Bunny with head tilt not eating cecal droppings!!!

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Hi there!
I’m new to rabbitsonline but I have been facing some bunny problems myself for the last few weeks and I need to reach out to other rabbit savvy people.
About 4 weeks ago my 6 year old dwarf lion head bunny was diagnosed with an inner ear infection which caused him to have a permanent and pretty severe head tilt, he had a course of antibiotics (Baytril) and was also taken back to the vet to have his eye looked at and advice on how to care for his eye that his head tilt leans on.
Since being diagnosed it was a long recovery to get normalish poops back for him, he’s very picky and will eat hay just doesn’t eat enough of it, therefore I was giving him fresh grass. He also eats a limited amount of oats each day (for weight gain purposes as he is only 2.6 pounds), fresh lettuce with peices of kale mixed in, and a small handful of pellets mixed with water and less than a tablespoon of banana (encourages him to eat the pellets) once a day.
Last week he was in GI stasis and I treated him with Oxbows Critical Care and he is doing well now.
He still drinks and eats (wishing he ate more) and his behaviour is the same as it was when he was young!
Now on to my big problem, he isn’t eating any of his cecal droppings and a big player to this would be because he can’t reach his back side to eat them from the anus, I have tried to feed them to him (fresh of course) and no luck.
Any suggestions?
I have attached a picture of him with his head tilt for reference as well,
Thanks!!
 

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dogwoodblossoms

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I can’t help very well with the cecal poops but I can try to help with the hay issue. I had a bunny who didn’t like it much either (he preferred the tips of them so the flowery part) and he after I have him lots of it eventually started eating it. But maybe your bun doesn’t like the kind of hay you give him. Beside Timothy hay you could try orchard grass and oat hay.
 
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I can’t help very well with the cecal poops but I can try to help with the hay issue. I had a bunny who didn’t like it much either (he preferred the tips of them so the flowery part) and he after I have him lots of it eventually started eating it. But maybe your bun doesn’t like the kind of hay you give him. Beside Timothy hay you could try orchard grass and oat hay.
hi!
thank you for the advice, right now he gets a mix of a lot of Timothy hay, some orchard hay and a tiny bit of alfalfa (weight gain) but he still doesn’t seem overly interested. I want to try oat hay but I can’t seem to find it anywhere!
 

JBun

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If he's not eating hay because it's too difficult with his head tilt, you could try hay pellets. It's just chopped hay compressed into a larger pellet for use with livestock. You may be able to order some online, like on amazon, or farm supply stores usually will carry them.

For the cecal issue, are they coming out as perfectly formed blackberry looking clusters, or do they seem semi formed and pasty at all? The problem may not just be the difficulty in reaching them, but the amount of carbs in the diet and decreased amount of fiber being eaten, is causing an imbalance of the gut microflora, resulting in cecals that no longer smell right and get left uneaten.

Your rabbit looks to still have a pretty severe head tilt. Do you feel that the infection got completely cleared up with the course of antibiotics that was given? These infections can be extremely difficult to clear up and it usually takes a really long course of antibiotics.
 
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If he's not eating hay because it's too difficult with his head tilt, you could try hay pellets. It's just chopped hay compressed into a larger pellet for use with livestock. You may be able to order some online, like on amazon, or farm supply stores usually will carry them.

For the cecal issue, are they coming out as perfectly formed blackberry looking clusters, or do they seem semi formed and pasty at all? The problem may not just be the difficulty in reaching them, but the amount of carbs in the diet and decreased amount of fiber being eaten, is causing an imbalance of the gut microflora, resulting in cecals that no longer smell right and get left uneaten.

Your rabbit looks to still have a pretty severe head tilt. Do you feel that the infection got completely cleared up with the course of antibiotics that was given? These infections can be extremely difficult to clear up and it usually takes a really long course of antibiotics.
Hi!
He can eats normally with his head tilt surprisingly! It’s not that he is struggling he is just very fussy!
His cecals are mostly in the blackberry form although today they were not connected, as if they just fell out of their blackberry appearance. He still didn’t touch any of them today!
For his infection, when we were veering the end of the 2 weeks of Baytril treatment I had him to the vet and he didn’t seem concerned about the infection, he did give me ear drops and we finished our 10 days of those. Would you recommend asking/seeing the vet for more antibiotics?
I also should mention that he came a long way and made so much progress since he was diagnosed with the ear infection, which made me believe it is possible the infection is gone?
I will attach a picture of him currently so you can see. (He is enjoying his lettuce right now!)
 

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JBun

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When treating an ear infection in rabbits, 2 weeks on baytril is almost never long enough. Long courses of antibiotics are needed to treat infections in rabbits, because of the difficulty clearing them up completely. Usually a minimum of 4-6 weeks is recommended, sometimes much longer, and they should be continued at least two weeks past the symptoms clearing up. I have a rabbit that had a stubborn URI and it took 4 weeks on high dose azithromycin(2nd try after a shorter course and lower dose) before it had cleared up completely and didn't come back. And azithromycin is considered a much heavier duty antibiotic.

With how short a course of antibiotics your vet did and how severe your rabbits head tilt still is, I'm just wondering if it's not cleared up all the way. Did the vet say why they thought the infection was cleared up, even though your rabbit still had a severe head tilt? Of course, it could be possible that the infection did clear up even after a short course of antibiotics, and the severe head tilt is permanent damage caused by the infection and inflammation, but it would just be unusual for an inner ear infection to clear up completely on just 2 weeks of baytril.

Medirabbit: ear infection clinical signs and treatment

Do you know if your vet verified that it was an ear infection, through xrays or through seeing pus in the ear canal? I ask because the parasite e. cuniculi is also a common cause of head tilt and has a different treatment. Also did your vet put your rabbit on meloxicam to control the inflammation?

Sorry for all the questions. A lot of times we get owners on here that have taken their rabbits to a vet inexperienced with rabbits, and the rabbit hasn't been properly diagnosed or treated. So when discussing rabbit health issues on here, I want to be very thorough, to make sure a rabbit has gotten the best vet care possible.

Here's some additional links on head tilt, it's treatment, and care for rabbits with head tilt issues, that I would suggest reading through. The second link has a bunch of additional links and references about head tilt in rabbits.


 
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When treating an ear infection in rabbits, 2 weeks on baytril is almost never long enough. Long courses of antibiotics are needed to treat infections in rabbits, because of the difficulty clearing them up completely. Usually a minimum of 4-6 weeks is recommended, sometimes much longer, and they should be continued at least two weeks past the symptoms clearing up. I have a rabbit that had a stubborn URI and it took 4 weeks on high dose azithromycin(2nd try after a shorter course and lower dose) before it had cleared up completely and didn't come back. And azithromycin is considered a much heavier duty antibiotic.

With how short a course of antibiotics your vet did and how severe your rabbits head tilt still is, I'm just wondering if it's not cleared up all the way. Did the vet say why they thought the infection was cleared up, even though your rabbit still had a severe head tilt? Of course, it could be possible that the infection did clear up even after a short course of antibiotics, and the severe head tilt is permanent damage caused by the infection and inflammation, but it would just be unusual for an inner ear infection to clear up completely on just 2 weeks of baytril.

Medirabbit: ear infection clinical signs and treatment

Do you know if your vet verified that it was an ear infection, through xrays or through seeing pus in the ear canal? I ask because the parasite e. cuniculi is also a common cause of head tilt and has a different treatment. Also did your vet put your rabbit on meloxicam to control the inflammation?

Sorry for all the questions. A lot of times we get owners on here that have taken their rabbits to a vet inexperienced with rabbits, and the rabbit hasn't been properly diagnosed or treated. So when discussing rabbit health issues on here, I want to be very thorough, to make sure a rabbit has gotten the best vet care possible.

Here's some additional links on head tilt, it's treatment, and care for rabbits with head tilt issues, that I would suggest reading through. The second link has a bunch of additional links and references about head tilt in rabbits.


Hi,
I had seen a vet as an emergency when I found him (with a head tilt & seizure like movements) and she had told me it was an inner ear infection and put us on the 2 weeks of Baytril. We didn’t get any scans done to prove anything, she may have looked in the ear but I don’t know because she had taken him out back where I was seen as an emergency!
While treating with Baytril his eye became irritated and I found a more rabbit savvy vet and took my bunny to him, he looked in the ear and said he could see large amounts of debris and ear wax. He then put my bunny on 10 days of ear drops (non antibiotic). He had said that if I felt the need to get him on more antibiotics after the Baytril was done, he would do that for us, but I didn’t know! We weren’t given anything else for my bunny from either vets.
After the course of Baytril he did improve, when I first found him he couldn’t stand and he had the distinctive eye movements present with an ear infection along with a uncontrollable head movements (back and forth).
Do you think it’s an ear infection or E.Culli?
Sorry I feel so lost!
Also it’s very hard to find a very rabbit crazy vet around where I live!!!
thanks.
I will attach pictures of what he was prescribed.
 

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Hi,
I had seen a vet as an emergency when I found him (with a head tilt & seizure like movements) and she had told me it was an inner ear infection and put us on the 2 weeks of Baytril. We didn’t get any scans done to prove anything, she may have looked in the ear but I don’t know because she had taken him out back where I was seen as an emergency!
While treating with Baytril his eye became irritated and I found a more rabbit savvy vet and took my bunny to him, he looked in the ear and said he could see large amounts of debris and ear wax. He then put my bunny on 10 days of ear drops (non antibiotic). He had said that if I felt the need to get him on more antibiotics after the Baytril was done, he would do that for us, but I didn’t know! We weren’t given anything else for my bunny from either vets.
After the course of Baytril he did improve, when I first found him he couldn’t stand and he had the distinctive eye movements present with an ear infection along with a uncontrollable head movements (back and forth).
Do you think it’s an ear infection or E.Culli?
Sorry I feel so lost!
Also it’s very hard to find a very rabbit crazy vet around where I live!!!
thanks.
I will attach pictures of what he was prescribed.
I should add my bunny doesn’t come in contact with other rabbits, would he still be at risk for E. Cuniculi?
 

JBun

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With the debris in the ear, it sounds like an ear infection was the likely cause then, and not EC. It's possible it cleared up even with a short course of the baytril, it's just not been my experience that infections clear up that quickly in rabbits. The ear drops you used actually do contain an antibiotic, so I'm sure that helped as well, and a good thing the second vet prescribed it.

If you feel like your rabbit has been stable since the antibiotic, with no other signs of the ear infection besides the residual head tilt, it could be he's in the clear. But if you're unsure, another 2-4 weeks on baytril and meloxicam could be a good idea. But definitely if you see any worsening of symptoms, I would get him right back to the vet and on antibiotics and meloxicam, but for a much longer course, and possibly changing antibiotics.

For the residual head tilt, sometimes massage and physical therapy can help to restore balance and a more normal head position. Might be something to look into.

 
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With the debris in the ear, it sounds like an ear infection was the likely cause then, and not EC. It's possible it cleared up even with a short course of the baytril, it's just not been my experience that infections clear up that quickly in rabbits. The ear drops you used actually do contain an antibiotic, so I'm sure that helped as well, and a good thing the second vet prescribed it.

If you feel like your rabbit has been stable since the antibiotic, with no other signs of the ear infection besides the residual head tilt, it could be he's in the clear. But if you're unsure, another 2-4 weeks on baytril and meloxicam could be a good idea. But definitely if you see any worsening of symptoms, I would get him right back to the vet and on antibiotics and meloxicam, but for a much longer course, and possibly changing antibiotics.

For the residual head tilt, sometimes massage and physical therapy can help to restore balance and a more normal head position. Might be something to look into.

awesome, you have been a lot of help!
would it be a bad idea to just do another course of antibiotics just to be safe?
I mean he has improved but sometimes I doubt myself!
 

JBun

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How long has it been since the last dose of baytril and the ear drops? And has there been any worsening or reoccurrence of symptoms?
 
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How long has it been since the last dose of baytril and the ear drops? And has there been any worsening or reoccurrence of symptoms?
we started the Baytril on the 3rd and ended on the 16th, and then we did the ear drops from the 13th to the 23rd.
I have not noticed anything majorly go down hill, he still looses control and rolls around some times because of his balance but that just might be a forever thing.He hasn’t been scratching at it or anything like that, and for the most part he is acting normal. I do find he rests a bit more now but I also think it could be because his body is coping to fit his head tilt/balance issue, as he extends his front arm to balance and tucks his feet under himself more now.
I haven’t noticed signs of pain and he eats well (not as much as I would like him to be eating) but he still enjoys his favourite foods.
 
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How long has it been since the last dose of baytril and the ear drops? And has there been any worsening or reoccurrence of symptoms?
I can’t tell for sure but there may be a possible ear drop of the infected one, it’s slight but now that I’m thinking about these things I noticed it.
 

JBun

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Since he isn't having any other symptoms, it could be it's fine now. I was just somewhat alarmed at how short the course of antibiotics was and didn't realize the ear drops occurred after. So that did extend some antibiotic coverage for a bit longer than two weeks. Maybe it was enough.

You could wait and see, and just closely monitor him for any changes. Or if you really want to be sure, take him back into the vet for a check up, and possibly even xrays.
 
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Since he isn't having any other symptoms, it could be it's fine now. I was just somewhat alarmed at how short the course of antibiotics was and didn't realize the ear drops occurred after. So that did extend some antibiotic coverage for a bit longer than two weeks. Maybe it was enough.

You could wait and see, and just closely monitor him for any changes. Or if you really want to be sure, take him back into the vet for a check up, and possibly even xrays.
okay you have been very helpful, thank you!
 
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Hi guys!
the first cecal droppings he excreted is the picture with the lettuce, and then following those he excreted poop that looks like so:
:he doesn’t bother eating his cecal droppings.
help?
this is how he has been pooping for the last few days,is this normal? Do I need a diet change etc?
thanks in advance.
 

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