Follow-Ups to Answer from Expert Dana Krempels, Ph.D.
Yvonne wrote at 2014-07-08 05:31:59
My rabbit has bilateral aseptic femoral head necrosis since birth (affecting both hips). He fractured the left femur June/2013. Amputation or surgery is not absolutely necessary though an FHO (femoral head ostectomy) is a common procedure to surgically remove the femoral head with the supposition that scar tissue will form creating a false joint. My bun had no cartilage in his left hip. Nature provided the solution-equivalent to an FHO, when the fracture sheared off the femoral head. I, too am substantially low income & can't afford the $1200+ for surgery. He convalesced at home with pain management (5 oral doses of metacam [off label]. He knew not to move. He laid around for nearly 2 wks. (leg was not bundle wrapped/immobilized). I diligently picked him up & assisted with urination (litterbox). I had pet pads laid down for "free range" time in my home. He remained on the sheet or towel. I relinquished to have his droppings wherever until it was safe to hand lift him & place him in the litter pan for toileting. Within 12-14 days he was sitting & moving the leg...by the 3rd week he was already walking & standing up, using his litter box. Rabbits are naturally equipped with extensible joints-collapsable & able to dislocate without major incident because they are burrowing/tunneling animals. This allows them for resilient recovery (post injury) I think. They seem to have rather expedient healing (IMO) as a result of their predialection to being prey animals. They must survive, thereby expedient recovery from injury/illness.
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.
If your rabbits is LETHARGIC
If your rabbit is NOT EATING
If your rabbit is PHYSICALLY INJURED (including broken bones)
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