Rabbits/Rabbit Query

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Question
I have a 5m pet rabbit called bunnykins. Came home from work,his eyes were swollen and red, no discharge.Took him straight to the vet. Diagnosis was possible myxomatosis. Bunnykins was given a antibiotic shot and eyecream. Next day, swelling gone, eyes dark and small still red rimmed when i pull back his eyes. Back to the vet, another shot and sent home with oral antibiotics. Bunnykins seems quiet, I have been keeping him warm, but when i let him out of his hutch,he runs around the house his behaviour seems really odd for him. It is day 5 now and no change, still eating well and drinking, has not lost any weight, eyes still small dark and red rimmed, could he be blind? he is still eating, but just seems weird, i cannot pinpoint it.

Answer
Dear Lee,

If he has the myxomatosis virus, then his behavior will not be normal.  I hope whatever medication your vet gave you will work, but since myxo is viral, not bacterial, antibiotics will help only if there is secondary bacterial infection.

The only treatment I've ever heard of that might be successful for myxo is Equimune IV, which boosts the immune system.  Even so, it's a long, slow battle and you must provide supportive care while bunny's own system fights the virus.

It is possible he's blind, but you'd have to do some behavioral tests (e.g., waving something close to him and seeing if he responds) to get a better idea.  The only way to really know would be via electroretinogram, which would probably be cost prohibitive (and hard to find someone to do).

If you can send a very clear picture of his eyes, I might be better able to guage what's going on, though I can't guarantee that.

I hope he will continue to stay strong and improve.

Sending healing thoughts...

Dana

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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)

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