View Full Version : My Poorly Elderly Bun - Advice Needed

28-06-2011, 02:21 AM
I've joined today but i've been lurking for a while. I have a mini lop bunny called Dumpling and he's 8 in August. We've been having quite a few problems with him recently, it started with him having a lot of calcium in his urine and it looked like yellowish milk then came the fits/seizures. I've never witnessed a whole one but apparently he starts madly licking his ruff then throws himself on his side and looks like he's trying to run and twists. It looks very horrific and he continues to run on his side until you put him back on his feet. Afterwards he walks a bit wobbly and he has usually wet himself.

The vet thought it was EC so was put on panacur. This seemed to work as his urine returned to normal and he seemed a lot better in himself but then he had another fit. He didn't take to the panacur too well so got changed onto a different medication which he also didn't like so he had to have his panacur on a piece of crust.

After a few more fits he went back to the vet who thought maybe it wasn't EC or he did have it but the fits are caused by something else. She then decided that it could be epilepsy so consulted a rabbit specialist at the RVC who suggested some more medication which he'll only take on toast too. He still has fits but they are less frequent as they were before. He now appears to be incontinent and has damp legs and a damp bottom.

Now that you've read the background, if you've gotten this far then thank you! Basically what I ask it:
1. Is what he's experiencing a fit?
2. What might be causing this?
3. As he appears to be incontinent, would vetbed be good to keep him dry and how often would it need to be washed?
4. I've read about prolapin, would it work in his case?

I'm sorry for this absolutely massive post but he had another fit today and it really breaks my heart and I don't want to lose him :[
Thank you to anyone in advance that might be able to help me.
Dumplings mumma :cry:

barbara forster
28-06-2011, 02:40 AM
Hi and welcome to RU. I havent been on for a while but just seen your post.
Ah poor you and Dumpling. It sounds like you are a dedicated mummy.
I have a nethie dwarf called Flippy (Floppy died but he still lives with two others). He had a sludgy bladder due to not being able to get rid of calcium and had his bladder cut open and cleaned out at the age of 7. that was last feb. Ten around August last year he started having funny turns. They came around every 7-10 days and lasted for around 3-4 days, gradually picking up.
I never seen him have a fit but thats not to say it didnt happen. What happened with him was he went completely limp, like he didnt have a muscle in his little body. Along with my own vet who is brill, and a specialist rabbit vet called Molly Varga, based in cheshire. we basically treated Flippy for everything and anything it could have been and guess what ... he hasnt had a funny turn since October. He is still on the medsL:- Wormer called Albex. Meloxivet (painkiller/antiinflamitary) just in case it was EC. He had all his bloods taken several times and it appeared that excess calcium can cause floppy rabbit syndrome so he is also on Vit E, Tomato passata and Fortekor tablets for his kidneys as they are responsible for dealing with the calcuim. The passate is to keep his potassium levels in check.
Molly works at Cheshire Vets, perhaps it may be worth while you getting a referral from you own vets depending on where you live.
Anyway good luck to you both xx

28-06-2011, 02:51 AM
I'm afraid I have no experience with fitting.

The vetbed would probably work though. it is designed to pull wee down away from the surface so you could maybe have a puppy pad underneath and then the vetbed and change the vetbed about twice a day. There are some good sellers on ebay for vetbed :)

28-06-2011, 03:09 AM
Thank you for your replies! What you said, barbara forster, might actually be what Dumpling is experiencing. As i've never witnessed a fit, it could be that what my family have seen is him losing control then struggling to right himself. I might see if I can set up some kind of camera to record him as we only seem to catch him once he's already on his side. I live in shropshire so cheshire might be a bit far for him to travel but I can always look for bunny specialists in the area.

As for the vet bed, i'll check eBay out. Thanks for the tips :)
Dumplings mumma

28-06-2011, 04:29 AM
I gave him a good looking over about an hour ago my mum tells me not to pick him up much as it causes him to urinate but I felt I should and I was horrified at what I saw :cry: I just burst into tears. His skin looks so sore, practically all the fur on the inside of his leg has gone, its partially gone on the other one. Its even affecting his feet as it looks like the fur is starting to come off. I'm going to take him to the vet as he looks like he's in such a sorry state.

Is there anything for incontinent male bunnies? I've seen prolapin mentioned but that its only for lady bunnies.

I've ordered a large piece of vetbed to try as he tends to sit in the same place for most of the day so if I put some there and see if there is any kind of improvement then I think i'll buy enough to line his cage twice so I can rotate them.

I had no idea his bunny bum was so sore, I hope he isn't in any pain :cry:

28-06-2011, 07:15 AM
Sorry don't have any advice but just wanted to send vibes for your bun.

28-06-2011, 07:21 AM
Hello :)

It sounds as though there may be a few different problems going on for your Bun.

Has he had any diagnostics- a full blood profile, U/S of his bladder ?

If EC is a feature it may be as a consequence of another primary problem such as uroliths (bladder stones/sludge)

The incontinence could be of neurological origin or as a result of bladder sludge/stones.

Renal impairment is also a likely issue- as a result of EC, history of bladder sludge and your Buns age.

So really it is necessary to try to establish what is causing the symptoms before deciding how best to manage them.

There are other causes of seizures in Rabbits, another reason why some diagnostics may be helpful.

Propalin can be useful in some cases of urinary incontinence, but the Vet needs to find out the cause of the incontinence first.

In the first instance I think you need to take your Rabbit back to the Vet to assess the extent of the urine scald. This is a very painful condition, so analgesia will be needed. What type of analgesia will depend on what your Vet feels re your Rabbit's likelihood of Renal impairment.

You also need to be vigilant re Flystrike as the incontinence and urine scald puts Bun at a very high risk



Here are a few more links which may be useful to read :





Please do keep us updated about your Bun :)

28-06-2011, 12:51 PM
when did you do the 28day panacur course? I've heard that sometimes a second course can be done after a few months but do check with your vet.

In terms of urine scald due I have very successfully used Nelson's Calendula cream on the raw skin on the leg as recommended by our vet. wash the area with cool water then pat dry gently with a soft towel,then apply the Calendula cream.

You can buy it from health shops like Holland & Barratt for about 4.50 for a 30g tube. It soaks in well and is very soothing and smells gorgeous as its derived from marigolds.It doesn't sting on raw human skin and the bunny seemed to be ok with it. (I know as I tried it on my eczema which to my surprise it cured!) It heals up the bunnies skin really quickly too. It is marketed as rough skin cream.

you can also get it online


28-06-2011, 01:47 PM
Thank you for your replies.

Unfortunately as i've been at uni I haven't been the one taking him to the vets and my mum either doesn't really know what happens or she's not telling me. He's quite well protected from flystrike, he had rear guard on although its probably not as effective as he's lost some fur and he constantly has a mosquito net over his hutch to keep the flies out.

He was on panacure for 6 weeks, he seemed better by the end but once off it he went back to weeing everywhere and every so often having sludge so they started him on another 28 days of it after a two week period of not being on it but he started to refuse to take it even when we disguised it on food. He's very clever, he pick up the food like cabbage and wipe it on some of the newspaper in his hutch! He got put onto a different one that he had to have something like 2ml of which was really hard to get into him as he had a sore crusty mouth so it hurt him to have to force him to have it. He ended up back on panacur after two weeks. All through this he carried on having fits at a rate of about 1-2 a week.

Another theory the vet has is that he has a brain tumor. He seems happy, not off his food and doesn't appear to be in pain except for discomfort from the urine scold. I think the trouble is that we stopped using wood shavings as we believed the dust was causing him problems with his eyes so we started using shredded newspaper and special potty stuff made from recycled cardboard. Since we moved him from a small room attached to the house where he had a large hutch and a big expanse of floor to hop on to an indoor hutch, we use sheets of newspaper to line his cage and I think this is causing the urine scold as it doesn't absorb the urine, it just sits in puddles on top of it really and as he doesn't move much any more he just gets wet. I'm hoping the piece of vet bed I bought last night comes soon so I can see if it helps keep him dry and if it would be worth getting a roll and covering his hutch with it.
We're calling the vet tonight and when my mum gets home from work i'm going to ask her if he had full diagnostic tests done like bloods and stuff.
Thanks for your advice and everything
Dumplings mumma

28-06-2011, 03:21 PM
I'm sorry I can't help with a diagnostic but in the meantime I would get him on a painkiller like Metacam or Loxicom to help with any discomfort. I give this to my bun on bread and it goes down a treat. Good luck.

29-06-2011, 02:27 AM
Bun has taken a liking to sitting on kitchen roll, I was cleaning up his potty and his tray and i left a about 10 sheets of roll folded to a 2 sheet length in his hutch while I went to fill his potty with carefree and when I came back he'd sat his big furry bottom on it! I popped him into his clean potty but he hopped straight out and onto the kitchen roll. Could he be finding this comfier that carefree? Carefree doesn't seem to be the best thing as it stays wet once its wet, can anyone recommend a dust free potty litter.

Fingers crossed his vet bed will arrive tomorrow. Is there any way to wash it without putting it through the machine as my mum doesn't like the idea of washing something with bunny wee in it in our machine. If not then I might buy 10, change it every day then wash every 7 days at a laundrette.

My mum and me are going to give him a bunny bum bath tomorrow to clean up his little lamb chop legs, they look so skinny where his fur has come off then put a decent film of vaseline to protect his skin. I'm going to book him an appointment with the vet tomorrow and i'm going to suggest that he have his legs shaved so that its easier to clean him and keep him clean.
Dumplings Mumma