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Thread: Please Help - Really need some advice

  1. #1
    New Kit Kerryb4011's Avatar
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    Default Please Help - Really need some advice

    Hi,
    Sorry if there is a similar thread. I just really wanted to get this up here asap. if there is a similar one please let me know.
    I really need some advice on my bunny Bob (1 1/2 yo mix between lionhead and lop).
    I had noticed that he had become slightly withdrawn a few weeks ago and his poop has gotten smaller (still good colour just smaller).
    Then two weeks ago he kind of tripped up when he was getting out of his litter tray.
    I also noticed he had lost weight.
    I phoned my vet (who is rabbit savvy) and took him in. She checked everything, and pulled out his back legs to see the range of movement - everything fine. She prescribed Metacam for dogs, 0.5mls to be taken orally once a day to take for one week.

    One week later he still wasn't right, in fact he literally lay the whole weekend and didn't move except to eat, drink and go to the toilet.

    Brought him back in for an x ray which show that his hip joints did have some deformity in that they weren't entirely round. There was no sign of arthritis, and his tummy showed plenty of food (she didn't mention any blockages). The vet advised that he should take Metacam when he is sore and 1/4 of a 500mgs tablet of vegetarian glucosamine everyday to help with his cartilage between the hip joints.

    That was on Tuesday. Now this weekend he has not moved a muscle, his back feet are just stuck out he is lying on his side and I am sure that they are sometimes in spasm (I can't be sure if its that or muscle twitch). He is eating his food from that exact position (i am hand feeding him) and I have gave him Metacam yesterday and he took a small amount this morning. He is also not even moving to poop, he is just pooping exactly where is lying and it is breaking my heart. This morning I also noticed some cecotrophes in his fecal pellets. This has never happened before.

    I just don't know how he got so bad so quickly and if he is in pain. He did get up and bounced limply (his back legs seem weak) over to the far corner of the hutch but that was just to get away from me. I am going to call the vet in the morning but in the meantime has anyone else experienced anything like this. I took himself and my other bunny Peanut down home for the weekend which is a 1hr 20min long car journey, I had thought that might have made him sore but I did give him metacam before I made the journey (worst thing is I've to make the car journey back up again today).

    Really hoping someone can give me some advice.

  2. #2
    Wise Old Thumper Jack's-Jane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kerryb4011 View Post
    Hi,
    Sorry if there is a similar thread. I just really wanted to get this up here asap. if there is a similar one please let me know.
    I really need some advice on my bunny Bob (1 1/2 yo mix between lionhead and lop).
    I had noticed that he had become slightly withdrawn a few weeks ago and his poop has gotten smaller (still good colour just smaller).
    Then two weeks ago he kind of tripped up when he was getting out of his litter tray.
    I also noticed he had lost weight.
    I phoned my vet (who is rabbit savvy) and took him in. She checked everything, and pulled out his back legs to see the range of movement - everything fine. She prescribed Metacam for dogs, 0.5mls to be taken orally once a day to take for one week.

    One week later he still wasn't right, in fact he literally lay the whole weekend and didn't move except to eat, drink and go to the toilet.

    Brought him back in for an x ray which show that his hip joints did have some deformity in that they weren't entirely round. There was no sign of arthritis, and his tummy showed plenty of food (she didn't mention any blockages). The vet advised that he should take Metacam when he is sore and 1/4 of a 500mgs tablet of vegetarian glucosamine everyday to help with his cartilage between the hip joints.

    That was on Tuesday. Now this weekend he has not moved a muscle, his back feet are just stuck out he is lying on his side and I am sure that they are sometimes in spasm (I can't be sure if its that or muscle twitch). He is eating his food from that exact position (i am hand feeding him) and I have gave him Metacam yesterday and he took a small amount this morning. He is also not even moving to poop, he is just pooping exactly where is lying and it is breaking my heart. This morning I also noticed some cecotrophes in his fecal pellets. This has never happened before.

    I just don't know how he got so bad so quickly and if he is in pain. He did get up and bounced limply (his back legs seem weak) over to the far corner of the hutch but that was just to get away from me. I am going to call the vet in the morning but in the meantime has anyone else experienced anything like this. I took himself and my other bunny Peanut down home for the weekend which is a 1hr 20min long car journey, I had thought that might have made him sore but I did give him metacam before I made the journey (worst thing is I've to make the car journey back up again today).

    Really hoping someone can give me some advice.
    I am wondering if the hind leg weakness may be neurological in origin and that the findings on the Xray re his hips are a bit of a 'red herring' so to speak. Has your Vet mentioned the condition called 'Encephalitozoon Cuniculi, usually referred to as 'EC' ? Whilst EC may present with a head tilt, hind leg weakness is another symptom.

    http://www.rabbitwelfare.co.uk/pdfs/Ecuniculi_Lft.pdf

    I assume that from the Xray the Vet concluded that there are no problems with the vetebrae in your Rabbit's spine ? Problems with the vetebrae can lead to hind leg paresis/paralysis ?

  3. #3
    Wise Old Thumper MightyMax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kerryb4011 View Post
    Hi,
    Sorry if there is a similar thread. I just really wanted to get this up here asap. if there is a similar one please let me know.
    I really need some advice on my bunny Bob (1 1/2 yo mix between lionhead and lop).
    I had noticed that he had become slightly withdrawn a few weeks ago and his poop has gotten smaller (still good colour just smaller).
    Then two weeks ago he kind of tripped up when he was getting out of his litter tray.
    I also noticed he had lost weight.
    I phoned my vet (who is rabbit savvy) and took him in. She checked everything, and pulled out his back legs to see the range of movement - everything fine. She prescribed Metacam for dogs, 0.5mls to be taken orally once a day to take for one week.

    One week later he still wasn't right, in fact he literally lay the whole weekend and didn't move except to eat, drink and go to the toilet.

    Brought him back in for an x ray which show that his hip joints did have some deformity in that they weren't entirely round. There was no sign of arthritis, and his tummy showed plenty of food (she didn't mention any blockages). The vet advised that he should take Metacam when he is sore and 1/4 of a 500mgs tablet of vegetarian glucosamine everyday to help with his cartilage between the hip joints.

    That was on Tuesday. Now this weekend he has not moved a muscle, his back feet are just stuck out he is lying on his side and I am sure that they are sometimes in spasm (I can't be sure if its that or muscle twitch). He is eating his food from that exact position (i am hand feeding him) and I have gave him Metacam yesterday and he took a small amount this morning. He is also not even moving to poop, he is just pooping exactly where is lying and it is breaking my heart. This morning I also noticed some cecotrophes in his fecal pellets. This has never happened before.

    I just don't know how he got so bad so quickly and if he is in pain. He did get up and bounced limply (his back legs seem weak) over to the far corner of the hutch but that was just to get away from me. I am going to call the vet in the morning but in the meantime has anyone else experienced anything like this. I took himself and my other bunny Peanut down home for the weekend which is a 1hr 20min long car journey, I had thought that might have made him sore but I did give him metacam before I made the journey (worst thing is I've to make the car journey back up again today).

    Really hoping someone can give me some advice.

    Hi there Kerry.

    I'm really sorry to hear about Bob, you must be very worried

    It sounds like you have a good and attentive vet who is exploring all avenues. I wonder if your vet thinks this may be a trapped nerve due to the hip deformity?

    There's a couple of other avenues I can think of to explore ... One being something called Floppy Rabbit Syndrome:

    https://www.harcourt-brown.co.uk/vet...bit-syndrome-1

    https://www.harcourt-brown.co.uk/art...abbit-syndrome

    Frances Harcourt Brown is a respected (retired) rabbit specialist vet, so it may be worth looking at her articles and indeed her website for clues.


    The other possibility is E.C. (encephalitozoon cuniculi). You could speak to your vet about this, as it would mean a 28 day course of Panacur. It would also mean cleaning the litter trays and if possible the accommodation on days 21 and 28 to break the life cycle of this parasite.

    http://www.medirabbit.com/EN/Neurolo...uli_signs.html

    http://www.rabbit.org/journal/3-2/e-cuniculi.html
    (please be aware there may be some distressing photos in these links)

    Good luck xx

  4. #4
    New Kit Kerryb4011's Avatar
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    Hi guys,
    Thanks so much for getting back to me so quickly and sending through the links.

    The vet didn’t mention EC to me at all. The x ray showed that there were no problems with the vertebrae on his back, only that the joints were “clunky” and not rounded like they should be.

    I read those links on EC and if Bob was affected how long does it usually take to show. I adopted him back in August and he has been with my other rabbit Peanut since then (they both shared the same hutch and run and she is totally fine).

    Is there an vaccination that prevents this – Peanut is vaccinated against myxomatosis and RHD but Bob is not. Reason being is because Peanuts is due not next month and I wanted to just get them lined up so it would mean one yearly trip to the vet. I did mention this to the vet but she never said if it would be a problem (but them she also didn’t mention EC). When I ring tomorrow I will mention it to her though.

    I think she does think it is a trapped nerve, I can feel his back leg spasm for a few seconds then stop. And it only seems to be one that spasms. I am going to read about the Floppy Rabbit Syndrome now.

    Its so heart breaking seeing him lie there. Like one month ago he was a happy go lucky bun lying up with Peanut, and now he is just lying there with Peanut trying to cheer him up by grooming him.

  5. #5
    New Kit Kerryb4011's Avatar
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    So I have just read about the Floopy Rabbit Syndrome and this pretty much sounds like what is happening with Bob :-(

  6. #6
    Wise Old Thumper MightyMax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kerryb4011 View Post
    Hi guys,
    Thanks so much for getting back to me so quickly and sending through the links.

    The vet didn’t mention EC to me at all. The x ray showed that there were no problems with the vertebrae on his back, only that the joints were “clunky” and not rounded like they should be.

    I read those links on EC and if Bob was affected how long does it usually take to show. I adopted him back in August and he has been with my other rabbit Peanut since then (they both shared the same hutch and run and she is totally fine).

    Is there an vaccination that prevents this – Peanut is vaccinated against myxomatosis and RHD but Bob is not. Reason being is because Peanuts is due not next month and I wanted to just get them lined up so it would mean one yearly trip to the vet. I did mention this to the vet but she never said if it would be a problem (but them she also didn’t mention EC). When I ring tomorrow I will mention it to her though.

    I think she does think it is a trapped nerve, I can feel his back leg spasm for a few seconds then stop. And it only seems to be one that spasms. I am going to read about the Floppy Rabbit Syndrome now.

    Its so heart breaking seeing him lie there. Like one month ago he was a happy go lucky bun lying up with Peanut, and now he is just lying there with Peanut trying to cheer him up by grooming him.

    There isn't an injection to prevent E.C., but there is Panacur, which you can give every day for 28 days as I mentioned in my previous email, with cleansing the accommodation and litter trays on days 21 and 28 of treatment. Both rabbits would have to be treated at the same time.

    Is he on painkillers? Metacam (a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory) would be useful on two counts. Firstly to take away any pain and inflammation of a possible trapped nerve. Also, it will reduce any possible inflammation caused by E.C. (if it is that, and it's very difficult to know) and prevent any further damage either in the body tissue or in the brain.

    Regarding floppy rabbit - people have tried giving their rabbits the contents of a vitamin E capsule, and tomatoes and banana as they contain potassium.

    Frances Harcourt Brown, retired rabbit expert, wrote this:

    "Floppy Rabbit Syndrome" is the colloqiual term for an idiopathic condition that affects pet rabbits causing generalized muscular weakness. The cause is not known, although several possibilities exist. These include, hypokalaemia and plant toxicity, or neurological, metabolic or muscular causes, which could be infectious, metabolic, congenital or nutritional in origin. A feature of this condition is the recovery that can take place. It is important to recognize the good prognosis and not euthanase rabbits in the initial stages. Interestingly, recovery usually takes place within 2-3 days, whatever treatment is perscribed. Supportive care, especially assisted feeding is required."

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  8. #8
    Wise Old Thumper Jack's-Jane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kerryb4011 View Post
    Hi guys,
    Thanks so much for getting back to me so quickly and sending through the links.

    The vet didn’t mention EC to me at all. The x ray showed that there were no problems with the vertebrae on his back, only that the joints were “clunky” and not rounded like they should be.

    I read those links on EC and if Bob was affected how long does it usually take to show. I adopted him back in August and he has been with my other rabbit Peanut since then (they both shared the same hutch and run and she is totally fine).

    Is there an vaccination that prevents this – Peanut is vaccinated against myxomatosis and RHD but Bob is not. Reason being is because Peanuts is due not next month and I wanted to just get them lined up so it would mean one yearly trip to the vet. I did mention this to the vet but she never said if it would be a problem (but them she also didn’t mention EC). When I ring tomorrow I will mention it to her though.

    I think she does think it is a trapped nerve, I can feel his back leg spasm for a few seconds then stop. And it only seems to be one that spasms. I am going to read about the Floppy Rabbit Syndrome now.

    Its so heart breaking seeing him lie there. Like one month ago he was a happy go lucky bun lying up with Peanut, and now he is just lying there with Peanut trying to cheer him up by grooming him.
    Would a referral to an Exotics Specialist be an option for you ?

    There is no vaccination to protect a Rabbit from EC and there is much debate about whether using Fenbendazole (Panacur/Lapizole) as a prophylactic 2-4 times a year is of any benefit. As you will have noted from the link I posted in my first reply.

    In my experience the paralysis caused by 'Floppy Rabbit Syndrome' progresses much faster than appears to be happening for your Rabbit. Obviously I am no expert and I may be completely wrong, but the clinical symptoms and radiographic findings seem to point more to a skeletal/neurological condition than to a metabolic one.

    Perhaps you could speak with your Vet about a referral to a Specialist today ?

  9. #9
    Wise Old Thumper MightyMax's Avatar
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    How is your rabbit today, Kerry?

  10. #10
    New Kit Kerryb4011's Avatar
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    Hi everyone, thanks so much for all your responses and concerns! I am so grateful for them ! You all definitely put my mind at ease. I spoke to the vet and explained everything. She was happy that he was still eating and drinking (alot) even if he was pooing in one place. She told me to keep giving him the Metacam and monitor him over the next day or two.
    And I am happy to report that he is alot perkier and moving about alot more. He is actually sitting up to eat and poop and drinking plenty of water. I mentioned GI to her and she told me it was possible that his digestive could have slowed down because of the stress of his hips. So I have been massaging him and putting bottles filled with hot water in his hutch to lie up beside.
    I have to say I am alot happier with him and am going to keep a close eye. he is still wobbly on his feet though.

    I had considered getting a referral to an exotic pet but the girl who looks after my two is very rabbit savvy and does refer onto an exotic veterinary practice. so I am going to stick with her til I see how wee Bobby goes. He is so much better looking today :-)

    Thanks everyone again :-)

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