Head tilt / loss of balance / uncontrolled rolling

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Postby Squiffsmummy » Wed Mar 19, 2008 2:57 am

I just posted a long post and added photos of Miffy at the bottom and got a message saying I need to have made 8 legitimate posts or been a member for five days. I hit 'back' and my message had gone. :(

To summarise the post I just spend 20 mins typing with one finger (got one wrist bandaged up!), Miff seems to be at a similar stage to your bunny, Pupu. Her head tilt is severe - it often looks somebody is twisting her head right round - but when she is hopping round she looks almost normal. She's had 10 minutes chasing the dog round the garden this afternoon!

She had a very mild eye infection (eyes just a bit pink with a tiny bit of watery discharge) so the vet prescribed Tiacil drops 3 times a day and I swear they've made her worse. She gets stringy, cream discharge in both eyes and they look horrendously red. I'm having to clean her eyes with cool boiled water and cotton wool pads. I am going with pure instinct today and not putting her drops in - and her eyes actually seem clearer and less gungy. She's back at the vet for assessment tomorrow so I'll keep you posted.

Hope your bunny is doing well!
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Postby Squiffsmummy » Fri Mar 21, 2008 10:38 am

Hi guys,

I'm afraid Miffy is back at square one. I was on my way to the vet with her this evening when she started flipping and rolling uncontrollably in her pet carrier.

I can't post photos here yet but she's pretty bad - although the vet managed to get her to recover (she was lying on her side with her eyes rolling by the time I got there) and thinks its a severe middle ear infection rather than EC.

She has had a large dose of anti-inflammatory and is back on the Recovery feeds. She's also been given a medication (I think its called Phenergan, or Fenergan in the USA) to try and restore a bit of balance in that little head of hers! The vet explained that basically she feels like she's on waltzers which don't stop and her balance is all out! She's back at the vet on Saturday then again on Monday for more meds and assessments.

I'll post pics of Miffy soon. I'll have to make a few more posts first :)
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Postby bibibuni » Mon Apr 14, 2008 4:17 pm

my bunny...died of this...in January of this year...I cried my eyes out and I still cry whenever I think of him........the vet gave me a shot to give him every day....after we gave it to him.......the next morning, he was dead..I only wish I knew what to do sooner........the doc thought it was an eye infection.....
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Good news!

Postby PupuGirl » Tue Apr 15, 2008 8:45 pm

My rabbit got Baytril for 20 days. After 10 days she was a lot better and now she has totally recovered! :) She was so sick that I didn`t expect her to get well, but she did. I think head tilt and loss of balance made her very afraid, now she is a bit more aggressive than before and defends herself more. She got stronger too, she can jump much higher than every before. So it`s possible to recover from head tilt and inner ear infections.

I`m sorry for you bibibuni.. When rabbits get eye symptoms and loss of balance, it`s usually EC. Sometimes it can be mistaken as inner ear infection and antibiotics won`t help if it`s EC.

How is Miffy? I hope she`s getting better. I wish you all the best!
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Postby Squiffsmummy » Sun Apr 27, 2008 6:35 am


Seven weeks on and Miffy is still unwell but fighting back incredibly well. A couple of times when I took her to the vet, I was convinced the vet was going to say it was time to let her go but he didn't - he wanted to continue to treat her because despite her horrendous symptoms her quality of life could imporve to a level where she could happily live out the rest of her days.

Eventually she was diagnosed with Pasteurella rather than EC. The cream discharge in her ears, eyes and nose confirmed the vet's suspicions and now she's only on Baytril (0.5mls twice a day). Twice I consented to her having Phenergan (its not licenced for rabbits) and it seemed to help. The nystagmus (eyes flicking from side to side) has finally gone and her head tilt is only really visible when she's either asleep or else being held in a vertical position with her head on my shoulder.

I'm hoping to show you some photos soon. I have loads and now I wish I'd blogged her illness from the start because the changes in her have been remarkable. When she first got ill 7 weeks ago I had no idea how much of a tough ride she was in for but true Miffy strength has shone through and seen her (and me) through some very difficult days.

Currently we're working on 'bunny rehab'. 7 weeks of near bed-rest have weakened the muscles in her legs and she's finding it very hard to get about. She hasn't moved for about a month but a couple of days ago took a few rather reluctant steps in the fashion of any other 4-legged animal, rather than the classic bunny hop. Today though, she surprised me by hopping about two feet across the floor, but then decided that was enough work to earn her a much needed sleep.

The battle continues but thankfully it seems the worst is far behind us and I'm overjoyed that I've been given more time with her.
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Postby little_miss_lucy28 » Thu May 01, 2008 4:31 am

My rabbit Suki had head tilt. Unfortunately she had to be put down because it had progressed so quickly :( I tried her with panacur but nothing worked.
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Bunny headtilt

Postby bunnyface83 » Wed May 07, 2008 1:54 pm

In reading all this, I really wish I knew about this forum last time,
I have a few girl bunnys, but two twins in particular have head this head tilt problem, last time it was blue moo, and out of no where, she started to roll, within hours i thought she was going to die, we took her straight to the vet, who although they were great, they were pretty unsure what was going on .. ear infection, brain infection .,. it could have been anything.. they gave her a shot and she was fine with in hours, i mean her head still was tilting, but no where near as bad.. now 4 years later, you would never tell she had a problem, until a few months ago, her twin sister marble moo had the same problem, out of no where. She started to roll, and so i put her inside the house away from the other bunnys, and took her to the vet , anti biotics and shots later... not much of a change... but now her balance is slowly getting better, only thing is half way through her recovery.. she started with ear problems.. her ear filled up with blood and puss, and i was having to drain it 3 times a day...she still rolls a bit , but no more little convulsions thankfully. so we just keep her separate, and see how she goes, i suspect she will be ok... but again it will take a few years. all the other bunnys are pretty mean to her, except her twin sister blue moo, she i think understands her problem ,and helps her live with it better.
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need advice on what to do

Postby benjismummy » Mon May 12, 2008 11:14 pm

hey everyone
my bunny, benji was sat on my lap whilst i was sat on some steps when he jumped off onto the concrete. he landed on his feet, but he hit his chin.
i was worried because as soon as he did it, he put his head up in the air - like i've never seen before (nose pointing to the sky)
it really scared me
he seems ok now, he has a cut on his lip but all his teeth are ok.

do you think its worth getting him checked over at the vets?

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Postby CHAO5 » Thu Jun 26, 2008 5:41 am

Day 1 for my little Nibbles...A 2 year old male neutered dwarf.
I went to feed him, and he couldn't walk straight, kept falling over on his right side. I took him to the vet, and the vet diagnosed him with a middle ear infection and prescribed 5mls twice a day of some kind of antibiotic sulfate (trimeth sulfa) to be taken orally. I'm going to keep him in a cage so I can monitor his bathroom habits and food intake.
I also have another bunny Hoppy (a 2 year old female). Does anyone know if middle ear infections are contagious?

I'll update near-daily so people can know how it plays out.
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Postby CHAO5 » Thu Jul 03, 2008 9:22 am

Day 6 for my little guy... The vet put him on Trimeth Sulphate, 5ml's twice a day. He's looking worse, I keep him caged now with soft towels all around him so he doesn't roll into the walls. I syringe feed him water and he munches on lettuce and some carrots and timothy hay but doesn't take the pellets or other food. I feel terrible for the little guy, but am determined to keep him as happy as possible with constant care.
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Postby CHAO5 » Sun Jul 20, 2008 10:08 pm

About 21 days later here, Nibbles is nearly completely recovered... The Vet switched him over to Baytril and I kept close watch on him by syringe feeding water, and a food puree that I made out of pellets, lettuce, carrots and water. I did that as often as I could through the day and slipped the Baytril in along with it. Combined with lotsa cuddling it seems to have done the trick. His eye also got slightly infected which I fixed with Polysporin.

It was a scary experience, and I'll post again when he is completely himself again. Hes just a little wobbly, but is probablly weak from cage rest for so long... there is still another week or two worth of Baytril left still.
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Postby Bindi » Tue Jul 22, 2008 12:29 am

I'm glad Nibbles is feeling better :)
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Eyes roll back

Postby bernadette » Sat Oct 04, 2008 12:06 am

Can anyone tell me if when the eyes roll back it is very noticeable or if just seeing a small part of the eye would also be considered dangerous. I recently noticed my rabbit is rolling her eyes ever so slightly when she blinks, just so that a tiny part of the white part of the eye is showing. I am quite worried but don't know if this is maybe normal. Thanks for your help.
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Postby Bindi » Sat Oct 04, 2008 12:52 am

If it isn't accompanied by anything else, such as the flicking of the head, rolling, loss of balance, then it's probably OK. Sometimes you do see the whites of a rabbit's eyes. If you are still concerned the next time you go to the vets (if you vaccinate perhaps) then you can always mention it then. Keep an eye on her and see if it affects her in any other way.
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Postby Z_Dymond » Sat Nov 08, 2008 4:15 pm

Our sweet new bunny, Sparkle, developed a head tilt about two weeks ago. We had only had her and her brother, Spike, for a week when it happened. We got them from a friend who had been touring with them in a magic show. If we hadn't taken them, they would have gone to a shelter. I'm so grateful they ended up with us, because I'm sure a shelter wouldn't have given her the love, care and attention that we are!

When I saw her losing her balance, I was so upset! I didn't know anything about head tilt. We had rabbits before, but they never had any problems. To top everything off, on the way back from the emergency vet, we got in a car accident (not our fault!). Our Jeep was totaled, but I was only worried about our poor bunnies! Of course we had to take them to a vet again to make sure they weren't injured in the wreck.

We found a vet we like and have been giving her Baytril, Metacam, and Metaclopramide, and also eye drops. She is now eating and drinking on her own, seems stronger, and is able to hop around a bit without rolling or flipping, so we are very hopeful.

We have been keeping her in her own little dog box with plenty of padding so she doesn't hurt herself, and we put the door to the dog box right against Spike's "cage" (a carpet with a metal fence) so they can see each other. I hated to separate them, but he kept licking at her eyes, and I was afraid she would hurt herself when she was rolling. Now that she is better, when we take her out to give her her meds, we put Spike on the couch with her so they can be together. I think maybe we will be able to put her back in the pen with Spike soon. We are taking her for a follow up visit tomorrow, so we will ask our vet.

This has been a scary experience, but we are in it for the long haul and will do whatever it takes to make sure our bunnies are healthy and happy. It's nice to hear about other bunnies that have made it through this!
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