spine injury cause by vet

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iamtc

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Hi everyone, I have a pet rabbit lionhead dwarf( 3 months old), yesterday night there was an incident where someone accidentally stepped on the front of my rabbit, after checking on the condition , I've noticed my rabbit is bleeding a bit on the front and has problem biting the hay. And so I've decided to bring over to an emergency vet for help. And This was the worst decision I've ever made, when the vet was checking the rabbit, he was unable to control it, hind leg was kicking aggressively etc. So they tried restraining her with force, eventually I notice the rabbit was unable to walk properly after that, so I asked the doc to check on the legs, doc say everything was ok and the rabbit was unable to move properly due to the floor being slippery( he did check by poking on the hinge leg but there was no reaction). I was doubting him since that moment, as I know the movement of my rabbit was abnormal, but he keep claiming it was ok as it was just scare, so with no other choice I decided to bring home my rabbit and see how will she be the next day. And as I suspected, the very next day my pet rabbit was dragging herself instead of hopping, so I brought her to another rabbit specialize vet and they diagnose her with possible spine/nerve injury.

Can someone with experience teach me how do I take care of my rabbit for such cases? I really want to help my rabbit to recover as much as possible, what are the things I should do/take note? I'm gonna launch a complaint on the vet meanwhile, but I will.appreciate any info on this. Rabbit is eating and drinking well as of today, still unable to move her hinge leg(right leg seems to have a bit of reaction, it was able to control her poo and urine(not totally I suspect). Most importantly , what are the chance in nursing her back do she can move properly? Should I also go for an xray? But I heard it will require sedation which is dangerous for young rabbit? :(
 

Imbrium

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I'm so sorry you and your rabbit are having to go through this! I hope someone comes along who can offer some helpful advice :pray:
 

iamtc

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Just went to anther vet to take x-ray and it was confirmed to be a complete broken spine :( I really feel like sueing that vet straight away! Can someone please help? Any advice will be good. sigh
 

Imbrium

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Watermelons

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Do you guys have an association that governs all the vets in the country or smaller area? Here in BC, we have the BCVMA, They are basicly incharge of all the vets in British Columbia, Canada, so if we have an issue, we can go directly to them. Maybe the new vet can help you out with this.
What, if any, type of paperword did you sign at the vet that did the damage?

There are a fair few bunnys out there that can live happy lives with no use of their back ends. But I would still be going after that first vet.
 

Blue eyes

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I would also suggest that you take some time to write down and document exactly what occurred and what you saw at the vet's that day. Memories can fade as days go by. It's a good idea to have everything written down in as much detail as you can remember. (Such notes are also usually admissable in court)
Include what was going on with your bunny before, during and after the visit.
Detail how the vet responded to your concerns.
 

iamtc

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Hi Everyone,

Thanks for the replies, I'm building up a case file now to prepare to talk to the vet and also in the meantime trying my best to nurse back the rabbit back to a better condition.( Happily eating hay :), but still need to help her pee by pressing on the tummy area, no problem with pooping)

After some research, i found out that the doctor basically

- do not know how to properly restrain a rabbit:

2 attempts by himself and the nurse/assistant:

1st attempt - Flip over rabbit, but rabbit was kicking aggressively and was unable to check the teeth, tried holding the leg but failed ( himself and the nurse)

2nd attempt - Rabbit back to standing position, nurse apply force from the back and the doctor apply force from the font near the neck/head area, rabbit struggle for a while and suddenly stop struggling

Question is, is there a need for 2 person to handle one rabbit? Looking at the video/image online, it seems that all of the people has no problem handling alone in a more comfortable way for the rabbit.

- do not know how to identify a rabbit that has problem with hind leg :

After the check, i notice the rabbit has problem balancing so i got him to check on it:

1. he poke the hind leg paw - no reaction
2. put the rabbit on the floor and say rabbit was "hopping" but to me is actually "dragging" forward that seems to be "hopping ", rabbit was having problem balancing front leg ( slide left and right)
3. Claimed the floor was slippery and rabbit was scare/shock/afraid
4. Check on the legs/joint and don't seems to have any problem with it

Even after all these test, he say it was OK and told us to go back home.

My question is, isn't hind leg with no reaction an indication of a problem already? And do rabbit has problem balancing on a slightly slippery floor? It was running all happily on my mosaic floor with no balancing problem!


The other vet tried talking to them but they are now pushing away the responsibility.

My next course of action is either talk to them or approach the pet authority.

Do you guys think these points are valid for the accusation?






 

KKH

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I am so sorry to hear about your rabbit. I think you were linked to my posts on here, and may have read it. Our BunBun was 6 months old when she got attacked and was diagnosed with a spinal injury. The vet gave her four days of Metacam and without coming out and saying it, my daughter was in the room with us, basically said she would not likely recover and it would be up to us rather we could provide what she needed or if her quality of life was worth it.

We brought BunBun home, she had no feeling in either hind leg. We kept her confined and did not allow her to move around much hoping she would not do anymore damage. By the last day of Metacam she was at least acting more perky, she would not get on her litter box, but would go when we put her on it. After another couple of days I noticed when I sat her out of the cage to clean it she would move a little. In another couple of days I noticed she had used her litter box without me moving her there.

The vet tech called to check in about then and when I told her she had feeling back in one of her legs she was in shock. She spoke to the vet and they gave me another round of Metacam (this time 1/2 doses as I guess it can be bad for them). She has finished the Metacam and after another week she seems to be almost back to normal.

She still has no feeling in one of her hind feet, but it no longer keeps her from getting to whatever she wants. We have chosen to keep her in a smaller cage for awhile just to give her a little more time (she lives in a two story hutch outside) to heal.

We were basically told she would not heal and while she may not be 100% she is close.

What I found, from others suggestions and trying;
-USE Metacam for the inflamation (you can order this, but given the small size of rabbits I would get it in ready to use doses from the vet.)
-Keep the bun confined for a few weeks.
-If litter box trained get a litter box with a grate and place on it several times a day. (BunBun almost seemed relieved when we would place her on here, she could go potty without it getting all over her.)
-Watch for urine scald.
-Give it time.

Best wishes.
 

cerigirl

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Oh, hun I am so sorry to hear about your experience! Your post brought tears to my eyes. I cant not believe I vet with o rabbit experience would even try to treat one. There is absolutely no reason for it to take 2 people to restrain a bun unless you are dealing with a giant. Which is not the case here and even with a giant it dosent take two people usually.
I am glad that you are making a case file for this. It sounds like that vet should be reported to the vet association/ pet authority.
 

iamtc

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@KKH - Thank you so much for the response! I will definitely follow your tips/advices and pray for the best thing to happen for my pet rabbit :)

@cerigirl - Yes absolutely no reason for 2 person to restrain a rabbit! I find it ridiculous too :X Its a lionhead dwarf!

Btw anyone know of any cases of rabbit not able to move properly when scare/shock/afraid? i don't think this is valid either that is pointed out by the doc!
 

Imbrium

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best of luck in pursuing some way to make them take responsibility for what they've done to your bunny! not sure how things work in singapore but it may be worth consulting an attorney in addition to contacting whoever oversees vets/licensing, especially if your legal system has something similar to civil suits in the US. they definitely need to be held accountable for breaking your poor rabbit's spine, if for no reason other than to prevent someone else from having to go through the same ordeal.

:pray:
 

Blue eyes

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Wait! For those who say it shouldn't take 2 people to hold a rabbit...

I've had 11 rabbits over the years and my current bun Sapphire is the only one I've had that is practically impossible to hold. I brought her to a rescue for a nail clipping for this very reason. Of course, they just thought I didn't know better. Then they tried. They were so surprised. It did take one person to hold her while a 2nd person clipped her nails. (This has happened each time I go, with different, experienced handlers.)

So, yes, she can (barely) be held by one person, but that person would not then be able to do anything with her. It would take a 2nd person to do whatever needed to be done.

I just want you to know that there are exceptions.

It is quite obvious however, that they did not know what they were doing and caused permanent damage to your bunny. They should not be permitted to care or treat rabbits.
 

missyscove

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I could definitely imagine situations where it would take multiple people to properly restrain an animal, or say one person restraining and the other conducting an exam.
If you were here in the US, I would have you contact the veterinary medical board for your state, but I don't know what the laws are in Singapore with regard to who supervises vets.
I wish you the very best of luck with your situation.
 

iamtc

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Hi People,

Thanks for all the help and assistance. Chobi is doing pretty well now ( thank god!) , even able to scratch with her hind leg recently ! But it still won't be able to stand properly on slightly slippery floor. Hopefully she will get well soon! thanks everyone, really appreciate it! :D
 

Imbrium

Jennifer
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I'm SO glad she's improving/doing well! any luck pursuing a case against the vet that hurt her?
 

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