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Dr. Jo
Dr. Jo, Veterinarian
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 2818
Experience:  DVM from Iowa State University in 1994; actively engaged in private regular and emergency practice since that time.
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Anna Our sweet yet endearingly territorial dwarf has been slowly de

Customer Question

Hi Anna
Our sweet yet endearingly territorial dwarf has been slowly deteriorating over the course of a month -- we purchased a home about 10 months ago - she came with the home and runs free in the yard . She began by bumping into an object in the yard while chasing us - it appeared to be a one time accident but over the next month or so it happened a few more times and she began to lose balance a bit. We took her to the vet Monday (not a comprehensive vet- disappointing ) -- he prescribed baytril and metacam without testing for the bacteria she may have -- her pea is a dark brown -- today she seems even weaker - her hind legs give out and she tips over more than ever - but she is quite as feisty and endearing as ever -- nothing I have read discussed a slow deterioration that we have seen - might we be missing something ? How can I help her ? My 3 kids are going to be devastated if they see her in worse shape than when they left for Chicago with husband to visit family
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Pet
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The dosage of metacam is .2 and baytril is .35
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Her neck is not tilted
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 2 years ago.
I'm Dr. Jo and I'm here to help you with your question about Fuzzy. I'm so sorry she's having trouble, but glad you're looking for the information you need. I'll also apologize that...
A) You've had to wait so long for a response here on this website
B) The vet you took Fuzzy too wasn't very thorough
All of that must make this all that much more frustrating and worrisome for you.
The first things that come to mind when I read about such a young rabbit developing central nervous system signs (balance issues, weakness, difficulty using rear limbs) are
1. E. cuniculi infection
2. Spinal cord injury
I will be busy typing in more about these things and Fuzzy's situation between my appointments this morning, but wanted to send this much off to you right away.
More to follow as soon as possible...
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 2 years ago.
My other major concern is that I'm inclined to agree with you about the degree of thoroughness shown by the first vet you took Fuzzy to.
Baytril and Metacam are the go-to remedies for most rabbit problems that are easy to treat. Unfortunately, not all rabbit problems are caused by a bacterial infection that will respond to Baytril, or something painful that will heal while the rabbit is on an anti-inflammatory like Metacam.
In other words, if I was a vet who didn't know much about rabbits, every time I saw a sick one I'd be inclined to give it Baytril and Metacam and cross my fingers and hope it got better.
I'm so sorry, but in order to get an actual diagnosis (instead of just a guess), you're going to need to take Fuzzy to a vet who is experienced with and capable of treating rabbits. These are very serious symptoms that will require an aggressive approach to diagnosis and treatment.
As I mentioned above, I'm worried about E. cuniculi and a back injury. Both are common in rabbits and can cause these signs.
E. cuniculi can be difficult to identify in rabbits, and even its treatment is controversial. The current consensus is to treat it with a course of Panacur.
Spinal cord injuries oftentimes do not heal, and the resulting paralysis is usually permanent. I'm so sorry.
That being said, there are also a number of other things this could be.
I know it's heartbreaking to acknowledge that Fluffy is seriously ill and in danger, especially when you've got kids who are attached to her. I'm so sorry.
While you wait to get her to a rabbit vet the best first aid I can advise is to keep her confined in a small area with easy access to food and water. This will also help you identify any issues with her input and output; that will be useful information for your vet.
Again, I'm really sorry you're in this unfortunate situation.
I wish there was more I could do to help. Unfortunately, more than information, you need a good rabbit vet.
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 2 years ago.
I'm just checking in to ask how things are going with Fluffy. I know you're in a really difficult situation. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help.
Thank you.
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 2 years ago.
Hi Mirsada,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Fuzzy. How is everything going?

Dr. Jo