All About Vestibular Syndrome In Rabbits

Like all other animals, rabbits can also suffer from various diseases. Today we will talk about vestibular syndrome in rabbits, and what symptoms you should keep an eye on.
All about vestibular syndrome in rabbits

Rabbits are adorable little fur balls, and it is no surprise that they are becoming increasingly popular as pets. But they are still living beings and can, like all other animals, suffer from various diseases that are important to keep an eye on. One of these diseases is vestibular syndrome in rabbits.

This condition is so complex that it can sometimes be very difficult for veterinarians to make an accurate diagnosis. Let us tell you about this condition in a little more detail.

Brown rabbit with white stripe.

Vestibular syndrome in rabbits

Vestibular syndrome is one of the most common, and most studied, neurological conditions that rabbits can suffer from. The vestibular system is a set of structures located in the ear that are responsible for maintaining balance.

This disease also occurs in other species, such as cats and dogs. But when it comes to vestibular syndrome in rabbits, things get a little more complex.

Symptoms of vestibular syndrome in rabbits

As we mentioned earlier, vestibular syndrome affects the parts of the ear that are responsible for a sense of balance and body position. The symptoms are therefore mainly related to this. The condition can develop gradually, or more suddenly, depending on the underlying cause. Because there are several potential causes, the symptoms can vary. Here are some of the most common symptoms:

  • Torticollis : This is perhaps the most common symptom and means “oblique neck”. You can see your rabbit tilting its head either left or right, depending on which side is affected.
  • Loss of balance : You may notice that your rabbit has difficulty standing up or often falls over. In advanced stages of the disease, it may be next to impossible for your rabbit to stand up.
  • Problems walking : You will notice that your rabbit cannot walk in a straight line, and may even walk around in circles.
  • Nystagmus : This is another common symptom also called eye tremor. Straight translate from Greek it means “nod in sleep”. It includes involuntary and repeated eye movements. You could say that they occur as small jerks. This symptom usually results in impaired vision and deep vision.
Fluffy rabbit with vestibular syndrome is examined by a veterinarian.

Causes of the condition

As we have already mentioned, there are various potential causes of vestibular syndrome in rabbits. Below we have listed the most common and important:

  • Encephalitozoon cuniculi : This is a common intracellular parasite in rabbits. If left untreated, it can cause problems with the kidneys, eyes or nervous system. In addition, it causes acute encephalitis which leads to symptoms of vestibular syndrome. Treatment involves anti-inflammatory and antiparasitic drugs.
  • Pasteurella multocida : This is a bacterium that is involved in the development of respiratory diseases in rabbits. It is not usually a serious condition, but in some cases it can migrate to the ear, cause inflammation and lead to vestibular syndrome. To treat it, you need powerful antibiotics, although surgery may also be considered in some cases.
  • Brain damage : Rabbits are quite sensitive animals, especially when it comes to injuries. As a result, it is quite common for a rabbit to suffer serious injuries after a stroke or fall that originally seemed insignificant. Depending on the severity of the injury, a rabbit may develop vestibular syndrome as a result of a traumatic brain injury.
  • Neoplasms : Abnormal tissue growth is another possible cause. To find these tissues, your veterinarian will need to use imaging techniques such as x-rays, computed tomography or MRI.
A group of baby rabbits eat.

So what should you do?

As you can see, there are several possible causes of vestibular syndrome in rabbits, and they all need an early diagnosis to be sure that the rabbit can recover. Therefore, it is important that you take your rabbit to the vet for a check -up as soon as you notice that your rabbit is behaving unusually.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button