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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 17682
Experience:  I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
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My rabbit is losing weight, and balance is out. She doesn't

Customer Question

My rabbit is losing weight, and balance is out. She doesn't have a tilted head. Is eating and drinking , but lethargic
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Pet
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year 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.

How long has Sooti had these signs?

Has she been eating/drinking less?

Any loose stool or increased urination (possibly watery)?

What balance issues are you seeing? Hind leg weakness, circling, falling over, dragging legs?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Her balance has progressively got worse over the last week or two - first noticed that she would lose her balance when standing up for food etc. Now she loses balance when coming down the two stairs we have here. She fell over yesterday jumping of my daughters lap- my daughter was sitting on the floor - Sooti lost her balance and fell over on her side. She doesn't have increased urination, although is soiling out side of her litter tray at times - she is still pooping, but not as much - her appetite has decreased - but she is still eating.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you,

Now we do need to tread with care if Sooti is losing weight. If we can rule out excessive urination and abnormal stools, then we'd be most wary of this being related to her balance issues making eating more difficult for her. So, we'd want to hand feed her at this stage (+/- use a liquid diet like Oxbow critical care or Supreme/Recovery diet or even veggie baby food with her pellets crushed into it) to ensure we are getting adequate feed into her. That way we can slow the weight loss and increase her fecal production here. Of course, if the weight continued to drop, we'd have to be wary of other causes for this like metabolic disease, organ issues, or even cancer.

That aside, with the specific signs you have seen with her balance, I'd be concerned that she may have middle ear disease. Most commonly this will be due to bacterial infection but we can see polyps/growths in the middle ear also trigger this type of situation. As well, we can see it with brain based issues (diffuse brain infections or protozoal infestations don't always cause head tilting as they disrupt balance).

With all this in mind, we need to tread with care. We need to support her nutrition input to avoid any more weight loss or gastric stasis risk. But otherwise, we'd want to consider a check up with her vet. If middle ear infection is suspect, then antibiotics can often settle that. As well, protozoal infections can also be medially managed. And the sooner we do, the better the chance that we can settle this for Sooti and get her back to normal.

Finally, just in case you don't already have a local vet for her, I would suggest a peek at this database: http://rabbit.org/vet-listings/

All the best,

Dr. B.

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