“Treating a Rabbit with Head Tilt at Dr. K’s Exotic Animal ER” – Documentary

“Treating a Rabbit with Head Tilt at Dr. K’s Exotic Animal ER” – Documentary

A Rabbit With Head Tilt | Dr. K's Exotic Animal ER

In the video, “A Rabbit With Head Tilt | Dr. K’s Exotic Animal ER,” veterinarian Dr. K and her team treat a rabbit with a head tilt, a condition commonly caused by inner ear infections in rabbits. The rabbit, named Dawn, is brought in by her owner who thought she had a seizure. It is revealed that Dawn is suffering from vertigo due to an inner ear infection, causing her to have a head tilt and feel dizzy. The team administers meclizine, a medication to help alleviate Dawn’s dizziness and nausea. The rabbit also receives antibiotics and requires nursing care, including gentle massages to relieve discomfort and help her regain balance.

The owner, initially fearing they would have to put Dawn down, is relieved to learn that this condition is treatable and that many rabbits have made a full recovery. They are also reassured by technician Diane, who has experience caring for rabbits with head tilt. Despite the potential for a permanent disability, Diane offers practical tips for living with a rabbit with head tilt, emphasizing that these animals can still lead happy lives. The video highlights the importance of proper care and dedication in helping animals like Dawn recover from this condition.

Watch the video by Nat Geo WILD

Video Transcript

SUSAN KELLEHER: This rabbit’s presenting. The owner thought she had a seizure. It’s OK, it’s OK, it’s all right. It’s all right, it’s all right. Some of these rabbits will get inner ear infections, and it’s terrifying, because you just constantly feel dizzy. You feel awful. The rabbit probably feels nauseous.

I hate to just jump right to the conclusion, but we see rabbits with head tilts all the time, and we’re going to give her a little meclizine, which is Dramamine. That’ll help to stopping her feel so dizzy. That’ll at least help her start feeling better right away.

Auntie Diane’s going to mix that up for you, honey. You’ll feel right. The head tilt is usually caused by an inner ear infection, and she’s tilting her head one side, because she just has, essentially, vertigo. Hi, would you like to eat this? That’s going to make you feel better, honey. Mm.

SUSAN KELLEHER: Sometimes, they are so dizzy that they can’t stop spinning, and that’s kind of what’s been happening with Dawn. I know. You’re so dizzy. You’ll be all right. You’ll be all right. I held her all day today until we could come here, because laying her down, she just flails around

Because she can’t stand up. It’s very scary. We see a lot of this, and it’s usually secondary to a rabbit having an inner ear infection, and it’s something that’s treatable. That’s the first thing I want you to know. And I would say probably 80% of the rabbits make a full recovery.

Some of the rabbits wind up with just a little bit residual head tilt. I’ve had dizzy spells, little bunny. Oh, it’s scary to feel like this. I understand. Yeah, she does have some puss in her ear, and the eardrum is pretty cloudy. We were worried at the point that we

Were going to have to bring her here to be put down. That’s honestly, when we came here today, that was what our mindset was. We thought we’ve lost our girl of seven years. Dramamine kicking in? She already seems a little calmer. That’s about as mellow as that rabbit ever gets.

She’s not exactly a mellow rabbit. I’ll bet not. You’re a female Dutch. Her brother’s Mr. Calm, Cool, and Collected, and she is Miss Hell On Wheels. I can picture that. Our two rabbits have completely different personalities. Midnight, of course, he’s black, and she’s golden. They were from book characters.

Midnight is like a cat or a dog. He’ll sit on your lap and just loves to be stroked and loves to be loved, whereas she’s about energy. Attitude. Usually in the scenario, once we start them on the meclizine, which is essentially Dramamine. It’s the same thing she takes for–

It’s what I take for vertigo. Oh, good. Well, you know what it’s like to have vertigo then. So it just makes you feel miserable. Mhm. So we’ve already given her some meclizine to just help that kick in and get her to start feeling better. Obviously, we’re going to need to start

Her on some antibiotics. But then, there’s a lot of other nursing care things that are going to be important. With her neck twisted over like this, you can imagine it’s uncomfortable and will be getting cramped over a period of time. So part of the nursing care for her is actually ever so gently

Working her head straight and using a fair amount of pressure to gently massage the side of her neck. OK. So with Dawn, it’s going to be dependent on a lot of nursing care. She needs to have her neck massage. She needs to be in a padded area.

If she’s rolling too much, she needs to have food put right in front of her, because she won’t be able to dizzily navigate over to her food bowls anymore. My technician Diane has two rabbits herself that have chronic head tilt issues,

So I’m going to have her be the one that does your med demo discharge, and she can talk to you about living with rabbits with head tilt, how doable it is, and what you need to do for them, just practical tips as one bunny owner to another bunny owner. OK? – Fantastic.

– All right. – Thank you so much. No problem. It’s a pleasure. Absolutely. Absolutely. Let me get everything written up for her, and I’ll send Diane. OK? – Thank you. Yeah. I really got in the car today thinking we would come down here and we were going to have to put her down,

And we’ve had her for seven plus years. So to come here to find out that that’s not the case, this is unbelievable. It’s overwhelming. Auntie Diane will tell you how, to tell your parents how to take good care of you. She’s like, oh my goodness.

We often refer to Diane as actually the Dianometerr. She is very tuned in to our patients. I swear the woman knows what they’re thinking and feeling, and her gut instinct is definitely to be trusted. She is tuned in. All right. Hey, here’s a girl. How are you? There’s my baby. Here she is.

Here, go to your mom. Hi, sweetheart. Get your meds ready for you. Unfortunately, the thing is, it’s just going to take time. I mean, sometimes it can take a couple of months for them to kind of get their balance back. Sometimes it happens very quickly.

But the main thing is just to stick with it. – OK. – Yeah. So I do have two head tilt bunnies myself. Koje and Turbo. They have been like that since they were little. So even though their heads are a little tilted, and they look at the world a little differently,

They live very happy lives, and they do everything a rabbit does. So there’s the two of them together. Both tilted? – Yeah, exactly. – Funny. So what we have to do is find a way to mostly live a normal life with what could be a permanent disability. Thank you so much. You’re welcome.

Good luck. All right, baby girl. You ready to go home? She’ll spend a lot of time with me, and she’ll just get very mom intensive care. Let’s head on out. All right, baby.

About Nat Geo WILD

National Geographic Wild is a place for all things animals and for animal-lovers alike. Take a journey through the animal kingdom with us and discover things you never knew before, or rediscover your favorite animals!

Video “A Rabbit With Head Tilt | Dr. K's Exotic Animal ER” was uploaded on 02/07/2021 to Youtube Channel Nat Geo WILD