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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > HOUSE RABBIT Q & A > E. Cuniculi WITHOUT Head Tilt?
Last Post by MeggoWaffle at 3/28/2013 11:52 AM (28 Replies)
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User is Offline MeggoWaffle
80 posts Send Private Message
11/07/2012 8:50 PM

Hi everyone,

I came home last night to one of my rabbits (5lbs, 6-7 years old) showing poor control over her hind legs. I have linked a video of her below because it is hard to describe:

http://youtu.be/jl-hatli3JI
http://youtu.be/jl-hatli3JI" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border-width: 0px; font-size: 11px; background-color: transparent; color: rgb(28, 98, 185); text-decoration: underline;" target="_blank">

(She and her sister in the background usually have the whole living room, but I separated them last night so I could watch her without her sister chasing her.)

She seemed in high spirits, showed no sign of pain, was eating well, etc. I talked to a vet tech and she said I didn't need to take her to the emergency vet and to wait until morning.

 I took her in this morning, and they checked over her, took an Xray, etc. They said there was nothing abnormal on the Xray, but they are sending it to a radiologist to double check. I'll hear back on that tomorrow. Right now she is in an even smaller area to restrict movement just in case.

The constant rolling motion to me looks like how people describe rabbits with E Cuniculi head tilt, but she doesn't have head tilt or the rapidly moving eyes or anything. Is it possible that poor control over hind legs could precede the actual head tilt?

She'll probably have a blood test tomorrow as long as the radiologist doesn't find anything suspect in the Xray. But since she was a stray, and stayed for several years in an animal shelter before I adopted her, she has probably been exposed to E.C. Don't a lot of bunnies test positive for E.C. even without symptoms? So if she tests positive, how do we know whether that's really the problem?

 I'd appreciate any insight!

 

In the meantime she is continuing on as her usual chipper self, so at least I know she's less worried than I am...

Megan


User is Offline jerseygirl
Australia
14399 posts Send Private Message
11/07/2012 11:50 PM

Aw poor Darling. But you're right. She doesn't seem overly bothered. It seems to be affecting just one side?  Perhaps that is why she's rolling a little.

The xray should help rule out injury or arthritis. Very possibly you could be looking at E.C.  Hind paralysis from neurological damage. And you're right, many rabbits carry this parasite. Sometimes live their entire life without symptoms presenting.
The blood test for it is not overly clear and sometime they just go ahead and treat for supposed active infection.
Because she doesn't have head tilt doesn't mean she doesn't have EC. Having said that, hind end weakness doesnt mean E.C. either but it can be a stand alone symptom of it.

This article may be useful to you to read before your follow up appts. http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Co...90&S=5
To quote from it regarding E.C:

A presumptive diagnosis can be made based on ruling out other disease and looking for additional signs coming from the brain or spinal cord. Having said all this, if a rabbit shows signs compatible with brain or spinal cord disease, has a positive test for E. cuniculi, and other diseases have been ruled out, some veterinarians will choose to treat for E. cuniculi empirically.

I hope your able to find out whats going on and be able to treat it.
Healing (((vibes))) for your bun. She looks like a strong girl.


User is Online Sarita
(Dallas)
Forum Leader
16734 posts Send Private Message
11/08/2012 2:36 AM
Good article Jersey and yes, it can be so many things including EC. Head tilt is not the only symptom of EC.

Definitely wait and see what the radiologist says - many times they will see things that the vet will not.

She is a sweet little thing. Please keep us posted on what the vet says and sending healing vibes her way.

User is Offline tanlover14
3156 posts Send Private Message
11/08/2012 4:02 AM
Don't have much input but just wanted to send some healing vibes for your little girl!
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User is Offline LittlePuffyTail
New Brunswick, Canada
Forum Leader
11076 posts Send Private Message
11/08/2012 9:27 AM
Also sending (((((Healing Vibes))))).

My bunny Bindi has EC and about a month ago all of a sudden started the eye twitching, head tilt and wobbliness. We treated him for a month and he's 100% better now. My vet echoed what you said about the blood tests not being very accurate so we didn't test. Hopefully, if it is EC, you caught it early. Has she been under any stress lately? My vet suspects stress (he had a really bad stasis a week before and had to go to the vet twice in one weekend) was what triggered the symptoms in Bindi's case.
Proud to be a Bunny Hugger and a voice for the voiceless
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User is Offline MeggoWaffle
80 posts Send Private Message
11/08/2012 10:29 AM
Thanks for the thoughts, everyone. The radiologist didn't find anything except a slightly enlarged heart, which is probably unrelated to what's going on in the video.

As of this morning Nona is acting completely normal! I have had her on crate rest since this started, so maybe she just sprained something and was handling it in a strange way, and limiting movement helped it heal. Or, maybe it is E.C. and the symptoms have retreated. I'll be keeping her confined for at least a few more days to keep her resting.

Either way, the vet was pleased about her improvement and has recommended putting off blood tests so as not to cause any undue stress. I'll be keeping her updated, and will go back immediately if the symptoms return.

User is Offline MeggoWaffle
80 posts Send Private Message
11/08/2012 11:42 AM
Also for future reference, it was very helpful for the vet to have videos of Nona's problem to refer to. It would have been impossible to replicate the problem with her sitting terrified on the exam table, and even if we could, it would have been fleeting. So if your bun is limping or doing something strange, try and capture it! Most phones, digital cameras, and even laptops have video cameras on them these days.

User is Offline jerseygirl
Australia
14399 posts Send Private Message
11/08/2012 5:32 PM
Wow! That's great! You must be so relieved.

Did your vet suggest if there's anything to do regarding her heart?

I hope you continue to see Nona healthy.

User is Offline BB
San Francisco Area
Forum Leader
8644 posts Send Private Message
11/08/2012 7:13 PM

well..WHEW!!! Having a E.C. positive bunny myself with hind leg weakness (no head tilt), I can understand how scary that must have been. Amazing that she has made a full recovery so quickly. Did the vet mention any possibilities besides e.c ?


Also, I ditto your great advice about documenting. I did this to show how my bunny with hind end weakness walked as it was hard to show the vet how she really walked in a small exam room. (as Bailey was still pretty mobile). I was able to also document her improvement. Another time, I noticed my bunny, Jack's, breathing was beginning to change and took video of it. It was the only way that the vet could see how he breathed when he was relaxed because at the vet, his breath was fast which looked normal for being stressed. It was from that video that she knew something was up and we took xrays etc -- discovered cancerous lumps in his lungs. Knowing allowed me to be aware and make life (and death) more comfortable for him.

User is Offline james waller
19 posts Send Private Message
11/08/2012 7:42 PM
Posted By MeggoWaffle on 11/07/2012 11:50 PM

Hi everyone,

I came home last night to one of my rabbits (5lbs, 6-7 years old) showing poor control over her hind legs. I have linked a video of her below because it is hard to describe:

http://youtu.be/jl-hatli3JI" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://youtu.be/jl-hatli3JI
http://youtu.be/jl-hatli3JI" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://youtu.be/jl-hatli3JI" target="_blank">

 

(She and her sister in the background usually have the whole living room, but I separated them last night so I could watch her without her sister chasing her.)

She seemed in high spirits, showed no sign of pain, was eating well, etc. I talked to a vet tech and she said I didn't need to take her to the emergency vet and to wait until morning.

 I took her in this morning, and they checked over her, took an Xray, etc. They said there was nothing abnormal on the Xray, but they are sending it to a radiologist to double check. I'll hear back on that tomorrow. Right now she is in an even smaller area to restrict movement just in case.

The constant rolling motion to me looks like how people describe rabbits with E Cuniculi head tilt, but she doesn't have head tilt or the rapidly moving eyes or anything. Is it possible that poor control over hind legs could precede the actual head tilt?

She'll probably have a blood test tomorrow as long as the radiologist doesn't find anything suspect in the Xray. But since she was a stray, and stayed for several years in an animal shelter before I adopted her, she has probably been exposed to E.C. Don't a lot of bunnies test positive for E.C. even without symptoms? So if she tests positive, how do we know whether that's really the problem?

 I'd appreciate any insight!

 

In the meantime she is continuing on as her usual chipper self, so at least I know she's less worried than I am...

 

Megan


--hi,megan,--my thinking cap is missing but bear with me,--this is a neurological problem-your ec idea is in the ball park--this may be reverseable-but time is the enemy,--have blood test done and start on serious antibiotcs,-ie.chlorampenicol/azithromycin...-/bactrim/flagyl,,--here is a link for info  http://www.medirabbit.com  check under neurological-spay legs,--make her comfortable and you may have to treat her as a handicap bun,,bedding,feeding,,we had a one for a year and a half,constantly caring for her needs--rabbits are stress,prey animals,-yes-they have built-in bacterias that flare up when stressed--which complicate matters,,--i love these little guys they deserve the best.--sincerely james waller--

User is Offline MimzMum
Interior Alaska
7828 posts Send Private Message
11/08/2012 7:52 PM
E.cuniculi can affect several internal organs: brain, kidneys, liver and I believe also the heart. One of our older members just dealt with this: (Sadly these results were found during necropsy.)

http://www.binkybunny.com/FORUM/tab...fault.aspx

When Mimzy got head tilt in June he was only listing to one side. He'd had hind leg weakness and incontinence for years beforehand but this was diagnosed as spondylosis. In one afternoon he went from upright to circling to rolling uncontrollably. My vet gave him baytril (although it doesn't always work) fenbendazole, and reglan to keep his gut moving. Feeding and watering became very difficult. He was intensely ill for more than three months. He still has residual tilt (90 degrees left) but is as 'cured' as he will get.
The parasite affects the above organs during it's active phase. It may be dormant now but could be why your bunny's heart is enlarged.
I cannot view the video from my phone. What kind of bun is she? Rex and minirex bunnies are prone to heart problems.

Vibes that your girl remains healthy. If she relapses it may be a good idea to preventively treat both rabbits for E.C. but not all vets do this.
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User is Offline tanlover14
3156 posts Send Private Message
11/09/2012 6:59 AM
Continued healing vibes for your girl!

And thanks for the advice on taking a home video, I honestly never thought of that. When my little boy hurt his leg getting it caught -- they couldn't see how he was limping because he was so stressed out but when we were home it was VERY obvious. Turned out he just needed some time to heal and was probably a bruise but it would've been really helpful. Thanks for throwing out the advice in such a stressful time for you.
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User is Offline MeggoWaffle
80 posts Send Private Message
11/09/2012 11:01 AM
Hi everyone,

Thanks for the well wishes for Nona. She is still doing great but I'm keeping her on crate rest at least until I talk to the vet again on Monday.

The vet has not suggested anything about the enlarged heart. She was actually very reassuring about it and said it was only slightly enlarged but wasn't (I forget the word she used) distorted or anything, and the lungs looked fine. Nona isn't a Rex so she isn't prone to heart problems as someone suggested, but nonetheless at every checkup I will ask them to listen extra closely to her heart.

Just to be clear, when the vet called me about the Xray and I told her Nona was doing better, the vet didn't say it was EC symptoms retreating - that was just something I was thinking it might be (because it looked kind of neurological to me rather than an injury). We hadn't talked about EC too much because Nona didn't have a head tilt and we wanted to do Xray first to rule that out. Do people still think it might have been EC? Do EC symptoms go away like that without treatment? And if so, should I do preventative treatment or wait for the symptoms to return?

User is Offline BB
San Francisco Area
Forum Leader
8644 posts Send Private Message
11/09/2012 2:58 PM

I have never seen symptoms of EC just go away within 24 hours, especially with no treatment. It doesn't mean it could never happen. Just hasn't been part of what I have experienced or have knowledge of.    E.C symptoms can appear or get worse with stress, age, other illness that compromises the immune system, but again, I haven't seen them just all of a sudden go away so quickly either, so really....for me this is quite a mystery.


Symptoms disappearing so quickly did happened with my bunny that didn't have E.C. but had some inner ear issue, she was rolling one day, and then fine the next. That though is also not typical of ear infection either.

Definitely keep us updated!

User is Offline MeggoWaffle
80 posts Send Private Message
11/15/2012 1:54 PM
Hi everyone,

The vet recommended keeping Nona on crate rest for a total of 7-10 days. Well, as of tomorrow evening she'll have had her ten days and she is still moving around in her contained space just fine.

In the meantime, assuming it WAS just a temporary injury, I'll be taking away a shelf that they like to climb on to prevent falling, and sawing off the bottom of the entrance to their crate (crate is always open, but houses litterbox and hidey spot) to prevent tripping.

Fingers crossed that it was just a random sprain and not something neurological that might return!

User is Offline tanlover14
3156 posts Send Private Message
11/16/2012 7:02 PM
Continued vibes for her! <3 I'll keep my fingers crossed that's all it was also! <3 Good luck with her improvements and keep us updated on any odd changes OR GOOD!
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User is Offline LittlePuffyTail
New Brunswick, Canada
Forum Leader
11076 posts Send Private Message
11/17/2012 1:30 AM
((((((Nona)))))))
Proud to be a Bunny Hugger and a voice for the voiceless
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User is Offline MeggoWaffle
80 posts Send Private Message
3/14/2013 2:56 PM
Hi everyone, just an update on Nona. After her miraculous recovery a few months ago, she would still have days or a couple hours or even just a moment where I could see this issue coming back. But she would always go back to normal!

After reading about all of the elderbun issues more, I really just think it's arthritis or some sort of disc thing going on - it comes and goes, and spondylosis would show on the X-ray, and E.C. gets progressively worse without treatment, not disappearing and reappearing at will, right? Other issues like pooping outside the litterbox (including pooping while sleeping), leaving cecals behind, etc. seem to point to arthritis.

Anyway my idea was to try her on Metacam to see if that improved things, which would point to arthritis or something similar. So we got her a blood panel this week, and everything was relatively normal. Blood sugar on the low side of normal but nothing to worry about, the vet said. So we'll try her on Metacam and see how it goes. Vet said .3 mL, once per day - is that normal? She weighs 4lb 11oz.

Also got a bunny massage DVD and maybe that will help =)

User is Offline james waller
19 posts Send Private Message
3/14/2013 3:39 PM
well,-sounds like you have been very busy.!--right on top of this medical condition,,i love it when a plan comes together.!--metacam is a nsaid-and 3ml per day could be all she needs,--you have to watch her behavior/movement-and speak with the exotic dvm,--meds once a day is called pulse therapy--her condition,,if painful will dictate her eating habits or/and trigger bad bacteria,--watch the poops--here is a link http://www.bio.miami.edu/hare/poop.html --and you will be a poopologist in no time..--keep her on a good grass diet with water,some pellets--trusting the teeth are in great shape...great news--i great mom,--sincerely james waller

User is Offline MeggoWaffle
80 posts Send Private Message
3/27/2013 11:57 AM
Hi everyone,

Nona's hind leg weakness that used to come and go is now coming more often than going. She has been on Metacam for 12 days now and she is not really showing signs of improvement. So I have a question for parents of bunnies with arthritic/hind weakness issues: is the metacam just supposed to reduce arthritic pain, or actually improve the hind weakness?

If it's supposed to improve her mobility, and it's not doing so, should I be more patient? Or could the lack of improvement indicate that it's not actually arthritis?

Even though her blood panel was clean, should I reconsider the possibility of EC? We never did titer test because it wouldn't tell us much anyway, since she will probably test positive whether or not that's the cause. Should I ask to treat EC without titer confirmation and see if she gets better?
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