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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 20618
Experience:  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 13 year old rabbit who has just started dragging his

Customer Question

I have a 13 year old rabbit who has just started dragging his hind legs. He has not suffered any trauma. I'm wondering if it is old age and if he is in pain and if I should consider euthanizing him.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Pet
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.
Hello and welcome. I am Dr. B and want to help you with your lad today. Now I have to say that I am very sorry to hear that Reese is dragging his legs. To see this at his age, does raise a few concerns. First, we can see this type of weakness when arthritis becomes too sore for them. In these case, our rabbits often suffer in silence (since being a prey species means that telling the world you are not ok means making yourself a target for predation) until its easier to drag their legs then move their sore joints. Otherwise, even without trauma, we do also need to be concerned about his spine. This is because we can see older rabbits develop tumors, abscesses, or throw blood clots into the spinal canal. When this happens, the spine becomes compressed and cannot relay message to the brain on how to move the back legs anymore. In a similar way, we can also see this with disc disease, nerve deterioration, and when rabbits throw clots that cause blockages in the great vessels that support their back end (though this last one usually makes those back feet feel cold compared to the front). With all this in mind, we are in a serious situation with Reese. Therefore, you are right to have him seen. If by chance his vet's exam reveals severe arthritis, then pain relief (ie Metacam) could be an option to give him more time. But if any of those more worrisome issues are present, then we would need to consider euthanasia to prevent him from suffering with this. Please take care,Dr. B.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.
Hi Rebecca,
I'm just following up on our conversation about Reese. How is everything going?
Dr. B.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you very much for your time and concern. Reese hasn't changed. I will bring him to my vet this week.Thanks again,
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
You are very welcome, Rebecca.
In that case, I do think that is the best course of action for Reese.
Take care,
Dr. B.