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Hello Cat,

We have a female lionhead rabbit that is about 22 weeks old (we also have a female mixed dwarf that is a few weeks younger than the lionhead). Both rabbits are litter box trained and roam the house, except at nights and when we aren't home.

Last night our lionhead was in the cage and suddenly started running and basically ricocheting off the walls of the cage, faster than I have EVER seen her run. It was so forceful she turned everything in her cage (including the second level of her cage) upside down. After a few seconds of this she darted out of the cage and ricochet off the kitchen walls so fast that my eyes couldn't even keep up with her. After another few seconds she finally landed under one of the kitchen chairs on her side and looked like she was dead. I picked her up and she was VERY stiff, but still alive. My husband took her from me as I took our 3 year old son out of the room, but I could hear our bunny screaming in pain (I'm assuming pain) as I ran out of the room. My husband said her whole body was tight and tense and after the seizure or whatever it was was over she was limp and looked exhausted and just laid on my chest for about five minutes and then she got up and hopped off.

She went in a corner and started thumping over and over, but besides that was pretty calm the rest of the night. She seems fine today, but she is sleeping a lot, not really running around and when she does go from place to place it's pretty slow and couscous.

I've looked all over the internet and can't find the symptoms of what she did last night so I'm hoping you can help me.

Thanks so much for your time!

Amy

Answer
Hi Amy

Sorry to hear about your bun!

It sounds as though it was a seizure, a serious fright, or a combination of both. I would get your vet to give her a check over, especially if she's being slow now - she may have injured herself in the dashing about which is very easily done. I know of a poor rabbit who had to be put to sleep after doing a big binky and snapping its own spine in the process, they are powerful little animals.

There are a number of neurological things that can happen in a bun, but in your case it sounds like she may have been spooked by something. Seizures are more likely to render the bun unable to run. But I'm not a vet so can't be 100%.

Get your girl checked at the vet ASAP.

Cat

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Expertise

I can answer questions around the welfare of pet rabbits, basic health queries including gut stasis, diet worries, bonding questions and the proper welfare standards around housing rabbits (i.e. no wire floors, no small cages and they should be kept in properly bonded de-sexed pairs in very large enclosures). I cannot answer showing questions nor complex breeding issues as I do not agree with either, seeing the other end of the story in the world of rabbit rescue.

Experience

I have two 7 year old rescue rabbits and volunteer for a well established rabbit rescue here in the UK, both physically doing cleaning out etc and I am also their events and awareness co-oordinator, helping educate the general public on proper rabbit keeping, this means I have to ensure all information I give is correct and matches current welfare standards.

Organizations
I belong to the RWAF (Rabbit Welfare Association & Fund) and volunteer for a major rabbit rescue.

Education/Credentials
I have no formal education on this subject, however read everything I can to keep up to date with current welfare standards and health problems. Both my rabbits have sensitive guts and constantly keep me on my toes.

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