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Thread: Gradual hindlimb paralysis

  1. #1
    Young Bun Elliegirl's Avatar
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    Default Gradual hindlimb paralysis

    I have a foster rabbit who is under veterinary care currently. About 4 weeks ago I noticed he wasn't using his left hind normally. I took him to the vet who prescribed loxicam. Over the next 10 days Patch made huge improvements and appeared to be back to normal so on veterinary advice we stopped his loxocam. Within 36 hours he was showing the start of the original symptoms again and was pot back on loxicam. He has had xrays which show nothing abnormal and he was prescribed a further 3 weeks of loxicam, watch and see. I was assured he would be fine to continue his usual exercise routine. He has never got back to how good he was when he originally stopped his loxicam.Over the last 2 weeks there has been a very gradual worsening of symptoms and his right leg started showing the same signs. On Tuesday he was really bad when I let him oout and he was hopping on his knuckles rather than his feet. This morning he was struggling to get up on his hind legs at all.

    The symptoms seem to ease slightly as he gets moving after a night in the hutch and exercise doesn't seem to affect it in any other way. His front end is as happy as ever, he has full bladder control although he no longer uses his tray (?access) and he is eating and drinking as normal. Only 2 slightly ucky bottoms so far but think it's where he is urinating but can't raise himself out of it and therefore gets it on himself.

    Just interested to hear from people who have experience of this or any thoughts. Sadly it appears we have to keep him comfortable, happy and spoilt until his hind end fails when we have to call it a day

    Thanks

    Tracy
    Tracy and my many. many pets including Pumpkin Bunny and his wife Bella.

    I foster rabbits for the RSPCA and own/run a cattery and small animal boarding business

    http://fondbriggcottagecattery.co.uk/ where every guest is treated as my own all the time they're here xx

  2. #2
    Wise Old Thumper Jack's-Jane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elliegirl View Post
    I have a foster rabbit who is under veterinary care currently. About 4 weeks ago I noticed he wasn't using his left hind normally. I took him to the vet who prescribed loxicam. Over the next 10 days Patch made huge improvements and appeared to be back to normal so on veterinary advice we stopped his loxocam. Within 36 hours he was showing the start of the original symptoms again and was pot back on loxicam. He has had xrays which show nothing abnormal and he was prescribed a further 3 weeks of loxicam, watch and see. I was assured he would be fine to continue his usual exercise routine. He has never got back to how good he was when he originally stopped his loxicam.Over the last 2 weeks there has been a very gradual worsening of symptoms and his right leg started showing the same signs. On Tuesday he was really bad when I let him oout and he was hopping on his knuckles rather than his feet. This morning he was struggling to get up on his hind legs at all.

    The symptoms seem to ease slightly as he gets moving after a night in the hutch and exercise doesn't seem to affect it in any other way. His front end is as happy as ever, he has full bladder control although he no longer uses his tray (?access) and he is eating and drinking as normal. Only 2 slightly ucky bottoms so far but think it's where he is urinating but can't raise himself out of it and therefore gets it on himself.

    Just interested to hear from people who have experience of this or any thoughts. Sadly it appears we have to keep him comfortable, happy and spoilt until his hind end fails when we have to call it a day

    Thanks

    Tracy
    Sorry this will be a brief reply. Has your Vet ruled out a neurological cause for the hind leg paresis ? ie Enceplalitizoon Cuniculi (EC)

    These links may be useful to take a look at

    http://www.vetfolio.com/parasitology...ion-in-rabbits

    http://www.medirabbit.com/EN/Neurolo...ls/paresis.htm

    http://www.disabledrabbits.com/

  3. #3
    Wise Old Thumper MightyMax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elliegirl View Post
    I have a foster rabbit who is under veterinary care currently. About 4 weeks ago I noticed he wasn't using his left hind normally. I took him to the vet who prescribed loxicam. Over the next 10 days Patch made huge improvements and appeared to be back to normal so on veterinary advice we stopped his loxocam. Within 36 hours he was showing the start of the original symptoms again and was pot back on loxicam. He has had xrays which show nothing abnormal and he was prescribed a further 3 weeks of loxicam, watch and see. I was assured he would be fine to continue his usual exercise routine. He has never got back to how good he was when he originally stopped his loxicam.Over the last 2 weeks there has been a very gradual worsening of symptoms and his right leg started showing the same signs. On Tuesday he was really bad when I let him oout and he was hopping on his knuckles rather than his feet. This morning he was struggling to get up on his hind legs at all.

    The symptoms seem to ease slightly as he gets moving after a night in the hutch and exercise doesn't seem to affect it in any other way. His front end is as happy as ever, he has full bladder control although he no longer uses his tray (?access) and he is eating and drinking as normal. Only 2 slightly ucky bottoms so far but think it's where he is urinating but can't raise himself out of it and therefore gets it on himself.

    Just interested to hear from people who have experience of this or any thoughts. Sadly it appears we have to keep him comfortable, happy and spoilt until his hind end fails when we have to call it a day

    Thanks

    Tracy

    Hi Tracy

    I'm sorry to hear about your rabbit. Hind limb weakness is a really difficult one to diagnose, as there could be several causes. It seems you may have eliminated spinal injury?

    has your vet mentioned the possibility of encephalitozoon cuniculi (E.C.) ? For that it would be a good idea to consider a 28 day course of fenbendazole (Panacur). Having the Loxicom is a very good idea, as that will minimise any inflammation.

    There may be some useful info in these links, which I have found helpful in the past:


    http://www.bio.miami.edu/hare/paresis.html

    http://www.disabledrabbits.com/paralysis.html

    http://rabbit.org/hind-limb-weakness-in-the-rabbit/

    http://www.medirabbit.com/EN/Neurolo...ls/paresis.htm


    Good luck with your rabbit xx

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    Young Bun Elliegirl's Avatar
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    Thanks guys for the thoughts, he is wormed 3 times a year with panacur, his last course was April so EC has been ruled out. The vet thinks its degenerative nerve issues. I will away and read those links.....

    Tracy xx
    Tracy and my many. many pets including Pumpkin Bunny and his wife Bella.

    I foster rabbits for the RSPCA and own/run a cattery and small animal boarding business

    http://fondbriggcottagecattery.co.uk/ where every guest is treated as my own all the time they're here xx

  5. #5
    Wise Old Thumper MightyMax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elliegirl View Post
    Thanks guys for the thoughts, he is wormed 3 times a year with panacur, his last course was April so EC has been ruled out. The vet thinks its degenerative nerve issues. I will away and read those links.....

    Tracy xx

    Hi Tracy

    Worming with Panacur is usually a 9 day course. This does not interrupt the life cycle of the parasite E.C. It simply kills any intestinal worms present. If a course of 28 days Panacur has never been given, then E.C. cannot be ruled out.

    Why would the vet think that your rabbit has degenerative nerve issues?

  6. #6
    Young Bun Elliegirl's Avatar
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    He has had thorough xrays and absolutely nothing showed, without a large amount of expense and contrast studies that's as far as that can go (rescues just can't fund more). I think it's the fact that nothing is stopping the gradual but continual decline, but what I find interesting is that he worsens in the hutch overnight and when I first let him out he's really not good but he then loosens up and he improves by a small amount. Of course I can only go by the vets instructions but I will check with the rescue to see what his panacur regiment was like before he came to me.....
    Tracy and my many. many pets including Pumpkin Bunny and his wife Bella.

    I foster rabbits for the RSPCA and own/run a cattery and small animal boarding business

    http://fondbriggcottagecattery.co.uk/ where every guest is treated as my own all the time they're here xx

  7. #7
    Wise Old Thumper MightyMax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elliegirl View Post
    He has had thorough xrays and absolutely nothing showed, without a large amount of expense and contrast studies that's as far as that can go (rescues just can't fund more). I think it's the fact that nothing is stopping the gradual but continual decline, but what I find interesting is that he worsens in the hutch overnight and when I first let him out he's really not good but he then loosens up and he improves by a small amount. Of course I can only go by the vets instructions but I will check with the rescue to see what his panacur regiment was like before he came to me.....

    How old is Patch?

    From what you've said above, it sounds more like arthritis. That would mean he starts off being stiff, not having been able to hop around too much in the hutch, and then the joints loosen up.

    The withdrawal and the symptoms when he wasn't on loxicom would also indicate that ...

  8. #8
    Warren Veteran Vegan_Bunny's Avatar
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    How big is his hutch?

  9. #9
    Young Bun Elliegirl's Avatar
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    His xrays were immaculate I saw them and 2 vets and none of us could see anything (I'm a VN of many years). They did every angle and the whole rabbit. He's in a 6x2 hutch but also has daily exercise in a double size stable.

    Patch is 4-5 years old.

    I've seen lots of cases of arthritis but not in rabbits, he can be off his hind legs completely and dragging his back end now and it just doesn't look like arthritis, that doesn't usually loss of the whole back end so they are dragging their back legs except when very extreme in dogs. Also it is progressing far more rapidly than any arthritis I've ever seen. He's gone from a slightly wonky left leg to both legs wonky and yesterday morning he was off his backend tho pnce hos loxicam kicked I he was mobile if very wonky this is in a matter of 3-4 weeks.TBH I've discounted arthritis, if he had it badly enough to show these symptoms his xrays should be appalling..... I'm mopre inclined to think muscle/nerve damage as this would not show on Xrays.

    TY for all your thought and links, I've got some panacur coming so I can give hime the 28 day course to be sure too xx
    Tracy and my many. many pets including Pumpkin Bunny and his wife Bella.

    I foster rabbits for the RSPCA and own/run a cattery and small animal boarding business

    http://fondbriggcottagecattery.co.uk/ where every guest is treated as my own all the time they're here xx

  10. #10
    Wise Old Thumper Jack's-Jane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elliegirl View Post
    His xrays were immaculate I saw them and 2 vets and none of us could see anything (I'm a VN of many years). They did every angle and the whole rabbit. He's in a 6x2 hutch but also has daily exercise in a double size stable.

    Patch is 4-5 years old.

    I've seen lots of cases of arthritis but not in rabbits, he can be off his hind legs completely and dragging his back end now and it just doesn't look like arthritis, that doesn't usually loss of the whole back end so they are dragging their back legs except when very extreme in dogs. Also it is progressing far more rapidly than any arthritis I've ever seen. He's gone from a slightly wonky left leg to both legs wonky and yesterday morning he was off his backend tho pnce hos loxicam kicked I he was mobile if very wonky this is in a matter of 3-4 weeks.TBH I've discounted arthritis, if he had it badly enough to show these symptoms his xrays should be appalling..... I'm mopre inclined to think muscle/nerve damage as this would not show on Xrays.

    TY for all your thought and links, I've got some panacur coming so I can give hime the 28 day course to be sure too xx
    It sounds as though the little fella is in very experienced hands with you. I guess an CT scan would be one possibility, but I totally understand how financial constraints can impact on what diagnostics are possible.I am wondering if the Vet might consider risking giving a corticosteroid in this situation ? Whilst the use of corticosteroids in Rabbits is not generally advisable (Rabbits being very sensitive to the potential side effects-ie a negative impact on the immune system, gastric ulceration, liver damage ),there are certain exceptional situations whereby the risk is one worth taking. They can provide more significant anti-inflammatory properties than a NSAID and thus be useful if the paralysis is due to nerve damage/inflammation.

    http://wildpro.twycrosszoo.org/S/00C...amethasone.htm

    http://wildpro.twycrosszoo.org/S/00C...ednisolone.htm

    https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=...rabbit&f=false

    Perhaps you could discuss this with your Vet ?
    Last edited by Jack's-Jane; 24-06-2017 at 05:24 AM. Reason: spelling

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