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Home Forum DIET & CARE Seizures, Meds and Loss of Appetite – Help Pls

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    • Nutmeg
      594 posts Send Private Message

      Hello Binky Bunny World. As a first time bunny mommy I have followed your forum for years, but am just joining now to seek your advice/thoughts. My apologies for the very long post, but I know you need the info.
      Looking for tips on if anyone can relate with a similar experience, has experience with this medication, help getting her appetite back up. 

      So here goes: 
      My 8 year old bunny – who is about 2.5 pounds – had a very massive seizure Friday night (almost a week ago). She was sitting beside me and I was petting her, when suddenly she flipped over onto her side and her legs started paddling like crazy and she was flopping from side to side 
      It was the most terrifying thing I have ever seen. 
      I managed to pick her up and they stopped – She HATES being picked up – but she snuggled right in and was shaking, so I rusher her to the after hours vet – a 30min drive out of town. The Vet said with her being 8 years old, it could have just been a one time thing, but that she was recovering wonderfully – She put her on her side and she could flip her self back over, walk (hop), and was reacting to their other tests – like checking her eyes, face muscles, ears… *Oh and her teeth are all fine. She told me to take her home and keep an eye on her. 

      ~ Sure enough the next day she had another one. So I brought her back. The Vet again said she was recovering well and due to her age didn’t recommend extensive testing as it wouldn’t change the facts of her seizures and gave us a prescription Phenobarbital to be given to her twice a day at 0.27 ml by mouth. 

      Now this rabbit hates being picked up and handled. She will run like the wind as soon as she see’s me start to bend down. The first few days I had to give her the medicine it wasn’t too bad as she seemed very tired and wasnt’ moving around much, so she was easy to pick up. But then I noticed she wasn’t eating much. She would nibble at her hay (which it’s normally a struggle to get her to eat her hay) and eat Kale if I put it in front of her, but wont eat any of her pellets – which normally she would gobble up the 1/4 cup I gave her per day. She is drinking lots on her own, and what little she does eat does poop out – not that there’s much
      She also wasn’t moving much and just seemed “out of it”. 

      So I called the Vet who said its hard to say if how she is acting is a symptom of what caused the seizures OR if its from the amount of Phenobarbital we are giving her as it does have sedative properties. He suggested I cut it in half to 0.14 ml twice a day to see if that brings back some of her energy, but to watch to make sure the seizures didn’t come back with the lower dosage. 
      This will be day 3 with the lower amount and she does have a bit more energy – enough to run away from me at full force anyways – but isn’t back to her old self yet. She still sits and just kind of rocks or flops down stretched on her side. 
      AND She still isn’t eating much – but is still drinking fine. But she has lost noticeable weight. *again there is nothing wrong with her 

      So I’ve called the vet and am waiting to hear back to see if they want me to pick up Critical Care… when she had gasteral issues last year she HATED this stuff – she would let it build up in her mouth and then just push it out with her tongue. And would jerk around and no amount of Wrapping her in a towel would help. 
      I’ll be going to read past posts for tips for trying to pick her up (Bribing her over to me with treats isn’t working anymore – she doesnt fall for it now lol) as well as for getting her to swallow the Critical Care once I get it in her mouth.

      So if you have any experience with anything similar (seizures in a senior bunny with that medicine) or any tips for getting to eat more again on her own, as well as any sneaky tricks for having medicine/force feeding time, not be so stressful I would love you all forever!
      One very scared and worried bunny mom (aka Meaghan) 

    • LBJ10
      14030 posts Send Private Message

      Hmm, I find it strange that your vet would jump straight to an epilepsy medication right off the bat. These medications can be used in rabbits. However, the problem with them is that they become less and less effective over time. As far as I know, stuff like diazepam is more commonly used. Simply treating the seizures may not solve anything though. Yes, if the rabbit is having uncontrolled seizures, it’s a good idea to get them under control first. But that doesn’t sound like the case here.

      Does she have any other symptoms? Is this a full-blown seizure (unaware of surroundings) or a partial seizure (aware of surroundings)? Balance/coordination issues? Hind end weakness? Urinary problems? The reason I’m asking is because suddenly developing seizures due to some unknown cause is not common. There is usually an underlying issue. The most common thing we see on BB is an EC infection leading to seizures. Now, I realize your bunny is 8 years old, but EC can remain dormant in the body for a very long time.

    • bunnytowne
      7505 posts Send Private Message

      Did the vet do lab work?  I am wondering if kidney problems are to blame.  It can cause seizures too.  At least it did in Cotton a few times.  The weight loss 

      Also if she is peeing here n there like she is incontinent it may be time for vet to do blood work to make sure isnt kidneys.  Or something else.  

    • Nutmeg
      594 posts Send Private Message

      Hi LBJ10 and Bunnytowne – thank you so much for replying!! Sorry for the delaying in getting back to you, I’ve just been at work. 
      My reply didn’t get posted as apparently it “timed out”, so I’ll have to type it again. 

      ** Important to note (sorry I forgot to mention) ** she did have a body exray in Aug of 2017 as she had stopped eating/drinking and was grinding her teeth and baby gas medicine was doing nothing. So they did the Xray to make sure there was no blockage and everything looked fine internally at that point. She made a full recovery after the medicine to get things moving and for the pain, along with some Critical Care (she hate’s the stuff)  

      LBJ10 – They were full, intense seizures. She went from sitting beside me on the ground being petted (she does not like to be picked up – so I go down to her level) and was fine and then all of a sudden she flipped over and her legs started flailing, she then started flipping from side to side – legs still going crazy – back and forth. It all happened so fast and also felt like it lasted forever. 

      She hasnt’ had another full seizure since we’ve had her on the medication. We did lower the amount of her medication amount as she was very “stoned” and sleepy looking. – but are watching to make sure the lowered amount doesn’t trigger them to come back. According to the vet she has recovered – physically – very well from them. If they put her on her side she could right herself just fine, can hop around fine, and full muscle reaction and has had no balance or co-ordination issues since (except right after the second seziure the next day, but not since)
      – No weakness in her backend or elsewhere, No urinary problems at all – she is drinking and peeing fine and she goes in to her littler box still for all bowl movements. And whatever she does pick at to eat is being pooped out. 

      ** Other Symptoms – before the first seizure last Friday I noticed no changes in her other than she hadn’t finished her 1/4 cup of pellets the last two days (she did eat a lot of it, just not all). We are very bonded and we spend every evening together for hours so I know her very well – she still had lots of energy and was bounding around in playing and snuggling up and giving kiss’s. 
      ~ After the two seizures – she is still quite “Sleepy/Lazy” but the vet advised it would take her body a bit to get used the medicine. She just kind of sits around.
      ~ She does seem to “space out” some times… I’ll put a piece of Kale in front of her nose and she’ll lean forward to sniff it, but then just kind of stops and sways slightly. Not a lot, just a subtle rocking. But again, I’m not sure if its from the medication. 
      ~ She’s drinking fine, but not liking to eat much. (Yes the vet checked her teeth, which are all great) which is why she is losing weight – you can see her hip bones now. The vet told me to start giving her critical care again to help with that and hopefully get her appetite back. He said that if she keeps losing weight even with the Critical Care we’ll have to bring her back in and “make a decision” – aka put her down 

      Bunnytowne – There was an exray done about 5 months ago which turned up nothing, but no blood work done that they mentioned to me (nor did I see on the bill) She has had no pee accidents and is making it in to her litter box with out issue to go. 

      Thank you so much guys for all your help and thoughts. 
      My husband and I got laid off from great jobs within a month of each other. I finally found a job, which is minimum wage, but my husband is still looking. So we are going in to serious debt just trying not lose the house. I maxed our last credit card out last weekend at the vets for the two visits and medication and Critical Care… and the only exotic vet near us will not do a payment plan. So I can’t take bunny back in until I have the money  
      So I’m trying to gather as much information as possible on my own. So I thank you again, from the bottom of my heart for your thoughts and help.

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