End point of gut stasis

This picture shows the abdominal organs of a fat rabbit that died from gut stasis. He was presented for veterinary treatment because he was lethargic and anorexic. He died shortly after admission and the post-mortem examination was performed within an hour. A spur on an upper cheek tooth was discovered during post-mortem examination. It was digging into the cheek causing an ulcerated, necrotic area in the mucosa. This was the most likely cause of the anorexia and the triggering factor for gut stasis. The image shows several features of gut stasis. There is a pale fatty liver, some gastric ulceration, an empty caecum distended with gas and empty gas filled intestines. It takes at least 3 days for a rabbit to die from gut stasis. Death can be prevented by providing food and fluid (syringe feeding) and medication to stimulate gut motility. Treatment of the cause of gut stasis (in this case dentistry) is also necessary.