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Forum DIET & CARE Rabbit Seizures

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    • Bladesmith
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      This is a new issue for me, and I’m not sure what to do.

      Just recently, within the last week and a half, my almost 7 year old netherland dwarf, Dawn, has started having seizures.  She’s had 3 so far that we know of, all Grand Mal.  I’ve been picking her up and holding her so she doesn’t hurt herself, but not sure what else I can do.

      The seizures seem to happen around the same time, between 10 pm and 1 am.  They last about 2-5 minutes.  She comes out of the seizures fine, hops down out of my lap and resumes normal activity.   There was no previous incidents, so this came out of nowhere.   I’m looking for possible environmental triggers, but not finding any.

      Anyone experience this before?


    • LBJ10
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      Aww… poor Dawn. 🙁

      The underlying reason for the seizures is important. You can treat the symptoms, but if the cause is something treatable then you would want to do that as well. She is a dwarf breed, which are more susceptible to seizures. But if the cause was genetic, you would have thought you would have witnessed a seizure before now. Does she have a history of EC at all?

      Diazepam is most commonly used for the seizures themselves.


    • Bladesmith
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      She’s never had them before, it’s a brand new pathology.  She recently was dragging her hind feet, but that was diagnosed as Spondylosis with sore hocks.  She’s since recovered.  I didn’t know Dwarves were more susceptible.  She’s been in excellent health her whole life.  Doing some sleuthing, I noticed her seizures started the same time I brought home some new boxes for her and Loki to chew/play in, and I’ve no idea what was in them.  So I pulled them, threw them away, and so far, no new seizures.  I’m probably grasping at straws, but we’ll see.

      If she does have another seizure, I’m going to try and record it to show to the vet.  But so far, fingers crossed, she comes out of them whole and hearty and immediately goes right back to eating and playing and being fierce.  She even grumps at me when she comes out of it and finds herself in my lap.  She hates being picked up.


    • Moonlightbunny66
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      I’m so sorry. I hope you can get to a vet soon. Have you read the first pinned topic in this forum? I don’t know anything about rabbit seizures, there could be many possible things causing them. But that hemorrhagic disease is something to look into, because seizures are one of the symptoms listed.


    • DanaNM
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      @Moonlightbunny Good catch, but with RHD the seizure usually occurs shortly before death. 🙁  So that’s probably not the case here (thankfully)!

      . . . The answers provided in this discussion are for general guideline purposes only. The information is not intended to diagnose or treat your pet. Seek the advice of your veterinarian or a qualified behaviorist.  


    • Moonlightbunny66
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      @DanaNM I’m glad it’s not that then. I hope everything gets better, though.


    • Bam
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      Dear Bladesmith, it’s lovely to see you here but I’m very sorry Dawn is having health problems. Do try to film her to show to the vet.

      Ec is, as you probably know, one thing that can cause seizures, but you as a rule dont see ec seizures without other symptoms that profoundly affects the rabbit. With epilepsy, as you also know, the affected party can go back to acting normal after, although with grand mal, you usually see some disorientation following an episode.

      Please keep us updated. And give Dawn kisses from me!

       

       

       


    • DanaNM
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      I believe that inner ear infections can also sometimes cause seizures? Hopefully the vet will have some answers!

      . . . The answers provided in this discussion are for general guideline purposes only. The information is not intended to diagnose or treat your pet. Seek the advice of your veterinarian or a qualified behaviorist.  


    • jerseygirl
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      I just wrote a reply to you in Lounge about Dawn. I hadn’t realised you had a new topic about the seizures.

      Just going to cut’n’paste it here. Sorry if it repeats too much on what others have already suggested.

      From Lounge:

      “I’m sorry Dawn is experiencing seizures. It’s unpleasant to see.  Because it’s happening at certain time, I do wonder if it’s been triggered by a noise like a boiler coming on or something else during that period? I’m not certain how much info there is on audiogenic seizures with rabbits but it appears there is some with cats. I do recall the subject coming up in BB before though. With cats, it is usually when they’re elderly and have hearing loss (from brief google I did).

      With inner ear infections in rabbits, we’d typically see loss of balance or head-tilt, but I do wonder if noise-induced seizures could be an atypical symptom… Especially if the auditory nerves are inflammed.

      Did you happen to have any anti-inflammatory meds for Dawn for the mobility issues she had or did it not get that bad? Thinking it would come in handy if there is inner ear inflammation.

      With seizures though, I’d always consider the possibility or EC too.  Maybe it would be worth doing a round of panacur for Dawn & Loki?”


    • jerseygirl
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      Just caught up on extra details now. I hope it was just the boxes and this is all sorted. That would be the easiest cure ever.

      Her back leg issue does sound suspiciously like EC though, so I’d definitely keep that in mind if you see recurrence of either issue.


    • Bladesmith
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      Update: I got rid of suspect box, and we were good for a few days.  Then, night before last, she had another, around 1930 my time.  Same as before, lasted 2- 2.5 minutes, and she came out of it, sat still for a bit to catch her breath, and then hopped down and ran off for a bit of food and drink and a cuddle with Loki.

      Soon as I can, I’m taking her to the vet, but it’s going to be next month before I can.  My new car got sideswiped and I’m having to have it fixed first.  Dammit.  When it rains it pours.

      But…she’s not suffering any obvious ill effects from the seizures, except the seizures themselves.


    • Wick
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      While inconvenient and risky, could you talk to someone you know who can bring you and her to the vet? If you’re worried about exposure, perhaps ask for friends/family who may be indoors for the past two weeks and are low-risk.

      I asked my HRS chapter and there was very much a push for going to the vet ASAP. It is good that you’re noting times and durations — I know that is helpful information to have.

      Is there any remote options for consulting the vet?

      The answers provided in this discussion are for general guideline purposes only. The information is not intended to diagnose or treat your pet. Seek the advice of your veterinarian or a qualified behaviorist.


    • Wick
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      One of the fosters mentioned checking the hay? They said they had an experience where there was a poisonous/toxic plant mixed in that may cause seizures?

      The answers provided in this discussion are for general guideline purposes only. The information is not intended to diagnose or treat your pet. Seek the advice of your veterinarian or a qualified behaviorist.


    • Bladesmith
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      @Wick  I thought of that as well, but Loki eats the same hay as Dawn, without problem.  I also bought a new bag, and got rid of the old.  She still had a seizure, so I dunno.

      I’m stumped.  But her quality of life remains high, the spoiled little minx, and she’s well cared for. Best I can do.


    • Bladesmith
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      So an update:  She’s still having seizures.  I have’t been able to film one, because well, I’m the only one here, and It’s hard to hold her and a camera while she’s seizing.  And I’m loathe to let her writhe for several minutes while I film.  She had one this morning in the AM, which has never happened before.

       

      She had a regimen of steroids when the Spondylosis was diagnosed, and she recovered her mobility.

      I don’t think it’s EC, as I’m not seeing any of the other listed symptoms exhibited.  But I’m getting my car back from the shop Wed., and it’s off to the bet after that.  I’m a terrible rabbit daddy, but I cannot afford the cost of the tests I see recommended.  I’m going to beg the vet for anti seizure meds and pray for the best.

      Interesting side note:  When she seizes, I thought Loki was freaking out and being aggressive to her, it was hard to tell in the nighttime darkness.  I’ve been shooing him out of the way to get to her.   This morning’s seizure, however, showed the truth.  As Dawn was having her event, Loki had put himself between her and the table leg, so she was bumping against his chest, and he was licking her for all he was worth.  I’m convinced he was doing his best to help her.  What a good big little brother he is.


    • LBJ10
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      EC can manifest in many ways. If EC is suspected, you don’t necessarily need a test. Many vets will just prescribe a round of Panacur, which is fairly inexpensive. So I wouldn’t completely dismiss the EC theory. Definitely ask the vet about it!


    • Bladesmith
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      LBJ, I absolutely will request it.  I’m going to see if they can mix Panacur with….is it Diazapam for seizures?   I can never remember the name.  She’s going in tomorrow.

      Thank you.  I know she’s seven, and she’s technically an old lady bunny now, but I love the little monster.  (She’s totally my daughters rabbit.  Totally. Not mine at all.)


    • Bam
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      I dont think Panacur interacts much with other drugs. I found a mention of diazepam being used to control seizures and fenbendazole as the best drug to suppress e cuniculi.

      I’m not sure this link works, if it doesn’t, please pm me and I’ll get you a copy.

      https://drive.google.com/file/d/1x2V494OqiMOx6hhlZeMD2a6Atv81vkS4/view?usp=drivesdk

      PS: Loki grooming Dawn during her seizure may be the absolute loveliest rabbit story I’ve ever read ❤


    • LBJ10
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      I’m not aware of any interactions. As Bam said, these two drugs are probably given together fairly often because EC can cause seizures and these drugs are both considered to be good treatment choices.


    • Bladesmith
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      It was love at first sniff.  Dawn got a whiff of Loki, and she LITERALLY climbed, dug under, went around, and chewed through every barricade I put in her way to get to him.  They’ve not been apart since.


    • Hazel
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      Good luck at the vet! I hope they can help, let us know what they say.


    • Bladesmith
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      So, an update.  Sorry it’s been so long, gang, but it’s been a month, to be sure.

      Anyways, got Dawn to the vet, and showed him the video of the seizure (Which, it damn near killed me to stand by and video my baby  seizing and not rush to hold her).

      He told me that the number of seizures she was having was a LOT (which I knew) and told me that there were a lot of very expensive tests he could run, which would end up with pretty osmuch the same treatment, so, lets skip those very expensive tests unless we absolutely have to do them, maybe?  He also took a stool sample, which, because she HATES going to the vet, she was happy to provide.  No results yet.

      He DID ask me if anything had changed in my household, and after thinking about it, I remembered that my daughter brought her kitty up for her summer visit.  Vet got this “AHA!” look on his face, and started combing through Dawn’s fur, looking for fleas or flea dirt.  Didn’t find any, I haven’t seen any, but that doesn’t mean there wasn’t one.

      Long story short, he gave her Enrofloxacin and Metacam, and…….so far so good!    She hasn’t (And I hope I’m not jinxing her) had a seizure in 4 days.  Fingers crossed.  Also, she weighs 2.8 lbs.  That’s a LOT of fury in a little package.


    • Hazel
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      Awesome, I’m glad she’s on a treatment plan and is doing well so far. 🙂  Crossing my fingers that she will stay seizure free!


    • Bladesmith
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      Hazel, I jinxed her.  She had another last night.  But, she’s still on regimine, and the time between is increasing.  So I’m hopeful.  Regardless, if nothing works, as long as she has a quality of life, I’m not taking drastic measures.  Last night, after her seizure, she was booping around the house, doing her tiny binks (They’re not big enough to be full binkies, lol), and, even after I gave her her nasty medicines, she still came over, gave me a little grooming, and climbed up on my shoulder while I was laying on the floor.


    • Hazel
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      Oh no, I’m sorry, poor Dawn  🙁

      So the vet is hoping it’s caused by some kind of infection that the Baytril is supposed to take care of? If that doesn’t work, would he prescribe her an actual anti seizure medication?

      How sweet that she’s not mad at you for feeding her nasty meds! 🙂


      • Bladesmith
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        @Hazel, that’s the plan.  Another day or two of meds, then he’ll start her on the anti seizure stuff if need be.   It won’t be good for her liver, but she’s already 7 years old, which, I’m given to understand is approaching old lady status for a Dwarf.  She deserves to have the best life possible for as long as she has left.


    • LBJ10
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      I’m sorry to hear that Bladesmith. I was hoping Dawn would be doing better. Bacterial infections can cause seizures. My understanding was it was a less common cause. What was the vet basing this off of? Does she have other symptoms? It’s strange for them to treat for a bacterial infection as a precaution, but not treat for EC as a precaution. You would think they would do both.

      Because of Dawn’s age, did the vet feel like it wasn’t worth doing a bunch of tests? I understand not wanting to do “too much” if it won’t make a difference in outcome. It’s better to have her happy. Dwarf breeds seem to live longer (in general). It isn’t unheard of for them to live 10 or more years. Large breeds, just like large breed dogs, have a shorter average lifespan.


    • Hazel
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      Any updates? How is she doing?


    • Bladesmith
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      @LBJ, it’s a crapshoot, basically.  The anti seizure meds will of course, damage her liver over time, but she’s an old lady bun now, so….I’m just committing to giving her the best life I can while she’s around.  Seizures aside, she’s the same little Ninja Assassin she’s always been.


    • Bladesmith
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      @Hazel: No change after a week.  Seizures still happening on a 48-72 hours basis, with no specific time.  Some times morning, sometimes at night. They last 2 minutes each time.   I’m tracking the time and duration of them.   Done my best to try and see if there’s any kind of environmental cause, but there isn’t.  Loki has no ill effects, so it’s got to be something in Dawn.  Done with the initial dose of meds this week, so if she’s still seizing, we’ll switch to the anti seizure meds.  All I can do.


    • Hazel
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      I’m sorry there hasn’t been any improvement yet. 🙁  How long before you start on the anti seizure meds? Are they supposed to work right away or do they have to build up in her system for a while?


    • Bladesmith
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      @Hazel Starting them on Monday, if she has a seizure this weekend.  If not, we’ll reassess.


    • Hazel
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      How’s it going now? Did she have any more seizures?


    • Bladesmith
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      @Hazel:  Still running antibiotics.  They seems to be helping.  Her interval between seizures has opened up to 5 days, instead of every other day, so I’m hoping we’re killing it off.  He ran some fecal tests, and while I can’t remember what he called it, seems to think it’s a flea born infection that’s a SOB to kill off without killing the rabbit in the process.  Given the number and frequency of her seizures, he recommended euthanasia, but that’ll happen over MY dead body.  As long as she comes out of them and goes back to being normal, and has quality of life, she stays ALIVE.

      Side note: Given her previous health issues with her back and legs, she hasn’t been upstairs once.  Since she’s been on these antibiotics however, she’s now CHARGING up the stairs like she used to.  I’m encouraged.  She’s eating, drinking and pooping normally, she just has seizures now and then.  When she starts rejecting her craisens, then I’ll be really worried.


    • Hazel
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      That seems heavy handed, especially considering the seizures are becoming less frequent. I’m glad you told him that’s not an option. Is she on a flea preventative now? Are there any indicators that point towards a flea born infection or is he just assuming because he can’t find anything else? Is she running a fever or anything like that?

      It’s great that the antibiotics seem to be helping, and that she’s feeling better! Fingers crossed that she keeps improving. 🙂


    • Bladesmith
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      We’re literally guessing.  There’s SO many possible causes, most of whom involve very expensive testing that I can’t afford.  (Seriously, fully anesthetized MRI?) But the treatments all run in the same direction.

      And prior to the start of the seizures, the ONLY thing that changed in her daily life was my daughter brought her kitty with her.  Now, We don’t have fleas, all my kids have been treated, but all it would have taken was one from her cat to do this.   It’s the only thing we can point to that changed.  So we’re working on the assumption that she got a flew bite from the other cat, passed the infection to Dawn, and et voila, here we be.

      But she’s doing better.  It’s all I can ask for.

      Me, I’m freakin’ exhausted, because I stay up all hours of the night waiting for her to have a seizure, because I can’t bear the thought of her going through one of those things without me holding her and talking her through it.


    • Hazel
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      That’s scary, I had no idea that fleas could cause such a big problem. Fleas are usually pretty bad here in the summer, although this year has been better than most. The kitty is fine I take it?

      Dawn is lucky she has you to take care of her, I’m sure she enjoys the extra attention. 🙂  I’m glad Loki didn’t end up with the same issue.

       

       


    • Bladesmith
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      @Hazel: This year it seems like everything is out to get bunnies.  Just like it’s open season on us hoomans.  Kitty is fine.  I’m chalking this event up to her age and size.  Loki, being the Moose that he is, with that youth factor thrown in, seems bulletproof.  (I know he’s not, but….)  And Pyewacket, her kitty,  is fine.  she was treated for fleas before coming up, but all it takes is one, which it seems it did.

      But Dawn seems to have made a full recovery.  We’re now 8 days without an observed seizure, and counting.  Last few days, she’s been zooming upstairs at will and whim, with gusto.  Another 5 days of meds to go, more or less.  we’ll see how things are after she’s done with it.

       

      And she actually hates the extra attention.  Grumps at me constantly, like the little furry curmudgeon she is.  Which is also back to normal behavior.


    • DanaNM
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      I’m so glad to hear she is improving!

      . . . The answers provided in this discussion are for general guideline purposes only. The information is not intended to diagnose or treat your pet. Seek the advice of your veterinarian or a qualified behaviorist.  


    • LBJ10
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      This is encouraging. Glad to hear she is doing better.


    • Bam
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      I’m so very happy to read this! Fingers crossed for little Dawn!


    • Hazel
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      That’s wonderful news! 😀


    • Bladesmith
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      11 days without a seizure.  I’d say we’ve beaten it.  Toughest little animal I’ve ever seen.  When Death finally comes for her for real, I feel sorry for him.


    • DanaNM
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      That’s great!

      . . . The answers provided in this discussion are for general guideline purposes only. The information is not intended to diagnose or treat your pet. Seek the advice of your veterinarian or a qualified behaviorist.  


    • Hazel
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      The Black Rabbit of Inlé will ask nicely, if she’s not ready he’ll skedaddle. 😉

      I’m so glad she’s better! I hope that trigger-happy vet learned something from this.


    • Bladesmith
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      To be fair, he was deeply concerned it was doing irreparable neurological harm to her ever time.  He didn’t want her to suffer.   And honestly?  She’s acting like she’s several years younger, so it’s an easy forgive.  She’s a fighter, she is.  When it’s her time to go over the bridge, the Reaper is gonna take some lumps.

      And thank you all for your support during this.  I confess I was losing what little mind I have.


    • Bladesmith
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      Ok, latest update, she was seizure free from the 16th of last month.  She’s been off the antibiotics for 2 weeks, and was doing fine.  This morning, Seizure.  So we’re back on the antibiotics, for good, probably.  She’s taking 4 ml of Enrofloxacin twice a day for the foreseeable future.   Also it’s confirmed to be EC.  Dammit.


    • Bam
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      Oh Bladesmith, I’m sorry! Have you started her on Panacur as well?


    • Hazel
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      Oh no, I’m so sorry! 🙁


    • LBJ10
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      This makes sense. EC symptoms will temporarily improve with antibiotics, but it cannot be “cured” with antibiotics. If it’s confirmed EC, then there is no reason to give antibiotics indefinitely. The only way to send the EC into remission is to treat with fenbendazole (Panacur) for 28 days. Antibiotics won’t do that.

      The treatment is pretty inexpensive, so I don’t understand why you wouldn’t pursue that. I’m sorry Dawn’s seizures returned. Hopefully this is can be resolved soon.


    • Bladesmith
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      @LB, sorry, I thought Panacur was an antibiotic.  Monday I’m calling the doc and requesting Panacur.    It may be until next month until I can afford it.  This Covid crisis has mucked up my income, like it has everyone.  Any idea how much it is?  Because this antibiotic is running me $68 a month.

       

      On edit, I see it’s pretty cheap.  Do I need a script from the vet?   On another note, should I be treating Loki as well?  Or separating them?


    • LBJ10
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      Yes, it’s pretty inexpensive. You can buy it over the counter, but I would have the vet help you with determining the correct dosage.

      Loki shouldn’t need treatment unless he starts showing symptoms. Rabbits are often exposed to EC early in life and it remains inside their bodies. Most rabbits do not develop symptoms. Even if Loki was never exposed to EC, the risk of him getting it from Dawn is relatively low at this point. Infected rabbits are only contagious for a short period of time following the initial exposure.

       


    • jerseygirl
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      Vibes for little (((Dawn))).

      I agree, the antibiotic enrofloxacin (baytril) can help *some* with EC as it has some antifungal properties & EC is a microspore.

      Panacur is available at a feed /farm supply store. Or online. You could buy it then have the vet let you know the dosage. Or get them to give you a idea of how much they charge for it. My vet just uses same product used for goats & sheep. (Panacur 25). There are some pastes for rabbits that might be more palatable but I don’t know if available in the US. I’ve only seen an English brand.


    • jerseygirl
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      I just wanted to add, if it is EC causing the seizures, it can take a while to see reduction of symptoms sometimes. The meds reduce the EC load in the body, but then the lesions it causes on the brain need time to heal. So sometimes, owners will see the most improvement happen after or near the end of the course of medication. That said, some have seen improvements within days! So, fingers crossed that’s what happens for you & Dawn.


    • Bladesmith
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      Can I use the antibiotics in parallel with Panacur?

      \


    • Bladesmith
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      https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/merck-animal-health-panacur-equine-dewormer-paste-25-gm-5122970

      This is what’s locally available.  10% paste, which would be…..25 ml dosing?  (Note: this is, for legal reasons, all hypothetical)


    • Bam
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      Would liquid panacur for dogs be available  online perhaps? Even hypothetically, it is difficult to say how much of the horse paste is an ok dose for a rabbit, since this product seems to be measured by weight and not by volume?

      A normal dose for a bun is 20 mg per kilo body weight. One gram of the horse panacur contains 100 mg of fenbendazole, so a tiny bun would need sth in the region of 1/5 of a gram, which would be difficult to weigh up in a normal home.

      As you know we can’t and won’t give veterinary advice, because we are not vets. Everything regarding dosage of meds should be discussed with a veterinarian.


    • Hazel
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      I think I’ve seen liquid panacur for goats at Tractor Supply.


    • Bladesmith
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      Aha!  Found the rabbit specific paste on Amazon.  It’s on the way now.  Thank you all SO much.


    • Bam
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      Yay!

      It is a very slow-acting med, so it often takes quite some time (weeks) before there’s any apparent improvement. Some rabbits will need a longer course of Panacur than the standard 28 days.


    • Bladesmith
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      @Bam.  Whatever it takes, she’ll get it.   Thanks again, everyone.


    • Bam
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      And yes, antibiotics can be used together with Panacur. Those two meds are often prescribed together for e c. Hopefully the be antibiotics can be stopped after a cpl weeks, if the Panacur does its job.


    • Bladesmith
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      Ok, we have finished our run of Panacur.  Took forever to get here, but it’s over and one with.  Dosing her was fun, because she’s so tiny, but we got that sorted.  Dawn also decided that the correct thing to do when I was dosing her with the meds was to pee all over me, so I went through a lot of shirts.  Little stinker.  Oy, the soft stools this stuff gave her!  I feel like I just spent the entire month cleaning her butt.  And the carpets.  And my shirts…

      Anyway, we’re done, and I am guardedly optimistic.  She had 3 seizures during the treatment, but I did notice that they were of shorter duration and less violent as the previous ones.  We are now……2 weeks past her last dose, and no new seizures observed.   Next payday, I’m getting another tube to keep on standby, just in case she relapses.

      Fingers crossed, and I appreciate all your help.  This has been a helluva ordeal for us both.


    • LBJ10
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      Thanks for the update! Let’s hope Dawn stays seizure free!


    • Bam
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      Thanks for the update! What an ordeal! For both you and her. Fingers so crossed for both of you. And Loki.

      Its very wise to have Panacur on standby at home. I think unopened bottles have a very good shelf life. I have have a just-in-case-bottle of the stuff in my bunny medicine cabinet, luckily I’ve not needed it yet.


      • Bladesmith
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        @Bam:  Can you show me a picture or a link to your Panacur?  Mine came in an injector syringe tube, and had to come from Jersey, UK.   If you have something closer and easier, it would be a great thing.  Thanks in advance.


    • Bam
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      No, I have the Swedish version wich is called Axilur. It contains 10% fenbendazole just like Panacur. Its a thick white fluid thats normally used to deworm dogs, but its what we have here for treatment of e cuniculi.


    • Boing
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      Is your bunny doing any better?  My late bunny Cincinnati had e cuniculi (tested for it).  He had to have fenbendazole.  His second symptom, and the only one recognized as a symptom at the time, was seizures.  Your rabbit may need more than one run of it.  Don’t give it for more than 28 days at a time.  On day 29 it affects bone marrow.


    • Hazel
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      So glad to hear she’s doing better. 🙂  Thanks for the update!


    • Bladesmith
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      All is well.  No new “events” (I’m afraid to say the word, because it jinxes us), and she’s doing well.  I’ve got a new dose headed my way in case it happens again.  So far so good!  even better my daughter is here, and spending the holiday with “her” bunny.


    • Bam
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      💗🐰

      Thanks for the update! How great that your daughter has been able to come and see you!

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Forum DIET & CARE Rabbit Seizures