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Rabbits/Bunny rabbit has wry neck but I don't know what the cause is


Hello Dr. Dana,
I spoke to you couple of times regarding my bunny rabbit. After the head trauma, with proper medications (Meloxicam and Meclizine). Plus I got Critical Care and ear drops. Since I started the medications, his appetite and urine/poop became little better. So I thought everything was going to fine except for the head tilt. I noticed that the head was tilting more and more. Finally I experienced the worst where he could not stop alligator rolling. It was so bad to the point where I had to hold him down firmly. First thing in the morning we went to the vet and got him checked. The doctor said it might be a coincidence where the ear infection was going on when the head trauma happened. Or it may be a brain damage.
She gave me antibiotics for inner ear infections not drops, but oral one. I observed him for couple of hours and he seemed to calm down a little bit. He only rolled 2-3 times in 3 hours. It is so heartbreaking to watch him lose control over his body. It almost seems like he is lost while he is rolling as if he is saying "What is going on?!?!"

So that is basic overview and I have 2 questions:
1. If it is an inner ear infection, would he be cured?
2. If the antibiotics don't work what would be the next step?*knock on wood*

I know you are very busy, but it would be great if you can give me some advice. I am a student and on a extremely tight budget. I wish I can take him to the vet with every little thing, but for (sorry for my bunny) it is hard to afford the medical bills.
Thank you for your time and hope to get a reply back from you soon.

Dear Mina,

Sorry for the delay due to a family emergency that's still ongoing.  I hope I can help.

Please read:

for a list of all the possible causes of this problem.  If it is E. cuniculi, then treatment with ponazuril and/or Panacur (fenbendazole) may be helpful.  If it is due to middle/inner ear infection, then ask about dual-acting penicillin injections every other day.  This particular antibiotic (the only penicillin safe for rabbits) can be very effective against head abscesses.  Please read:

I hope this will help.



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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

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