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Thread: Internet saves rabbit's life - please read

  1. #1
    Warren Scout Pendragon's Avatar
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    Default Internet saves rabbit's life - please read

    It's been a worrying past 36 hours, as I almost lost my lovely Henna the Belgian Hare.

    For those of you who have never heard of "Floppy Bunny Syndrome" please take some time to read this article now:

    http://members.iinet.net.au/~jabuck/...r_ailments.htm

    A link to this article on another forum almost certainly saved Henna's life, by enabling me to know what was wrong with her and take appropriate action.

    On Sunday night I was sitting reading in the living room, where my lovely new Belgian Hare doe is living for now in a large indoor rabbit cage.

    At midnight she was fine - drinking well, I noticed, eating hay, and I was a bit surprised to see her actually using the mineral lick hanging on the side of the cage. It's been there months as a useless cage ornament; I bought a few on impulse in the warm weather only to be steadfastly ignored by all my rabbits!

    Shortly after I heard a soft bump from the cage and realised she was having trouble standing, wobbling all over and falling. Oh no! I thought - floppy bunny! Or Floppy Hare in her case.

    I took her out and gently felt her all over from nose to tail, flexing limbs, feeling bones, testing muscles, looking for signs of injury, but nothing... no tenderness or strain anywhere, in fact she seemed unusually pliant. Her legs were like jelly... put on her feet she just crumpled and fell over!

    Yesterday morning I rushed off to the chemists and got Vitamin E capsules and live yogurt, after opening a can of tomatoes and draining the juice, giving her some of that via syringe because potassium loss has been previously thought to be a cause.

    I gave her a Vitamin E capsule with yogurt in a syringe, but as the capsules turned out to be oil, she had two more yesterday just squirted into her mouth.

    12 hours later she started to look better imperceptibly... by the evening she was definitely improved and muscle tone was starting to come back... she even was able to wriggle a bit when I picked her up.

    24 hours later and she was almost back to normal - still eating for England, I have never seen a rabbit pack away so much food in such a short space of time! She never eats this much normally, so I let her get on with it, thinking she might know something I don't. At midnight last night she also started drinking again, oddly enough she hadn't wanted any water at all yesterday... and even more odd.... she started licking the mineral lick again.

    This morning she's very bright, sitting up normally, hopping a bit, and well on the way to normality. She can hop, jump into her cage again, and is acting as though nothing happened.

    She didn't have it particularly badly, but several times I watched her falling about and asked myself what an average vet would have made of her symptoms... almost certainly it would have been a "jab of Baytril and bring her back tomorrow" situation..... That would have killed her, for sure.

    I strongly suggest you print out that article and keep it somewhere safe on hand if you have never yet had to deal with this worrying problem!

    It can affect any rabbit, of whatever breed, and I have heard it happening in Giant breeds, French Lops, Mini Lops, Dwarf Lops.... and others.... I am not even sure that the rabbit savvy vets know of this cure, so please make yourself aware, it could save a life.

  2. #2
    Mama Doe Lynn's Avatar
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    Sue - so glad that Henna has recovered from this, and feeling much better. Thanks for the information too, it's always good to be aware of these things as it seem with bunnies, speedy intervention seems to be the key to a good recovery.

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    Mama Doe MandyM's Avatar
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    Gosh what a fright for you, I've printed the article off and will file in my bunny file, so glad she's getting better, she's such a beauty.

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    Alpha Buck AmberUK's Avatar
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    Wow, that was a good call!

    Can I ask? I thought you were not suposed to give rabbits dairy porducts?

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    Warren Scout Sage's Avatar
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    Oh poor Henna, and you. Good to know she is getting better.

    Thanks for the link, I shall add it to my rabbit info folder.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by AmberUK

    Can I ask? I thought you were not suposed to give rabbits dairy porducts?
    Amber you are not supposed to give dairy products to bunnies because lactose (?) upsets them, but with live yoghurt the lactose is minimal and the friendly bacteria are excellent at helping the gut.

    Sue, I am so sorry to hear of this scary episode with Henna the Hare ...you did very well to turn things around and I am so relieved she is alright now.
    We give our bunnies a Vitamin E capsule sprinkled over their dried food routinely, I use Starflower Oil to be extact.

    We too have experienced Floppy Bunny syndrome, and it happened to our beautiful Rex after a long hot Summer, and I think his potassium levels must have dropped very quickly, as he collapsed exactly in the way you described.
    I gave Byron a tiny pinch of (low sodium) salt in water, vitamin E, and some banana (another old remedy for replacing potassium quickly) and within half an hour to an hour, it started to turn his wobbly state around.
    Thank you for drawing this to our attention and I will print off the info. you suggested and hand it out to my Rabbit Hotel Clients and generally make other bunny owners aware.
    Cuddles for Henna

  7. #7
    Warren Scout
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    hi Sue

    Glad to hear Henna is on the mend. Like Mandy I also have a file on rabbit information so i will print it off and file it away.

    Thank you for passing on the information
    Anne

    Servant of Bambi, Truffle, Harvey and Moogy

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    Warren Scout Pendragon's Avatar
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    Not good news I'm afraid... in the last half an hour, she's collapsed again, worse than before and now won't swallow anything... despite having eaten a lump of banana this afternoon... :sad:

    I'd been keeping up with the Vitamin E and she was doing great, it's obvious there's more to this condition than we really know. She's propped up in a box between pillows, barely moving... I've given her a couple of drops of Rescue Remedy and some for myself too... going to have a stiff drink now!

  9. #9

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    Oh my goodness poor Sue and poor Henna, I am so, so sorry to hear this news...you must be pulling your hair out there.

    Are you sure Henna has not got a bladder infection as collapse is typical of that??..I am sure you will have already considered this...but it could be another explanation.
    Is Henna passing urine alright? and drinking normally?.
    have you contacted the man you gave Henna to you, he may have seen this before.

    I am truly lost for words, and very concerned for you both.
    I know how happy you are to have Henna in your life and we have everything crossed here that she will fully recover very soon.

    Please keep us posted...you are in our thoughts.
    Love and best wishes
    Adele and bunnies

  10. #10

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    I believe a deficiency of magnisium can be behind a deficiency of potasium as its important in keeping it in the body. Without the magnesium topping up on potasium won't help or will only help short term.

    It does should like something more is going on, do you have a rabbit specialist near you or maybe you can get the details of one of the RWA and can contact them by phone for advise. It sounds like a vet with more than the usual 'how about some baytril' knowledge would help.

    Good luck,
    Tam

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