Floppy Bunny Syndrome

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SCT72

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Have a 8 year old male harlequin dutch name is Jasper...indoor...only in his house at night free roam during the day.....he has never had any medical issues till a few weeks ago which started with weepy eye in only one eye nothing major vet prescribed eye ointment gone within a few days. But in the past week he has developed floppy bunny syndrome he has shown improvement with eating, drinking, treats and movement. Felt his jawline for any dental issues everything was smooth.....Boyfriend did research on head tilt has all the symptoms except for tilting of the head. Do not want to stress him out more with a trip to the vet if there is something I can do at home....any advice would be helpful.....
 

JBun

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Floppy Rabbit Syndrome and head tilt, are really two different illnesses. True FRS is most often caused by some sort of temporary nutrient imbalance, possibly low potassium, but no one really knows, just that almost always the rabbits can recover fully with the proper care. The primary symptom is the whole body is flaccid and the bunny can't move it's limbs, but is still very alert and willing to eat, and there is no head tilt. With regular feeds and supportive care, mobility starts to return within a week or two, and the rabbit recovers completely.

Head tilt is more to do with vestibular disease and balance issues, most commonly due to either an inner/middle ear infection or the parasite e. cuniculi, occassionally toxoplasmosis if the rabbit could have been exposed to cat feces. If e. cuniculi is involved, there can also be paralysis, usually just the hind limbs.



To tell the difference between a rabbit that has paralysis due to e. cuniculi or FRS; rabbits with EC are usually much worse off and will usually have some head tilt or other problems with their head like nystagmus, whereas a rabbit with FRS may seem pretty normal except for the fact their body won't move. They can hold their head up and eat and act somewhat normal behavior wise, and within a week or two their mobility will have returned and they will be back to normal. A rabbit with EC will have more problems, will usually just have hind limb paresis, may have head tilt, nystagmus, vertigo, roll, fall over, and usually recovery will be much slower and they may not recover mobility or recover at all. There are other causes of paralysis too; like spinal trauma, sponylosis, roundworm parasite, heart failure, toxins, toxic plants. There can also be the possibility of tumors or cancer, especially in older rabbits.

If you look at these FRS videos, the first one does look like FRS, the second where the rabbit won't stay upright, isn't moving it's head, and is falling over, that isn't FRS. Something more serious is going on with that rabbit, either EC or possibly heart failure. The bottom two videos could possibly be FRS, though other symptoms need to be taken into account, as well as other possible causes for the flaccid paralysis.


If there is any chance your rabbit doesn't just have FRS and it could be EC, spinal trauma, or another cause, please have your rabbit properly evaluated by an experienced rabbit vet, right away. If there is possible spinal trauma, there's a chance of recovery if steroids are administered in a short time frame following the trauma. If EC is a possibility, the best chance of recovery and reversing the cell damage causing the symptoms, is with the proper medications(antiparasitic, anti inflammatory, antibiotic cover, supportive syringe feeds).

If your rabbit doesn't have full paralysis but is falling over losing balance, this could be due to an ear infection, which would need xrays possibly, and the proper antibiotics prescribed, as well as anti inflammatories(meloxicam). With him having a weepy eye previously, there is a chance it's related. Both ear infections and EC can cause weepy eyes.


Medirabbit: ear infection clinical signs and treatment

 

LolaE

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It sounds like you might need to take him to the vet. The risk of not taking him to the vet if there's something really serious going on probably outweighs the stress of taking him. Also, it sounds like he's getting older, so the risk of developing more serious illness might be higher (?). Apart from that, I suppose just making sure he stays fed and hydrated is important in the meantime to make sure he doesn't go into stasis. It's good that he's eating and drinking on his own.

Sorry I don't have more helpful suggestions, but someone with more experienced advice will probably be able to answer soon. Sorry to hear about Jasper, and I hope he gets better. :( Let us know how he gets on.
 

LolaE

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... someone with more experienced advice will probably be able to answer soon. ...

Floppy Rabbit Syndrome and head tilt, are really two different illnesses. True FRS is most often caused by some sort of temporary nutrient imbalance, possibly low potassium, but no one really knows, just that almost always the rabbits can recover fully with the proper care. ...

Oh, good! :)
 

SCT72

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It sounds like you might need to take him to the vet. The risk of not taking him to the vet if there's something really serious going on probably outweighs the stress of taking him. Also, it sounds like he's getting older, so the risk of developing more serious illness might be higher (?). Apart from that, I suppose just making sure he stays fed and hydrated is important in the meantime to make sure he doesn't go into stasis. It's good that he's eating and drinking on his own.

Sorry I don't have more helpful suggestions, but someone with more experienced advice will probably be able to answer soon. Sorry to hear about Jasper, and I hope he gets better. :( Let us know how he gets on.

Thank you for your concern and advice....I will be taking him in to his vet ASAP. This came on quickly last week and he has improved but not back to normal.
 

SCT72

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Floppy Rabbit Syndrome and head tilt, are really two different illnesses. True FRS is most often caused by some sort of temporary nutrient imbalance, possibly low potassium, but no one really knows, just that almost always the rabbits can recover fully with the proper care. The primary symptom is the whole body is flaccid and the bunny can't move it's limbs, but is still very alert and willing to eat, and there is no head tilt. With regular feeds and supportive care, mobility starts to return within a week or two, and the rabbit recovers completely.

Head tilt is more to do with vestibular disease and balance issues, most commonly due to either an inner/middle ear infection or the parasite e. cuniculi, occassionally toxoplasmosis if the rabbit could have been exposed to cat feces. If e. cuniculi is involved, there can also be paralysis, usually just the hind limbs.



To tell the difference between a rabbit that has paralysis due to e. cuniculi or FRS; rabbits with EC are usually much worse off and will usually have some head tilt or other problems with their head like nystagmus, whereas a rabbit with FRS may seem pretty normal except for the fact their body won't move. They can hold their head up and eat and act somewhat normal behavior wise, and within a week or two their mobility will have returned and they will be back to normal. A rabbit with EC will have more problems, will usually just have hind limb paresis, may have head tilt, nystagmus, vertigo, roll, fall over, and usually recovery will be much slower and they may not recover mobility or recover at all. There are other causes of paralysis too; like spinal trauma, sponylosis, roundworm parasite, heart failure, toxins, toxic plants. There can also be the possibility of tumors or cancer, especially in older rabbits.

If you look at these FRS videos, the first one does look like FRS, the second where the rabbit won't stay upright, isn't moving it's head, and is falling over, that isn't FRS. Something more serious is going on with that rabbit, either EC or possibly heart failure. The bottom two videos could possibly be FRS, though other symptoms need to be taken into account, as well as other possible causes for the flaccid paralysis.


If there is any chance your rabbit doesn't just have FRS and it could be EC, spinal trauma, or another cause, please have your rabbit properly evaluated by an experienced rabbit vet, right away. If there is possible spinal trauma, there's a chance of recovery if steroids are administered in a short time frame following the trauma. If EC is a possibility, the best chance of recovery and reversing the cell damage causing the symptoms, is with the proper medications(antiparasitic, anti inflammatory, antibiotic cover, supportive syringe feeds).

If your rabbit doesn't have full paralysis but is falling over losing balance, this could be due to an ear infection, which would need xrays possibly, and the proper antibiotics prescribed, as well as anti inflammatories(meloxicam). With him having a weepy eye previously, there is a chance it's related. Both ear infections and EC can cause weepy eyes.


Medirabbit: ear infection clinical signs and treatment


Thank you for the
Floppy Rabbit Syndrome and head tilt, are really two different illnesses. True FRS is most often caused by some sort of temporary nutrient imbalance, possibly low potassium, but no one really knows, just that almost always the rabbits can recover fully with the proper care. The primary symptom is the whole body is flaccid and the bunny can't move it's limbs, but is still very alert and willing to eat, and there is no head tilt. With regular feeds and supportive care, mobility starts to return within a week or two, and the rabbit recovers completely.

Head tilt is more to do with vestibular disease and balance issues, most commonly due to either an inner/middle ear infection or the parasite e. cuniculi, occassionally toxoplasmosis if the rabbit could have been exposed to cat feces. If e. cuniculi is involved, there can also be paralysis, usually just the hind limbs.



To tell the difference between a rabbit that has paralysis due to e. cuniculi or FRS; rabbits with EC are usually much worse off and will usually have some head tilt or other problems with their head like nystagmus, whereas a rabbit with FRS may seem pretty normal except for the fact their body won't move. They can hold their head up and eat and act somewhat normal behavior wise, and within a week or two their mobility will have returned and they will be back to normal. A rabbit with EC will have more problems, will usually just have hind limb paresis, may have head tilt, nystagmus, vertigo, roll, fall over, and usually recovery will be much slower and they may not recover mobility or recover at all. There are other causes of paralysis too; like spinal trauma, sponylosis, roundworm parasite, heart failure, toxins, toxic plants. There can also be the possibility of tumors or cancer, especially in older rabbits.

If you look at these FRS videos, the first one does look like FRS, the second where the rabbit won't stay upright, isn't moving it's head, and is falling over, that isn't FRS. Something more serious is going on with that rabbit, either EC or possibly heart failure. The bottom two videos could possibly be FRS, though other symptoms need to be taken into account, as well as other possible causes for the flaccid paralysis.


If there is any chance your rabbit doesn't just have FRS and it could be EC, spinal trauma, or another cause, please have your rabbit properly evaluated by an experienced rabbit vet, right away. If there is possible spinal trauma, there's a chance of recovery if steroids are administered in a short time frame following the trauma. If EC is a possibility, the best chance of recovery and reversing the cell damage causing the symptoms, is with the proper medications(antiparasitic, anti inflammatory, antibiotic cover, supportive syringe feeds).

If your rabbit doesn't have full paralysis but is falling over losing balance, this could be due to an ear infection, which would need xrays possibly, and the proper antibiotics prescribed, as well as anti inflammatories(meloxicam). With him having a weepy eye previously, there is a chance it's related. Both ear infections and EC can cause weepy eyes.


Medirabbit: ear infection clinical signs and treatment

information.

I will be getting him to our vet ASAP. Improvement has been slow and steady. But after a week his mobility is not back to normal.
 

SCT72

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Jasper passed away last night.....thank you for all advice.......a very sad day.
 

LolaE

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Oh, no, I'm very sorry for your loss. At least he lived a good long life with people who cared for him. Hang in there, and I'm sorry you're going through this. 😢
 
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