You are here:

Rabbits/Mini-lop, 1.5 years, wobbly, hind leg weakness, started on Fenbendazole today

Advertisement


Question
My sweet bunny is sick.  Around the second week in October (about a month ago), we noticed he was leaving cecotropes in his favorite hiding place, and occasionally a few poops.  He's litter trained and although he had some accidents before he was neutered, they had become increasingly rare in the past 9 months.

We attributed it to his trying to avoid going in the cage, since I had been out of town for over 2 weeks and during that time, he had to stay in his cage during the day until my husband got home.

Anyway, he seemed to be normal until yesterday morning, when we noticed he was slipping more than usual on the hardwood floors.  By evening, he was clearly having trouble coordinating his back legs.  He could move them, and had sensation in them, but they seemed weak,  uncoorinated and clumsy.  I took him to the vet and after examining him, she thought he might have a soft tissue injury. She gave him an NSAID (not sure which# and said to keep him in his cage for a few days to see how he does.

#Note: the exam revealed a lot of hard waxy build-up in his ears, but otherwise, he seemed normal except for the rear leg problems.)

This morning, he seemed worse -- moving when prodded -- even hopping somewhat, but listing to one side).  I did a little research, quickly hit on e cuniculi and called the vet to see if she thought that might be the culprit.  She agreed we could try a course of fenbendazole and I gave him his first dose this afternoon.

My question is this: if this is EC, how soon can I expect to see improvement?  Is there anything else I can do to help him?

I'm worried sick about him, and am desperate to help him.

Thank you so much for any advice you can give!

Answer
Dear Carol,

I am sorry for the delay, which was due to a very sad death in my family.  Everything else sort of got put on hold.

Without taking your bunny to the vet, there is no way to ascertain the cause of this problem.  Radiographs would reveal a spinal injury or chronic condition.  But E. cuniculi can cause neurological signs like this along with other problems, as you know.  It can be treated with fenbendazole (Panacur) and/or ponazuril from your vet.  Improvement will vary with individual, but it can't hurt to get this going.

Please find a good rabbit vet here:

http://www.rabbit.org/vets

MOST IMPORTANTLY:  Get him OFF the slippery floors.  This alone could be responsible for the problem.  Our house is tiled throughout, but we put down traction-backed runners for the bunnies.  A slippery floor is absolutely bad for a bunny.  He has fur on the bottoms of his feet, not fleshy pads, and so he can't get traction.  This will put painful wear and tear on all his joints.

If this does turn out to be a chronic condition, then please note that a rabbit with hind-limb paresis can live a happy, fulfilled life, just as a human in a wheelchair can.  He just needs supportive care and a little extra help.  For more information on this, please see:

http://www.rabbit.org/faq/sections/disabled.html

http://www.rabbit.org/journal/3-2/disabled.html

http://www.rabbit.org/journal/3-12/disabled-litter.html

I hope this helps.

Dana

Rabbits

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Dana Krempels, Ph.D.

Expertise

I've lived with companion rabbits for more than 35 years, and consider them members of my family. I can answer any questions about the biology and health of rabbits, from the commonplace to the unusual. But please note:

RULE #1:
THE INTERNET IS NOT THE PLACE TO SEEK HELP IN AN EMERGENCY.

...it is an EMERGENCY.

Find a rabbit vet at www.rabbit.org/vet for immediate help, and don't risk your bunny's life by spending time asking questions online! If you can't get in touch with your vet, read these Emergency Sick Bunny Instructions.

If you have found a wild baby rabbit, please read these EMERGENCY INSTRUCTIONS FOR WILD BABY RABBITS and then use this link to FIND A LOCAL WILDLIFE REHABILITATOR who can give you the right advice.


RULE #2:
Help me help you! Please make your subject line informative if you have an urgent question. then LET ME KNOW IN THE SUBJECT LINE so I can give your question highest priority over non-urgent questions. If you don't do this, then I can't guarantee timely assistance!

For all the best, most accurate rabbit health, care and behavior information, visit The House Rabbit Society.

Experience

I have been rescuing and rehabilitating domestic and wild rabbits for about 30 years. I have written articles for many rabbit rescue publications, as well as for the veterinary journal, Exotic DVM. I own EtherBun, the internet's largest listserve dedicated to health, care, and behavior of domestic rabbits.

Organizations
Houserabbit Adoption, Rescue, and Education, Inc. (H.A.R.E., Inc.) president National House Rabbit Society (Board member)

Publications
Exotic DVM
Warren Peace (Journal of the House Rabbit Society of Miami)
Various newsletters of the House Rabbit Society, nationwide

Education/Credentials
Ph.D - Biology
B.S. - Biology
B.A. - English

Awards and Honors
Lightspan Academic Excellence Award for web site on rabbit health and biology
(http://www.bio.miami.edu/hare)

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.