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Home Forums HOUSE RABBIT Q & A Rabbit losing eyesight

This topic contains 30sd replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  MrGimly 11 months, 3 weeks ago.

Viewing 25 posts - 1 through 25 (of 31 total)
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  • #1321148

    MrGimly
    Participant

    I was wondering if anyone had experience with older buns losing vision or going blind. When i took gimly in to the vet last week they checked his eyes and noted that they were hazy, but no cataract. hes currently recovering from a bad bout of bladder sludge and seems to be improving in his demeanor, except for that he now seems timid hopping around sometimes, and even bumps into things he didnt before. He wont come up on the couch and he even seems unsure about going into his cage for dinner( hot a high jump at all).


    #1884414

    tobyluv
    Participant

    One of my past bunnies went blind due to cataracts when he was older. He might occasionally bump into an object, but it wasn’t often at all. As long as you don’t move the furniture or put new objects in the way, a rabbit can manage very well with diminished or lost eyesight. They map out their routes so that they know where things are. That bunny never jumped on furniture, and he was free range with no cage, so I don’t know if he would have had trouble getting into/onto either one of those. If your bunny is losing his sight, hopefully he will adjust and do well. I have also known several rabbits at the Sanctuary where I volunteer, who were blind. There are more than one blind rabbit there now. They live in x-pens in the bunny health care building. They are all older, but they get along very well.


    #1884421

    MrGimly
    Participant

    thanks. I was concerned last week because something seemed off with him. basically not not his bubbly self, but he was eating, begging for treats, and going to the bathroom. Took him in to the vet and it was sever bladder sludge so we gave him Sub Q fluids that day, and yesterday, and hes going in again saturday. Hes definitely perked up, but still running into some stuff. Vet ruled out a neuro issue because no other issues, and all his vitals checked out great. might get blood work done as his last was in Jan/Feb, but it was fine. maybe im the one who needs time to adjust to it as well.


    #1884427

    MrGimly
    Participant

    I guess I’m still worried about him. He’s 8 years old now and this was kind of sudden. He’s still not acting completely like himself, but I don’t know what else to do.


    #1884450

    jerseygirl
    Moderator

    That is how it happened with my lop, Rumball. Around age 7 I think. He just suddenly seemed to lose confidence when getting down from higher places. He’d usually jump down onto a chair then down to ground. Initially I thought he had injured himself. But he was moving about fine otherwise. He just wasn’t able to gauge the depth well and wouldn’t jump. When I put a ramp in place, he took to it really well.

    You could see some swirls in centre of his eye and these gradually became more visible over time.

    When I moved, I set their area up similar. He still used ramp for quite some time, until the past 12 months. His eyes had became completely obscured. He still navigated his way around okay but mostly he just napped by that age.

    Just this week I was reading about some studies done where eye drops reduced age-related cataracts in dogs. It would be good if that was an option over surgery – especially in older pets. Lens surgery isn’t something I even considered for Rumball… he seemed to adjust well and I figured it was just part of ageing. 

    Gimly is cute!


    #1884451

    jerseygirl
    Moderator

    He wont come up on the couch and he even seems unsure about going into his cage for dinner( hot a high jump at all).

    You could put something near the couch he could use as a half’-step. If your flooring is dark, Id out a light coloured mat down as a landing spot. He might see that better. For his cage, what sort of door does it have? Could you put a small, removable ramp there for him to use? Maybe wipe a little essential oil around edge of doorway allso, so he can better orientate where it is.


    #1884467

    MrGimly
    Participant

    His cage is pretty basic and just a little door that opens from the front down to the floor. id say its only like 6 inches max, but he does have to jump over it. he still seems to do a good job with it. we are actually in the process of wanting to change him over to a x-pen in his older age. hes free roam all day, and only goes in there for dinner time/we go to bed. this all happened so suddenly, just a couple weeks ago he was hopping up on the couch and climbing me lol. i wonder if the bladder sludge is causing him some discomfort yet too, as its only been since last friday. hes going in saturday for some more fluids so i can talk to the vet some more. thinking he could have a uti or maybe a slight bladder infection.


    #1884480

    LittlePuffyTail
    Moderator

    My senior bun (sadly now passed on) suddenly got a cloudy eye and started not being so active. The vet wasn’t really sure what it was but same as you, confirmed it wasn’t a cataract. Then his other eye suddenly got the same. He was completely blind, I’m sure because he would bump into things like the table and chair legs. He still lived a good life, though, despite it, for the time he remained with us. I made sure there were no toys or clutter for him to bump into during run time.

    My vet tested the pressure in his eyes to confirm there was none. Eye pressure would require some sort of pain meds. And she referred us to an animal eye specialist but we never made it there. So I never found out what the cause was. E. Cuniculi can cause eye cloudiness and Bindi had a flare up of EC in the past so I suspect that was it.

    Did your vet do an eye pressure test?


    #1884481

    MrGimly
    Participant

    no eye pressure test was done, and she was pretty positive no EC. im wondering if the lower mobility is being caused by his bladder sludge. i asked about getting an anti biotic but she wanted to get some of it cleared up first to be positive. hes going in on saturday for more Sub Q fluids. i have noticed him straining a couple times to pee, or only little comes out. but then he will pee a good amount and seem happy. hes also had a few times where his hind legs and stomach were pretty soaked when i let him out in the morning. Piecing it together this has happened going on a month now(not every day), but i assumed it was because sometimes he pees on his lettuce lol. if there anything he can be given that wont cause any side effects? ive seen baytril mentioned in the past for UTI. Out vet didnt want to really do anything without bloodwork or a urine analysis, but he will probably have to be sedated for that. i just feel bad for the little guy if hes in discomfort


    #1884527

    jerseygirl
    Moderator

    Posted By MrGimly on 10/25/2018 11:37 AM

    no eye pressure test was done, and she was pretty positive no EC. im wondering if the lower mobility is being caused by his bladder sludge. i asked about getting an anti biotic but she wanted to get some of it cleared up first to be positive. hes going in on saturday for more Sub Q fluids. i have noticed him straining a couple times to pee, or only little comes out. but then he will pee a good amount and seem happy. hes also had a few times where his hind legs and stomach were pretty soaked when i let him out in the morning. Piecing it together this has happened going on a month now(not every day), but i assumed it was because sometimes he pees on his lettuce lol. if there anything he can be given that wont cause any side effects? ive seen baytril mentioned in the past for UTI. Out vet didnt want to really do anything without bloodwork or a urine analysis, but he will probably have to be sedated for that. i just feel bad for the little guy if hes in discomfort

    That is very possible but it wouldn’t really explain the bumping into things.   Did he have an x-ray to see the bladder sludge or can she just feel it?  Is she able to express some of the sludge? 

    She might be able to do a conscious x-ray for him if he hasn’t had one. With his straining, it could be due to the sludge alone but I’d want to check for bladder stone. Im projecting a bit because Rumball had a stone I was unaware of. He was straining to pee and we were treating him for suspected bladder infection. Rumball was on baytril also. I had read before that it is good for urinary infections in rabbits. When I took him back in because I couldn’t see it helping, the vet was surprised (and disappointed) as he said it nearly always works for this. This was before knowing that he had a stone…


    #1884541

    MrGimly
    Participant

    yeah he had an xray done. we have been having one done every 8 weeks since april because a spot was discovered on his liver inadvertently while looking at his GI Tract. He goes in every 8 weeks for teeth trimming, so the xray is no big deal. The vet does not believe its the liver spot causing problems because it is unchanged in size and location since the original. Anyways, the xray showed a large amount of bladder sludge since his last xray in august. hes been having slight issues with it since early summer. Didnt think this xray showed any stones in his bladder, none in his kidneys or urethra either. But he had so much sludge, like his bladder was basically full of it, so maybe it was difficult to see. Hes going back tomorrow for another round of fluids, so i can ask then. he still has an appetite, wants treats, eats hay, poops, pees, wants pets. hes just not as active, and the bumping into stuff issue. maybe its a combo of old age and sight catching up. plus im sure hes gotta be feeling uncomfortable with his bladder, which could explain him being more lazy.


    #1884787

    MrGimly
    Participant

    Thought id pop an update and see if anyone has advice. After gimly got his first fluids for sever bladder sludge the 19th it def perked him up a bit, but not all the way to normal self. hes had 2 other fluid visit with no noticeable advancement of feeling better, but not doing worse. the last couple days hes seemed less interested in hay, he only eats soft fragrant hay right now, and not his usual oxbow crunchy hay he loves. but is still eating his dinner and such. hes going back thursday for more fluids and some blood work, and i will hopefully be able to take a urine sample with. he just had his usual dental done on the 1st, and recovered like normal, so i dont think its his teeth. hoping the blood work and urine sample will gibe us an asnwer, even if its not what we want to hear.


    #1884857

    LittlePuffyTail
    Moderator

    Sorry to hear he’s still unwell. I don’t have any advice for you but just want to offer some (((((Healing Vibes))))).


    #1884896

    MrGimly
    Participant

    Posted By LittlePuffyTail on 10/30/2018 11:47 AM
    Sorry to hear he’s still unwell. I don’t have any advice for you but just want to offer some (((((Healing Vibes))))).

    Thanks. He actually perked up a bit more last night as looked pleased. He looked more alert this morning, and now when I got home from work. He really enjoyed his apple juice water last night(trying to get him to drink more on his own), and hay. I don’t want to get my hopes up with anything but it’s nice to see him a bit more chipper.


    #1885078

    MrGimly
    Participant

    *Update*
    Just returned from the vet again. His weight is down from 4.25lbs on 10/1 to 4.13lbs today. Diet is unchanged and he’s still eating the same, just much less hay right now. Vitals good. Urine sample seemed ok but the ph was a tad high. Took a blood sample so I’ll know those results tomorrow regarding renal function and liver. A sample is being sent off to the University of Miami for EC testing, and we should know Monday. Sadly, I’m not feeling good right now. Especially about losing weight. We are going to up his pellets and oats to see if that helps. I can’t imagine life with out him, but I fear it’s heading that way. I just want him to live happily for however much time he may have left. He’s my best friend and I love him so much. He still seems happy. Eats, wants pets. I’ll leave it all up to him until we have to say goodbye. He’s taught me so much about bunnies, and the love and bond with him is stronger than any other pet I have ever had. Bunny dad loves you Gimly.


    #1885430

    MrGimly
    Participant

    *UPDATE*
    Got his blood panel back friday and his liver and kidneys are functioning totally normal. still waiting on the EC test result to come back before we do any anti biotics. we have upped his pellets and oats to see if he will put back on the small amount of weight he lost the last month. hes still acting low energy but the appetite and need for petting is there. im wondering if its actually EC, or if its possible he has some kind of stomach parasite. hopefully some kind of anti biotic would help that.


    #1885431

    LittlePuffyTail
    Moderator

    Glad the blood results were good.

    As for the weight issue, when I had my little Bindi and he was having a hard time keeping weight on (due to age and difficulty eating due to a tongue injury) we started giving him several TBSP of Critical Care everyday. He loved his CC. We got the Apple Banana kind and just mixed with water on a plate. Great for extra fiber. A bit pricey but they are worth it, aren’t they?


    #1885503

    MrGimly
    Participant

    *UPDATE*
    Gimlys EC Test came back negative. So were are basically back to square one. Hes a healthy elder bun who has dropped a small amount of weight since 10/1, acting with less energy, and bumping into things. Vet is going to give a him a round of antibiotics to help clear up any possible infection, maybe lack of energy is due to feeling uncomfortable. He goes in for a teeth burring on 11/26 where they will xray him again to check his sludge, and if its bad, flush it. This way they will be able to tell if he has an actual bladder stone as well. i suppose now we know theres nothing “major” wrong with him. Still want to get his sludge cleared out, but maybe hes just finally slowing down and going blind. He still seems happy and alert, and always wants food.


    #1885603

    LittlePuffyTail
    Moderator

    It’s frustrating, for sure, not knowing. I’ve been there a few times. But still good all those things came back negative.


    #1885642

    MrGimly
    Participant

    Posted By LittlePuffyTail on 11/08/2018 4:37 PM

    It’s frustrating, for sure, not knowing. I’ve been there a few times. But still good all those things came back negative.

    yeah it is frustrating, but it is nice to know those came back negative. hes been getting extra pellets and oats in the mornings now to help put weight back on. i’ll be concerned if when he goes back he didnt put weight back on. id imaging if he had an infection that could cause slight weight loss and lethargic behavior. we shall see. hes been eating all his food, still seems some what disinterested in hay, but could be from being lethargic. sometimes he really eats it, other times he doesnt, and hes always been a big time hay eater. his poops still look pretty good though, and producing a lot of them. hes been a champion.


    #1885643

    MrGimly
    Participant

    Im kind of at a loss here. is there anything else i can suggest to the vet? i trust her very much. could he have developed a neuro disorder? Heart is good, kidneys are good, liver is good, lungs are good, xray only showed sludge, teeth were recently done. she didnt want to flush his bladder right away to see if fluids helped get rid of some of it, thats why she wanted to do antibiotic first and then we will recheck. the only thing i have noticed besides his lack of energy is he will press his butt down sometimes. its not the press like a bunny does with gas because its not his whole body.


    #1885644

    Sr. Melangell
    Participant

    Hello MrGimly, I see you are concerned about your Bunny’s eyesight, animals and people adapt to their surroundings when loosing their sight, I had a dog that had 1 eye, yes he bumped into things sometimes on his left side after having that eye removed, but he found his way to the garden, his food and water bowl very well, it is worrying though, if we have no sight from birth its easier to work things out, I am going Blind, its a condition called Retinitis Pigmentosa, I’m also colour Blind and have Tunnel Vision and Low Vision, I also have Cataracts that cannot be removed due to the Retinitis Pigmentosa, we had no idea until 2 years ago, before that I was a bus driver, I miss that, can’t do it now with dark glasses and a guide cane, but I have to learn to do things again, I hope your Bunny does not go blind, as I say its easier being blind from birth as we would only have to learn Braille at School and touch and smell and of course listen, but as we get older losing sight (I’m only 42, 43 next month.) It is difficult, what you learnt before is no good to you, you have to learn how to read and type and even how to drink from a cup again.
    If he does go Blind he will work things out himself, I wish you both the best of luck, he has a wonderful owner


    #1885646

    Sr. Melangell
    Participant

    Posted By MrGimly on 10/24/2018 5:35 PM

    I guess I’m still worried about him. He’s 8 years old now and this was kind of sudden. He’s still not acting completely like himself, but I don’t know what else to do.

    Its normal for us to worry about our Bunny Children, maybe he was wondering what was happening, I’m sure you’ll both be OK, maybe he was doing what I do when my sight changes, sitting there trying to look at something. 


    #1885832

    MrGimly
    Participant

    Since Gimlys major tests all came back fine(liver function is good, kidney function is good, no EC) we have decided to start him on some antibiotics. he gets 1ml of Sulfatrim every 12 hours. we were instructed to try and give it during meal time as to help offset him getting an upset stomach while taking it. He started his dosage thursday night so hes gotten 4 full days of it now, and will get it for 10 total days. i have noticed he seems to have more energy at times, but is still mostly sleepy. since he dropped a small amount of weight we have been giving him some extra pellets in the morning, and i have been mixing his medicine in with some oats so i dont have to pick him up and force feed the medicine. the only downfall to this is he now eats less hay, and his poops have gotten smaller. hes still pooping as much as normal and they are not hard. any suggestions to get him to eat more hay? should i cut the oats out of his medicine? he seems to like the taste of it so i have no issue holding him to get him to take it. im sure hes not wanting it as much now because of the extra calories hes getting from the oats twice a day and extra pellets, but we needed to see if he could put on a little weight. he goes back on the 26th for his dental trim and i think we are going to flush his bladder of any excess sludge, and they can see if he actually has a stone.


    #1885900

    LittlePuffyTail
    Moderator

    Have you tried offering him Critical Care on a plate? My Bindi used to gobble it up. Was good to help keep weight on and give extra fiber when they are eating less hay.


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