Rabbits/Turmeric: dosage for bunnies
QUESTION: Hi Cat,
My rabbit is about 10 yrs old, or more (she's a rescue, so I'm not sure of her exact age). In August, she started showing symptoms of head twist (to her right, then it moved to her left, and back again to her right), circling, and disorientation. She was put on Panacur, and later another vet "diagnosed" her as having a brain tumor. Since Sept 20, her symptoms have been decreasing, and now she seems to be as fine as an old lady can be!
I started giving her turmeric, 1/8 tsp mixed in water. I'm wondering if you know whether that dosage is good/enough; also, I read that turmeric is better absorbed when mixed with pepper and oil. I'm not sure those are good for rabbits, though... Any ideas?
Thanks for any info you can provide!
ANSWER: Hi Pat
Sorry to hear your old girl hasn't been well.
I have not used tumeric myself. I believe it's most commonly used to help inflammation i.e. in cases of arthritis. Not necessarily head tilt. At her grand age, the joints can start to go. A good bunny vet should be able to assess her joints and see if there's any issue.
Did the vet test for the Encephalitozoon cuniculi (EC) parasite? They can test for this to confirm whether the Panacur was the right treatment. Head tilt can also be caused by ear problems, and dental problems can lead to ear problems too!
To properly diagnose a brain tumour she would need blood tests and an x-ray.
Fingers cross the symptoms stay away! If you have more questions about tumeric ask on this forum: http://forums.rabbitrehome.org.uk/
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: Thank you for your quick reply! Yes, Patch has been tested for E.C, and it came back positive. The Panacur, however, did not seem to work, because on the 28th day, she had a relapse. It lasted several days, and then the symptoms started to taper. I was so much hoping they'd stay away too, but since yesterday her head started swaying again. Today she is worse, her eyes are darting quite alarmingly, her head is like a pendulum gone mad, and she's going around in circles.
I'm so confused and worried! I've spent about $1700 with two vets, and I still don't know what she has. They don't suggest anything either. I am taking her for an x-ray on Monday (I asked for it). Hopefully, it will shed some light.
My question to you is whether you have any experience with what Patch is going through? Her head sway started on the right side, then moved to her left, then again to her right, and now it's back to her left. Her nystagmus seems to be horizontal (I read that for brain tumor it would be vertical/positional). What could be triggering these attacks? Sometimes, they last only a few minutes. She was on Doxycycline for Enterococcus bacterial infection. She just had a new urinalysis that shows no bacteria. I know that means nothing really, but the vet said it wasn't necessary to do a culture test. The ultrasound she had showed that, apparently, the bacteria had not migrated to her kidneys.
Sorry for all the questions and multiple issues! I'm not getting much help from vets, and I want to help my bunny - she still enjoys life and her food! She's not concentrating her urine properly, which the vet says may be the onset of kidney disease. I'm also worried about that...
Thank you so much for your help!
So sorry to hear the symptoms came back and I hope that x-ray can shed some light! I would ensure she gets re-tested for the EC parasite. The parasite can cause a huge array of differing problems, often no two rabbits are the same, as it is neurological. It can cause symptoms that mirror other sicknesses, including things like a stroke.
Bunnies are not cheap!! Those vets bills can sure mount up.
I do recommend signing up to the forum I posted in my last answer as there are many members in the Health forum who have experienced all the weird and definitely-not-wonderful sicknesses our furry little companions can get.