of the gastrointestinal tract can lead to fluid losses =
diarrhea, the causes that lead to hypo or hypermotility are completely
Hypomotility of the
Hypomotility is observed in intestinal
pseudo-obstructive syndromes, with partial anatomic obstruction that results
in the intestinal blind loop syndrome. It shows pancreatic insufficiency,
steatorrhea (too much fat in the stool) or bile-salt malabsorption. With
decreased motility, malabsorption of nutrients leads to bacterial
contamination, which results in the stimulation of secretory diarrheal fluid
In other words, diarrhea due to hypomotility shows
overgrowth of pathogen bacteria !!!
In this case, the administration of GI stimulating
drugs is recommended.
Hypermotility of the
Hypermotility of the gastrointestinal tract is
characteristic for intestinal infections, hyperthyroidism, presence of
tumors, or abuse of irritative-type laxative. It may also be the result from
diminished sympathetic inhibition, due to nerve damage or destruction of the
related brain center (for instance by the parasite E. cuniculi).
In this case,
no GI stimulating drugs should be given to the rabbit.