View Full Version : advice on slipped disc - please help!

19-03-2006, 06:15 PM
Does anyone have any advice they can give me on looking after bunnies with slipped discs, please? I am very worried.

My bunny suddenly stopped being able to use his back legs on Thursday night. I took him to a vet immediately, who said that he had probably strained his legs when jumping. The next day I took him to another vet because he seemed to be unhappy. He has now be x-rayed and it transpires that he has probably damaged two discs in his back (possibly slipped) and this has damaged the nerves in the lower half of his body.

Today he is reasonably happy in himself (eating, drinking etc) but can't walk or stand up and is incontinent. The vet advised keeping him as still as possible to give his back and the nerves a chance to heal, and I am doing this. I'd be so grateful for more advice, though. And whether anyone has had a similar problem and, if so, how long it took to get better.

Thank you all.


19-03-2006, 06:22 PM
Sorry to hear about your rabbit, my rabbit has had trouble with her back legs.

She was dragging them along and not using them at all, took her to the vets where x rays were done but couldn`t find any claring problems so we put her on a week of metacam injections which i did, and after 2 days on them she was back to nearly her old self.

That was over 2 weeks ago she finished the injections and she`s moving very well.

Has your vet given any pain killers??

Hope this might have been of help to you

19-03-2006, 06:33 PM
I had a foster bun a few years ago who came in as a stray, she developed paralysis of the back legs over a 48 hour period, Cristabel our vet thought that she may have a trapped nerve after jumping off something. We treated her by confining her to a small warm safe area, injections of dexamethasone (a steroid), oral Metacam, she has a sugglesafe to keep her warm and hopefully ease the pain, we kept her diet to normal and did not need to syring feed her as she managed really well without this, we gave a bowl and a bottle for fluids to ensure she did not have to struggle reaching her bottle and more importantly regular checks to ensure he rear end was clean and cleaning of this is required.

After a week she was relatively unchanged and I was feeling rather dispondant about her future :cry: , however at the end of the second week she was much improved and by the end of the third week she was better, a month after completing treatment she went out to her new home :D

28-03-2006, 05:04 AM
Thanks for all your helpful advice. It's now 10 days since Rufus injured himself. :( He's been confined to barracks since then and is making good progress. He can now walk around and is not incontinent at all. No hopping as yet and certainly no running, but I am hopeful that this will come, in time. Today is the first day that I have not felt it necessary to give him Metacam. Huge sighs of relief all round - we're hoping and praying his progress continues.

28-03-2006, 11:38 AM
Well done Rufus!! Keep mending that poorly back so you can hop about again soon. Really pleased to hear he is doing well. :D Janex

06-04-2006, 05:17 PM
Just an update on my poor Rufus bunny - it's not good, at the moment, unfortunately. Although he was doing very well for a couple of weeks, on Sunday first his left back leg and by Monday his right back leg appeared incapable of supporting him. He also became incontinent again.

On Monday afternoon I took him to the vet. He had an anti-flammatory injection and a dose of Panacur (just in case EC is to blame, also). He went back the following day for another injection. THis one is supposed to last until Saturday. I'm also continuing with Panacur and bed rest.

I'm at a loss as to how and why he suddenly got worse after having done so well for 2 weeks. I wonder whether he over-exerted himself trying to move around the cage and the disc has slipped further. I'm turning him and cleaning up his rear end every couple of hours in the hope that TLC will also count.

Thanks for your posts on this. And also to those people who have replied to related posts - I have found lots of useful material when searching the forum for help and advice.


06-04-2006, 06:07 PM
sounds like more than a slipped disk to me, not that I know much about slipped disks in rabbits but I have a disk problem in my back but its only ever really bad for a few days then just painfull but bearable and doesn't stop me doing too much!!!

06-04-2006, 09:30 PM
Poor Rufus - it must be so worrying for you both.

I don't know if this will help you but this is what happened with our little Pimms - she came to us aged about 20 weeks and was unable to walk, was incontinent and hardly moved her back legs :( The vet who had been treating her had recommended her being pts :shock: He had come to the conclusion that Pimms had Ec and after treating her for three weeks and no progress, he gave that pts option.
Her owner contacted us as she was distraught and we said that we woud take her - Pimms came to us that afternoon and after looking at her the first words out of my mouth where "She hasn't got Ec!"
A couple of days later we took her to our vets and she had tests, x-rays and bloods done - nothing was really found but that didn't mean that something was wrong. We all suspected nerve damage so Pimms was kept on bedrest, she couldn't really move much anyway and pulled herself around by her front legs.
The vet had tried the steriod and it worked a little so that Pimms got a bit of movement in her back legs but was unable to stand or anything, she was just over to one side.
The vet then said about putting her on a course of Metacam and seeing what happened - this we did and slowly Pimms started to move and get up :D Once the 10 day course was up Pimms started to go backwards :( She ended up on her side again, unable to walk - so, we put her back on the Metacam and once she was able to support herself we slowly lowered the dose of the Metacam every two days. This gave her time to strengthen her muscles and took away any inflammation - when we finally finished the Metacam she had built up her muscles, had started to hop and was in control of her bladder and bowels again :D She had daily physio from me - at least three times a day - and she is now a happy hoppy little girl who got spayed today :shock:
She has never gotten the hop perfect but she can bounce around, jump on the bed and up the stairs of a condo - she runs around the garden and for the last few days has been humping Hoggle like mad :shock: :lol: :lol: :lol:
You could try doing what we did - I'm not saying that this is the answer but it has to be worth a try. Has Rufus had x-rays and bloods done?
Give him a snuggle from me :D

06-04-2006, 11:30 PM
if worst comes to the worst and he is unable to use his back legs properly this company has supplied carts for rabbits.


might be worth considering.

Happy Hopping
07-04-2006, 06:21 PM
Louisa, there is a thread in either this forum or the General chat, w/ photos of a rabbit using those cart wheel, and live a very happy life and loves the cart wheel.

Do a search on wheel and see what you can find.


If anyone else remember that thread, link it here. I'm very sure I read it in this forum or the General chat.

25-04-2006, 03:36 AM
Lousia if you do a search on Paul&Carla you will find posts telling Woolley's story. He is a little fellow who suffered damaged to his nervous system either EC his tests showed active EC which has since been cleared or possible spinal damage, but again no definitive xrays. This has heavily affected his right hind leg. He also has fits which seem to be related to him trying to scratch with his back foot (I think its possibly the pressure on his spine that then causes severe muscle spasm to occur rather than an epileptic episode). He is also incontinent and needs daily baths. BUT he is one heck of a happy bun. Please look at his piccies and you well see that there is the opportunity of a good quality of life for diabled buns.

25-04-2006, 03:41 AM
Just checked the K9 link - check the carts on the link below.


25-04-2006, 04:02 AM
Just to let you know that the darling Rufus is coming to join the Hairy Mob tomorrow :D He is quite poorly with his legs but will know more when we see him - hopefully our vet may know of something to help him and we are going to try him with the shopping bag to strengthen his front legs :D All excited about meeting him and giving him big kisses and cuddles :D

Happy Hopping
25-04-2006, 02:07 PM
someone else was asking for the same info yesterday, I just found that thread, scroll to the bottom of the thread, see how happy that rabbit is with the wheel chair on? Rabbit are simply creature, you relief them of stress from the leg, they'll be happy.


25-04-2006, 02:12 PM
Just to let you know that the darling Rufus is coming to join the Hairy Mob tomorrow :D He is quite poorly with his legs but will know more when we see him - hopefully our vet may know of something to help him and we are going to try him with the shopping bag to strengthen his front legs :D All excited about meeting him and giving him big kisses and cuddles :D

:D :D I'm sure Rufus will fit right in with the Hairy Mob. Well done Jay

26-04-2006, 09:00 PM
Just to update everyone: poor Rufus appeared to make no progress on the steroids and Panacur. His back legs can't carry any weight and he is over on his side most of the time. My vet (for reasons I understand) recommended that he be put to sleep. :cry:

However, when I got him home from the vet's (he had had to board there for a few days) his spirits lifted considerably and it was obvious to me that he really really wants to live. Jay and John (who are two of the most wonderful people I've ever met! - thank you!) have offered to have him join the Hairy Mob, give him the attention he wants and needs, and to see how he progresses in the longer term. :D

So yesterday we took him on his long car journey and he was the bravest bunny. He is such a little superstar, I'm sure he will love it there with the rest of the Hairy Mob. :) I'm missing him dreadfully though, of course. :?