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I'm SO Angry - Head Tilt Death

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MamaThumper

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I never thought I'd be one to describe myself as a "rabbit person," because I wasn't until my Mother plopped Thumper in my lap. I was severely attached to his personality and quirky behavior. He was the sweetest thing!

Well, yesterday he lost the fight against something I can't even put a name to.

I remember I went to feed him at approximately 1PM and he was happy and alert. At 3PM, I went to visit him with some goodies in hand, only to find his head tilting and his eyes moving back and forth rapidly. It has to be a dreadful sight for any rabbit owner. :(

At the time, I was with my Dad and my Stepmother, who assumed he had heatstroke and to "put a towel over his head, he'll be fine." I was so disgusted; I don't think they took his life seriously because he was "just a rabbit" and unfortunately, I'm starting to think the same of some vets. You cannot tell someone to what degree they can value their pet, it's simply cruel...

It was Sunday, so nothing was open. Ignoring their stupidity, I rushed him to a 24 hour emergency vet clinic and I was told he "had an ear infection or a neurological issue." They gave him a shot of Cortisone and I brought home Baytril to syringe feed him every twelve hours.

Thumper seemed immediately better after he came back as he was eating, drinking, and defecating. Even his head tilt was ALREADY slightly better, although he was still a bit dizzy. I continued to give him Baytril for a week, called the vet, and we went back for more. He was supposed to go back for a check-up this coming Sunday, but he didn't make it...

I was at work when he was dying in my Dad's arms. He kept flipping over and his arms were stiff. According to my Dad, he was gasping for hair and his eye looked like it was about to pop and blood came down his nose...

I don't understand. I thought he was getting better. I'm angry at the vet, too. Could they not isolate the problem somehow?

I just want to know if it was the Cortisone that helped him or if he had a second stroke? It's eating me up. I would have paid anything to help Thumper.

If it was neurological, would there be a way to treat any inflammation he could have had?

Any information is so appreciated right now. Thank you...
 

JadeIcing

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I am so sorry for you loss, I want to start with that. I want to say you did right by him. I am so sorry that despite your best efforts he passed.

Head-tilt is cause mostly from infection but sometimes can be from injury.

The fact that Thumper was getting better suggest there was an infection. The most the vet could have done was a stronger med but most vets will start you on Baytril. While no longer an option for my rabbits I do understand a vet starting with it.
 

Pipp

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My guess is that it was an ear infection, the steroids and maybe the Baytril would have helped shrink it somewhat, but I think he would have needed a round of injectible antibiotics combined with a different oral. Baytril isn't that effective for head abscesses and it's got quite a resistance built up to it.

Steroids can reduce the inflammation especially in a case like this when it's caught early, but on the down side, they can promote immunosuppression that can cause the infection to come back with a vengeance.

If they're going to use steroids for immediate relief (and I don't know if it's wise or not), it really needs to coupled with aggressive antibiotics.

So sorry for your loss. :( Rabbit medicine is a work in progress.


sas :rip:
 

kirstin

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I have a rabbit with head tilt or "wry neck". The actual causes of head tilt are so numerous that it can take weeks for a vet to isolate the problem and decide on a med that will work long-term.

I'm so sorry for your loss. :(
 

Bunnylova4eva

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It could have been one of several things: Pasturella, Encephalitozoonosis ( E. Cuniculi ), ear infectoin, or trauma. In my oppinion, it was most likely infection. My rabbit that had wry neck had an ear infecton we figured out after she passed. Its a very difficult thing to treat, and my vet said there was a poor to fair chance of her recovery. Your rabbit sounds like it was at about the same point as mine. So, i doubt there was too much more that could be done.
R.i.p. Thumper :rainbow:
 

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