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Ask Anna Your Own Question
Anna, Pet Expert/Biologist
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 11429
Experience:  40 yrs.: herps, pocket pets, rabbits, poultry, dogs, horses. Biology degree. Vet assistant.
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I rescued an little rabbits, It has some kind of head

Customer Question

I rescued an little rabbits
JA: I'll do all I can to help. What is the matter with the rabbit?
Customer: It has some kind of head trauma, I have nursing her along for 4 months and now so broke her hind leg I put a splint on it and it has been about 4 weeks but doesn't seem to be healing' I am thinks about amputation. But not sure and not sure what it will cost. My vet has been helping but thinks I should just put her to sleep. She is a real fighter and I would like to try ???! Am I doing the right thing ?
JA: Could be a lot of things that cause lethargy. The Veterinarian will know how to help the rabbit. What is the rabbit's name?
Customer: She is not lethargy???? Allie is her name
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Allie?
Customer: She good eats poops per and also has a head tilt that is getting better
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Pet
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I am still waiting??
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Still waiting!!
Expert:  Anna replied 6 months ago.


I apologize that no one has responded to your question sooner. Different experts come online at various times. I just logged on and saw your question. My name is ***** ***** I’m a biologist with over 40 years of experience raising and showing rabbits. It was very kind of you to rescue Allie. I realize it has been a long time since you posted your question. Do you still want help? If so, I can give you some thoughts on your situation. It is one I have delat with myself.

Thank you.


Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I still do
Expert:  Anna replied 6 months ago.
Thank you for getting back to me. I'm working on some information for you now, and will post it as soon as I have it typed up. I appreciate your patience.
Expert:  Anna replied 6 months ago.
Thank you for waiting. Unfortunately, a broken leg in a rabbit is a different situation than in a dog or a human. It is also fairly common because a rabbit can easily break a leg while just playing or if frightened. There is no easy answer as to the best thing to do. I can share my own experiences and what I have learned with you, and then you can make up your own mind.The first time I had a rabbit break a back leg, my vet set the bone and splinted it. The bone was broken in the lower part of the leg. It healed nicely, and the rabbit returned to normal.Just this past fall, one of my does suffered a broken leg. The break was higher, near the pelvis. My vet said such a break is less likely to heal, but he was willing to try. He did surgery and placed a pin. The surgery was around $600. Vet fees vary a great deal around the country, being higher on the coasts and in bigger cities, so that may or may not be near what you would pay for something like that. After the surgery, the vet did splint the leg in hopes of helping it heal. But it didn't. After months of repeated visits, re-splinting, and antibiotics, my vet told me it wasn't going to heal. The options were amputation or putting her to sleep. When part of a back leg is amputated, most rabbits adjust well and go on to live fairly normal lives. But when the amputation is done higher up, removing almost the entire leg, it is more difficult for them. Rabbits have such muscular back legs, and those legs are important in propelling them around. When an entire leg is amputated, some rabbits learn to balance themselves on one leg and develop more strength in the remaining leg. Others don't adjust and end up dragging the weak side. When that happens, they can position themselves properly to eliminate wastes. Their back ends then have to be cleaned every day. They can end up with abrasions and skin infections that have to be treated repeatedly. If the owner is diligent with all of this, the rabbit can have a contented life. But sometimes, the problems are so bad that the rabbit has to be euthanized anyway. My vet said there was a less than 50% chance that my rabbit would do well. Rather than put her through the surgery and long recuperation period, I chose to put her to sleep. The amputation in the area where I live would have been about $300.I can't say whether amputation would be right or wrong for Allie. The fact that she is a fighter is in her favor. So is the fact that you have been working with your vet to help her all along. If her head trauma has healed well would be another factor to consider. Where the bone is broken is another. And, of course, whether you can afford the surgery is yet another.It is not wrong to want to help an animal as much as possible. I admire anyone who will do that. If I were you, I would get a second opinion from another vet. Make sure it is one who treats a number of rabbits. If you do the surgery, you'll want a vet who is experienced with rabbit surgery. Rabbits are delicate surgical candidates.You have been very dedicated to helping Allie heal. You sound like the kind of person who would help her adjust and take good care of her after an amputation. However, your vet may good reasons for recommending euthanasia, so another conversation to find out the reasons wouldn't be a bad idea. If a second vet says the same thing, then it would probably be best to go with their recommendation. But no matter what, it is your decision. If you wouldn't feel right about not trying the amputation, then do it. You have to follow your own heart and conscience.If you have more questions, or want to talk about it some more, just let me know. I hope that whatever you decide to do, it will work out well.Anna

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