Sticky Bun

Wonky Bunny: Sticky Bun (AKA Bunster)
Bunny slave: Wendy (UK)

Past history/ clues
1) Deaf when we took him on and he had a lot of wax in his left ear. The vet at the time was not worried about this. Since found out rabbits do not have a lot of wax unless there is a problem.
2) Four months before head tilt Sticky had pasteurella. This was cleared up with meds. Returned a month later but not as severe. Again 10 days of meds cleared it up.
3) He started missing the door jamb and broke a couple of claws. Eventually noticed that his back legs were slightly dragging so we took him to the vets. Diagnosed with possible hip dysplasia and was put on Metacam. As he did not seem to be in pain we took him off it. We felt that we should wait until the time came for when he may really need it.

Day 1
Was perfectly ok in the morning.
By 4.00pm head kept lolling to the right. Sticky kept trying to straighten it.
By 6.00pm found with his head leaning against the litter tray and left eye wide and staring.
By 7.00pm locum vet appointment. Very stressed, head tilting severely and left eye very wide. Lower eye closed. Panic when held. Given Baytril injection and Dexadreson injection and given Baytril (if inner ear infection) twice a day and Panacur (if EC). Diagnosis was EC.
Vet suggested trying The Metamorphical Technique which would help in this situation but Sticky panicked when his feet were touched. A regular massage was given to his shoulders and neck to keep the circulation going and help with any strain/pain due to the unnatural position his head was going. This continued for most of the month on a twice daily basis for a few minutes each day. Gentle circular motions with fingers.

Day 2
Calmer. Eye still staring. Head had stopped lolling and stayed tilted.
Added cushioning around his cage to protect him from hurting himself.
He had a low bowl so managed drinking but got very wet on the right hand side.

Day 4
Regular vet back. Head very tilted and now locked into a very severe position. Sticky changed to Septrin Paediatric Suspension at 1.1ml (stronger and not such a bitter taste so easier to administer). Carry on with Panacur for the full 28 days. Decision to give Panacur to Maple, his partner, too just in case.
Decision to give steroid injections x3 (Dexadreson). The vet gave one. One of us held him and the other lifted skin on the scruff of his neck and carefully gave the other two on alternate days. Vet showed us how and not as difficult as it sounds as not going into veins.
Viscotears liquid gel was to be administered to upper eye as very dry. Told he would go blind without this. Should really have been given on first day. Administered to lower eye too to help flush out any dirt as had been warned lower eye could become infected as close to the ground.

Days 9–10
Sticky starting to fall over and not be able to get up again easily. Trying to right himself but going upside down instead. Tried not to intervene. His confidence has gone a little. Started spinning which is very upsetting to watch. Calmed him down if it got too bad. Started actually spinning rather than moving around. Very stressed again.

Day 11
One day after having last steroid injection he was not as well. Vet advised it was the steroids that was helping him. More likely to be inner ear infection but to carry on with the Panacur as never quite sure. Also still on Septrin. Steroid tablets were then given to keep boosting him – Prednicare. Dose was ½ tab twice a day for 10 days.
Not moving too much, and spending a lot of time lying down. Is acclimatising but is falling over a lot and banging into things.

Days 22-25
Tilt has improved a little, dry eye cleared up and the regular wax produced from his left ear has also gone.
A spare outdoor pen was used to let him have some fresh air, a change of sniffs and a ‘run about’ First day not much movement but after day two he has started to move around in great big circles to get from A to B. If he becomes disorientated he goes back to the start of his journey and begins it again.

Day 26 present
Almost back to normal but still not liking being picked up. Prednicare tabs dose to be gradually lessened so ½ tab for 3 days twice a day then ½ tab for 3 days once a day then ½ tab for 3 days every other day.

To date around two months from day 1
Very slight tilt and lower eye is smaller. Doesn’t run as fast as he used to but as naughty and cheeky as ever. Only real change in him is that he doesn’t like to be groomed any longer for any length of time.

*Treats and Avipro sprinkled onto a treat throughout kept his appetite going.
*Whenever the weather was good enough he was put outside and supervised which kept mind, body and sprit intact.
*Massage of shoulders, back and neck helped with the strain of the unnatural position and kept circulation going.
*The Metamorphical Technique was not successful in this instance but was suggested as a good massage for this situation by a trained vet.
*Lots of encouragement, cuddles and love. Cry out of sight but smile when with him
*Critical Care was tried but he wouldn’t eat it, even disguised. He is a very greedy rabbit so we were lucky that his appetite albeit not as good kept going throughout.

For Bunnies with head-tilt

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