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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 15706
Experience:  Hello, I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
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I have a bunny holding up his rear leg. JA: Thanks. Can

Customer Question

I have a bunny holding up his rear leg.
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: Two nights ago we had a large branch fall in the backyard... The noise scared my bunny and caused him to hop crazily around his hutch. Went out and settled him down. No worries. Last evening I noticed he is holding up his rear leg. Not at an odd angle, just close to his body. Still eating and drinking.
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Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 6 months ago.
Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today. I do apologize that your question was not answered before. Different experts come online at various times; I just came online, read about your wee one’s situation, and wanted to help.Again I do apologize that my colleagues could not aid you sooner, but can you tell me: Any swellings, wounds or instability in the bone when you examine and feel this leg?Can he put it down at all (even for a moment)?Did he start holding it up a=s soon as you calmed him? Or was it delayed in onset?Does he seem sore with it?
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Slight swelling in his foot. He doesn't like me touching it. He can place his foot down for a moment when just standing or sitting... His foot seems to be a little floppy. Not a great word. Not sure about immediate or not... Did not notice.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
No awkward angles or visible blood or abrasions
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 6 months ago.
Thank you,First, I am very glad that he can put the leg down when just standing, as this makes hip dislocation (an urgent issue) less likely. As well, based on his behavior, we can also be less worried about nerve or spinal damage. That said, the swelling is a concern. It will be sore if he doesn't like it touched (which his reaction is significant since prey species are notoriously brave faced about injuries) and raises concerns of a possible hairline fracture, soft tissue inflammation, hematoma (blood), or possible muscle/tendon damage. An abscess could be possible but given the time frame and situation thankfully would be less likely. Though I would note that all could cause him not to weight bear and allow the foot to hang. In this case, we need to tread with care. If there is swelling and enough soreness that he is showing signs, we'd be best to have his local vet involved. They can palpate for a fracture (+/- xray if suspect) but most important get him onto rabbit safe pain relief (ie Metacam). Otherwise, we need to make sure we are keeping him rested (single story, small pen with deep/soft bedding and easy access to food/water) for at least the next week. If he will allow you can also warm compress the swollen area. If you don't have a warm compress on hand, you can make a microwaveable one by filling a sock 2/3rd full with rice and popping it in the microwave for a few minutes (of course, do give it a shake afterwards to distribute the heat and make sure its not too warm before use). This will help the body resorb any blood pooling here and reduce inflammation. Overall, while our sinister issues are less likely here, his signs do raise some concerns. Therefore, we'd want to start resting him and warm compressing the area. But further to that, we'd want to have a check so pain relief can be started and we can just make sure he hasn't any bone damage from this situation. If you don’t already have an vet, you can find one near you at or Please take care,Dr. B. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. **Afterwards, I would be grateful if you would rate my service by clicking on the "Rate my Expert' button at the top of the page as this is the only way I am credited for helping you. Thank you for your feedback!: )

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