Vertebral Luxation – Paralyzed Rabbits

Unfortunately, rabbits are prone to accidental trauma and injury. A common traumatic event if vertebral fracture and luxation. Rabbits have STRONG muscles in their hindlimbs, and can kick out and break their own vertebrae, resulting in fracture or luxation. Commonly occurring at the lumbosacral junction.

As with spinal trauma in other species, you may see hind limb paresis or paralysis, decreased proprioception and pain perception, and voluntary toileting may no longer be possible.

The degree of injury is best assessed with spinal xrays or CT. The prognosis is guarded to poor and euthanasia is often elected. As without hindlimb and toileting function, urine scald, further self harm and poor quality of life.

Symptomatic care can be provided with anti-inflammatories, a soft padded enclosed environment and frequent assisted toileting. These injuries often have a sad outcome.

References:

Oglesbee, BL. Blackwell’s Five-Minute Veterinary Consult: Small Mammal. 2nd Wiley-Blackwell

 

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