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Thread: Rabbit with broken front leg

  1. #1

    Default Rabbit with broken front leg

    Hi, my poor rabbit (who is 10 months old) broke his front leg in two places 2 weeks ago when the hutch lid fell down. He is a Netherland Dwarf. One bone pierced the skin but the wound has now fully healed. The leg has been put in a double splint and bandage which was quite difficult as he is still quite small. The bandages are changed twice weekly. He was examined during the week and vet thinks there is too much "play" in the leg and the bones are not healing. I am trying to avoid having the leg amputated. My rabbit is a house rabbit and is used to a lot of attention. I am keeping him in his hutch and trying to restrict his movement and keeping him quiet, although I am talking to him/stroking him throughout the day because he likes company. Does any one have any suggestions/how long to keep trying to get the leg to mend itself. He seems happy in himself and is now eating OK. He is on pain relief and antibiotic. Many thanks.

  2. #2
    Forum Buddy Mackers's Avatar
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    Parsnip broke his elbow and my bunny specialist referred him to a specialist orthopaedic vet. It might be worth doing the same in your case.

    Before going down the amputation route, it might be worth seeing if the leg can be pinned and plated - there's a great article in this month's Rabbiting On magazine from the Rabbit Welfare Association.

    But if all else fails, rabbits can do exceptionally well on three legs. I had a bunny with a hind leg amputation and you'd hardly have known - she was just as active as a four-legged bunny . Sorry I can't answer your original question as I'm not a vet but I really hope your bunny makes a full recovery.
    Last edited by Mackers; 19-08-2011 at 07:46 PM.


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  3. #3
    Wise Old Thumper Jenova's Avatar
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    I think pinning it sounds like a good option too.
    If you're ever unhappy with a vet's opinion it's always a good idea to get a second opinion. An exotic specialist might be better in this case as they are usually better at pinning smaller bones.

    Sometimes people go for amputation because it is easier on the rabbit rather than having weeks and weeks in a cast.

  4. #4
    Moderator KarenM's Avatar
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    I'm sorry to hear about your bunny. My rabbit, Alfie, dislocated his hock 18 mths ago, so I know the sort of worries you will have been going through.

    Has your vet mentioned the possibility of pinning? It's not always possible depending on the type of break and especially with a small bunny but it may be worth getting a second opinion as already suggested.

    Just wanted to add too that bunnies often do really well on 3 legs so, if it does come to that, it's not necessarily a bad thing and he can still enjoy a good quality of life.

  5. #5

    Default Rabbit with broken leg

    Thank you so much for your replies. My vet has suggested the possibility of having the leg pinned but as the bones are so small, there is concern that the bones may crack and not be able to hold a pin in place. Pin and plate would seem a sensible option however, I was quoted over 1,000 for this sort of procedure. I was wondering if this procedure is successful in small rabbits (Netherland Dwarf) and if this sort of price is correct?? Also, my rabbit has become a little aggitated today at having the splint on and is trying to chew it off and shaking the leg a lot. I am hoping he is not causing himself further injury! I have moved him into a pet carrier to try to restrict his movement for the time being and will pop him back in his hutch tonight.

  6. #6
    Wise Old Thumper Jenova's Avatar
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    Sorry if this is a stupid question, but you have been given painkillers to take home?

  7. #7

    Default Rabbit with broken leg

    Hi, yes I've been given painkillers and antibiotics. He needs one dose of each once a day via syringe. He was so good two weeks ago at taking his medicine because he was quite poorly but I can tell he is feeling better as it is much more difficult getting it down him now!! I've been so worried about him - he is a little character. He wouldn't eat last week and I had several trips to the vet which finally sorted him out (had to syringe feed him every hour for a day) and got him eating and pooing again and he really perked up. As I said, he just seems to have become a little aggitated with it today. Am obviously very worried about taking him back to the vet next week and the prognosis.

  8. #8
    Forum Buddy Elena's Avatar
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    Is Baytril the abx they've given you? You may find it easier to mash it in with some banana. I have one rabbit who I can NOT syringe, she hates anything by her mouth so that's what we do for her. Baytril tastes quite yucky as well so for Baytril with all of them we put it with some narna.

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  9. #9

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    Hi, I've just checked and it is Baytril that I have been given as well as Metacam. I have tried him on banana in the past and he hasn't touched it but it is definately worth giving it another go. Many thanks for your help!

  10. #10
    Forum Buddy Elena's Avatar
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    The other trick that sometimes works is syringing it into a bit of bread. As a general rule they shouldn't have bread, but the odd bit for meds is ok.

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