Alternatives to Wheelchairs

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Hello,

Apologies in advance for what might be a dumb question. I am a bit sleep deprived helping my rabbit through a mobility problem and may not be thinking clearly.

Is there something less intrusive than a full wheelchair that can keep a non-paralyzed rabbit from falling over?

I have a rabbit with one rear leg with very little strength, perhaps from stroke damage. The other is a bit splayed but he can use it. He can walk *most* of the time.

The problem I desperately need to solve is: sometimes he tries to get up from resting and ends up stuck in a twisted position on his side, like both legs fell asleep. His front and rear legs end up facing opposite directions. He seems very distressed when I find him this way but is fine once I help him back up.

Although I am not objective, I believe he is otherwise happy but the frequency of this problem is increasing. The last few nights have been particularly bad where he doesn't really recover until the next morning. I have to put him in the hop-n-flop bed so that he is supported on both sides but he won't stay on it long on his own. I am going to have to make a hard decision soon. If I didn't need to sleep at night so that I can work the next day, I could actually manage fairly well during the daytime hours.

I am hoping there is something I can use to keep him from tipping over. I'd appreciate any ideas.

Thank you!
 

JBun

Jenny - Health & Wellness Mod
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You can try setting up an area with bumpers or towel rolls along the edges, but that only helps to an extent. You may be able to devise something using those foam pool noodles and a harness, with the foam on the sides to help stabilize. Though I don't know if something like that could work, it was just a thought.

If your rabbit isn't currently on daily meloxicam, that can sometimes be helpful for rabbits experiencing arthritis related mobility issues. Though when it's progressed very far, the meloxicam can only cause minor improvement. It's something worth discussing with your vet.

When I've had older rabbits gradually develop hind limb issues due to spondylosis, what I had to end up doing is check on them every few hours and prop them back up if needed. It requires a lot of time and nursing care to help rabbits that develop these mobility problems. It's definitely a difficult situation to be in. I hope you're able to figure out something to help your bun.

 
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Thanks for the ideas JBun. I may try adapt what you are talking about with the towel roll edges in the style of a larger hop-n-flop bed. It would leave him with reduced space to move around but having firm support on both sides makes it tough to fall over. I wish Sidney would voluntarily use the regular bed like the rabbit in the product's sample picture I pasted below.

Screen Shot 2023-01-22 at 2.08.59 AM.png

We're doing .5cc and .25cc meloxicam each day and just started gapapentin. He is ~3lbs. I think we've been doing daily meloxicam at reduced amounts for a few months now for the spondylosis.

I've been obsessing with leaving him stuck for too long and don't have a way to really know the impact to him. It looks terrible but I don't really know if he is suffering. I wish he could self correct but having his body twisted seems to prevent that.
 

Moonshadow

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I have heard some people get neck pillows (like the u-shaped travel ones at rite aid) to help support their buns with disabilities. I’ve never personally needed one but maybe one would help your bunny a little~
 
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I have heard some people get neck pillows (like the u-shaped travel ones at rite aid) to help support their buns with disabilities. I’ve never personally needed one but maybe one would help your bunny a little~

I used baby crib bumper pads to help with my bun Naji. You could also use rolled up towels to help position.
Thank you for the ideas. I give this a try.
 

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