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Head tilt help

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Mdailey

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My 3 year old lop Willow became ill a few weeks ago. Flat as a pancake in her litter box - she started the telltale bunny flip-spin-roll when I picked her up. Took her to my local e-vet since no one ever gets sick during business hours and was told it was heat related which I questioned but signed the release and was told to come back in 3 hours. A few hundred dollars later the vet informed me that this was not heat and I was given the Baytril I went there for. The next few days the progress was good and by the week or mark her head was only slightly tilted and she was eating pellets by the bowlful. Of course my relief was short lived as the next night when I came home from work she was flat in the pan again. I called the e- vet to tell them we had a setback and got her in the car. Walked in the door and the vet on duty promptly informed me that he knew absolutely nothing about rabbits and could not assist me other than to refill my Baytril. Now it's Labor Day weekend and the only bunny savvy vet is 40 miles away and off until midweek so I started reading bio's on all the local vets and found one that used to show rabbits so I took a chance. While not the most knowledgable - he was more than willing to try. She is now taking the Baytril & Septra along with something for the vertigo. Progress while very slow is still progress and her appetite is okay as long as you are green & leafy or a sweet treat. Someone on line suggested critical care sprinkled onto wet leafy greens which she eats but not as heartily as plain greens. She is still having balance issues and I try to avoid picking her up because it really throws her for a loop. Today it's been three weeks since her 1st visit to the e-vet. When she lifts her head she seems to make a circular motion. I am writing today today to see if anyone has other suggestions? What about panacur? Is the Septra & Baytril an okay mix? On the positive side she is grooming herself, eating and drinking and pooping which seem good. I love this little bun and would love to be in a position to spend whatever but that is not the case. Any tips or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
 

JBun

Jenny - Health & Wellness Mod
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I haven't heard much about septra being used for head tilt. I read of cases where Zithromax is used and effective. Is she also getting metacam for inflammation, that can be very helpful as well in a rabbits recovery from this. The panacur would be if e. cuniculi is suspected as being the cause of the head tilt. Some vets will prescribe it along with metacam and antibiotics, just in case EC is involved. Did the vet actually see if it was an ear infection causing it. It sounds like you may need a different antibiotic that is more effective if you still aren't seeing much improvement.

These are some good articles on head tilt, and also some personal accounts of rabbits with head tilt and what helped in their recovery.
http://www.bio.miami.edu/hare/tilt.html
http://www.medirabbit.com/EN/Neurology/Otit/otitis.htm
http://www.rabbitwelfare.co.uk/resources/content/info-sheets/ecuniculi.htm
http://www.onthewonk.com/?p=2.Headtilt+experiences/Lara+(Detailed+Diary)&trk=menu:Lara (Detailed Diary)
 
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Mdailey

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Jenny, thanks for the reply. I had expressed my concern when he mentioned the name of the antibiotic he was prescribing and got "the look" so I backed off thinking he was the one with the medical degree. No metacam but I think I will place a call today and ask for it along with the panacur as long as all of this won't overwhelm her. No evidence of any ear infection although she does smell sweet but that could be my imagination. Today seems to be starting off as a good day - I was terrified to go into the bathroom this am since I hadn't heard any of the usual clanging of her food bowl as she stumbles about so perhaps her coordination is improving???
 

Maureen Las

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If she is responding to the antibiotics then it is a good indication that she is dealing with an infectious agent rather than ecuniculi.
Septra and baytril are not ideal for ear infections. They just are not powerful enough She should be on something stronger like Zithromax , chloramphenicol , bicillin, Convenia or a combo of drugs. Please read the articles posted by JBun

As long as she is improving on some level this may give you some time to shop around for a really experienced rabbit vet. Where are you located?

A note on Critical Care. Critical care is very absorbent and if it is not diluted properly with water can actually dehydrate your rabbit by absorbing the fluids in the stomach.
Never sprinkle Critical Care powder on food. Always mix it with water ( pedialyte etc) and let it sit a good 15-20 min until all the water is absorbed.
 

Mdailey

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Angie...

I soak the greens and lightly sprinkle a little CC. Then pour a little water on top as well. I was soaking them because I don't see her drink much but may need to start giving her some water with a syringe.
 

tonyshuman

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Sometimes bunnies will drink more if it is tasty. I have these powder packets that make up 8oz servings of pedialyte--got them at Walgreens--and they go nuts for it. It doesn't have much (if any) sugar, has electrolytes that help with rehydration, and is in fruity flavors that the bunnies are very attracted to. I wouldn't worry too much about her only eating veggies if she's still pooping. At least you have food in, waste out. Hay can wait. The septra can be harder on the GI tract so I would try to get some probiotics in her if possible. The CC has probiotics, but if she's not really eating that (you can also mix it up and put it in a bowl. some of mine will eat it from the bowl) you may want to buy some BeneBac or Probios.
 

Mdailey

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I know with this roller coaster I should not comment too soon but we seem to have a little progress to report. The vet said he would get back to me tomorrow regarding changing her to a stronger antibiotic and I will at the very least fill the prescription, but I am hesitant to change protocols if the progress continues. Today we had some improvement on the tilt - I would say we are only at 50% on the Linda Blair scale as I call it. Thank you Tony's mom for reminding me about the pedialyte powder I have in my emergency kit - today of course she drank on her own but you never know about tomorrow. And thank you for all that contribute to this site - it is a wonderful tool and I am convinced that should Willow pull through it will be because of the things I learned from you all.
 
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