You are here:

Rabbits/Head tilt and flickering left eye


QUESTION: My bunny rabbit bumped her head pretty hard two days ago as she jumped out of my arms.
Today I noticed some odd behaviors.
1. Head tilt to the left-Her head tilts to the left slowly as if she is dosing off.
2. Balance loss -She is having a hard time balancing. Walks in circles. It seems like she is drunk; not able to maintain her balance.
3. Flickering left eye -Her left eye ball rolls and flickers. I feel like she is dizzy all the time.
4. No pee or poop - She ate a little hay and water, but significantly less peeing and pooping.
5. Lays down frequently - She never lays stomach down when I am near, but she didn't care even I was petting her.
Please help me and my bunny. She turns one year old on May.

ANSWER: Dear Mina,

It sounds as if your bunny has a concussion, and needs immediate veterinary attention.  The effects of swelling in the brain can be delayed after an injury like this, but they can get worse without proper medication (anti-inflammatory meds, etc.).

Please go here to find a rabbit-savvy vet immediately:

Let them know the situation and that it might be an emergency.  If your bunny continues to go downhill, things could be very bad.  A head injury should never be ignored.

I hope she will be okay.


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you for your response Dr. Dana,
I took my bunny rabbit to the doctors and found out that he (it turns out it was a boy) had a mild fracture on his skull. The doctor said that it will take 3-4 weeks to recover. I received two medications: Meloxicam and Meclizine as well as critical care food.
His eye flickering/dizziness seems all gone and slowly gaining back his appetite. He urinates more than he poops, so I am keeping an eye on it.

One concern is his head tilt. The doctor said that the head tilting is from the pain that he is having. I guess by tilting to the left eases the pain a little.
I wanted to ask if the head tilt will go away and come back to normal in a month or so....If you need a photo to see him, please let me know. I will be more than happy to attached a photo to show his condition.
Thank you so much for your time and I will look forward to your response.

Dear Mina,

Only time will tell if the head tilt will resolve.  Physical therapy can help, and you can find information on that here:

But a bunny can live very happily with a head tilt.  She's lucky things were not worse after a fall severe enough to fracture her skull.

I hope she continues to improve.



All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


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

©2016 All rights reserved.