Question I found my 2 year old doe unable to walk on one rear leg and her hip was jutting out strangely. She was still able to bear weight on the other hind leg. By morning she was unable to walk at all and both hips were strangely deformed. I took her to the vet as soon as they opened and they did two x rays. She was diagnosed with hip dysplasia. He tried to put them back in place twice but they popped right back out and the vet said she was in pain and there was nothing else he could do. Is this common? Are there any other treatments that could have saved her? Would it have made a difference if she was braced as a baby when we first noticed her splay legs? She never had a problem until now.
Answer Dear Gail,
It's pretty unusual for this to happen suddenly to a 2 year old rabbit. Is it possible she suffered a traumatic injury, such as being dropped or falling off something tall?
I'm not sure I'd write this off just yet. Please find a rabbit-savvy vet here:
Though some rabbits don't tolerate leg braces as well as others. We have a splayleg bunny who scoots around almost as fast as a normal bunny, so this condition is not necessarily a death sentence. It all depends on the individual bunny and her level of disability.
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.
If your rabbits is LETHARGIC
If your rabbit is NOT EATING
If your rabbit is PHYSICALLY INJURED (including broken bones)
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