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Thread: Head Tilt

  1. #1
    Mama Doe
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    Default Head Tilt

    Hello, I've not posted on here for years but I am desperate for some advice. My dear old boy Bandit (nearly 12) developed a head tilt on 1st March. It has now got worse to the point where he's mostly lying down. He is still eating , but very small amounts. I took him to vet down the road last week who prescribed Baytril twice daily 0.3ml and said to take him back in a week, so I did yesterday. He told me it was best to put Bandit to sleep and questioned my reasons for not wanting to put him to sleep, which was very frustrating and upsetting. I always feel I've known when it was time to say goodbye to my animals and it doesn't feel like it is yet. I sought a second opinion today at a different practice and they agreed to give him some Metacam 0.25ml twice daily and see how he is in two days. The car journey stressed him out completely and he was barely moving when we got there. Since we have returned he's more mobile. I am beginning to doubt myself now and perhaps it is best to let him go but at the same time he is still eating. I've recently lost a friend and I had Frank the guinea pig put to sleep last Monday so perhaps I am not being rational. Thoughts please.

  2. #2

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    I don't know a huge amount this subject but have successfully treated a rabbit with horrendous head tilt with a full course of fenbendazole/ Panacur - her head tilt completely resolved and she’s still with me now, the picture of health. Obviously all cases are different but havent either of your vets even suggested Panacur?
    Hopefully someone who’s more knowledgeable than me will be along to help you.

  3. #3
    Wise Old Thumper Jack's-Jane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rineyroo View Post
    Hello, I've not posted on here for years but I am desperate for some advice. My dear old boy Bandit (nearly 12) developed a head tilt on 1st March. It has now got worse to the point where he's mostly lying down. He is still eating , but very small amounts. I took him to vet down the road last week who prescribed Baytril twice daily 0.3ml and said to take him back in a week, so I did yesterday. He told me it was best to put Bandit to sleep and questioned my reasons for not wanting to put him to sleep, which was very frustrating and upsetting. I always feel I've known when it was time to say goodbye to my animals and it doesn't feel like it is yet. I sought a second opinion today at a different practice and they agreed to give him some Metacam 0.25ml twice daily and see how he is in two days. The car journey stressed him out completely and he was barely moving when we got there. Since we have returned he's more mobile. I am beginning to doubt myself now and perhaps it is best to let him go but at the same time he is still eating. I've recently lost a friend and I had Frank the guinea pig put to sleep last Monday so perhaps I am not being rational. Thoughts please.
    Hello

    I am sorry to hear of how poorly Bandit is and also that you have recently lost a friend and your Guinea Pig Frank

    Head tilt can be caused by a bacterial middle ear infection, (Otitis Media),Encephalitozoon Cunicul (EC) is another possibility.

    These links provide some information

    Otitis Media

    http://wildpro.twycrosszoo.org/S/00d...MediaInterna.h

    http://www.medirabbit.com/EN/Neurology/Otit/otitis.htm

    https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=...0media&f=false


    EC

    https://www.dechra.co.uk/therapy-are...ion/e-cuniculi

    Some general information about head tilt

    http://www.veterinary.ie/go/pet_care...lts-in-rabbits


    There is also a Facebook Group that offers support and advice for people caring for a Rabbit with head tilt

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/HelpforHeadTiltHoppers/
    Last edited by Jack's-Jane; 13-03-2018 at 06:20 PM.


    The Rabbit Welfare Association and Fund (RWAF)- The UK'S biggest and best organisation for Rabbit lovers

    https://rabbitwelfare.co.uk/

    Rabbit Health and Diseases, a list of useful online information

    http://forums.rabbitrehome.org.uk/sh...ealth-Problems

    Myxomatosis, RHD1 and RHD2- VACCINATION IS ESSENTIAL

    http://forums.rabbitrehome.org.uk/sh...60#post7041560

  4. #4
    Mama Doe
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    Default

    I forgot to say that when it started on 1st March I was snowed in and so started the Panacur myself. I have spoken to a vet I used to use and she has suggested a head x ray to see if it is middle ear infection. He had suspected EC last year and got over it quickly. I think he still has a quality of life as he is still eating.

  5. #5
    Wise Old Thumper Jack's-Jane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rineyroo View Post
    I forgot to say that when it started on 1st March I was snowed in and so started the Panacur myself. I have spoken to a vet I used to use and she has suggested a head x ray to see if it is middle ear infection. He had suspected EC last year and got over it quickly. I think he still has a quality of life as he is still eating.
    Trouble is he'd need a GA or at least sedation for that. Personally I'd be reluctant to do that given his age and how poorly he is. Even if a middle ear infection were to be confirmed the treatment would be the same-ie antibiotics and a non steroidal anti-inflammatory. There are surgical options, but these are major and not something I would opt for for a 12 year old Rabbit. But of course that decision is entirely a personal one.

    The surgery is detailed here, but you may not want to open the link as it contains graphic images:

    http://www.ivis.org/proceedings/navc...E/617.pdf?LA=1

    And a bit more info' about ear disease here :

    http://www.veterinarywebinars.com/me...se_Rabbits.pdf
    Last edited by Jack's-Jane; 13-03-2018 at 06:45 PM.


    The Rabbit Welfare Association and Fund (RWAF)- The UK'S biggest and best organisation for Rabbit lovers

    https://rabbitwelfare.co.uk/

    Rabbit Health and Diseases, a list of useful online information

    http://forums.rabbitrehome.org.uk/sh...ealth-Problems

    Myxomatosis, RHD1 and RHD2- VACCINATION IS ESSENTIAL

    http://forums.rabbitrehome.org.uk/sh...60#post7041560

  6. #6
    Wise Old Thumper MightyMax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rineyroo View Post
    Hello, I've not posted on here for years but I am desperate for some advice. My dear old boy Bandit (nearly 12) developed a head tilt on 1st March. It has now got worse to the point where he's mostly lying down. He is still eating , but very small amounts. I took him to vet down the road last week who prescribed Baytril twice daily 0.3ml and said to take him back in a week, so I did yesterday. He told me it was best to put Bandit to sleep and questioned my reasons for not wanting to put him to sleep, which was very frustrating and upsetting. I always feel I've known when it was time to say goodbye to my animals and it doesn't feel like it is yet. I sought a second opinion today at a different practice and they agreed to give him some Metacam 0.25ml twice daily and see how he is in two days. The car journey stressed him out completely and he was barely moving when we got there. Since we have returned he's more mobile. I am beginning to doubt myself now and perhaps it is best to let him go but at the same time he is still eating. I've recently lost a friend and I had Frank the guinea pig put to sleep last Monday so perhaps I am not being rational. Thoughts please.

    Really sorry to hear about Bandit

    This sounds very similar to what happened to my friend's rabbit recently. What they did was hospitalise their rabbit and he had all the medications and tests whilst at the vet so as not to keep transporting him to and fro and therefore making the head tilt worse.

    It's very difficult to know whether it's head tilt or and inner ear infection, or a stroke or something completely different. I had three vets pronounce different diagnoses for my rabbit's head tilt, so what hope is there for us?

    Sometimes fluid moves in the inner ear, not always infection, and if that's the case it's a sort of 'labyrinthitis' which can clear up easily on it's own.

    I am pleased you've started the Panacur? That might make a significant difference if it's caused by that. My vet has prescribed double doses for a longer period than indicated, but obviously this is for your vet to decide upon.

    You would also want to discuss with your vet about long term Metacam or perhaps even a corticosteroid, which can be very useful. You can't give Metacam whilst he's still getting the benefit of the steroid so you'd have to ask about the time lapse after it. Metacam is necessary to prevent the eruption of E.C. spores into organs such as the brain and kidneys which are particularly vulnerable, and where they would cause an inflammatory response. It might be a good idea to talk with your vet about having a full blood profile taken, because E.C. can cause issues in the kidneys. Your vet can then weigh up the pros and cons of prescribing Metacam, which it's believed can be particularly hard on the kidneys.

    http://www.dechra.co.uk/therapy-area...ion/e-cuniculi


    A couple of links about possible causes of head tilt:

    http://www.rabbit.org/journal/3-8/head-tilt.html

    http://www.rabbit.org/health/tilt.html



    There's some info on this link about ear infections, but there are some graphic images:

    http://www.exoticpetmedicine.com/art...16)30173-2/pdf
    (it also takes a while to load!)


    There's also some good info here:

    http://www.disabledrabbits.com/head-tilt.html


    Lastly, I wish you loads of luck with your bunny. If after a good 'bash' at trying to fix him you come to the conclusion that letting him go is the best thing, then my thoughts are with you as it's not an easy thing to do x
    Last edited by MightyMax; 13-03-2018 at 09:01 PM.

  7. #7
    Mama Doe
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    Thanks for the replies. Putting him in the car definitely stressed him out so he looked really bad when he got to the vet. He is in large dog bed, he moves around a bit. I've given him some veg and will give him his meds shortly. He is eating hay and his poo is reasonable. The only problem is water, he can't put his head in a bowl and he'll knock a small bowl over I think. He is getting lots of veg and I have syringe fed him some critical care. My plan is to contact the vet on Thursday when the Metacam is up and ask for more. I think I can nurse him through it, if not I'll do what needs to be done. He is nearly 12 but has otherwise been healthy.

  8. #8
    Wise Old Thumper Jack's-Jane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rineyroo View Post
    Thanks for the replies. Putting him in the car definitely stressed him out so he looked really bad when he got to the vet. He is in large dog bed, he moves around a bit. I've given him some veg and will give him his meds shortly. He is eating hay and his poo is reasonable. The only problem is water, he can't put his head in a bowl and he'll knock a small bowl over I think. He is getting lots of veg and I have syringe fed him some critical care. My plan is to contact the vet on Thursday when the Metacam is up and ask for more. I think I can nurse him through it, if not I'll do what needs to be done. He is nearly 12 but has otherwise been healthy.
    I hope that he can remain as comfortable as possible. With headtilt it can take several weeks, even several months, for any real progress to be made. Sometimes the Rabbit can get worse before they get better. This can include the Rabbit having episodes of 'rolling' . Obviously at the age of 12 this is an even bigger challenge, I'd just take things one day at a time.

    I am sure that you will do what is right for Bandit xx


    The Rabbit Welfare Association and Fund (RWAF)- The UK'S biggest and best organisation for Rabbit lovers

    https://rabbitwelfare.co.uk/

    Rabbit Health and Diseases, a list of useful online information

    http://forums.rabbitrehome.org.uk/sh...ealth-Problems

    Myxomatosis, RHD1 and RHD2- VACCINATION IS ESSENTIAL

    http://forums.rabbitrehome.org.uk/sh...60#post7041560

  9. #9
    Wise Old Thumper
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    Sending lots of vibes for Bandit.
    " We will remain friends until the end of days, and one day longer"......Donald Tusk

  10. #10

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    Vibes from me too, I found head tilt extremely distressing. TBH I think Bella Bunny coped with it better than I did. We had the water drinking issue as well as she struggled to get her mouth to the bowl - I soaked her veg before giving it to her and syringed small amounts of water in when she was willing. As soon as the head tilt improved a bit she started drinking normally. It was a slow process though. I have everything crossed for your boy Bandit xx

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