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Our pet bunny (1 1/2 year old neutered male holland lop) is…

Our pet bunny (1...

Our pet bunny (1 1/2 year old neutered male holland lop) is sick. Took him to vet yesterday - something going on with his eyes "dancing" - vet believes maybe from an ear disturbance. Bunny had a fall 10 days earlier where we thought he hurt his leg and maybe hit his head but was fine within a few minutes of fall. Vet gave pain medication and Critical Care to supplement since bunny won't eat or drink. Then my daughter remembered she gave a teaspoon of avocado that morning. Could that have caused problem?

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. What is the bunny's name?

Briar

Veterinarian's Assistant: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Briar?

He still won't eat hay. he had a small piece of romaine this morning. refuses the syringe of critical care. drank two syringes of water today. produced a few fecal pellets today. urinated last night but haven't seen any today. Thank you very much

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Answered in 4 hours by:
3/13/2018
Anna
Anna, Pet Expert/Biologist
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 11,809
Experience: 40 yrs.: herps, pocket pets, rabbits, poultry, dogs, horses. Biology degree. Vet assistant.
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Hello and welcome. I apologize that no one responded to you sooner. Different experts come on line at various times. I just logged in and saw your question. My name is ***** ***** I'm a biologist with over 40 years of experience raising and showing rabbits. I'm sorry to hear about Briar's problem. 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.
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Thank you for waiting. Avocado is toxic to rabbits, if they eat a sufficient quantity. However, the symptoms it would cause are not what you are seeing. It causes breathing difficulty and heart problems.The dancing eyes- called nystagmus- can mean an ear infection, head injury, stroke, a brain parasite, and several other conditions. Proper treatment involves more than pain medication. I suspect the vet you saw is not really familiar with rabbits. Depending on what is wrong, a safe antibiotic and/or Panacur is usually prescribed.Briar has an even more serious situation with his refusal to eat. That is always considered a medical emergency in rabbits. When they don't eat, a condition called gastrointestinal stasis develops. The digestive system totally shuts down. It is often fatal, sometimes in just a few hours. Most rabbits will not readily take a syringe when suffering from appetite loss. Put the syringe in the side of Briar's mouth, and release just a couple drops. It's hard to spit out that tiny amount. Wait for him to swallow,mother give a couple more drops. This process will take great patience. But it's absolutely imperative to get some food into his system.You can try that feeding method, but what I most recommend is seeing a rabbit- savvy vet for a second opinion. Briar is critically ill, and without adequate help, there's a good chance you will lose him. A vet can determine all the things that are going on, and take steps to remedy them. An appetite stimulant or gut motility drug may be given, along with a prescription for the original problem.I'll be right back with a directory of rabbit vets for you.
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This site has a state-by- state directory of rabbit vets:https://rabbit.org/vet-listings/If you have more concerns, just let me know. I'm glad to help in any way I can. I hope Briar will be able to reach a full recovery.Anna
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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Ok I’ll search now for the closest rabbit vet. Briar has eaten several pieces of Romaine & two sprigs of parsley & a few small pieces of banana. We are now mixing critical care with organic baby food but he still doesn’t like it. He refuses hay & regular pellet food
Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Our current vet is included on the directory you provided
That's good that he has eaten a little bit. Sometimes that's enough to save a rabbit's life, but it's still important to get some 'real' food into the system.The vets in that directory are there because rabbit owners recommended them. I am still disappointed that the vet didn't seem to do a very thorough job with Briar. The diagnosis was right, but more needs to be done. I would get a second opinion. If you prefer not to see another vet, let your current vet know that Briar is not eating. Perhaps they will take steps to help.
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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
I called the vets office and spoke with two different vets today. I told them how he was and what he ate and didn’t eat. I believe they both knew this was a serious situation but they didn’t tell me to bring him back in today. I will make an appointment first thing tomorrow. Do you have any specific recommendations on what I should ask for? When we took him on Monday they said we could go to another vet near us and have a CT scan to more accurately diagnose if it is an ear infection,but unfortunately I cannot afford that (minimum of $1000). I asked about doing an ear swab to see if it’s yeast & they said we could do that & blood work. He did examine Briar’s ears Monday & saw no sign of infection but said it could be in the middle ear which he couldn’t see with the otoscope. He said we could do antibiotics or treat for ecuniculi but since everything was a guess he advised starting with the metacam first
With vestibular symptoms like these, most vets prescribe Baytril in the event of ear infection and Panacur for E funiculi. It is very difficult to test for these two things, and most cases are caused by one or the other.Tell the vet you can’t get Briar to eat the Critical Care. I would ask if a gut motility drug would help, or an appetite stimulant. It’s quite likely that Briar is dizzy and nauseated, and that makes him not want to eat. Perhaps there is a safe drug to help with those symptoms, too. These are all possibilities to discuss with the vet. The final decision rests with you and your vet.
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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Ok thank you very much. I’m extremely worried. I’m calling the vet to make 1st appointment possible
You’re very welcome. Keep feeding him the greens he will eat, but go easy on the banana. It’s too high in sugar. I found an article you can read before seeing the vet. It discusses the medications that can be used. If you read it, you’ll be well- informed to discuss options.http://sawneeanimalclinic.com/downloads/head_tilt_in_rabbits.pdf
Anna
Anna, Pet Expert/Biologist
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 11,809
Experience: 40 yrs.: herps, pocket pets, rabbits, poultry, dogs, horses. Biology degree. Vet assistant.
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Anna and 87 other Pet Specialists are ready to help you
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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Anna, I wanted to give you a quick update. He looked better yesterday morning and has completely stopped the nystagmus but we took him to the vet because he still wasn't eating or drinking on his own. She heard slight digestion noises in his belly and added a gut motility modifier (Metoclopramide) and antibiotic (Orbax) to the Metacam. Last night he was much more agreeable to the assist feeding, and consumed several tablespoons of Critical Care mixed with water. He produced several small fecal pellets during the evening and overnight. This morning he was resistant to the feeding again, but we will just keep trying. He will eat lettuce and parsley sometimes, but still won't eat his hay and won't drink on his own. Thank you for your information and advice Tuesday night
I’m so happy to hear that Briar is doing better. The new medications should make a difference. If anything else comes up, just let me know. Thank you for the update.Anna
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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Briar continues to improve and is acting very much like his normal self again. He started eating hay and pellets last night. We are so thrilled! I saw an herb at whole foods today that I thought I would give him as a treat but I can’t find it on the list of acceptable vegetables. It is called Apple Mint. I assume it is a hybrid similar to regular mint which I read is safe. Do you know if Apple Mint is safe for bunnies?
Apple mint is supposed to be regular mint that tastes a bit like apples. It should be safe. That is good news about Basil!
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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Thanks!
You're welcome.
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Hi,
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Anna
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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
I’m sorry for the delayed response. I just saw your message. Briar is doing great! He’s completely back to normal. The vet wants us to continue the antibiotic until 3/23 but said we could stop the other medications. Thank you so much for your help
You’re welcome. I’m just glad to hear that Briar is doing so well.
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