Rabbits and the Risk Of Stroke
By Tom Seest
At BackyardBunnyNews, we help people who want to raise rabbits and bunnies by collating information about the hare-raising experience.
Rabbits can suffer from a stroke, but luckily, they usually recover on their own if they are treated appropriately. However, before you start to treat your rabbit, there are a few symptoms you should be aware of. If not treated properly, these symptoms can be indicative of other infections or illnesses. The most prominent symptom is a head tilt, also known as torticollis or wry neck.
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In animals, stroke is often diagnosed through a CT scan, MRI scan, or arteriography. A stroke in a pet rabbit can also be caused by another medical condition. In such a case, supportive treatment is usually started immediately. This will involve IV fluids to maintain hydration, monitoring of sugar and enzyme levels, and, if needed, the administration of oxygen. Beyond this, treatment depends on the underlying cause.
If the spinal cord is damaged severely, the rabbit is probably not going to recover its neurological function and should be euthanized. If the stroke is milder, the animal may have some bladder and bowel control and can be treated with corticosteroids to help control pain. Most rabbits will recover partial or full neurological function with time.
Although the signs of a stroke vary according to the specific location of the brain damage, the most common ones are generalized weakness, facial paralysis, weakness of one or more limbs, or complete hind limb paralysis. Symptoms may also include loss of appetite, depression, and excessive urination. If the damage is severe, the animal may experience seizures or even die suddenly.
There are many diseases and disorders that can cause hindleg weakness in domestic rabbits. X-rays and blood tests can help determine the cause of hindleg weakness. In some cases, the inability to use the back legs can be caused by spinal osteoarthritis or pododermatitis.
An ear infection in a domestic rabbit can be a serious health problem that needs immediate attention. During the initial stages, the ear may be infected and may be difficult to treat. In severe cases, a veterinarian may prescribe antibiotics and may perform an x-ray. In mild cases, simple ear cleaning and draining can solve the problem. A steroid may also be prescribed to reduce the inflammation.
An ear infection in a domestic rabbit can also be caused by an ear mite infestation. This condition may affect one or both ears, and it may spread to the surrounding area. The main symptom of this condition is a crust-like discharge that forms on the inner ear. If left untreated, the lesions may become infected and cause hearing loss.
In more severe cases, surgical ear flushing or anti-parasitic treatment is necessary. If the infection is caused by ear mites, antibiotics may be necessary to treat the parasites. Ear wax build-ups can be so hard that it can interfere with a rabbit’s hearing. Veterinarians can perform ear surgery or prescribe antibiotics to soften the wax plugs and help your rabbit hear properly.
If the ear infection is due to ear mites, it is important to take your rabbit to the veterinarian for treatment. Some antibiotics are toxic for rabbits, but the veterinarian will prescribe a safe medication that is nontoxic to the rabbit. Most commonly, ivermectin, a topical spot-on solution, is recommended. It is an effective treatment, but it should be given for at least six weeks to be effective.
Diarrhea in domestic rabbits is caused by a bacteria called Salmonella typhimurium, which can cause the illness. This organism is present in contaminated food and is highly infectious. Its symptoms include diarrhea, abdominal swelling, and hepatomegaly. It is an acute condition and results in morbidity and mortality.
Diarrhea in domestic rabbits has several causes; some causes are infectious, and others are not. Regardless of the cause, it is important to recognize the symptoms in your pet. The stools will be soft, and fecal matter may contain blood. Your rabbit may also exhibit reduced appetite and weight loss.
A properly balanced diet is essential for your pet’s health. In addition to fresh, clean vegetables and fruits, your rabbit should also receive plenty of fresh hay. It is especially important to provide plenty of water to help keep it hydrated. Diarrhea in domestic rabbits can be caused by a poor diet, an unhealthy environment, or even another animal’s sickness.
Diarrhea in domestic rabbits can be dangerous and even life-threatening if left untreated. Diarrhea is a sign of many gastrointestinal disorders and is an early symptom of an underlying disease. Diets with high fiber content and lots of hay will protect your pet from diarrhea.
GI stasis in domestic rabbits is a painful condition in which the rabbit’s intestines become inflamed. It usually occurs because the rabbit has eaten too much carbohydrates or too little fiber. As a result, the GI tract begins to change pH, favoring the growth of gas-producing bacteria. This bacterial infection produces painful gas and may lead to organ failure or even death.
Some causes of GI stasis include a lack of fiber in the diet, bacterial imbalances, insufficient exercise, and ingestion of toxins. It is often accompanied by pain and fever. Symptoms of GI stasis include a hunched posture, dark droppings, and drooling. Some cases are life-threatening, requiring the intervention of a veterinarian.
In some cases, the condition is triggered by episodes of stress. Because rabbits are prey animals, any changes in their usual routines can be stressful for them. Changes in routine can include a new pet or visitor, a sudden change in diet, or loud noises. In addition, underlying medical conditions, such as liver lobe torsion or respiratory infection, can lead to GI stasis.
The first step in diagnosing GI stasis in domestic rabbits is to ask yourself questions about your rabbit’s behavior and signs. In addition to physical examination, x-rays can show signs of underlying disease. A bloated, gas-filled stomach on X-rays may be an indication of GI stasis. Blood tests may also reveal signs of liver or kidney failure or dehydration. Your veterinarian may also prescribe medications to help the digestive system move.
Seizures occur when the neurological balance is disrupted. They can occur in single seizures or clusters, sometimes called status epilepticus seizures. Pets are susceptible to seizures if they suffer from certain illnesses or have certain lesions or injuries to the brain. They can also develop seizures after accidentally ingesting drugs or poisons. Pets with seizures should be examined immediately and treated appropriately to ensure their continued health.
Seizures are often associated with loss of consciousness and full-body tremors. They can also be accompanied by vocalization. Unlike human seizures, animals do not feel pain during seizures. Seizures can be frightening for pet owners, but most rabbits recover quickly from them. While seizures are a normal part of your rabbit’s life, they can also be a symptom of a serious condition. If you think your rabbit is experiencing seizures, visit a veterinarian for a diagnosis.
If the seizures are severe enough, a veterinarian can prescribe seizure medications. The vet may also run blood tests or perform other tests to rule out some of the most common causes. Some of these tests include blood chemistry screening and E. cuniculi testing. Unfortunately, no seizure test is able to pinpoint the cause of seizures with certainty. This means you’ll likely have to experiment with several medications before a prescription is given.
The cost of treatment depends on the severity of the seizure and whether the rabbit has any other health issues. The cost for a year of treatment may range from 200 to 500 dollars, including the drugs and doctor’s fees. You should also consider the cost of additional tests. Because of the cost involved, if you have a history of seizures, you’ll need to visit the vet more frequently than usual.
Be sure to read our other related stories at BackyardBunnyNews to learn more about raising bunnies and rabbits.