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Rabbits/Pregnant doe with injury


I have a pregnant doe (2 wks along) who one morning was crawling and appeared very weak in the hind end. By the end of the day she was dragging her hind legs. My husband would not agree in taking her to the vet for some xrays. She is not paralyzed and will stretch her legs out to groom herself. She is eating, drink and still has control of her bowels etc. I have been soaking her twice a day to keep her as clean as possible, keeping her in a kennel in the house to limit he mobility. She is a well bred french lop and has shown alot the last couple of years with her previous owners and I dont want to put her down unless there is no chance of recovery. Not to mention what about her pregancy, will the kits make it and will she be able to deliver, or is that cruel to put her through all this?

Dear Lindsay,

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 her to the vet, there is no way to ascertain the cause of this problem.  Radiographs would reveal a spinal injury or chronic condition.  But there is also a parasite, Encephalitozoon cuniculi, that can cause neurological signs like this along with other problems.  It can be treated with fenbendazole (Panacur) and/or ponazuril from your vet.

Please find a good rabbit vet here:

and get her there for evaluation.  Having babies in a state like this could be devastating to her, but if she is already far along she will need supportive care to manage.  If she has difficulty delivering, a C-section might be necessary, and she should be spayed at the same time to prevent further pregnancies.

A rabbit with hind-limb paresis can live a happy, fulfilled life, just as a human in a wheelchair can.  She just needs supportive care and a little extra help.  For more information on this, please see:

I hope this helps.



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Dana Krempels, Ph.D.


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:

Find a rabbit vet at 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.


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.

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

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

Ph.D - Biology
B.S. - Biology
B.A. - English

Awards and Honors
Lightspan Academic Excellence Award for web site on rabbit health and biology

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