Paralisis and seizures in rabbits

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Hen

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Hi, we have a little dwarf rabbit who is 7 years old. Two months ago she had a vocalized seizure then started to have trouble walking. She had an infected sore on the foot and was treated with antibiotics. A few weaks later she improved but soon started having a harder time walking. Our vet gave her more antibiotics and metacame. She went downhill to the point where she can no longer walk and has vocalize d seizures. I researched and belive she has a E Cuniculi infestation because of all her symptoms. I started giving her panacur she improved greatly but still can't walk and still has seizures. Should we increase the dose, I'm giving her 20 mg per kilo now I read on this forum you can go up to 50 mg/kg.
 

JBun

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What improvement have you seen if seizures and difficulty walking is still occurring? Did your vet do any blood tests or xrays?

20mg/kg is the usual dose of fenbendazole treatment for EC, though some vets will prescribe a higher dose. If you were to go higher, it would be better to consult with a knowledgeable rabbit vet first. Panacur doesn't necessarily cure the symptoms that happen with EC. It may stop the progression of the spores and so stop the worsening of symptoms. But whether or not symptoms improve and go away, depends on the extent of cell damage that is caused by the EC spores. If the damage is severe it can be permanent, even though the EC itself may gone or dormant. In these cases it then becomes about managing the disability that has occurred because of the EC.


Panacur(fenbendazole) is something I would expect any knowledgeable rabbit vet to prescribe when a rabbit starts having seizures, as EC is a common culprit. If your vet didn't do this from the start and you don't feel your vet is very knowledgeable about rabbits, I would recommend finding a more experienced vet to work with to find the best course of action and treatment for your rabbit. There may be other meds that could help your rabbit, such as seizure medications.


 

Hen

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Hello, thank you. The improvements were the seizures decreased significantly, she could at least move around by crawling instead of just laying on her side sleeping, she stoped turning circles trying to move, more alert relaxed with better appetite she even sat up on all fours. She was really bad off before the fenbendazole. What's frustrating is when she first had the seizure and started going down hill the vet treated her for an infected sore on her foot ignoring the seizure symptoms. After a few more visits and almost two months later he thought it was her back and he could give her metacame or put her down. We decided to bring her home. I didn't know what it was maybe old age and her time. I decide to Google vocalized seizures which brought me to EC, she had all the symptoms. I found a thread on this site and what meds to use and we started treating her ourselves. We called the vets and told him what we thought was wrong and then he prescribed safe guard. Why he didn't know or test for somthing this commen I don't know. We only have two vets that will see rabbits here, one we couldn't get an appointment with and this ones 1.5 hrs away. I wish I had did my own research and found this site at the begining of all this.
 

JBun

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There's a chance that the symptoms could continue to improve with time, so I would just keep up what you're doing then. I would also continue with the metacam as it will help reduce the inflammation and cell damage caused by any remaining spores. Which this is a pretty important part of EC treatment, to help reduce the severity of symptoms caused by the cell damage that occurs due to the inflammation.

EC recovery is kind of a guessing game with rabbits. Treatment isn't always successful and sometimes there is irreversible damage. So it's just taking it a day at a time. If the seizures do continue though, you may want to look into asking your vet about trying a seizure med.

Rabbit ownership is certainly a learning curve. I made a lot of mistakes at the start and have learned a lot over the years. It's hard to know what the best thing is to do until you've actually gone through it and can look back. Especially when you're relying on the advice of a vet who's supposed to know more than you and what the right course of action should be. It's frustrating and disappointing that so many vets really have very little knowledge about rabbits, and even some supposed 'rabbit' vets can turn out to be not so knowledgeable at all. If you can find a really experienced rabbit vet to go to, even if it takes a bit of a drive, it's worth it.
 

Hen

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Hopefully the symptoms will continue to improve with time she's only had a few seizures since we started her on the fenbendazole the beginning of Nov, a few too many but if she continues to have them we will look into the seizure medication. With your advice we will continue to give her metacam. Should we continue the fenbendazole after the 28 days? I started her on cainine panacur powder its all we could get here, 34 mg she's 1.7 kilos. Then the vet prescribed liquid safe guard 32mg after calling him with our thoughts on her symptoms. But before doing that I ordered panacur rabbit paste so we now have 3 forms of fenbendazole. We have also another rabbit she's much bigger and aggressive and they have always been separate. I read that 80% of all rabbits have non active EC, should we be concerned for her she's very healthy.

Thank you for all your help and knowledge this certainly is a learning curve and your help and this site is so much appreciated.
 

majorv

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It wouldn’t hurt to get a head X-ray done to rule out a tumor or overgrown root in an upper tooth.
 
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