Rabbit's not walking right

Discussion in 'Health & Wellness' started by Merlin, Oct 3, 2017.

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  1. Oct 3, 2017 #1

    Merlin

    Merlin

    Merlin

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    He's been to the vet for not eating. Received pain med, antibiotic, fluids, Critical Care. He was wobbly yesterday but I thought it was from the large fluid bubble making him off balance. Today when he went to the vet again I forgot about it because his gut issue was my main concern.

    In the last few hours it seems like his balance has gotten worse. He has a hard time moving around his x-pen or getting in and out of the litter box. He was just in the box with his head resting on the edge, then he pushed his nose out of his cage to rest his head there. I'm worried he doesn't have enough strength to keep his head where he wants it.

    I don't know if I should try to give him more Critical Care and water, or if I should let him calm down because he seems really stressed.
     
  2. Oct 3, 2017 #2

    JBun

    JBun

    JBun

    Jenny - Health & Wellness Mod Staff Member Administrator Moderator

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    Was he off balance at all before going to the vet or only after? Could the pain meds be making him drowsy? What did the vet prescribe, was it meloxicam or an opiate like buprenorphine? Which antibiotic was prescribed and was a gut stimulant prescribed as well(if so which one)? Did the vet do a thorough physical exam and check your rabbits ears? Have you noticed your bun scratching at his ears a lot or shaking his head excessively, and is the fur thinned out at all at the ear base or any bulging at the ear base, or a bad smell coming from the ears?
     
  3. Oct 3, 2017 #3

    JBun

    JBun

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    Jenny - Health & Wellness Mod Staff Member Administrator Moderator

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    Also, has he been eating or been fed regularly today?
     
  4. Oct 3, 2017 #4

    Merlin

    Merlin

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    He was not off balance before going to the vet, but looking back on it, he did "miss" and not clear the jump very well getting back into his x-pen a couple times recently.
    The vet prescribed Metacam and Baytril, but no gut stimulant. Ears and teeth are fine. He had x-rays because she was concerned about pneumonia from his heavy breathing.
    He's not scratching at his ears, or has a bad smell. He did shake his head today a lot at one point, then snorted really loudly, and I almost rushed him to the emergency vet because it looked so strange (we were at home waiting for 8:00 so I could call his doctor.)
     
  5. Oct 3, 2017 #5

    Merlin

    Merlin

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    He had a little Critical Care today. A very small amount. He is very resistant to syringe feeding.
     
  6. Oct 3, 2017 #6

    Merlin

    Merlin

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    Now he's running into the walls of his cage and falling over. I'm so, so worried about him.
     
  7. Oct 3, 2017 #7

    JBun

    JBun

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    I'm guessing that it was him not eating that prompted you to bring him into the vet to start with? Lack of appetite can be caused by any health condition that causes the rabbit pain and/or discomfort. With your bun now exhibiting loss of balance symptoms, it's possible that the lack of appetite and balance issues are related and are being caused by an inner ear infection. Excessive head shaking can be an indication of this, and there may be no indication of infection in the external ear canal(xrays may show an inner infection but not always). The disease e. cuniculi might also be a possible cause for those symptoms, though an ear infection is usually the most likely cause with loss of balance symptoms.

    You'll want to contact your vet first thing in the morning, or if you feel that it's an emergency and your vet has out of hours coverage, then contact them tonight. I'm not sure what more the vet will want to do aside from reassessing your rabbits condition and the cause of symptoms, and possibly prescribing a stronger pain med, gut stimulant, and possibly a different or another antibiotic, and if e. cuniculi is suspected the vet should also prescribe fenbendazole(panacur). More sub q fluids might also be needed if your bun has become dehydrated. If the vet doesn't prescribe a gut stimulant this time, I would request it as it can stimulate appetite and can help prevent a blockage(along with assisted feedings) from occurring. I would also double check to make sure your bun is getting adequate pain management. Meloxicam should normally be prescribed at 0.3-0.6mg/kg, and even up to 1.5mg/kg short term to help get the pain and inflammation under control. Getting that inflammation to go down is crucial, and inadequate dosing will not be helpful to your bun. I mention this just in case your vet is one of those vets that is bad about dosing meloxicam correctly for rabbits. I've included a link with vet dosing references.
    http://www.medirabbit.com/EN/Neurology/Otit/otitis.htm
    http://wildpro.twycrosszoo.org/S/00dis/Parasitic/Encephalitozoonosis.htm
    http://vgr1.com/metacam/

    I know it can be difficult to get a stubborn bun to take the critical care, but it really is necessary to get a sufficient amount into them each day or their condition can further deteriorate, and you could end up with a weak dehydrated rabbit with a possible full gut blockage, in addition to the other possible medical condition that is causing the lack of appetite. Burrito wrapping your bun might help if you haven't already tried it. Some people have success by having their bun on the floor in between their legs while kneeling, using your feet to block the bun at the back end, and your hands to hold the front end and administer the food. Some people find taking the bun to an unfamiliar room helps, or putting them on a slippery floor where they don't like it and aren't inclined to want to move. Whichever method you use, I always am careful to be gentle so as not to risk injury, but you also have to be firm and persistent about getting that food in them.

    If you can, I would keep him in a more enclosed space for now while he is having difficulty so he doesn't injure himself. I would also pad the sides around him if needed.
     
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  8. Oct 4, 2017 #8

    Merlin

    Merlin

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    Thank you for all your help last night. It was helpful to not feel so alone. Merlin declined rapidly and passed away around 10:30. He was 8 and 1/2 and usually had 2-3 episodes of stasis a year. He did have a fever, but I forgot to ask the vet today if she suspected an ear infection. She thought his motor difficulties were related to his pain from the stasis (I also forgot to check the dosage).
    I asked her if it could be anything else and she said it's possible he was toxic from something. X-rays did show that he had a gallstone. She said it is possible that he had a blockage that was making him toxic.
     
  9. Oct 4, 2017 #9

    Aki

    Aki

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    I'm so sorry. You tried your best, but sometimes, there is nothing you can do...
     
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  10. Oct 4, 2017 #10

    Munha

    Munha

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    I am so sorry for your loss. :bigtears:
     
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  11. Oct 5, 2017 #11

    Nancy McClelland

    Nancy McClelland

    Nancy McClelland

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    So sorry for your loss, it's never easy. We just had to take one of ours that was almost 13 for his last vet visit. He couldn't get up or use his back legs and he got a tumor on his front leg about a week ago that growing out of control and was to old and infirm for surgery. I do prefer it if they pass to the bridge at home, but we don't always get that luxury either. :bunnyangel:
     

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