My rabbit has recently become paralyzed due to a neurological issue

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Bunbunbun2002

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My rabbit is 7 years old and I’ve him for 5 years with no issues. 4 weeks ago he became paralyzed in his back legs overnight. The X-ray came back normal and I got sent home with pain medicine. I then went to a new vet and they told me it’s a neurological issue with his spine and his bladder can explode because he can’t release his own bladder and said acupuncture will help him regain the movement in his legs. He has had 2 treatments and I only see him getting worse. He’s lost a pound already and feels like sticks n bones…just within the past 2 days I’ve noticed him not eating much of his food or hay. The vet said it could take weeks to months for him to get better but it’s not 100% certain he will…just this morning he’s peeing blood (it’s a mucus texture) but the vet said it was normal? It just seems like he’s suffering at this point and I love him a lot but don’t want him to be miserable. Had anyone else experienced this? Or has any help on how to cope with this? Or advise?
 

JBun

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If he is actually peeing thickened urine with blood, and it's actual blood and not just reddish orange plant pigments from the food he eats, then that is definitely not normal. It could be a UTI and bladder sludge, or possibly something much more serious involving the kidneys. If your rabbits paralysis is being caused by the parasite e. cuniculi, this can also affect multiple organs including the kidneys. If this is happening, it could explain the blood in the urine and the severe weight loss.

If he keeps losing weight, he's not going to last months, and maybe not even weeks. But even then, paralysis from e. cuniculi could affect his mobility for life. Sometimes the parasite can be knocked down and the rabbit will be ok and recover mobility, but it's more common for the paralysis to remain, or in part with only a partial recovery of mobility. His condition sounds very serious to me at this point. If he does in fact also have kidney disease, this isn't curable and he'll continue to deteriorate. I'm sorry to give such a grim outlook, but your description of his condition doesn't sound at all good to me.

So the options that I can see would be finding a much more knowledgeable rabbit specialist right away, to give you a second opinion and maybe a better treatment plan if the vet can stabilize your rabbits condition. Or if he is suffering and his condition is continuing to deteriorate, taking him to the vet to end his suffering and be put to sleep, might be the kindest thing. But I know, that it's never an easy choice.



 

Bunbunbun2002

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He’s the only rabbit I have , is there a way that he could’ve gotten that? Before I got him I don’t know any of his history, is that something he could have had and it just took time to affect him?
 

JBun

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Yes. The majority of rabbits have been exposed to e. cuniculi, often from birth, but remain asymptomatic carriers. Meaning they carry the parasite but it doesn't cause any direct illness in them. Then something can happen like stress, trauma, old age, that affects their immune system and makes them vulnerable, and this basically kick starts the e. cuniculi causing illness. Here's a more in depth explanation of EC.



I had a rabbit with it years ago, but he didn't last more than a few days once the illness set in. But also back then, vets didn't really know how to more appropriately treat it so the rabbit had a better chance of survival.
 

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