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Thread: Baby bun with head tilt/balance issues :( - U/d #37 - Improving!

  1. #1

    Default Baby bun with head tilt/balance issues :( - U/d #37 - Improving!

    I was hoping my first post about our newer little one was going to be a happier one...
    Cutting a long story short, a few weeks ago we ended up with a new baby rex. We've had him between 3-4 weeks now, he's app 3 months old with the most beautiful, wild personality. He's as hyper as anything and has incredible balance. He regularly perches on the edge of an open cardboard box (!) we've got for him in his pen. I've never seen a rabbit balance like that. He can perch on anything. He's like a bird.
    Last night however I noticed he seemed to be favouring the left side of his head. It was hard to tell if it was there or not as he was too hyper to sit still and let you get a good look. This morning however I realised I wasn't imagining it and his normal balance wasn't 100%. He fell over a few times when periscoping and just looked slightly unsteady. Since then I've seen him have some nasty looking falls backwards and sideways.
    Obviously he went straight up the vet and he's been put on panacur and metacam at the moment (though the vet has ordered him in another form of fenbendazole - I'm guessing lapizole? - to swap to on Tuesday as panacur is hard to dose accurately and he's only 1.25kg at the moment.
    Thankfully he's still himself from a mental point of view and still very, very hungry. But I'm so worried about him. It's hard to tell if he's still the same or if he's gotten any worse. I have an awful suspicion his head is tilted a bit more than it was and his balance may have gotten worse. But it's hard to tell. He's been unusually quiet for a lot of the day, though has gone more like himself tonight and finished all his veg earlier within minutes.
    We don't know the cause yet but he's so young to have this Having had EC (along with severe stasis) take both Willow and Maple from us I'm terrified of it being EC.. The vet did find a small amount of wax when he inspected his ears but didn't think it was significant enough to cause the problem (as far as it's possible to see into the ear visibly anyway).
    I don't know what to do for him, poor little thing He's such a healthy, bright, hyper little thing. He's so young and tiny, he doesn't deserve this at his age
    I don't know if I should see what, if anything, the panacur does until Tuesday or if he should go back for antibiotics or something in the morning? Or whether he should just have an x-ray at this stage or not. Unfortunately Willow and Maple went downhill rapidly so my experience with EC (if it is EC) is limited to just a rapid and awful outcome Though in the their cases they actually never developed head tilt but balance issues and rear end paralysis along with rapid weight loss (Maple in particular), incontinence and severe stasis. Harley at least is still eating very, very well. Only symptoms seem to be head tilt and balance/rolling over backwards issues. He can still run fast, just has the odd issue with balance. No nystagmus that I can see either (vet did also check his eyes)
    I hate seeing him like this
    Last edited by ~ILoveMyBunny~; 24-07-2019 at 02:08 PM.

  2. #2
    Mama Doe
    Join Date
    Oct 2008


    If it is EC, you should see some improvement in a week or so, although it can also get worse, then better again. You need to prevent reinfection by cleaning anything in contact with urine as that is where the spores are shed, It is especially important to do a thorough disinfect on days 21 and 28 of the treatment cycle (eg using bleach, Virkon S or steam clean) of anything he has had contact with,

    It is worth asking about antibiotics as he could have an ear infection which is affecting his balance.

  3. #3
    Moderator Zoobec's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013


    Sending lots of vibes for him, I hope he improves soon

    Binky free at the bridge Boots, you will never be forgotten xxxx

  4. #4
    Wise Old Thumper Jack's-Jane's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Above Ground ATM


    In such a young Bunny EC is likely to have been contracted rom their Mum at birth. As Shimmer mentioned, a middle ear infection is a possibility. It is not always possible to diagnose middle ear disease without skull radiographs/CT scans. So I would mention if a covering abx may be a wise precaution in the absence of a definitive diagnosis. There is quite a bit more information on these links :

    There is also a FB Group that offers support and advice to those caring for a Rabbit with Head Tilt

    I hope your Bunny makes a good recovery, it can be a long journey but it is possible xx

    Reference Links for Various Rabbit Health Problems :

    Dont procrastinate, VACCINATE


  5. #5
    Forum Buddy Pets mum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2014


    So sorry to hear this, poor Harley. I really hope improves soon, sending loads of vibes for him xxx

  6. #6
    Alpha Buck Orenoko's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2018


    Sorry to hear your new bun is poorly, I hope it's something easily treated, sounds like you have loads of experience dealing with these things. If it's an infection Make sure your vet treats for just as long as you would EC, I learned that lesson the hard way myself with a tilty bun.
    Mum to Lilac, an extremely spoiled mini lop

  7. #7


    Sorry for the late reply everyone, between Harley being ill and being ill myself it's been a difficult weekend/start to the week.
    Not sure what to make of this at the moment. A few times I thought he was getting worse but then seemed to pick up. Overall he seems to have been a lot better today, but in the last hour or so seems more wobbly. The head tilt isn't too bad and doesn't seem to be consistent; sometimes he can hold it up so it's almost normal, other times it tips to the left. He has been holding his head back a lot too (i.e nose in the air).
    The bigger problem seems to be his balance, poor thing. He's a bit wobbly in general but keeps falling over. It's so awful to see, especially for such a young little bun All he wants to do is run and binky and every time he does he falls over. I've had to restrict him to his pen a lot more because he keeps crashing/falling over and he's got himself stuck on his back a couple of times. Poor little thing looks so confused and shocked when it happens. He can't understand why he can't just binky. It's heartbreaking to see him go like this when days ago he was running and cornering like a formula 1 car.
    He's been such an excellent boy with his meds, takes them without me even needing to pick him up! I can't believe it. He's swapping from panacur to lapizole tomorrow so he can have a more accurate dose for his weight. Got a recheck on saturday at vet.

    Thank you all so much for getting back to me. Thank you so much Jane for all the links. I've looked through some already but haven't been able to read them all yet. Been such a difficult few days. I've been in a lot of pain myself and seeing Harley like this is just heartbreaking. Not to mention dragging up some painful memories.

    On a side note, he got his own litter tray yesterday (pictured below) and I can't believe how amazing he's been. He's sticking 100% to it with absolutely no encouragement or training of any kind. Bearing in mind this is an unneutered baby bun, I'm amazed by how flawless he's been. I think he may be the fastest learner yet.
    Such an angel.

    Just a quick note, that's Aubiose not wood shavings. I ran out of fitch a while ago and I'm using Aubiose until I can find something else. Don't like the stuff to be honest, I want something like fitch but having trouble finding a good replacement. I can't justify the huge mark up on fitch these days, not when I've got so many litter trays (not to mention two joined hamster cages!) to clean!
    Need something softer, especially for our hamster as for him it's bedding, not just litter

  8. #8


    Can see his head tilted a bit more in the above picture, though sometimes it's hard to tell if he's just turned it or if it's actually tilted. He can hold it pretty normal sometimes.
    Such a precious little thing.

  9. #9


    Just remembered, something I needed to ask.. Does anyone know if F10 is a suitable disinfectant in this case (made to its stronger strength)? If not I can easily order some Virkon but F10 is the disinfectant I have at the moment and normally use.
    Also what temperature should soft bedding (e.g blankets, bed) be washed on? He has a soft dog-type bed, as well as a blanket that needs to be washed and some vetbed from the carrier (borrowed from the other buns so need to be sure it's safe before they use it for their next vet visit)

    Also I wasn't aware there was a urine test for it now. Would it be worth me asking the vet do you think? He never mentioned it so I don't know if he knows about it either.

    Aside from my concern about Harley I'm concerned about observing a strict hygiene protocol around the others. I don't know if I should treat them all as a precaution or not? I'm not too comfortable as the last time I gave them all panacur as a matter of routine (something I stopped doing a while ago) it sent Snowflake into severe stasis. But I don't know if it would be better to be on the safe side? Do you think I should be giving them all panacur at this stage? Or just be very careful that they don't come into contact with anything Harley has?

  10. #10
    Warren Veteran
    Join Date
    May 2008


    Awe. He is absolutely adorable. I hope that he is all better soon and can go back to being a racing car bunny. I love his coloring by the way.



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