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Terri Riba
Terri Riba, Animal Healthcare expert
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 32666
Experience:  Expert in pet health and behavior. 20 year experience with animals.
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My rabbit is eating but is losing weight, his balance is ...

Customer Question

My rabbit is eating but is losing weight, his balance is impaired and he falls over when he tries to wash himself.He is not hopping but walking like a dog .He is a two years old Orange Satin and his weight is down to 2kg. He has had xrays and a blood test which has apparently been sent to Germany and will take 2 weeks to come back! He is presently being treated with Panacur 18.75% Oral Paste at one graduation a day. I am not convinced that this is an apropriate treatment, and am sure he will not survive the 2 weeks till the test results arrive, at his present rate of deterioration. I am prepared to take him anywhere to get the best treatment. What doyou suggest?
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Pet
Expert:  Terri Riba replied 9 years ago.


Where are you located?

How long is your Rabbit like this?

What is he eating?

Is the only thing he is taking is Pancur?



Expert:  Terri Riba replied 9 years ago.

Dear friend,

I am so sorry your Rabbit is so ill.

It sounds like your rabbit has Torticollis which is a disturbance to his vestibular system and affects his equilibrium. I printed this for you:

"In some cases, an ear infection appears highly resistant to the most commonly used antibiotics. A relatively recently "rediscovered" therapy that has proven highly effective in cases of head tilt, jaw abscesses and other infections of the head is treatment with bicillin, a rabbit-safe combination of injectible Penicillin-G Procaine and Benzathine. This has been used on rabbits who were deemed terminal and untreatable, and produced miraculous cures. It is something to consider if conventional antibiotic therapies are not effective.

While the antibiotics are doing their work, your vet might also prescribe other drugs to help restore balance and control the discomfort associated with vertigo. Meclizine (commercially known as Anti-Vert) is excellent for controlling dizziness, though it will not work for every rabbit. If meclizine does not control the nystagmus, your vet might prescribe a course of short-acting corticosteroids to reduce the inflammation interfering with the vestibular apparatus. We have found that these drugs can sometimes help restore normal posture even before the infection is fully cured.

It can sometimes take weeks or even months to completely cure an inner/middle ear infection. This may sound like a long time, but if supportive care is offered, and the rabbit continues to eat and drink normally and is still interested in life, it means she's not ready to give up. The condition is disorienting, but does not seem to be painful. The illness is temporary, if hard to watch, but it's worth a course of supportive care to see your bunny happy and running around again"

Here is the rest of the article:

And some others:

This can take a while to cure and other meds may have to be employed. Right now this bunny needs to be hydrated. You can get unflavored pedialyte in the baby dept of any store - it is for human children. Give him a few drops every fiteen minutes until he perks up. It is called Lectade in the UK and some countries.

Please get started ASAP and let me know how he is doing. I will be here all day.

I hope he will be better very soon.

Very sincerely,


Terri Riba and 3 other Pet Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
We live in NorthWest Wales UK. We took him to the vet 2weeks ago because he seemed to be limping. The vet thought he had a green stick fracture on his front leg. He was already at that time losing weight, and since then has slowly become more unbalanced, the most dramatic change being in the last 4 days.We give him a complete rabbit food so that he cant just pick out the bits he likes.He also has fresh fruit or vegetables daily, there is always a dried corn on the cob in his hutch to chew on, a salt lick and a chewy stick hanging on the bars.The panacur is the only thing he is taking at present, they gave him 3days worth of ibuprofen for the green stick fracture 2 weeks ago. The xray showed no sign of any fracture, i think it was just a symptom of what ever is wrong with him. Regards Caroline
Expert:  Terri Riba replied 9 years ago.

Dear XXXXXine,

He most likely does have Torticollis so please read the info I provided above.

A rabbit that is losing weight must have unrestricte pellets and timothy hay.

Refer to this link for treats, fruits and veggies for him:

Try to find a local vet who will prescibe the meds on the above links.

Get him some lectade and give it by dropper.

Warm regards,


Customer: replied 9 years ago.
The vet ruled out any kind of ear infection as nothing showed up on the xrays
Expert:  Terri Riba replied 9 years ago.


He does not have to have an ear infection to have Torticollus.

Do not wait two weeks for the test results.

Insist that the DVM start him on the proper meds straight away. Print the info I gave you and show it to him.

Please let me know how your boy is doing. I will always be here for both of you.

Thanks for your accept.

Sending as an info request so you are not charged again.

Fond regards,