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Old 08-29-2013, 08:17 PM   #1
mhockin78
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Default Hip Dysplasia

My bunny Toby is about 6-7 years old and has hip dysplasia. We have him on NSAI for pain, but I am wondering when I should consider putting him down?

He displays sign of discomfort but I don't know if he is suffering or not. He eats, drinks normal and walks fine most times, but cleaning himself seems strenuous as he falls over periodically from losing his balance, he kicks out his foot on the painful side frequently, and he lays on his good side most of the time now. He urinates all over himself and sits in it, there is no potty training left in him, he just goes where he wants too. The urine causes scalding, and his fur comes off and we have to get his hind end shaved at the vet to keep it clean. I bathe him daily, just his feet and hind end, not a full bath.

Just wondering when this just might be too much for him? Today he went through the hollow play tube and somehow managed to turn himself over, and couldn't get upright again without my assistance. I'm feeling very sad about all this. It also seems like I can feel his spine more, maybe weight loss??

He is such a good boy and loves attention and kisses, and I just love him. I hate thinking that I might have to put him down, but I can't stand thinking he may be suffering.



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Old 08-30-2013, 01:51 AM   #2
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The decision of when to euthanize is a difficult one, and one best made between you and your vet. If he's still eating well and does seem to be getting around, maybe there are some accomodations you can make to make things easier. In animals with joint issues, it causes less strain if they're not too heavy, but if he is truly underweight you could try offering more pellets. If he's not moving around as much there is likely to be some muscle atrophy.
What sort of surface is he on? I'd make sure he has good traction to help him get around and something absorbent like thick towels or vetbed (http://www.vetbedcanada.com/) may help keep him dry and prevent that urine scald.

If you wanted to spend the money, there are usually surgical options for hip dysplasia, although I certainly understand if that's not in the budget.



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Old 08-30-2013, 02:41 AM   #3
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Is he on Metacam..just wondering if a pain medication change might help you? I have never used tramadol but I have heard that it is a great pain reliever... or even something stronger if it would not affect his quality of life :-(

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Old 08-30-2013, 02:50 AM   #4
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I wonder if something like Cartrophen injections would help for this?
http://www.kvh.com.au/Cartrophen%20Vet.html

What do you guys think?

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Old 08-31-2013, 10:17 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by angieluv View Post
Is he on Metacam..just wondering if a pain medication change might help you? I have never used tramadol but I have heard that it is a great pain reliever... or even something stronger if it would not affect his quality of life :-(
He is on Metacam twice a day .5ml

Haven't noticed if its helping or not, but I would like to think that it is.

We removed the bunny cage that he had to hop into and out of, and now is in a dog run with a plastic floor (bc of urinating on carpet) but we place towels on the surface for comfort and absorption.

Hip replacement is out of the question, we do not have the finances for that. Wish I had an unlimited amount of expendable cash, but alas I do not. For now I bathe him, and keep him as comfy as possible and medicate him for any pain he may be in.

He moves around for the most part, eats well and still seems frisky, but I do worry about the weight loss. So I am trying to get him a little plumper, I hate feeling his spine.

Any other advice??
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Old 09-03-2013, 01:29 AM   #6
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For older or sickly bunnies you can add alfalfa pellets and/or hay to their diet to help them gain some weight. I would only do it if this doesn't cause poopy butt and there are no potential liver or kidney problems. The extra protein and calcium from the alfalfa can be hard on those organs, and you don't want to make him any messier.

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Old 09-03-2013, 07:06 PM   #7
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I have him on timothy pellets and hay, unlimited hay and limited pellets. You suggesting I add the alfalfa hay? I do have 2 other buns, will it be bad for them to eat the alfalfa?

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Old 09-04-2013, 01:36 AM   #8
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If you can give the alfalfa as a special treat just for him, or increase his pellets by hand-feeding, that would be best. If not, alfalfa hay is ok as a treat for adult bunnies, you just want to limit the amount to only about an ounce a day for the healthy ones (a small handful or less).

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Old 09-04-2013, 02:32 AM   #9
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Thanks for the tip.

Toby has been favoring his sore side more frequently, sleeping on one side, sticking his sore foot out and leaning to one side when he lays. I am getting worried. Poor bunny is so sweet and mellow, i feel terrible I can't take his pain away.

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Old 09-04-2013, 03:18 AM   #10
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Seeing an animal who may be suffering is painful for most of us. It's why most vets and vet techs have chosen that profession--to relieve the suffering of animals.

I just lost an older Bernese Mtn. Dog (13 yr 4 mo). She had been on Tramadol for at least four years, maybe a bit longer, for arthritis. Tramadol is not a costly medication; I don't remember ever using Metacam, though, so a cost comparison may be in order. Check with your (rabbit-savvy?) vet and see whether Tramadol 3x/day in rabbit-sized doses would help Toby rest more comfortably and move more comfortably when he's awake.

Toby may simply not be eating as much as previously because he's in pain. I suffered severe pain for 10 years, waiting for doctors to figure out that I had a REAL problem. Eating was a matter of self-discipline, believe me. So if Tramadol works better for Toby, maybe he'll eat a little more food on a regular basis.

Best wishes for both of you.



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