Rabbit with head tilt - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 17 Old 09-25-2007, 05:39 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My 8 year old minilop has a head tilt. Has any rabbit mama had dealt with it?

The head tilt to the right appeared suddenly over the last few days. She's an indoor bunny who roams the house at night. On Friday night, I noticed she seemed really disoriented. She wasn't able to go back to her bunny condo. She was going in circles. So I took her to the vet on Saturday. We don't have a proper diagnosis. The vet thought it was an ear infection in the right ear. She and another rabbit vet saw what seemed like pus deep in the right ear. That's the good news. I have to give my bunny oral Baytril a few times a day. It's mixed with strawberry Ensure. I also have to put Baytril drops in the right ear. We also have her on Meclizine for the dizziness.

I was told the tilt could be caused by E.Cuniculi. God, I hope it's not that. I've lost 2 rabbits to it in the past. When I lost those two bunnies, my current minilop was tested for the protozoa and she had high antibodies for it so she given Fenbendazole (a cattle worming drug?) for 30 days to take care of it. Her antibodies went away so I thought that it took care of the E.Cuniculi but apparently it can come back. :

Although she seems dizzy, she eats the same as before. Her appetite hasn't gone away. I guess that's a good sign. The vet said we could also do acupuncture if the meds don't help.

I'm looking to hear what others have experienced with head tilt. Does it take a long time to clear up? It's only Monday but I thought with this drug regimen we would see an improvement but if anything the tilt is more noticeable to me.

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#2 of 17 Old 09-25-2007, 09:51 AM
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my bunny didn't have this, but i know another's bunny did--she recently wrote about her bunny living with and ultimately no longer having it so there is hope.

i would highly recommend that you do acupuncture anyway. it's amazing how it helps. my guy (before he passed) got acupuncture and it was pretty amazing. definitely worth every penny, IMO.

hugs to you and your bunny!
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#3 of 17 Old 09-25-2007, 12:18 PM
 
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Sounds like an inner ear infection to me. The scarring from the infection might cause the tilt to remain after it is cured. I had a rat that had a tilt from an ear infection she got as a pup. She lived just fine, just kinda' veered to the right when she walked ( I named her Tipsy for her drunk-like walk! ) I think that your bunny, should the tilt be permanent, will get used to the different visual perspective. Once the swelling and pressure is down from the infection the dizziness will end.

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#4 of 17 Old 09-25-2007, 04:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks mamas!

I am going to ask for the acupuncture. I did it when we were ttc DD and it worked for me so I'm a big believer in acupuncture.

Tipsy? Cute..

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#5 of 17 Old 09-25-2007, 04:53 PM
 
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send a pm to domesticzookeeper, her bunny had a bad head tiltl for a long time. she can help you figure out what to do.

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#6 of 17 Old 09-25-2007, 05:26 PM
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here's the recent thread: Head Tilt No More!
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#7 of 17 Old 09-25-2007, 07:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Once I clear out my PM box, I'll send domesticzookeeper a PM. Thanks, boricuaqueen327.

Thanks Zoebird for giving me that link. I didn't think to search this subform.

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#8 of 17 Old 09-26-2007, 11:22 AM
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no problem! i hope your bunny is well soon!
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#9 of 17 Old 09-26-2007, 11:26 PM
 
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I thought about responding via pm, but figured this information might possibly be useful to someone else.

First off, on the pets' blog there are links in the sidebar to posts that I made during those first few months: http://www.xanga.com/domesticzookeeper (you'll have to scroll down aways - they're under the Peanut chronicles)

If it's head tilt related, you name it, and we've probably been through it And I'll likely be better suited to answer more specific questions than to give general advice

It sounds like you're doing all the right things at the moment. Several rabbit savvy people told me that in cases of severe ear infections oral antibiotics should be given for a month, not the standard two weeks. The reasoning is that inner ear infections are stubborn and stopping antibiotic treatment too soon will only create resistant bacteria and make the problem worse. Expect at least a week before you start to see improvement.

As you can read on the blog, Peanut is fast approaching the end. She's been a happy, healthy, incredibly exuberant and loving bunny for the past year DESPITE her head tilt, and her tilt has not caused the problems she's currently facing. I'm so glad I was given over a year with my tilty bunny :
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#10 of 17 Old 09-27-2007, 01:43 AM - Thread Starter
 
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The good news for my bunny is that the vet told me the blood test revealed the head tilt isn't caused by E.Cuniculi. Whew! She's still very dizzy but I'm keeping my fingers crossed. We start the acupuncture on Saturday.

Thanks for sharing your wisdom with us, Emily. I've had to say the final good bye to two bunnies and two cats over the past several years. The hardest and most loving decision we make regarding our pets is the decision to let them pass on. I'm so sorry about Peanut.

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#11 of 17 Old 09-27-2007, 09:05 AM
 
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Thanks

I forgot to mention, but another 'therapy' you can do at home and one that Peanut really seemed to respond to is TTouch: http://www.ttouch.com/whyTTouch.shtml

Peanut would love it when I would focus just on her ears and neck, which I imagine was very uncomfortable being in a twisted position all the time.

http://homepage.mac.com/mattocks/mor...fs.html#ttouch
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#12 of 17 Old 09-27-2007, 09:54 AM
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thanks for sharing all of that emily.

my october j recently died at 10. it's very hard having a geriatric rabbit (or other pet). we want so much for them to live, to be happy and healthy for a long time to come, and it's very hard to watch the process of coming to an end.

but i know that i gave my sweet october j the best care that i could, that he was well loved until the very end. he died in my arms, with my husband present, surrounded by our love. he went in his own way and time--and it was a most beautiful death.

it is very, very hard to face the mortality of another. but i know that he couldn't be immortal and that the day would eventially come. and when it did, it was so very perfect.
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#13 of 17 Old 09-27-2007, 08:16 PM
 
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I'm so sorry to hear about October

The whole thing is starting to hit me. Peanut's had an amazing life and she'll leave a big space in our family. I'm just so sad for Rex, who will be alone for the first time in over five years
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#14 of 17 Old 09-27-2007, 10:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Poor Rex.

It's so hard when one in a bonded pair passes away. When my Fluffy passed away from e.cuniculi in his kidneys my current bunny, Smokey, was really lonely for a while. I let her spend a good hour with Fluffy's body so that she would know what happened. It seemed to help. She didn't seem to be looking for him although she did seem very lonely and anorexic for a while. After about a year later, I adopted a new male bunny and she really bonded with him though at first they had squabbles about who was the dominant one in the relationship. She won.

Normal is just a setting on your dryer.
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#15 of 17 Old 09-28-2007, 06:55 PM
 
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Also check out EtherBun--it's a yahoo group devoted to domestics.
I have learned an incredible amount from that group. I hope you won't have to deal with head tilt again. Poor bun.
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#16 of 17 Old 09-28-2007, 07:02 PM
 
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Oh dear, I just read that you lost your bun to head tilt. I am so sorry. You have given those bunnies an amazing life--looks like from your photos that they had a great life. Most bunnies aren't so lucky.
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#17 of 17 Old 09-28-2007, 07:09 PM
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thanks re: october j.

honestly, i sometimes feel that only "bunny people" really "get it."

we spent an hour with october's body before turning it over for cremation. i touch the box with his ashes every day.
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