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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > HOUSE RABBIT Q & A > Head Tilt- Darting Eye (Nystygymus)
Last Post by BooBooBunny at 6/08/2012 5:08 PM (8 Replies)
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User is Offline Dee
Upton, MA
410 posts Send Private Message
6/01/2012 3:19 AM

hi Everyone,

I haven;t been on in a long time. My mom has been very ill and my son just graduated from high school- should be a happy time but so sad instead. Yesterday, day of my son's graduation, BunBun was hiding in his box. I took him out and noticed that his head was twitching back and forth, and his eyes were "scanning"- back and forth. I had heard of head tilt so I rushed him to the vet. The vet said that it could be E cuniculi, pastuerella or an inner ear infection. He prescribed Baytril and Metronidazole- and BeneBac. Today, BunBun's head is no longer twitching and his eyes are scanning less dramatically. He hops around but can;t seem to focus well and loses his balance once in a while. He haso gotten poopy butt and won;t eat pellets or greens. I saw him nibbling hay yesterday and he's pooping, but the poops are smaller than usual. The vet was out of Critical Care, so I'm giving Bun a pellet slurry- I only managed to get a tiny bit into him. He drank water yesterday but now shies away from everything. I know he's scared and I feel so bad.

  Do you think think treatment sounds right? The vet said he could take blood to see f Bun has patuerella or E.C. but that it wouldn;t neccessarily prove what's cusing the head tilt, so he's treating for the most common illnessses first. I just want to make sure that he's getting the best of care- I've heard that head tilt really needs agressive treament sometimes. Any advice is appreciated. Thanks, everyone .

Dee


User is Offline Sarita
(Dallas)
Forum Leader
17483 posts Send Private Message
6/01/2012 3:28 AM
It sounds like he's treating for an inner ear infection which is a very possible cause - the metronidazole is also an antibiotic along with the baytril.

He's right about E.C. but I would imagine that the inner ear infection is the most probable cause and that's usually what vets treat first.

It could take a good few days for the medications to work but it does sound like there is some minor improvement so you are probably on the right track.

Was your vet able to order some Critical Care for you to pick up? It's always good to have on hand.

I'm sorry about your Mom - vibes to your Mom.

Vibes to BunBun too - please keep us updated on his condition.

User is Offline Dee
Upton, MA
410 posts Send Private Message
6/01/2012 8:50 AM
Thanks, Sarita- you have helped me out so many times and I really appreciate it . It's good to know that the meds Bun is getting are appropriate- I really like this vet, but always like a second opinion too. He's not really quick to run lots of tests, which can be both good and bad.

BunBun is doing better today, I think. He's moving around more and his eyes don't seem to be scanning anymore- defintely better than last night. He's had 3 doses of Baytril & Metronizadole- I hope it's an ear infection. Thinking of it now, he has been getting a bit of goop in his eyes lately, esp the left eye. He had been laying with his head on the floor, but he does that when asking to be groomed or patted. Also, the side of his ear looks bald- maybe if it bothered him, he had been rubbing it. All this is stuff I usually would notice more, but I've been so distracted. Anyway, today I noticed Bun doing a little shake of his head, like his ears itched. He still loses his balance and fortunately won't jump up on anything- I've taken the 2nd floors off all their Binky Bunny hideouts just in case. I'm praying this will be an easy recovery.

I'm gonna call about the Critical Care today- maybe I can buy it at another vet if I have to. I would like sub Q's too, since Bun won't really drink or eat greens, but that's up to the vet- he's away until Tuesday too. I don't know the other vets there, but hopefully they're rabbit savvy.

Thanks for the healing vibes- they're much needed! My mom's condition isn't curable, but managable- she's just started treatment and is recovering from her hospital stay. She's always been my rock- I've gotta be hers now.

I'll keep you posted on how Bun is doing, but a least for now, it's looking better .

User is Offline Kokaneeandkahlua
Edmonton, Alberta; Canada
Forum Leader
11425 posts Send Private Message
6/02/2012 10:11 AM
Right there with Sarita-treatment sounds great, and inner ear is more probably.
If I've got this correct, my vet said the direction of the nystygymus can give a clue. If it's left to right or vice versa-thats ear. If it's up and down, that's neurological (re; EC) so I think that's promising!
Head tilt is extremely distressing for owners, but most rabbits on here get over the episode and are fine with good treatment.
I had along term case of it, did all kinds of research and joined groups to get more info. I found several solutions that helped when Chuck was really rolling over and extremely tilted.
When he was really bad, we kept him in a small rubber storage bin beside the bed, with rolled towels for support. When he was improving, a dog bed (That was larger) with towels on the edge for support (The rolled towels help them to stop rolling as they finally get to the corner, and then it helps them to push up against and stand still); then we moved onto a playpen that was much bigger, but off the ground -that was easier for me to change towels, and feed and do meds.
A drug we tried was meclizine, and that was just to help with nausea that he may or may not have been experiencing and it seemed to help with appetite and general feeling good. We had to pair that with a tear gel as it does dry up mucous membranes.

Hope these suggestions help-please keep us posted!!
Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Kokanee & Chuck My Bridge Bunnies-you left paw prints on my heart

User is Offline peppypoo
Texas
Forum Leader
1953 posts Send Private Message
6/02/2012 11:31 AM
Yup, head tilt/nystagmus is a common symptom of inner ear infection, though it can also be caused by other things. Which ear is down, and which side are the eyes darting to? Nystagmus will have a slow phase and a fast phase, where the eye drifts slowly to one side and then quickly darts back. Also, is he losing his balance only when he tries to move and hop around, or also when he's standing? Any hearing loss?
Tammo (RIP), Milo (RIP), Peppy, Remi

User is Offline Dee
Upton, MA
410 posts Send Private Message
6/03/2012 7:20 AM
Hi K & K and Peppypoo-
Thanks for your replies.

K & K, it sounds like you went through a lot with Chuck's head tilt- must've been scary but it's awesome that you found ways to help him- and now I know what to do if Bun takes a turn for the worse. It really is a helpless feeling to watch them so dizzy and frightened. I wanted to get some meclizine for Bun, and I also read that metacam can reduce inflammation, but the on call vet said no, just stick with the antibiotics. It's frustrating not to get the meds that could help, but I guess they're scared to add too much to such a small animal. I hope we got lucky with Bun and the Baytril is helping- of course he's on the Metronidazole too. He's doing much better- his eyes weren't darting yesterday- just the slightest twitch after we gave his meds. He gets very stressed over his meds. That's encouraging that the side-side eye dart is from ear infection- makes sense too since I'm noticing him giving vigorous ear shakes when he gets up, and there's a small rough spot on the back of his left ear. I must check it carefully today- surely the vet would've noticed ear mites though? He hid all day yesterday and was eating very little, but then last night he was hopping around al lot and eating banana, apple and some greens. I also got him Critical Care, mixed it with some pumpkin and fed him about 10 cc's with meds. He needs his Benebac later today- I guess it needs to be given a few hours apart from antibiotics.

Peppypoo- that's interesting about the slow/fast phase of nystagmus. The first day, Thursday, Bun's whole head was twitching from side-side and his eyes were darting quickly back and forth. The 2nd day, his eyes had slowed down and the side-side motion was only noticeable by watching the whites of his eyes appear/disappear. Yesterday it was only present after meds, and today his eyes look normal. For a few days, it seemed like he was blind. The vet said he didn;t get much of a response to light in the pupils, and Bun's eyes were just huge all the time- he got startled when i approached too, like he couldn't see me. But yesterday he was hopping all over the house quickly, navigating between coffee table legs/under couches and even onto his Binky Bunny Maze (I took the 2nd floor off though). So I think he must be able to see still. I'm sure he can hear, since his ears twitch when I talk to him. I've noticed him holding one ear down sometimes- I must note which ear it is.

All in all, I think he's doing much better. My mom is doing well too- gaining a bit of weight and getting stronger. She still has fluid on her lungs which must be dealt with and other issues, but things are looking up. Yesterday was her 66th birthday. The timing of life is pretty hard to believe sometimes, but there's nothing to do but keep on goin on and stay hopeful. For every good day, I'm so grateful .

User is Offline Kokaneeandkahlua
Edmonton, Alberta; Canada
Forum Leader
11425 posts Send Private Message
6/06/2012 6:49 PM
Thanks for the update!!! Happy Birthday to your mom! My mom's birthday is today -small world. I'm glad your mom is feeling better
Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Kokanee & Chuck My Bridge Bunnies-you left paw prints on my heart

User is Offline Sarita
(Dallas)
Forum Leader
17483 posts Send Private Message
6/07/2012 2:15 AM
Dee, so glad he is getting better. Glad your mom is doing better as well :~)

User is Offline BooBooBunny
30 posts Send Private Message
6/08/2012 5:08 PM
Glad to hear both your mom and your bunny are doing better and hanging in there.

I believe those were the med's at least one of my bunnies were on when they got their head tilt (they both had the darting or scanning eyes too, its such a difficult and scary thing to watch), I wish I could remember exactly but its been a few years since it happened.

I will say that with my first bunny, who made a full recovery, the doctor swabbed inside his ear and checked under a microscope - it turned out to be yeast, which wouldn't have been suspected otherwise since iits usually not the culprit behind inner ear infections (so he said). I was very glad that he took that extra step so we knew for sure what we were dealing with.

With my second bunny (also Bun Bun), that doctor prescribed the meds without checking anything under a microscope (when i asked about the possibility of yeast causing it, she quickly dismissed it saying that yeast only causes infections of the outter ear...). He got better after the first course of treatment, the head tilt started to go away, and then suddenly after a week or so it came back (minus the darting eyes). We did another month long course of meds (and man did he hate getting them, bit and kicked me every time) but the head tilt never left. He has adjusted and gets around surprisingly well, but still I always thought I should have pushed the vet to do a swab of his ear too . Obviously if I have a choice I ask for the vet who saw my first bunny, but in emergency situations you kind of have to take whoever is available.

Hope things continue to get better. Hugs and healing vibes to your Bun Bun
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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > HOUSE RABBIT Q & A > Head Tilt- Darting Eye (Nystygymus)

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