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View Full Version : She doesn't hop a lot.



karimacat
16-05-2015, 10:53 AM
Hi not an urgent question but wondered if anyone has any similar experience and could possibly shed any light.... My dutch rabbit Jessie is 2yrs old now. I got her when she was 6months old - a rescue bunny with no previous medical history. She was very shy when I got her and not very agile at all. Even though she has improved a lot and it is a real joy to see her jumping in/out of things and up/ down on the furniture I am concerned that she doesn't hop very well. She does hop but it seems laboured. It doesn't flow naturally and looks like hard work. She also tends to walk rather than hop. She also doesn't sit up on her back legs and look around like most rabbits do, in fact I have never seen her do this. While she can jump up and down on the furniture she can't jump as high as George and you can tell she isn't very confident. I have spoken to the vet about her and she didn't think that she was in any pain. She said the only way to check everything is ok would be to put her under anaesthetic and check the leg movements. She didn't really think this was necessary though. I guess my biggest concern is that Jessie is in fact in pain/ discomfort but is hiding it. I have often heard that animals will hide any injury so as not to show weakness. I often wonder if maybe she didn't have a lot of space to run around when she was little so maybe didn't develop properly and that makes me feel sad! Has anyone got any similar experience or advice? Thank you.

Mackers
16-05-2015, 11:16 AM
I don't really have any suggestions but would your vet consider a course of pain killers, such as daily Metacam, just to see if it could be chronic pain? If the pain killer/anti-inflamatory makes a difference then it's at least a starting point.

Sky-O
16-05-2015, 12:11 PM
Has she had x-rays or anything? How rabbit savvy is your vet?

karimacat
17-05-2015, 12:58 AM
Hi. Thank you both for the replies. I just asked the questions in passing at her latest vaccinations/ health check up appointment. I hadn't seen that particular vet before. I signed up at this vets because they are rabbit recommended but it is one of the vets in particular that is very knowledgeable about rabbits and has pet rabbits himself. I just trusted the vet when she said not to worry and that Jessie didn't appear to be in pain. Its one of those things where Jessie appears to be fine and I think "well that's just the way she is". Every now and then it plays on my mind though. I like the idea of trying pain relief to see if we see any change. Perhaps I could make another appointment (with the main rabbit vet!) and ask to get it investigated further.

hoppetylop
17-05-2015, 01:20 AM
I agree about trying her on Metacam to see if pain is to blame.Its obviously not age related as shes so young.The only other thing I can think of apart from xray to see if that sheds any light, is giving her a 28 day course of Panacur in case its a symptom of E.cunniculi.One of my bunnies had very similar symptoms to your bunny-laboured shuffley hops and never sitting up on his back legs.A course of Panacur sorted the problem so it was very likely E.cunniculi in his case.
I would take her to see the vet whos good with rabbits though to see what he/she thinks.

biscandmatt1
17-05-2015, 01:28 AM
i would take her to an exotics vet to be checked. because movement of the joints can be done during a consult. i know because ours does it during a basic health check. they will then know if she has any stiffness and metacam can be given. xrays can then show you any bone changes that have occured aswell as any fractures. it won't tell you whether or not she has any soft tissue swelling though and she may have even if nothing shows on the xrays, so i agree that probably a trial course of metacam may be a good idea. that would enable you to see if she does respond and therefore may have swelling somewhere which would mean she probably is in some discomfort.

old injuries or early arthritis could be a possibility. but definitely get a rabbit vet to check her joints and movement. :wave:

karimacat
17-05-2015, 10:03 AM
Thanks everyone. The vet did try moving/ checking her joints as part of the examination but because Jessie was nervous and tense the vet said it wasn't possible to get a clear idea of the movement hence the suggestion of anaesthetic. Just to explain that my only reluctance to have further examinations is that I don't want to put her through unnecessary stress. Especially as the vet advised she doesn't appear to be in pain. I suppose what might be useful is if I could post a video and you could tell me if you think she looks laboured or if I am over thinking it? It is difficult to get across in a written description how she is. Obviously the only comparison I have is George. Lots of you have experience of lots of rabbits so could tell me if you think there is anything for concern. Now I just have to figure out how to post a video!

ravenmoore36
17-05-2015, 10:07 AM
has she had any blood tests to check for any parasites?

rm

ravenmoore36
17-05-2015, 10:08 AM
trinity vets in maidstone is a lagamorph specialist. ask for mark rowland

rm

Max1
17-05-2015, 02:09 PM
Maybe you could get her a titre test for e. cuniculi. I think given EC is so common and she came from a shelter I think I would dose her with panacur even without a titre test. Panacur is very safe and even given to 8 week old babies sometimes so I don't think it would hurt.

If its not EC or something wrong physically with her legs or spine, the only other thing I can think of is she could have an ear infection or something effecting her inner ear and causing her to feel off balance.

helennnnnn
18-05-2015, 01:16 PM
Not sure where abouts in Hampshire you are but if you wanted a second opinion you could get an appt with exotic specialist John at Anton Vets in Andover (it's about a 45 min drive from Southampton)
http://antonvets.co.uk/exotics/
http://antonvets.co.uk/exotics/189-2/

karimacat
21-05-2015, 06:34 PM
Thank you again for all the advice. I am happy and confident with my vet so far. Its just I haven't made a specific appointment for this issue yet. that would be the next step. I've made some videos now to see what you all think. Do you think she looks wobbly or is it just me? She has always been this way and it might not seem that noticeable but the more time you spend with her the more noticeable it is.

I've never uploaded a video before so this is my first attempt. does it work? In this video you can see her running towards the camera. the front legs don't move together like a hop they move left right left like she is running/ walking. the back legs are hopping!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mUcYlnnv74U

karimacat
21-05-2015, 06:39 PM
it worked! In this video I show her standing up ... BUT she only does this because i hold food up for her. she has never stood up on her back legs before just to 'have a look around'. Sometimes she looks a bit wobbly but she's not bad in this clip.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nTwcB_nw-ZU

RebeccaJC
21-05-2015, 06:39 PM
She does seem to be walking more than hopping.. I'd definitely push to get it investigated. My vets are very rabbit savvy and said there is noway to know if a rabbit is in pain really.. sometimes they lie around etc.. or in case of my rabbit with her bad eye.. squint it.. and that only way to know a health issue sometimes is weight loss as they hide pain so so well and i tell you what my rabbit with a tumor hid it extremely well. She had gone blind long before I noticed.. and the difference in her after the operation i couldn't believe id not noticed before.. they hide it so well .. id definitely get it further checked just in case especially as she has no previous medical history. I personally think its best thing for you to do for her and even if it turns out nothing is wrong, least it puts your mind at rest and you can relax... and not have to worry if your babies in pain :)

karimacat
21-05-2015, 06:43 PM
last video (I hope these are working!) you can see her walking/ hopping. I know she is only moving around short distances so not that easy to see but she tends to walk rather than hop. When she does hop it seems slightly laboured. I'm not sure if this is just in comparison to George or if her movement is quite normal. I don't have experience of lots of rabbits like many of you. So any info gladly received. thank you.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wcfbllvTFho

Sky-O
21-05-2015, 06:55 PM
In my very unqualified opinion, that looks spinal or hip related- maybe an itis or an osis, but definitely vets, x-rays, and likely meds. But yes, pain relief, I would say. OR, I guess, a muscle weakness might be a possibility but not as likely, in my opinion, as the other two.

karimacat
21-05-2015, 07:23 PM
Thank you both Sky-O and RebeccaJC. I will get the vets booked soon then. I am just waiting for my insurance paperwork to come through (took out petplan cover over a month ago and still not received the paperwork so having to chase them). I have had her for nearly 2 years and her agility has improved not worsened over this time. She is also gaining weight, not losing it and always very active. Not saying this because I'm trying to deny a problem, I just don't want you to think I'm a "bad mum" for not rushing her to the vets! Anyway thanks again everyone for the advice and I am glad I posted about this. I will now try not to panic before I can it investigated further. No idea what itis or osis is, eek. It makes me feel ill to think she might be suffering. Even if as you say it turns out nothing is wrong it is definitely best to get it checked out. Will keep you updated.

RebeccaJC
21-05-2015, 07:42 PM
Of course we don't think you're a bad mum but better to get her checked out :)

karimacat
21-05-2015, 11:42 PM
Thank you helennnnnn. Hopscotch is absolutely super gorgeous! :D

karimacat
21-05-2015, 11:42 PM
Of course we don't think you're a bad mum but better to get her checked out :)

Thank you :D

helennnnnn
22-05-2015, 10:21 PM
Ahh thank you, he is a sweetie :) Hope you get to the bottom of it with Jessie :wave:

MightyMax
22-05-2015, 11:08 PM
I have only just read all through this thread, and I understand what you mean about the hopping/ walking. There could be several reasons for this, and the skeletal issues have been covered so far. Certainly an exotics specialist would be a *very* good place to start - would your vet refer you to someone who could take it further?

The other thing I observe, is that bunnies sometimes walk instead of hop when they are being cautious. Can she see OK? Just a thought ..

Also, where was she before she came to you? Had she had lots of opportunity to run around? She doesn't look in pain, I admit, but that doesn't mean much with rabbits, who hide it all so well :)

(just looked at your videos again - can she hear OK too?)

bunny momma
22-05-2015, 11:15 PM
Is your bunny overweight? When my mini rex we obese she did not want to move around much. In order to get her back to a normal weight I had take her off hard feed and pester her to get her to move around. After our sessions of chase I would be the one who was out of breath and I could almost see smiling.
Even if she is just a little overweight, it could be making it uncomfortable when she hops.

karimacat
28-05-2015, 10:51 PM
I have only just read all through this thread, and I understand what you mean about the hopping/ walking. There could be several reasons for this, and the skeletal issues have been covered so far. Certainly an exotics specialist would be a *very* good place to start - would your vet refer you to someone who could take it further?

The other thing I observe, is that bunnies sometimes walk instead of hop when they are being cautious. Can she see OK? Just a thought ..

Also, where was she before she came to you? Had she had lots of opportunity to run around? She doesn't look in pain, I admit, but that doesn't mean much with rabbits, who hide it all so well :)

(just looked at your videos again - can she hear OK too?)

I MightyMax thanks for getting in touch. yes she can definitely hear and see ok, she is just ignoring me in the videos! she can hear the pellets being shaken from about 3.5miles away! and she can run then too ;) I have been watching her very closely and I now don't believe she is suffering (at least not much if at all). She plays with all the toys I give her and digs in the digging box, she is inquisitive and curious, jumps up on the sofa just to investigate. i don't believe she would do all of these if she was really suffering. She even did a binky a couple of days ago. I am going on holiday in a couple of weeks so have made an appointment for when I get back for further investigations. When I called they said to also bring the videos to the appointment so they can get a better look. I know she won't act "normal" at the vets if you know what I mean! I don't want to cause any stress now before I go away so going to do it when i get back. As i mentioned she doesn't have previous history. the lady I got her from rescued her from a family that said if noone took her they were going to release her into the wild! Bless her! How anyone could not want her I will never know! With that sort of attitude i can only imagine she wasn't treated well and didn't have a lot of space. Oh and what you said also about being cautious is very true. Both her and George do that when they are unsure. In the video I put up the reason she is 'creeping around' is because she is searching the floor for food. She does hop when she is in a hurry, If i can get a good video i will take one of her hopping. thanks for your help. i have just been reading some other posts on here. Some of the problems are shocking. I hope I can sleep after reading all those horror stories....

karimacat
28-05-2015, 10:54 PM
Is your bunny overweight? When my mini rex we obese she did not want to move around much. In order to get her back to a normal weight I had take her off hard feed and pester her to get her to move around. After our sessions of chase I would be the one who was out of breath and I could almost see smiling.
Even if she is just a little overweight, it could be making it uncomfortable when she hops.

She is on a diet at the moment. I think she was 2.3kg at christmas and the plan is to get her down to 1.9kg. I will check this with the vet! I need to buy some scales to weigh her. That is on the wishlist at the moment!

karimacat
28-05-2015, 10:55 PM
She does move around a lot though! I have read that Dutch is a very active breed and she certainly is.