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Old 10-28-2017, 07:39 PM   #1
rabbitlover08
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Default Loss of balance/spinning

Hi,

Just yesterday my girl, Wayne (thought she was a male when I first got her) developed what I believe may be head tilt.

She seemed fine before this and had no other symptoms, but yesterday after giving her a treat, I noticed that she started circling and almost falling over, laying down in odd positions, and her head and eyes were scanning back and forth.

This was my first time witnessing this and I was very frightened and didn't know what was going on. The episode lasted about 3 minutes or do and she gradually returned to normal. She had another episode late last night, which lasted about the same time, and she was back to normal.

I am unsure if this could be ear mites, an ear infection, or EC/head tilt, which I pray that it's not.

I checked her ears and did notice some white stuff deep down in her ear canal, and some dried hard piefes of skin towards the top of her inner ears. I thought that she may have mites, but I don't know if mites would cause the episodes that she has had... I out a few drops of olive oil in her ears in an attempt to kill the mites, and she didn't like it, but haven't noticed much improvement since. She currently seems fine, but I am worried that these episodes may be a case of head tilt.

I am going to take her to the vet ASAP, but may not be able to until Monday morning. It's currently Saturday afternoon... I hope that this is okay. I would take her to the emergency vet clinic but they're not as experienced with exotics and rabbis and charge more.

For now, would anybody be able to provide any advice or suggestions on what I should do, or what may be going on with her?

Thank you so much to whoever can help out.


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Old 10-28-2017, 07:49 PM   #2
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I wasn't able to edit my post, so here's a repost with some additional information....

Hi,

Just yesterday my girl, Wayne ( I thought she was a male when I first got her) developed what I believe may be head tilt... Wayne is about 6.5 years old.

She seemed fine before this and had no other symptoms, but yesterday after giving her a treat, I noticed that she started circling and almost falling over, laying down in odd positions, and her head and eyes were scanning back and forth.

This was my first time witnessing this and I was very frightened and didn't know what was going on. The episode lasted about 3 minutes or so and she gradually returned to normal. She had another episode late last night, which lasted about the same time, and she was back to normal.

I am unsure if this could be ear mites, an ear infection, or EC/head tilt, which I pray that it's not.

I checked her ears and did notice some white stuff deep down in her ear canal, and some dried hard pieces of skin towards the top of her inner ears. I thought that she may have mites, but I don't know if mites would cause the episodes that she has had... I put a few drops of olive oil in her ears in an attempt to kill the mites, and she didn't like it, but haven't noticed much difference since. She currently seems fine, but I am worried that these episodes may be a case of head tilt that is starting.

I should mention that she also has some type of spinal deformation causing an arch in her upper spine. This has been noticeable for a few years now and I am not sure if it is due to a previous injury or disc degeneration, or arthritis, or what. I had her checked out for this before and the vet said she seemed okay, but the deformation is only visible when she is laying down or in a certain position so I am not sure if he was able to see what I was referring to. In the case of arthritis or deformation of the spine I assume the only treatment could be pain medications? I have read that spinal conditions can also cause these symptoms that's she has been having... I can also feel when she moves around sometimes that an area in her upper spine seems to move, as if her discs are rubbing on each other...


I am going to take her to the vet ASAP, but may not be able to until Monday morning. It's currently Saturday afternoon... I hope that this is okay. I would take her to the emergency vet clinic but they're not as experienced with exotics and rabbits I believe and charge more per appointment.

For now, would anybody be able to provide any advice or suggestions on what I should do, or what may be going on with her? I will do whatever I can.

Thank you so much to whoever can help out.


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Old 10-29-2017, 12:19 AM   #3
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Anybody?
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Old 10-29-2017, 01:13 AM   #4
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With the horizontal nystagmus(eye movement) and debris in the external ear canal, inner ear infection is the likely cause, though EC is certainly possible as well. Ear mites won't be the primary cause of the head tilt, though it is possible that if there are mites, they lead to an ear infection occurring. So if the vet finds evidence of ear mites, they would need to be treated as well as the ear infection. Because an ear drum rupture is possible in these cases, I would suggest not applying anything else in the ear canal until the vet has verified the ear drum is intact.

If an ear infection is verified through the vet examining the ear canal and/or xrays taken, an antibiotic will be prescribed. Baytril or smz/tmp are common ones used initially, though something 'stronger' like pen g injections may be more effective, but this also depends on the exact bacteria involved. Meloxicam is also commonly prescribed and an important med to include to reduce inflammation and pain.

If an ear infection can't be verified and EC remains a possible cause, many rabbit vets will treat for both EC and a possible ear infection with Panacur(fenbendazole), an antibiotic, and meloxicam.

I'm not sure if spinal problems can be a possible cause, though head trauma can be.

Only you can know whether or not waiting until Monday is going to be the best thing. It's always a difficult thing to decide in these situations. I don't have good out of hours coverage where I live, so I would have to wait as well, though if I had the meds on hand I might go ahead and give them until I could get to the vet.

This link has a good info on ear infections and treatment if you want to take a look.
http://www.medirabbit.com/EN/Neurology/Otit/otitis.htm
and this on head tilt with a link to EC as the cause.
http://wildpro.twycrosszoo.org/S/00d...ularRabbit.htm
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Old 10-29-2017, 01:31 AM   #5
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Thank you, JBun. I recently put a few drops of colloidal silver in her ears, but I will make sure to avoid applying any other drops until the vet visit. She has been okay today but I'll keep an eye on her
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Old 11-06-2017, 07:56 PM   #6
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Any updates on what happened?

I don't have advice on how to help, but it definitely sounds like head tilt...
The first bun I owned went through a similar experience, where he suddenly developed symptoms akin to head tilt, but then recovered after a few minutes. This happened to him twice more in 24 hours, and then the next morning it had become permanent.
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Old 11-13-2017, 10:04 PM   #7
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Hi apologies for the late reply. Wayne is doing better now, the vet prescribed her 10 days of oral Baytril and 28 days of Panacur and treated her with Revolution for mites while at the office. Within the first few days she was improving, so I believe that the Baytril helped and that it was an ear infection as I've read Panacur usually takes awhile to take affect. She had 3 episodes total that I noticed myself before starting the medication.

She just finished her Baytril today, 11-12 days total was how long it took for the bottle to be finished. I called the vet today after reading some reports that ear infections should be treated more aggressively for a longer duration of time with the Baytril.

She said that I can pick up more Baytril today to treat longer to be sure that all of the bacteria is destroyed or that I could wait a few days to see if any symptoms return and if so to purchase more Baytril and administer it then. Does this sound like an okay plan or would it be best to purchase more Baytril now and keep her on it for awhile longer? If I were to wait and by chance her symptoms returned, would it be starting from the beginning/from scratch with the Baytril all over again or would there be any antibiotic resistance that developed? The vet said that it can cause GI issues if taken for too long which is why they try not to prescribe it for any longer than needed.

The prescription shows "12ml Baytril 50mg/ml : 12ml tutti fruitti =25mg/ml.



The price was $65 CAD for only the Baytril so it seems to be quite expensive for only 12mL as I've heard others online paid much less for Baytril...

Wayne hasn't had any symptoms for days now so I'm not sure if I should wait a few days since the Baytril has finished to see how she is or if I should purchase more Baytril from the vet clinic and continue to administer it for awhile longer. There was one night where I was gone and wasn't able to administer the Baytril or Panacur so hopefully missing the doses didn't affect the treatment at all. Should I also continue the Panacur if she has improved from the Baytril?

I have another rabbit who lives with Wayne and he hasn't been treated for anything because the vet said I'd have to bring him in for an appointment... Any advice would be really appreciated. Thanks guys
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Old 11-14-2017, 02:50 AM   #8
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If it were me I would get more baytril. The problem with stopping is that if the bacteria isn't completely gone then it could start to reemerge again, and this time be more resistant to the antibiotic and take longer to knock back down, or even require switching to another antibiotic. Better to continue the antibiotic, preferably 2 weeks past the last sign of symptoms.

It is possible for it to disrupt the GI flora, but usually if there is going to be that negative effect you will have seen symptoms of it already. I know of rabbits that have had to be on antibiotics for months and have done alright, and whenever I've had to do antibiotics it's almost always at least for a month. The reason being is that infection in rabbits can be so hard to completely get rid of. Things I would do though, to ensure as little chance of GI flora disruption, is not feed sugary/starchy treats, feed lots of grass hay as usual(free fed, with fresh several times a day), and keep a close eye on eating, drinking, as well as poop quality. I might even reduce pellet amounts a little so hay consumption is increased, especially if I feel I'm seeing any start to digestive upset. If you start seeing any reduction of appetite, small or misshapen fecal poop, mushy poop, or hear loud gurgling sounds, then that can be a sign of digestive upset and you should discuss what should be done next with your vet.

If you can find a pharmacy online that has a baytril suspension and at a better price, you can request your vet to call in the prescription. I've done that in the past with other medications and it's much more cost effective. Because vets make money from selling medications, some vets will sometimes try and talk you out of it. Just be insistent that you would like it called in. Just make sure you have all the information for the company to give to your vet, and make sure of how the company takes prescription orders.

It's so hard to know if e. cuniculi is involved in these balance issues, but I would probably be inclined to continue with the panacur just in case. If you feel like EC might have been the cause of the health issues and would like to treat your other rabbit as well, if you don't have enough panacur to give to your other bun, then you may be able to buy this med online. It's a common dewormer used for livestock. Here in the US it's sold as Safeguard goat wormer over the counter without a rx. It's a liquid suspension that has the same active ingredient of fenbendazole that Panacur does. It's pretty much the same thing but cheaper. If you are feeling more certain that it was an ear infection instead(which I'm also more inclined to suspect it was based on symptoms exhibited), then I wouldn't feel a need to treat the other bun for anything, as an ear infection is isolated and not really something that is contagious in that way.
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Old 11-14-2017, 04:42 AM   #9
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Thanks Jbun, you've been a great help... If I were to find a pharmacy online that sells Baytril, I assume that it would probably take awhile to ship and arrive, so it might be best to just purchase directly from the veterinarian as before if that were the case?

Wayne wasn't prescribed any topical ear drops or metacam/meloxicam for pain and inflammation as I've read about, but the baytril appeared to do a great job with improving her symptoms and it only took about a day or so until I noticed an improvement... Should the vet have prescribed the medication for a longer period than 10 days? Wayne also hasn't shown any symptoms since starting the Baytril on November 1st but if I should get more Baytril than I'll contact the vet tomorrow. I also have some "ionic" (not colloidal) silver, and I have heard that it can be used as an antibiotic, but I wouldn't use it over a true antibiotic if given a choice especially for something as serious as a middle/inner ear infection, but I have it as more of a homeopathic backup just in case it may ever be needed... I have been giving Wayne turmeric as well because of its health benefits and natural anti inflammatory properties because she wasn't prescribed meloxicam
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Old 11-14-2017, 06:19 AM   #10
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Hi I should also mention that Wayne was prescribed the Baytril at 1ml twice a day... Considering the strength of the Baytril she was prescribed, does this change anything or should I still purchase more Baytril to be safe?

I've read other reports just recently of others treating their rabbits with 0.4-0.5 ml twice a day of 25mg strength Baytril and it seems Wayne has been taking a dose that's twice as much as that... Would this treatment have been aggressive enough to have more than likely killed the bacteria over a course of 10-12 days or is it still recommended to try to acquire more Baytril and treat longer?

She finished her Baytril on the morning of November 13th and missed her evening dose and will be missing her morning dose again on the 14th until I am able to pick up more Baytril in the afternoon if that would still be best... Just for educational purposes, I'm also curious is treating with a lower dose for longer periods more beneficial than treating with a higher yet still safe dose for shorter periods?

Thanks so much



Last edited by rabbitlover08; 11-14-2017 at 06:21 AM.
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