Rabbit of the Month - Spud

Rabbits Online > Pet Rabbit Discussion > Health & Wellness > Sudden Paralysis in Rabbits! :(



Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 09-11-2012, 02:01 AM   #1
mshill90
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Harrisburg, , USA
Posts: 50
Default

I have 4 Flemishes that free roam my back yard.

3 males, and 1 female. 2 of the males are brothers, and the male/female are brother/sister.

The 2 brothers are older, but only about 6-7 months old, and the brother/sister are 4-5 months old.

They all get along fine, and "burrow" together so to speak.

They have clean fresh bowled water every day, fresh pelleted food, free roam of whatever is in the yard (just grass and weeds), and a huge bail of both timothy hay and alfalfa.. they get fresh veggies several times a week, and fruits maybe once a week. They are spoiled!!

2 nights ago we had a really bad storm (thunder was extremely loud) and instead of my rabbits going into their huge pen, they go underneath our Central Air units base.. it's a concrete slab that sits about 16" off the ground. They have made this their "burrow".

Well, I came out yesterday to feed everyone, and I noticed Trixie, my female was laying under there, just passed out asleep. I thought it was funny, and just went about the day.. then my parents came over and my dad wanted to see the rabbits, so we went out to see them, and she was still under there.. Ok, maybe she's just really tired.. it wasn't hot out though.. Well, later on my husband goes out with the dog and says "man, trixie is lazy.. she's passed out under the AC." This was HOURS she's been under there.. so I went out and I knew something was wrong.

She is a very skiddish rabbit who doesn't like being touched or approached.. she didn't move to get away when I reached my hand in.. She was making faint noises, and I knew she was hurt. Pulled her out, brought her inside, and discovered that her back legs are paralyzed, and she can't urinate on her own.. So, I do a little research, and narrow it down to her getting startled by the storm, and jumping and hitting the concrete. So, I set something up inside for her.. make sure she's hydrated, and eating, and I learned how to expel her bladder. She's not grinding her teeth and she's not whimpering anymore. She's alert, and does try to be active.

Ok.. so I tell my husband it's either temporary or permanent, we just have to wait it out to see if it heals..

I come outside today to feed the other rabbits, and her brother Gordon is also having issues with his legs.. He can move them, he just loses balance in his rear and falls over. So, I scoop him up and bring him inside too.

**This is NOT head tilt btw**

Before I noticed her brother with this issue, I brought Trixie outside so that she could interact with the others and not feel as alone. One of the older males came over (Watson), and he started licking her face and ears and she was fine with it.. He went away, and a few minutes later the other male came over and she started whimpering and making loud type noises. Ok, weird. So I bring her inside.

I gave the guys outside some carrots, and Gordon was eating a piece, and the same male came over to him, and Gordon ran off like he was afraid.. This is new behavior for him. Normally he doesn't mind him.

So, I narrowed it down to 3 things that could have caused this paralysis:

1. Genetics- as they are brother and sister.. however, would this happen literally a day apart from each other?

2. Poison- I have mushrooms that grow in my yard as of this year, and sometimes I can't always pull them out before they get to them.

3. The older male rabbit being dominant and hurting them? The female was bitten on the neck by him once. However, there are no bites, scratches etc on either rabbits. And he doesn't bother his brother.


The LAST thing I EVER want to do is put these guys down. I plan on making them carts should this be permanent.

I just am so lost as to what actually happened.. Help?


__________________
mshill90 is offline  
 
Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2012, 02:50 AM   #2
missyscove
Christina - Moderator
RABBIT_MODERATOR.png
 
missyscove's Avatar
Rabbits
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Pomona, California, USA
Posts: 6,438
Liked 280 Times on 231 Posts
Likes Given: 38

Default

This sounds like a situation that requires veterinary attention. I can't think of anything contagious that would cause paralysis.



__________________
missyscove is offline  
 
Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2012, 02:54 AM   #3
mshill90
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Harrisburg, , USA
Posts: 50
Default

I called my vet first this when I saw they were both like this, and she's kinda not sure as well. She said that there's not much that she can do, as IF it was hip displacement they would definitely be showing to be in distress/pain.. And since the other 2 are fine, she didn't think it was the mushrooms, but you never know.

She said it's most likely the dominant male, but without marks it's hard to tell.

I can't get them in until the weekend, but she said to just call her if anything changes in the mean time. She's a vet that specializes in small animals and livestock, so these guys are right up her alley.

__________________
mshill90 is offline  
 
Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2012, 05:21 AM   #4
Kipcha
 
Kipcha's Avatar
Rabbits
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 1,504
Liked 123 Times on 87 Posts
Likes Given: 77

Default

mshill90 wrote:
Quote:
I called my vet first this when I saw they were both like this, and she's kinda not sure as well. She said that there's not much that she can do, as IF it was hip displacement they would definitely be showing to be in distress/pain..
It isn't quite true that if their hips were dislocated, they would be showing distress. When Flynn dislocated her hip, she went off her food a little and favored her leg but other then that, showed no signs of pain or distress, definitely less then you are describing here...


As you can see, no real obvious distress other then her leg being held up.

I don't know what would cause so much as once though... Could there be a parasite or something?

Wishing you luck with these dear buns, keep us posted.
__________________
Kipcha is offline  
 
Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2012, 03:18 PM   #5
OakRidgeRabbits
Task Force
 
OakRidgeRabbits's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: , Pennsylvania, USA
Posts: 2,352
Liked 347 Times on 244 Posts
Likes Given: 53

Default

This sounds like it may be e.cuniculi which can show up in a variety of ways, but usually causes wry neck. In other cases, it can cause paralysis. I have to run to work, but here's a good article to read that talks a bit about it-

http://www.barbibrownsbunnies.com/ec...i.htm#SYMPTOMS

For now, I would recommend separating each of your rabbits and put them in quarantine off the ground. E.C. is environmental and they have all probably be exposed to it (if it's causing the paralysis). But by separating the bunnies, you'll have a step up on controlling it and possibly successfully treating those showing symptoms.

__________________
OakRidgeRabbits is offline  
 
Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2012, 10:35 PM   #6
mshill90
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Harrisburg, , USA
Posts: 50
Default

Update:

I called the vet again this morning, and she said that chances are it's a broken back on the female and to bring her in, but expect her to be put down.. So, in a crying weeping mess, I called my husband and he took her over.

She's got nothing broken, or nothing out of place. She has feeling in her rear, can move her tail, and she can poop on her own. She does still need help with her bladder.

She said she thinks that they could have been startled by something and because she is fairly young and smaller that she may have pulled some muscles and potentially pinched a nerve, which she has seen happen before.

She did not have me bring in the male, as she doesn't want further damage done in transport or anything since he is pretty mobile.

They are both confined.. him to a plastic dog crate, and her to a laundry basket until further notice. She wants them to just relax, stay hydrated, and she gave us some metacam for the inflammation.

I am to update her in a week.

As for it potentially being e.cuniculi... the ONLY symptom they have is the paralysis... other than that, they are still themselves. Eating, drinking, wanting to be active and such. The vet did mention this, but because it was literally an over night thing with no small symptoms before hand, she doesn't think it could be this.

__________________
mshill90 is offline  
 
Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2012, 10:54 PM   #7
Kipcha
 
Kipcha's Avatar
Rabbits
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 1,504
Liked 123 Times on 87 Posts
Likes Given: 77

Default

Well, you would not really see some of the other symptoms, such as increased water intake, more urination, increased appetite, etc. since they are living outside. Was e. cuniculi mentioned by the vet at all?

__________________
Kipcha is offline  
 
Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2012, 11:03 PM   #8
mshill90
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Harrisburg, , USA
Posts: 50
Default

Yes, she mentioned it.. The symptoms on the page/link shared doesn't match with these guys, except for the rear paralysis.

I have both of the affected rabbits inside, and neither of them have increased water intake, or food intake.

Based on page/link.. it says they would dehydrate, and have decreased appetite, which they don't have either. They have free feed of hays, but not of pelleted food, so I am able to monitor that.. which I do like all my other pets.

She has seen e.cuniculi affected rabbits, but was sure that this was no it.

My vet is not an ordinary vet.. she's got her own practice with 1 receptionist.. she works on small animals (canaries, rodents, rabbits), cats/dogs, and live stock. She was a vet for the local shelter for 20 years. I've seen her do surgeries on many different types of animals- such as a turkey, a fawn, and even a gerbil.

However, I will mention it to her again if I see these guys getting worse, or just not getting better at all within the next few days.

__________________
mshill90 is offline  
 
Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2012, 12:00 AM   #9
OakRidgeRabbits
Task Force
 
OakRidgeRabbits's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: , Pennsylvania, USA
Posts: 2,352
Liked 347 Times on 244 Posts
Likes Given: 53

Default

mshill90 wrote:

Quote:
As for it potentially being e.cuniculi... the ONLY symptom they have is the paralysis... other than that, they are still themselves. Eating, drinking, wanting to be active and such. The vet did mention this, but because it was literally an over night thing with no small symptoms before hand, she doesn't think it could be this.
Actually, the reason I thought it may be e.cuniculi is because of how suddenly this came on. A friend of mind had this sweep through her herd and it was very sudden. Rabbits who were otherwise healthy would seem to come up with symptoms at the drop of a hat. She actually lost a few to it.

Another reason I suspected it might be E.C. is because your rabbits live outside. E.C. is a parasite that is generally transmitted through the urine of infected animals. So if your rabbits are living outside, eating grass, etc., it is possible, if not probable, that they would be exposed to it at some point in time.

In some cases, healthy animals will not show symptoms, even if they are carrying the parasite. In other cases, you will see symptoms. In the cases I'm familiar with, the rabbits never showed ALL of the symptoms. It was typically either paralysis on its own, wry neck on its own, or anorexia followed by death. So just because a rabbit is only showing one symptom doesn't mean it's safe to completely rule it out. If I remember correctly, a blood test is what can be used to find the infection.

It is only something to consider, but definitely something I would recommend testing for just to rule it out. Paralysis by injury is always possible, but especially with more than one rabbit showing similar symptoms, E.C. is something to check for when possible. In some cases, it can be treated pretty easily. In others, it can take them pretty quickly. In the cases I've heard of, those with paralysis or wry neck were easier to treat. If the rabbit stopped eating/drinking, their chances were usually grim.

You could search around a little more on the internet for more info. That was just one article I happened to know of to quickly throw out there before I left.
__________________
OakRidgeRabbits is offline  
 
Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2012, 12:34 AM   #10
Imbrium
Jennifer
RABBIT_SUPPORTER.png
 
Imbrium's Avatar
Rabbits
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Houston, Texas, USA
Posts: 5,316
Liked 588 Times on 504 Posts
Likes Given: 486

Send a message via MSN to Imbrium
Default

I'm so glad it's not a broken back! Nala, Gaz and I are hoping they start to improve very soon!



__________________
Imbrium is offline  
 
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Newest Threads