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I have a 9 yr.old lop. He started to have some eating issues. He would only eat greens, and some fruit. We took him to a vet and she ended up treating him for an ear infection and pain. He seemed to get a little better after about a week. When we ran out of pain medication,we took him to the vet that's closer to where we live, who has seen him before.  We told him we thought the rabbit had a stroke based on what I found on the internet. He didn't seem to give it much thought. Both vets said there are no teeth issuses. We do not live in an area where there are vets that are rabbit experts, but he is the best we have avaliable.He's in really bad shape now. He continues to lose weight, and now he doesn't seem to want to eat anything! He has also lost use of his back legs. We aren't sure if the front legs work or not, but we haven't seen him try to use them. We aren't confortable with force feeding(my first one died while my mom was trying to feed him). Is there any kind of injection that would help? Do you think it would help to get him a "wheelchair" or "Cart"? My family is really worried so we're open to any suggestions you have. Is there anything else we can do? Please help us.

Dear Kristin,

There are so many possibilities here that you really need to travel to find a good rabbit vet, even if it means a trip of a couple hours.  Please use the list linked here to find one as close as possible:

He could very well have dental problems, and if the vets you saw were not rabbit experts, they may not even have looked at his molars.  Please see:

The hind limb paresis could be due to arthritis or other mechanical problems, but in older rabbits, a parasite that they have harbored all their lives can sometimes manifest with neurological and renal damage signs.  This is Encephalitozoon cuniculi, which can be treated with oxibendazole or fenbendazole (NOT albendazole) and/or ponazuril.  These drugs will not reverse damage already done, but they can help arrest it.  Please read:

If he will absolutely not eat, you do need to get him eating at least something, or his liver will suffer the consequences.  This must be done carefully.  Use Critical Care:

prepared as directed.  Always squirt slowly and *sideways* into the mouth.  If the bunny does not swallow, do not force feed.  But if he does, you know he's hungry and needs the help.

This problem is more complicated than any injection can address, and I hope you can find a good rabbit vet who will take your friend's problems seriously and treat as well as possible.



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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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