Rabbits, similar to human beings, can suffer from epileptic seizures. Happening when particular neurons in the brain reach a point of “active excitability.” This, in turn, can result in bouts of involuntary body language or function in the rabbit. You should be very careful with the rabbit during these periods of excited cerebral activity, as the seizures can cause brain damage.
Causes of Seizures in Rabbits
Particular breeds of bunny may be most likely to experience seizures than others. For example, dwarf breeds are more likely to have actually reduced immune systems, and hence are most likely to become exposed to an infection with Encephalitozoon cuniculi, which can cause seizures. White, blue-eyed rabbits and lop-eared bunnies are also most likely to establish forms of epilepsy or seizures.
Other causes for seizures include:
- Metabolic causes, including low blood sugar
- Toxicities, consisting of direct exposure to heavy metals and other chemicals
- Cardiovascular diseases
- Hereditary or externally caused epilepsy
- A head injury resulting in mental retardation
- Structural causes like brain lesions, bacterial infections or parasitic infection (e.g., toxoplasmosis)
Symptoms of Seizures in Rabbits
The symptoms and signs of seizures might depend on the cause for the seizure. Seizures can be due to an epileptic episode or may be non-epileptic, caused by hereditary malformations or sores in the brain. Despite the type, some signs of epilepsy that are relatively typical consist of:
- Rolling of the body and signs of distress
- Paddling of the hands or limbs
- Mental confusion
- Loss of sight
- Head tilt
- Loss of muscle tone
- Thick, white and creamy fluid or pus found in the ear
- Fainting (although this is rare in bunnies)
Laboratory tests will try to find structural brain lesions and think about exposure to seizure-causing contaminants. The vet will likewise run blood tests to assist identify multi-system diseases or infections which can cause the seizures, in addition to imaging, such as an MRI or CAT scan, to eliminate any sores, growths or inflammation of the central nerve system.
How to Treat Rabbits Having Seizures
Some rabbits with seizures need consistent supervision. During these severe cases, hospitalization is suggested to assist eliminate attacks and prevent irreversible brain damage in the animal.
A vet will often recommend benzodiazepine medications, which can slow down the seizure activity. Antibiotics might also be necessary for patients with sleeping sickness or abscesses contributing to the seizures. In life-threatening cases steroid medications may be called for, but just under veterinarian guidance.
Living and Management
The vet may recommend you keep a journal of the bunny’s seizure activities. It will assist them in making an appropriate treatment protocol and routine.
Also read: Why Rabbits Fighting