( RIP) Peter had a stroke...

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lordbobba

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Hi everyone,

I'm new to this community. It's nice to meet all of you and see what great, supportive members are on here. Unfortunately my first posting is not a happy one.

One of my rabbits, Peter had a stroke last night. I took him to the vet today and he prescribed him some treatments and a decent prognosis. I think eventually he'll lose most or all of the side effects. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

He's about a month old, ~1#, male dwarf. He hasn't been alive long enough to have any other health issues.

Last night when I looked into his cage after not looking after him for ~20 minutes I noticed he was acting very, very strangely and exhibiting classic signs of a stroke: paralysis of one half of the body, paralysis of the face, eyes wouldn't focus, stopped eating/drinking and going to the bathroom. He couldn't stand himself up on his legs, he would just flop over and kick at the air when he tried. I wrapped him up in a blanket, would periodically force-feed him water and critcal care and kept him close for the rest of the night, fearing I would lose him. I couldn't get to a vet.

He's been doing much better today after the vet visit this morning. He can stand on his own feet, his eyes focus, he's blinking, he's tolerating the force feed. He doesn't appear to be in pain while on the pain meds. While typing this I noticed he can even hop in a straight line rather than flopping over or hopping around in a circle. I'm beginning to have hope that he'll be my ever playful, happy rascal again who licks my fingers and bites my toes.

Have any of you had any experience with one of your babies stroking? What treatments did you use? What was the outcome? What was the cause? Did they ever get "back to normal"?

I apologize if this post seems to be jumping around a bit. I'm a bit stressed out. He's just a baby.

Let me know if I can clarify anything.

Thank you in advance, -Matt
 

Pipp

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Oh no, I hope he's okay! I know they do bounce back at that age. Any guess re: the cause? An injury?

I'll post a link to this thread in the Rabbitry, some people there may have more experience with this happening to young rabbits.


sas :clover:
 

Maureen Las

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I never knew of a young rabbit having a stroke althoughI guess that it may happen :?

I am thinking of the possibility of it being an inner ear infection although that would not cause paralysis it would cause loss of balance , vertigo, disorientation.and nystagmus; it would also cause circling ..just a thought.
Also wondering if it would be some kind of parasitic infection althoug this is just a guess...
Do you have a really rabbit knowledgeable vet ? I am guessing that the stroke diagnosis was based on his appearance rather than any diagnostics . Exactly what did the vet prescribe and do?
if he is slowly coming around on hisown that is great...wondering if there is anything else going on with his spinal cord and brain.
Not a happy first post but welcome to the forum...
 

BlueGiants

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Welcome to the Forum! So sorry your first post is under such stressful circumstances. I also question if it could be an inner ear infection or parasitic problem. What meds did the vet prescribe besides a pain reliever?

Is this baby weaned or still nursing? Alone in it's cage or with siblings/mother?

It must have been so worrisome to see him like that! I'm glad to hear he is showing some improvement.
 

kahlin

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That is pretty scary. I don't know about strokes, but I know when Teagan had partial facial paralysis the first vet we saw said it was stroke-like, but that it was really an inner ear infection. In our case, the infection put pressure on her facial nerves so half of her face was pulled tight and couldn't move.

Once we treated it, she *mostly* returned to normal. I hope your bunny continues to improve.
 

tonyshuman

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Goodness! I too would have the vet take a good look at the ears, and perhaps do a head x-ray to make sure nothing is constricting the brain at all.

Was the entire face paralyzed, or just one side? If one side, was it the same side as the body? The reason I ask is because the facial muscles are controlled by different nerves that exit the spinal cord higher up. It can help the doctor determine the location where the stroke occurred. A lot of times there are certain areas where motor nerves go through some tight places where there are also important blood vessels, and that can lead to hemiparalysis like you observed. It may be hard to remember but it can really help your vet make a good diagnosis. Also, you may want to ask if it could have been a seizure that you saw instead of a stroke.

I've never heard of a stroke in such a young bunny. At that age, the causes of stroke are from issues with blood clotting (like a blood clotting disorder, where the platelets stick together too much), or if something is growing out of place and putting pressure on a blood vessel. That would be a tumor of some sort. But that wouldn't really go away, and might need something like a MRI to see. It could also be an infected area that's swelling and again putting pressure on the blood vessels, like what happened with kahlin's bunny.
 

lordbobba

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Hi again everyone,
Thank you all for your informative, intelligent input and your good wishes for him to feel better.

Peter.. Boba ..was taken back to the vet for an xray today, the vet determined it's an inner ear infection. He's treating with antibiotics, pain meds, critical care, benebac. Peter hangs out with two other rabbits, an older male (Ted) who's fixed and an older female (Jasmine). They all get along well. The other rabbits haven't shown any signs of sickness, which is just great.

He's doing better today, but still hasn't developed an appetite yet to eat for himself. He can actually hop around in a straight line now, which is a marked improvement from days past.

Again, thank you for all of your input and your caring. I will post as his condition changes.
 

Maureen Las

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be sure that a probiotic is being used with the antibiotic. In a rabbit thatyoung it seems that the gut flora could really be disturbed easily

Also usually the treatment for an older rabbit would be with several strong antibiotic meds and for a lenghty time



I am curious ........what are the antibiotics that you are giving?

How is he today?
 

tonyshuman

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That sounds good--the BeneBac is a probiotic that will keep his gut bacteria happy. Like angieluv said, he may need to be on an antibiotic for a long time. Did the vet swab the ear to get a sample of bacteria? What is the antibiotic they put him on?
 

lordbobba

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Hi everyone,

The antibiotic is Ciprofloaxin. The vet did perform an ear swab.

Peter took a turn for the worse today. I woke up to his poops being clear, long and tubular, gel-like and bloody. I had never encountered this before with my other rabbits, so I quickly looked up the symptoms online. He clearly fit into having mucoid enteritis.

Since I don't have much more extra money to get to a vet this week, I've had to resort to some home treatments for it.. He's on Simethicone (for gas buildup and the resulting pain), Dri-tail (neomycin sulfate for diarrhea), and I've been giving him a product for "instant nutrition" called NutriCal. I'm still giving him Benebac, Critical Care and the antibiotic. He's been on the new stuff for about 10 hours but I haven't seen a marked changed yet.

He's still not eating or drinking on his own. At this point he barely tolerates the force-feedings. He looks tired and scared afterwards. I don't know how else to get nutrition into him.

One improvement I did notice today over other days: He's hopping around my bedroom more confidently now. He stands up straight and doesn't go around in circles anymore. He seems a lot more confident and steady on his feet.
 

lordbobba

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... One thing I forgot to mention which I noticed today.

Sometimes when he's on the floor by himself he opens and closes his mouth for no apparent reason. It makes a pretty loud, audible noise, kind of like the noise you'd hear if you were to take a couple sticks of gum and vigorously chew them like a cow. He keeps up these chewing motions for a minute or so, stops, and starts again. I don't understand it. Nothing is in his mouth when he does it.

Any ideas?
 

tonyshuman

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First, the Dri-Tail won't do much to help him. It's a sulfa drug, and this type of antibiotic can actually make bacteria-related diarrhea worse through a condition known as Tyzzer's disease.

At his age, enteritis (especially bloody) is a very serious issue. It's one of the things that tops my list for rabbit emergencies--gel-coated, runny poop in a bunny under 6 mo. I understand that you've already spend quite a bit on this, so I'll give some at-home treatment advice, although I really can't stress enough how serious diarrhea in a young bunny is. Some owners only discover their bunny was suffering from it by finding them dead, with lots of diarrhea around.

A vet can prescribe an antibiotic/anti-inflammatory called metronidazole (brand Flagyl) that can help stabilize the gut bacteria and soothe his painful insides.

For a bunny with diarrhea, we typically recommend only giving them hay, water, an electrolyte drink for babies called Pedialyte (unflavored/unsweetened if available), and Bene-Bac. Since he's not eating on his own, it's fine to continue force feeding Critical Care. Hay would be better, since it's just fiber and can clear bad things out of the gut, but obviously you can't force feed that.

I would start giving him Pedialyte in addition. Force feed him if you have to, but I've found that my guys go nuts for most versions of it. This is a better electrolyte drink to use than gatorade, because it contains much less sugar. Large amounts of sugar promote growth of bad gut bacteria. That's also why I think the best way to give Pedialyte is to get the unflavored/unsweetened one, and add a touch of grenadine or a juice that your bunnies like (cranberry, apple, grape, cucumber). If I put a bowl of that out, it's gone in a matter of minutes with my two, and adding just a touch of flavor doesn't add too much sugar. Store brand pedialyte (infant rehydration drink) is fine. Dehydration is very dangerous with diarrhea.

Cipro is a pretty broad-spectrum antibiotic and it's not very commonly given to rabbits. There is a drug that turns into cipro in the system called enrofloxacin (Baytril) that is more commonly given to rabbits. They can both cause some GI effects, and I'll look up some info to see if there's more GI side effects associated with Cipro than with Baytril.

As for the Nutri-cal, I'd probably stop using it. I think it's ok as a source of emergency nutrition and an appetite stimulant, but it's rather greasy and oil-based, and it may be too high in sugar for a diarrhea episode. I usually only use it in gas or GI stasis to encourage a bunny to eat. Some here don't like it at all because it's so greasy and thus similar to cat laxative products.

Finally, you might consider adding simethicone. It's baby gas medicine, I buy the grand Mylicon. I'd give him half an adult dose--1/2mL/hr for 3hrs. Only do this if you think there may be gas in the intestines--if he's bloating in the stomach, gas meds will not help.
 

tonyshuman

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The sound you're describing sounds a lot like tooth grinding done in pain. He should probably be on some kind of pain medicine. If you have been given Metacam (meloxicam), it shouldn't be given on an empty stomach, but it can help a little. Usually tooth grinding in pain is done with the mouth closed, so I'm not sure. Is he struggling to breathe at all?

I really worry about this--combined with the bloody stool, I think you're in an emergency situation here.
 

tonyshuman

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I can't find any info on whether Cipro has more GI side effects than Baytril or not, but Cipro has been associated with overgrowths of certain clostridium bacteria in humans; clostridia are typically the cause of bacterial enteritis in rabbits.

edit: I am not going to be able to access the internet much over the next couple days so I hope some other mods can step in and help some more.

Best of luck~~~:pray:
 

Maureen Las

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My rabbits have been presribed ciprofloxiin alot here where the vet care is questionable ; it is in same family as baytril and may not work even as effectively asbaytril.

Whatever.. this drug most likely is not going to be strong enough or effective enough to treat an inner ear infection. I have never had issues with clostridium while using it on my rabbits but your rabbit is already in trouble.

A home treatment program is just not going to cut it.
The rabbit needs a really knowlegeable vet....maybe you could get a payment plan for him .

The only other thing that may be very effective is the biosponge which is a product that absorbs toxins like clostridium. Randy has used it with hige success.

you can order it on-line in smaller quantities for dogs or cats or you could possibly get some from anyone who has and cares for horses (product was made originally for them)
Right now getting it from someone else seems to to be the only viable option .
Do the best that you can :pray:

http://www.entirelypets.com/platbio15cc.html
 

lordbobba

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Hi,

At 1:59am on Thanksgiving Peter-Boba passed. He slipped away quietly in my arms. I had gone to the vet today but they didn't think it necessary to hold him there. He just didn't respond to the treatments.

I want to thank you all for your kindness, sympathy for him and helpful advice.

He's with his kin now. I have to go put him to rest now.
 

Maureen Las

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I am so very sorry :(

it did sound very serious and in many of these cases the bun does not survive when it reaches the stage that Peter was in.

:tears2:RIP little Peter Rabbit
:bigtears:He had a short life but he was very loved and that is what is most important.

 

Nancy McClelland

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we're so sorry to hear of Peter's passing. Really was hoping he'd pull through. It's never easy saying goodbye, especially with one so young. Sometimes it just not meant to be no matter how hard we strive and pray. Rest in peace little man and binky free at the bridge.:bunnyangel:
 
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