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Rabbits/Wry Neck/Head Tilt


Hello Pam, I have a Holland Lop named Frosty. I adopted him 11yrs ago so he is approx. 11-12yrs old. He had frost bitten ears when rescue and the vet the rescue shelter used saved his ears.
My question is in October 2012 he was diagnosed with head tilt, all his blood work was normal. No sign of discharge in ears. He was put on Baytril pill and it seem to straighten the head tilt up. In February it came back he was put on Sulfatrim Pediatric 120mg 1/2 pill twice daily for 15 days. Tilt got worst after 7days, blood work came back within normal range. Back to vets. Now he is on Chlor Palm 250 1m twice daily for 7-10days. Blood work still normal range. Been 5 days and no change whatsoever. He is still severely tilted and rolling over when getting around. he is eating well and drinking, absolutely no weight loss, possibly gained as I give him a bit extra lettuce and pellets every day. Is there anything else you have tried or may suggest that I could ask  my vet that perhaps you have had success with? I understand he is old but he is a fighter and eats and drinks and still gets excited when it's dinner time in the morning and night. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated as my vet feels the Chlor Palm is the last thing available to try.  Thank you very much. Robyn

Hi Robyn,

I have never heard of any of the things your vet prescribed except for Baytril.  If it is indeed an inner ear infection and not a parasite then antibiotics should be used.  However Baytril is way over used and is rarely effective in treating health problems anymore.  We used to treat wryneck with panacur for 28 days.  Now we are trying ponazuril (trade name Marquis by Bayer) for 28 days.  E. Cuniculi is often the culprit for wryneck issues and it wont hurt him to try.  With his age he could have other neurological issues such as a stroke.  Until you are sure that it is not E.C.  I would ask if you could try these medications.  Ponazuril is extremely expensive and not all vets have it but just about all vets carry panacur.  The other thing you can use is metacam.  Should there be an issue with swelling inside of the ear this will help shrink it.

I wish I could be more helpful.  If your vet has not heard of these medications I strongly suggest a 2nd opinion.

Good luck



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Paula Murdock-Briggs


I am a licensed American Rabbit Breeders Registrar. I do not show rabbits anymore nor do I breed them. I do believe it is important that people that chose to breed rabbits do so with only purebred and genetically sound animals or that they have a thorough understanding of genetics prior to breeding. I have chosen to keep my registars license to help the 4H youth in my area. I do stay current on all breeds, varieties, show rules, regulations of the ARBA. I have spent the past 8 years focusing on rescuing and caring for PET bunnies who were no longer wanted. I am the current CEO of Little Angels Animal Sanctuary, Inc. I was appointed CEO of the rescue organization and sanctuary in 2008. We gained our 501(c)3 IRS tax exemption status in 2012. We have taken on the task of rescuing unwanted PET rabbits as well as some farm animals. I teach genetics and health to the local youth as well as register and promote the breeding of only purebred and genetically sound animals. I rescue PET rabbits. These are rabbits that lived in peoples homes and were either surrendered to us or sent to the auction for meat. While I believe that all bunnies should be pets, I understand that people raise them for other reasons. I will answer questions from anyone, regardless of their purpose. I will reject any questions that are considered unethical or inhumane.

Little Angels Animal Sanctuary.

President and CEO of Little Angels Animal Sanctuary, Inc. I have over 10 years of experience working closely with a veterinarian that treats rabbits. We have studied and treated nearly every illness that can affect rabbits.

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