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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > DIET & CARE > is my bunny paralyzed?
Last Post by sgregory at 8/27/2009 3:23 PM (16 Replies)
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User is Offline KateR
11 posts Send Private Message
8/26/2009 3:40 PM

Hello. I'm new here so I don't know if this is the right place to post this.

My bunny is almost 4 years old. She has a problem with her front paws. She can't stand on both of them at the same time, and when she rests they are spread in a way a seal's front limbs are. She can move her paws and hop around - with a bit of trouble, but still she can. She just can't put them together, like she would while cleaning her face. And sometimes she looses ballance and can't stand up again.

She's got good apetite and cleans herself regularly. She's quite active and doesn't avoid the contact with me, lets me pet her, sometimes even falls asleep while I do that. When I sit on the floor beside her, she hops around me and touches me with her nose, showing interest. Generally, she doesn't give any signs that she's in pain or something. And she's showing interest to the other bunny I have as well. She's acting just the same way she did when she was alright, except for the problems with moving around.

I make sure that she's always clean. I make a sort of soft diapers for her - she sits on them and when she wets them, she leaves the place immediately, so she never gets soaked. I also make sure that she can eat at any time she wants and also give her water and hay.

I've been to many vets and none of them could help. I don't know what exactly is wrong with her and what more I can do for her, so if you know, please give me some advice.
 

EDIT:

Thank you very, very much for all your replies, vets lists, links and your support! It makes me feel wonderful that there are so many kind bunny owners who really care

As for your questions:

1. Yes, she can support her weight on her legs, she's actually using only one to keep her ballance. She does not slither or crouch, she almost normally hops.

2. She is 4 years old and the legs started to look like this about a year ago. First it was only her right leg that was twisted a bit - the left one was ok. Now both are spread like this, but it is the right on this time that she is able to stand on.

3. Both of her front legs are strong enough for her to stand on them, but she somehow is not able to deal with it 'mechanically' - there is no chance that both of her legs could be in the position allowing her to stand on both on them at the sime time.
 
OK, here are some photos of her I took today - I hope that it would make some things clear:

 


This is her, hopping - the leg visible here is the one she's got problems with.


My princess again - the same leg again.


This time the leg that seems to be quite ok.


Standing, well, more or less, on the troublesome leg - I'm not pinching her nor pulling her by the fur here ^^

Finally, cleaning herself. The lighter leg is quite ok, the darker - the troublesome one.

 


User is Offline jerseygirl
Australia
14879 posts Send Private Message
8/26/2009 4:25 PM

Did any of the vets you've seen do x-rays? So she cannot support her weight on her front limbs at all? How does she move around, by putting just one of the front paws down?  I don't have any suggestions at what's going on, just trying to get more of a picture of her situation.   It sounds as if you are describing splayed legs.  Did her legs always turn outwards a bit?

Whoever says "It's only a rabbit" has obviously never loved a rabbit.

User is Offline KateR
11 posts Send Private Message
8/26/2009 4:35 PM

Thanks for the answer.

No, none of the vets did x-rays, although I asked them.

She hops around using only her hind paws and one front paw. The second one is more for support, being kind of twisted towards her hind legs. She can support her way quite well, but that 'twisted' paw seems to slide away on the carpet as she tries to stand on it. Her hops look more like actual small jumps than like 'smooth' bunny moves, if you know what I mean.


User is Offline Kokaneeandkahlua
Edmonton, Alberta; Canada
Forum Leader
11463 posts Send Private Message
8/26/2009 4:38 PM
Welcome!

It's hard to tell from your description. Are you able to post pictures and/or movies? I would think that a good rabbit vet (they are hard to find!!!) should have some idea of what it is (paralyzed, head tilt, splayed legs, birth defect, joint probs etc) sooo I wonder if you want to share the general area where you live (city/state maybe) and likely a member on here could recommend a great vet.

At any rate-it sounds like she's very happy and well taken care of -Great job!
Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Kokanee & Chuck My Bridge Bunnies-you left paw prints on my heart

User is Offline KateR
11 posts Send Private Message
8/26/2009 4:39 PM
It sounds as if you are describing splayed legs.

Jerseygirl, I've googled 'splayed legs' and it looks quite similar. Do you have any advice possibly? About what may be the cause or what to do about it?

User is Offline Kokaneeandkahlua
Edmonton, Alberta; Canada
Forum Leader
11463 posts Send Private Message
8/26/2009 4:49 PM

Unfortunately splayed legs are a birth defect, and can be fatal-I;ve seen that in bunnies on here when it's all four legs. (because of pressure) but I'm hesitant to say that in your case, because the splayed legs bunnies who've belonged to members on here were fully splayed-all four were out to the side, and their abdomen was completely on the ground (which was what caused it to be fatal-they were sort of like beached whales and eventually as they grew up the pressure on organs/lungs became too much).

I would think that if your bunny is just slightly splayed in the front-and upright then things sound ALOT better for your bun. I would totally suggest joinng the 'disabled rabbits' group on yahoo groups-there are a great bunch of people who deal solely with disabled buns (all kinds of disabilities) that can really help with probs like wheelchairs, meds at home etc.

But like I said it sounds as if your bun is a lot better off then the splayed legs I've seen.

This is a bun with one rear leg splayed
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PhNYs1I7dps


And here's a GREAT article on splay legs
http://www.bio.miami.edu/hare/splayleg.html

Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Kokanee & Chuck My Bridge Bunnies-you left paw prints on my heart

User is Offline KateR
11 posts Send Private Message
8/26/2009 4:51 PM
Thanks for you reply, Kokaneeandkahlua. And for support - I'm really trying to do my best to make my bunny happy and comfortable.
I'm from Central Europe - Poland to be precise.

Here is the photo. It's the best one, showing her front paws, that I got now:
http://i343.photobucket.com/albums/o451/karmazyna/DSC_0029.jpg

Her legs are on the sides of her body. I really don't know what to do about it. She can stand on one of them, but not on both.

User is Offline Furface
Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
648 posts Send Private Message
8/26/2009 5:28 PM
Sorry, I have no advice but I do want to say that you have a very beautiful bunny.
She is gorgeous & obviously well taken care of & loved very much.
Furry Family: Furry Family tiny

User is Offline jerseygirl
Australia
14879 posts Send Private Message
8/26/2009 5:43 PM

 

 

Isn't she! I'm just posting that pic here so it's easier to see so more people can give advice.

Could she have dislocated the leg at some point.  I know with humans, a dislocated joint doesn't necessarily cause any pain.  Are both legs like that?  It's quite prominant.  I'm really surprised that no vets did any sort of x-rays!

As K&K has posted, splayed legs is congenital so it's possible she's always had some sort of splay but it has worsened I guess.  Or some sort of weaking or the ligaments for some other reason.

I'll have a look if there's any references for vets or rabbit groups in Poland....

 

 

Whoever says "It's only a rabbit" has obviously never loved a rabbit.

User is Offline Kokaneeandkahlua
Edmonton, Alberta; Canada
Forum Leader
11463 posts Send Private Message
8/26/2009 5:52 PM
WOW Adorable-And obviously happy and well taken care of! You might look into kind of a reverse wheel chair? Like for the front feet? Obviously not for all the time but when she wants to run around? Definitely looks like the front legs are splayed but that's great news that the back aren't.


And this is from the House RAbbit Society (rabbit.org) recommended vet list

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Poland

Dr Rybicki,
Klinika Malych Zwierzat,
Katowice-Brynow

Dr Marta Borecka
Seydou Zan Diarra i jego zespol,
lecznica HELP,
ul. Gdynska 11a,
Kraków
Tel. 6360206

Dr Agnieszka Skolimowska
przyjmuje w Kortowie 2, blok 106
Olsztyn

Dr Andrzej Czerwinski
ul.Wawrzyniaka 41
Poznan

Dr Marek Kulesza
ul. Norblina 7a,
Pulawy

Dr Wojtys
ul. Klemensiewicza 7
01-318 Warszawa
Tel. (22) 664-66-88

More Polish Veterinarians: http://www.kroliki.net/vet.html

Other Helpful Polish sites: Uszata Strona www.uszata.com
www.kroliki.net/ www.kapiszonek.prv.pl
Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Kokanee & Chuck My Bridge Bunnies-you left paw prints on my heart

User is Offline jerseygirl
Australia
14879 posts Send Private Message
8/26/2009 5:53 PM

Hopefully this will help. homepage.mac.com/mattocks/morfz/Vet_EU-PL.html  If any listing are not near you, perhaps contact them and get a reference from them.

Oops, posted same time as K&K so some of the info may be repeated.

Whoever says "It's only a rabbit" has obviously never loved a rabbit.

User is Offline Kafrn
754 posts Send Private Message
8/26/2009 6:20 PM
Hi, I am very sorry to hear about your bunny and its splayed legs. I know this is going to sound a little off topic, but we have an ostrich farm here, and over the last 10 years have raised thousands of chicks.
Splayed legs is common in ostrich chicks. some are born with it, but the more common problem that they have is that when they are a few months old, their knees or their hip joints can rotate, and force their legs into a similar position to your bunnys. We had multiple vet visits, and they showed us how to fix the problem... if we tied a ribbon just above the ankles, keeping the legs together in the normal position, after a few days the knees would start to turn back again and the bird could walk again! The ribbon still needed to stay there for a few days after to ensure the knees or hips didnt turn again, but in the long run it worked for the bird. I does look a little uncomfortable, but was essential because it stopped the hips / knees turning even more, which meant they would never regain use of their legs.
Rabbits front legs seem to be incredibly similar with their joint structure. perhaps you could talk to your vet about this technique because it worked wonders for us and saved many lives of our ostriches. I know it sounds a little silly comparing rabbits to ostriches, but it was a really common problem for us and this technique certainly worked for our stock.
What weighs 35 tonnes, has four fuzzy ears and is 80 million years old? Two rabbits riding a brontosaurus.

User is Offline Kafrn
754 posts Send Private Message
8/26/2009 6:23 PM
If the legs have already turned and are completely floppy, there is another technique you can use, but can your bunny support any weight on her front legs at the moment?
What weighs 35 tonnes, has four fuzzy ears and is 80 million years old? Two rabbits riding a brontosaurus.

User is Offline BB
San Francisco Area
Forum Leader
8672 posts Send Private Message
8/26/2009 11:41 PM

Did you mean 4 months or 4 years? It's hard to tell for sure by the photo. You said that this wasn't always like this. How long did it take for her legs to get completely spread out?

I know at the shelter, there were a couple of bunnies that had splayed legs And though they they were older and had splayed front legs permanently (since they were kits), they actually lived quite well with the disability. in THEIR case they were happy affectionate bunnies that just learned to move around differently. There were things that had to be watched though like where their fur would wear thin from walking this way.


The article that KokaneeAndKahlua gave you was a good one (similar to what Kafrn was talking about) and I suggest you print it out and take to your vets office to consult.

Here is a link to Q&A of a rabbit savvy biologist who was answering a question similar to yours.  The person's rabbit was about three when it started happening to theirs.  http://en.allexperts.com/q/Rabbits-...160;   (though within that link, it will take you to the artile KK had given,  there is additional information before that) 

Here's another article http://www.medirabbit.com/EN/Bone_d...ayleg.PDF. On page 3, it explains how x-rays will help reveal what the cause is for the splayed legs.

Kafrn - VERY interesting about the Ostrich Farm!


User is Offline Sage Cat
Denver
1884 posts Send Private Message
8/27/2009 5:21 AM
I don't know much about splayed legs - but others have given you some great info.
I hope you can get a chance to get her to one of the vets that K&K listed!

She looks beautiful and it sounds like you are taking really good care of her.
Bun - Buns!

User is Offline bunnytowne
florida
7341 posts Send Private Message
8/27/2009 5:26 AM

Awe how sad poor thing.

Someone here had a splay legged bunny.   She did some sort of splints for the front legs to stay together.  It helped.  I don't remember who she was.     She did post here so perhaps a search of splay legged bunnies might help.

I am hoping she sees this and may be able to give you ideas on how to get the leg splints on so the front legs can hopefully train to stay together.

 photo bunnytownesiggy.jpg

User is Offline sgregory
207 posts Send Private Message
8/27/2009 3:23 PM
sorry, don't have any real advice, but oh my gosh your bun is beautiful!
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