How do I care for a disabled bunny?

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fannymanson

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This post is to show you my other bunny, Bobby. He is starting to become weak and uncoordinated and this is just how it started with Big Brown. He was wobbly, falling over from time to time, and over the summer it got worse. I wanted to share in case anyone else's bunnies have these symptoms, hopefully they can catch it earlier than me. I am hoping there is medication that will help. I am trying Safeguard liquid goat wormer (10% suspension) in case it's E Cuniculi at .2ccs 2x per day x30 days. I don't know whether this will cure them or not though.

Here is 1:45 video clip of Bobby's movement.

http://s117.photobucket.com/user/fannymanson/media/DSCI3204_zps188c82f4.mp4.html

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JBun

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That's heartbreaking to watch. Yes, definitely something neurological going on. If it is EC, hopefully you will start seeing some improvement soon. With your dosing, you want to do it as a single daily dose. So 0.4cc if he is a 4 lb rabbit, once a day.

Another thought, if you let your buns run around the yard, poisonous plants can also cause similar symptoms. A while back another RO member had rabbits displaying paralysis symptoms, and they discovered it was due to the rabbits eating poisonous mushrooms growing in the yard. So just something to consider.

Your bun may be licking the towels out of boredom or hunger. Do you leave hay for him to eat during the day? Also giving him new toys to mess around with.

Because some of the wounds were very deep, the scabs will be thick and take longer to heal.
 

**SRonchi1

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I too cared for a disabled bun- Coco Puff- but she passed away last week.

I'm completely devastated and the pain is still raw!

The relationship you build with a disabled bunny is like no other- i was her world and she was a massive part of mine. It's very hard work of constant nurturing but for me there was no other option, I wanted to give her the best possible life! In the last 16months I had spent $3500 on scans, vet appointments, vet beds to keep her dry and warm, homeopathic treatments, acupuncture sessions, special dermal shampoos, special herbs for immunity, colloidal silver, her buggy that I was always improving, a large grooming kit for beautiful hair, heating for winter & cooling for Summer, I decked out my whole bunny play world with carpet and soft beds to accommodate her & spent 3/4 of my days attending to her aswell as my 2kids & 4 other buns. I already had a cycloidal massager that I used daily that was worth over $2000. She had no urine scald or pressure sores and had control of her bladder due to my care- caring for a disabled bunny can be expensive and time consuming but is so so so worth it I promise you. I would give anything to have my girl back and it hurts so much! You are doing an amazing job and your buns will depend on you so much but look at all your options before considering Euthanasia because a disabled bunny can live a wonderful life with the right care. Look up my blog called ~ The life of Coco Puff the Puff ball ~ if you need any inspiration. Your doing a fabulous job, if you lived in NZ I would have loved to help you out xx
 

lovelops

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I would check Coco's blog even though she just passed :(
She has great info and I'm sure you can contact her for help!

Good luck and good life with this bunny!

Vanessa
 

fannymanson

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I did visit Coco's blog and read about her life and her dedicated mom who helped her along the way. I am sad to learn of her passing. I always want my pets to live forever. It is so hard when they pass.

I had Big Brown weighed at the vet's office today. He is 4.5 pounds, so I am now dosing both bunnies at .5 cc 1x per day with Safeguard. I sure hope they improve. I learned from Coco's mom that she uses an Equissager, and that reminded me that I have a little handheld massager. I got it out tonight and used it on Big Brown, focusing on the side he usually lays on, and he really liked it a lot. He did switch his preferred laying side since the fly strike incident. He started out laying on his right, now he lays mainly on the left.

Last night I spoke with a gal that works for Rabbit Wranglers in PA. She cares for quite a few disabled bunnies and she had some good tips and suggestions for items that would make the daily routine a bit easier. I also got a book in the mail today called "When your rabbit needs special care". I bought it secondhand from a library online and the price was really reasonable. I am trying to help these bunnies and still stay in my budget. I am behind on a couple of bills right now, but payday is right around the corner!

Here's a funny TBT pic of Big Brown, all puffed up:

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fannymanson

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I am feeling pretty hopeful for Bobby at the moment. I just got the Safeguard in the mail yesterday and gave them a dose at about 6pm. Today, after I dosed them again at 6pm, I took him outside for some fresh air. I set him halfway down the walkway and he took off. A little wobbly but under control. I tried it several more times throughout the course of an hour and he did well each time. This makes me hope that he will get better, and also hope for a miracle for Big Brown. I don't want him to have to be so limited in what he can do. He is so sweet, he deserves better.

Here is a couple of clips of Bobby today, with the added bonus of being backed by the bell tower playing "Flashdance, What a Feeling".

http://s117.photobucket.com/user/fannymanson/media/DSCI3215_zps01f09cbf.mp4.html

http://s117.photobucket.com/user/fannymanson/media/DSCI3216_zpse9a43054.mp4.html?sort=6&o=13

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lovelops

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I saw the videos and Bobby looks like he is doing great. He took off like crazy in the sidewalk area near the sprinklers! Have you spoke to some other vets in your area
that are small animal specialist that might be able to give you an answer on why this is going on? Have they taken any X rays or MRI's of Big Brown? Just asking?

It really looks like Bobby is improving and getting better in leaps and bounds! keep up the great work with them and please keep us posted!

Vanessa

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fannymanson

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Big Brown's scab is scary. It feels like a Pringles potato chip at the edges and is dry and crusty. It is peeling away from the skin so that it makes a pocket on his back, right above his tail. I am spraying it once in a while with Vetericyn and hoping he doesn't rip it off some how. Again, the concern for keeping him clean is at the forefront of my mind. I don't want to get bath water in this sore. Tomorrow is payday so I am going to ask the vet if he has that Silvadene ointment, or if he could write a prescription so I can order it online. I also want to look for a medicated shampoo.

I have my little massager that I treat Big Brown with. He will sit still and I can prop it up for him to lean against. He also enjoys blowing his fur (even if it's dry) with the blow dryer set on warm and low.

I took Bobby out for a little bit today and he was clumsy hopping down the trail, but when he made it to the grass, he kicked both of his feet like a dog. It was so cute!

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Azerane

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Wow, those videos of Bobby do show improvement. I know it's early days, but it makes me very hopeful for him. I'm not sure if Big Brown will recover, but I'm hoping he'll at least get some mobility back. Well done on your dedication. Big Brown's wound is also looking amazing, it's great to see that fur growing back so nicely. :)
 

Amelia1star

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Hey me again! I'm sorry about big Brown. :( I don't want to let go of Salsa either, so far he is doing ok and Big Brown looks like he could be doing ok too when the fly strike is over/healed. I'm very sorry. I believe you should make the decision on weather to put him down or not. Again I'm very sorry, best of luck to Big Brown. :)
 

fannymanson

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Bobby is starting to show a small spot of either carpet burn or pressure sore. The fur is gone from an area about the size of a dime and it's quite pink. I trimmed Bobby's fur back by his tail today. He needed 2 butt baths today and it was taking forever to get that thick fur dry. These boys are soiling 3-4 towels per day with potties during medication and bath time and sometimes just for fun. And now, my washing machine is not spinning properly so sometimes the towels are still dripping wet when you go to put them in the dryer.

I am so worried about what to do for my bunnies. To me, a pet is a lifelong commitment, and so I want them to improve and have a better quality of life. I am really very sad when thinking what the future could hold for my boys.

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lovelops

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I think you are doing a great job and once again just because an animal or person is disabled does not mean they have no quality of life. That is garbage. I took care of a disabled mother before she died. She was paralyzed and had all sorts of problems due to being disabled. While it's not legal in this country to euthanize people unlike other european countries that have legalized it, I don't think because someone , something or a pet is disabled means they are not viable. I think you are doing the best you can with these buns and should be commended for it. Please talk to your vet or other people who have disabled bunnies, or Coco's mom to see if she has any knowledge or ideas that can help you with the problems you are now having. Have you looked into heavy duty wee wee pads or the pads people put on beds for disabled people/ Chux?

I sometimes use that for my rabbits was well. I have a bunch on hand from when my mother was alive and can buy them cheap in the thrift stores or online or Ebay and while one set is being used, I hang the other's to dry. Sometimes I don't have room in my dryer because it's small and hang things either in the bathroom shower/tub area or outside to dry and try to keep a good stock on hand for the bunnies. Maybe something like this might work for you also with the dryer problems. All in all you are doing great.. don't get discouraged. You are giving your rabbits the best quality of life possible.

Vanessa
 

fannymanson

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I made a feeding stanchion for Big Brown today. He was worrying me because even though I was propping him up on a towel to eat and drink, he would occasionally roll off the side and onto his back. I am worried that he may actually injure his back or strain a muscle or twist his intestines or who knows what else could happen. He has been through enough. I used 4" foam from the fabric store and cut it 9x15 and then added 5x9 pieces on either side. I used spray adhesive and it is holding so far, but if need be I can reglue it with something else.

His skin is fragile, but healing, and I don't think he has any infection. He is taking his medicine like a champ and being very cooperative with me. He wants to be a good boy so bad! He nudges his head under my hand for pets pretty frequently and he licks my hand which is 2 things he never used to do. I am trying to learn how to help him express is bladder so that I don't have to worry about him laying in urine while I am at work or asleep. I am feeding and watering him only when I am here to assist with his cleanup.

Bobby went out to the backyard for a little bit today for some sunlight and fresh air. Bobby has his balance today and wasn't falling over or dragging on his hip so I felt really happy for him. His condition is unpredictable from day to day. Sometimes he is clumsy and sometimes he has it together.

Their hutches are in the basement and I have always put them in the backyard during the day, I hate the thought of animals in cages. I would like to build one of those cool NIC enclosures down there at some point.

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**SRonchi1

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Sorry I havnt had any input, I'm starting to beable to come on rabbits online without the tears flowing as this site reminds me of my little puff ball :'(

I think your doing an amazing job with your boys, it's hard enough with one disabled bun let alone two!

I found towels just didn't cut it for me, they retained moisture rather then retract it and left bunny wet which isn't ideal. I highly recommend getting your hands on some Vet bed. It's like synthetic sheep skin looking bed and works amazing at drawing moisture to the bottom aswell as helping dry bun bun after a butt bath etc. They are a little expensive so I would buy the biggest size you can afford and cut them up into smaller sizes. They last a lifetime & are invaluable when it comes to caring for a disabled bunny!

I used a medicated shampoo called Malaseb with Coco puff, it kills the bacteria and yeasts that cause infections from urine scald & would leave her fuzzy bum skin nice and pink. The yeasts and bacteria are what causes their hair to fall out from urine scald.

That's great you have a massager. I would use mine 2x a day and even vibrate it around her bladder area and this helped her regain control of her bladder so I was able to pop her in the litter pan for her to do her pees which she loved aswell- bunnies are very tidy and clean naturally and my Coco enjoyed being kept clean or I found she would be a little self conscious in a way around her boys & would reward me with a groom while I bathed her bum, funny chick! :)

Have you thought of make a cart for big brown? I felt this worked wonders for atrophy and helped them gain more muscles in their front legs as naturally all the power and muscles are from behind! I ended up making my cart out of reticulation connectors and wood dowling and probably cost me $15 to make incl the wheels and cushion part. This cart proved wonders on Cocos quality of life- she was able to cruise around with her boys, frolic in the garden & wee on her Matt making her feel like a normal bunny again :)
 

**SRonchi1

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Disabled bunnies are so loving and so appreciative of what we do for them and your rewarded with this relationship that is so beautiful it can't compare to any others. I use to love it when my Coco would bite me for fussing over her to much, when she was feeling on top of the world she would put me in my place with a little nip with her ears out to the side but then follow It up with a hand lick as if to say, I'm not to mad just stop fussing! It's lovely to hear big brown is trying hard to be a good boy- he loves and appreciated all you do for him :) xx
 

**SRonchi1

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His sore looks good and the black parts are the hair pigmentation meaning hair will start to grow there soon which is a fabulous sign! The foam set up I'm guessing is to help him eat is it? I tried doing the same thing with coco puff but she hated feeling enclosed so would shuffle over or rip it up. I also gave her stuffed teddies to keep her prepped up on her favourite side and they become her buddies- she would love and groom them & get a good snuggle on with them :) they also helped position her comfortably and give her that support she needed.
 

fannymanson

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Shaan, you have my sympathy and condolences for the loss of Coco Puff. It is totally ok to cry over our pets. I cry for my lost little ones all the time.

We started building a cart the week before the Fly Strike incident, it's a little too wide and I need to ask my boyfriend to narrow it down a little. It also needs some vertical pieces to come down by his shoulder and maybe shorten the arms because they tilt down and throw his balance too far forward. I still need to wrap the foam pieces that will support his hind legs. I am also a little stuck on the harness part. I have a little red pet "shirt" with Velcro tabs for the neck and girth. I sewed elastic loops on it but hooking the cart to it is giving me trouble so I need to rethink that too. I need to engineer a better way for it to all come together, but in beta testing Big Brown did pretty well with it.

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fannymanson

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Big Brown is very food motivated and tolerated the feeding stanchion pretty well. I think he understands that I am trying to help him, plus I am pretty sure it scared him when he rolled off the towel. He can lift his hind legs and propel himself up and over it though, so he can't be unattended when using it. I am also concerned about him chewing on it, but he is missing one front incisor so maybe he wouldn't want to chew, but you can never be too careful.
 
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