Readers Comments on their Wry Neck Experiences
Presented by Barbi Brown's Bunnies
These are just some of the stories we hear every week. Some will encourage you, some will not. We all learn from our experiences. I hope these will be helpful.
Date: Saturday, February 18, 2012 8:08:43 PM GMT-0400 Subject: Thank-you: Encephalitazoon Cuniculi Thank-you. You saved my rabbitís life. A few months back my rabbit began exhibiting symptoms of Wry-neck. I found your website just prior to heading into the vet. Heís 8.5, so she was convinced (and still is) that he had a stroke, and advised euthanization She spent a full hour arguing with my wife. In the end my wife held out and the vet humoured her (rabbitís going to die anyway). We received a course of antibiotics and anti-parasitic. 2 weeks later, more than full recovery! He had been sick for a few months, and we hadnít realized it. He actually rebounded to healthier than before I new there was a problem (marking territory, rearranging curtains, stealing shoes, moving furniture). I am currently working on a full write up of our experience on my website http://vius.ca/?page_id=1737 Iíll let you know when Iím done writing. Thank-you for saving the old manís life.
I really want to thank you so much. my baby is holding her head high now and
moving around a bunch . Her head is still a little tilted but not anywhere
near as bad, her next dosage is Saturday. She is eating like a normal baby
and is now hoping around like the rest of the litter. She is a little bit
spoiled now and always wants held. Once you pick her up she goes right to
sleep. She is a wonderful sweet little soul.
I can't thank you enough with out the information on your website this baby would not have made it.
I sent a few pictures of her sorry they are a little blurry....She is one of the cutest babies!
Tues. Oct. 9, 2012
Your treatment for wry neck saved my bunny. I canít express to you how grateful I am that your site is out there or that I stumbled across it. It was a long journey to get her better, and after antibiotics failed and four months had passed, I tried your treatment as a last option. I wish I would have tried it sooner. Unbelievable. I wish more people knew about itómore vets, too. I wrote all about my bunny, Birdy, her story, with lots of before, during, and after pictures and about your treatment on my blog if youíre interested: http://plantwatersun.blogspot.com/2012/10/treating-tilt-head-in-rabbits-birdy.html
Again, justÖ thank you so much. I am forever grateful. Itís been just about a year now since she healed up, and sheís doing great.
Sent: Thu, Jun 30, 2011 6:25 pm
Subject: Wry Neck Treatment
We have successfully treated four of our rescue bunnies using your wry neck treatment. I am so happy I found it on the internet years ago, when the only thing used to treat E. Cuniculi, at the time, was panacur. As the panacur is given daily, for months, it is so hard on the liver. One of my own rabbits started to have frequent seizures due to the panacur damaging the liver.
Four weeks ago, one of our former foster bunnies, who is now in a loving home, developed E. Cuniculi. I told the owner about your treatment, and she brought it to the attention of her veterinarian. The veterinarian contacted the University of Pennsylvania Veterinary Hospital, who also recommended your treatment. I was so thrilled that they knew about it. So, in three weeks' time, bunny Colin went from having four splayed, non-moving legs, and very little head control, to being his old, perfect self again (photos attached)!
Thank you for making this treatment available and for saving so many little lives!
The Rabbit Habit (rabbit rescue)
Get into the Rabbit Habit. Adopt a homeless bunny through www.rabbithabit.org
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Sent: Sun, Jun 12, 2011 10:50 am
Subject: A BIG Thank You for Your Help on Rabbits
I know that we don't know one another and may never meet, but I wanted to take the time to write you a thank you note - for the help and assistance that your web site has given me in the past month. You truly have a special place in the heaven of the rabbit world and in my heart forever.
I have breed Flemish Giant Rabbits for show, but mostly as a hobby, for about the past five years. I took a shine to the blue variety early on and still have my first blue doe, although she is getting old now, I had bred her for the last time this spring and then planned to retire her. Right after breeding, she became sick with wry neck. Everyone I had talked to in the past, mostly show breeders, had told me that this is a death sentence and you should cull these rabbits.
As it was my first "little" girl, holding a special place in my heart, I felt that I should try to do something for her. She was so bad by the time I found your web site with the description of your attempts to correct wry neck, that she was unable to sit up, rolling on her sides and of course the classic neck kink. I read what you had written about the Ivomec 1% injectable solution and followed the outline given. (I use this with my dwarf goats, but never thought of it for rabbits). I am happy to say that she showed remarkable improvement after the second week's dose and was looking well within the next week. Today I am writing to thank you, not only for saving her life, but to let you know the rest of the story. I went out this morning to find a proud blue doe with a nest of live kits!!
I owe you the greatest thank you for all the time and interest you have put into your web site, health advice, etc. I will tell this miracle story to anyone, who will listen. I agree with you, the more we share with one another, the more rabbits we can save.
Thanks again from "Haystack" and myself. You are truly wonderful.
Sent: Wed, Sep 29, 2010 9:09 am
Subject: My Bunny...Thank You
I wanted to thank you for publishing the knowledge you have about Wry Neck in Rabbits. Monday night my 7 week old, 2lbs. 5 oz. Californian bunny was fine...Tuesday morning he was not.....Wry neck darting eyes and 'Rolling". I searched the web and found your article...it popped up first in a google search. Yay!
I keep injectible Ivomec on hand due to the fact that I use 2 drops in each rabbit's ears every 3 months to prevent earmites and parasites. I immediately took your suggestion and gave this bun 2/10 cc ivomec orally. Last night he seemed to be worse.....we fed him replacement milk through a syringe for nourishment and gave him water through a syringe. My husband woke me this morning to tell me he was much better and eating his pellets out of the feeder! Wow! Went out there and sure enough, he is waaaaaay better! He has even improved over the last 2 hrs. Just came from checking on him and he is eating the carrot I gave him and is drinking from his water bottle! He is NOT rolling anymore and is actually getting around quiet good ...hopping! I have no doubt that he is going to recover due to me taking your advice. So thank you, again! Also , just to be sure....I should follow up with another dose in 7 days, right? Of course, I will weigh him first to get the right dosage.
Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!,
Our bunny has made a miraculous recovery and we can't thank you enough!
When I last wrote to you he was getting better but he still looked like one of the sick rabbits on your website with his head tilted completely sideways. Attached is a recent photo of him and as you can see his head has straightened out. He still is a little wobbly at times on his feet, but some of this may be due to his age. The main thing is he is back to being a lot like his old self, craving attention and being a little mischievous. We will be bringing our daughter home from school this weekend and she will be thrilled to see him.
Thank you very much for all of your advice and support. I think our vet has become a believer in using Ivomec to treat wry neck. We will take him back for periodic check ups and/or follow up injections of Ivomec. Your cure certainly worked for us. Please feel free to use us as reference.
Around 18 months ago, you helped me and supported me emotionally while I worked to get our rabbit rhrough head-tilt disease. Your treatments worked beautifully and he only has a very tiny head tilt left.
I made a little video clip and hopefully you can see it.
Note from Barbi: I couldn't figure out how to load the movie but if anyone would like to see it I can forward it via e-mail.
I hope this email gets to you. I want to express my thanks and gratitude for the information that you have shared about bunny health. I had a 13 year old rabbit with wry neck (rolling stage) that I thought we were going to have to put down. The situation seemed hopeless but I tried your method of treatment exactly and it worked! He now appears healthier and has not fallen over in weeks. I know we have a ways to go but we have added extra time to this senior bunny's life! Thank you again!
I wanted to extend a big THANK YOU to your extensive research and guidance in regard to curing wry neck in rabbits.
I have a New Zealand buck that contracted wry neck a couple of months ago when the weather turned cold. First he lost his appetite and just sat almost motionless in a corner of his cage. A few days later his head was twisting and he got the googley-eye. The the extreme rolling started soon after that. If it weren't for me forcing water into his mouth and giving him only fresh picked grass, I think he would have died from starvation or thirst.
I called some local breeders and asked them what they do with their wry neck bunnies. Both told me they have had no luck trying anything and vets know nothing about it. They have always just put the rabbits down. Well, that didn't sit well with me, especially since this is my favorite buck. I got on the Internet and came across your website.
I jumped into action and purchased the recommended Ivomec medicine from a ranch and feed store. I could not find the secondary medicine that you suggested, but it sounded like the Ivomec was the main one anyway. I gave my buck the medicine orally as you directed and he fought me like a son of a gun! I wore gloves, a thick jacket and glasses to protect myself from getting splashed and I am glad I did. A bit was lost, but I had planned on that when I filled the syringe with a couple of ccs extra.
To my utter amazement, within one week I saw a marked improvement! He was able to get to the water bottle on his own during the first week and had an increased appetite. Also, the rolling stopped, but his head was still cocked. After seven days I dosed him again as you recommended. About 10 days after the second dose he was almost back to 100% normal! Two months after the onslaught of wry neck, he is thriving again and the only visible evidence remaining is that one of his ears tips a bit over his head when he is not alert.
I would recommend that anyone trying to save a rabbit from this horrible condition not only follow your treatment, but also take the time to hand water the patient multiple times a day by forcing the tip of a water bottle in their mouth and squeezing the water bottle to spur their interest in drinking. Once I did this, he usually guzzled the water for minutes straight because he couldn't control his body enough to drink on his own. I also gave him piles of fresh grass and shaved carrots, which helped combat dehydration.
I want to thank you for your obvious hard work in not only collaborating with vets for a cure for this horrible condition, but also for taking the time to inform the rest of the rabbit community through your website. The American Rabbit Breeders Association should feature your recommendations in their publications and their website to reach as many people as possible.
Many thanks again and again!
Flo S. L.
We have a darling smoke pearl Lionhead that we purchased from you in 2005. His name is Cosmo and he is the love of not only my daughter Cammi's life, but mine as well! Last summer during that horrible heat wave, we lost a different rabbit to wry neck. Unfortunately the timing of her whole situation was terrible, because the feed stores were closed and we were not able to start her on the Ivomec before we lost her. I want to THANK you SO MUCH for your
wonderful website. We read, and read, and learned a lot about wry neck last summer. Early this February our Lionhead began exhibiting the symptoms of the darting eyes and head to the side. Rather than panic, we went straight to the feed store and got him started on the Ivomec and Piperazine. We gave him carrot tops, water through a dropper, and massaged his little neck. It was pretty scary for the first 7 days. We did a lot of praying as well! We gave the 2nd dose of Ivomec on the 7th day and began seeing small improvements every day. We brought him inside during this time to monitor him closely. By the beginning of March he started becoming more and more himself, and seemed to really love his massage time! (I can relate!) By the middle of March we started letting him hop around the yard for small periods of time. He used this time to stretch and at times seemed disoriented. I can happily say now at the beginning of April he is basically back to normal. His appetite is great...although he seems a little picky now and prefers carrots, carrot tops and timothy hay to his regular feed pellets! Thank you so much again for your
information. I believe you saved our bunny's life
|Hi Barbi! My latest wry neck bunny is doing great! This is
the third one I
have treated with your methods and I just wish I had taken pictures during the
worst of it for you to put on your site. THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!! (The vet
wanted me to "sacrifice" him so the pathologist could have nice fresh tissue to
figure out what was wrong with so many of our rabbits being off feed.)
I am going through the whole barn and doing a preventative CORID and IVOMEC on
everybody. I am using that high dose of .1cc/lb. of the 1% cattle Ivomec on
everybody. Is that okay? Should I do the real young ones too? And always
repeat 10 days later?
So many breeders use such low doses that don't you wonder if they are creating
Thanks for all you do,
I read your articles too and I was inclined to agree with you as I have used penicillin successfully in treating wry neck. However it didn't have the same effect on every case. Then recently, one of mom's best Holland bucks became semi-paralyzed in the hindquarters. He can move his toes and pull his legs back under him but he can't get up and hop. And Penicillin had no effect. So I looked up paralyzed hindquarters on the internet and found your article. Which brought me to E. Cuniculi. At about the same time a friend of mine was having problems with some of her rabbits and the vet recomended that she treat them with Valbazen for E. Cuniculi. I wanted to know why Ivormec wouldn't do the same thing because I had that on hand and knew that it was a broader spectrum wormer. So I looked up E. Cuniculi on the internet and the article I wrote was the result of that. Here are the site adresses I found in the process.
This was the more technical one that answered a lot of my questions.
This one told how the various wormers, drugs worked.
This one gives a list of parasites found in rabbits, symptoms, and treatments.
This is an article on E.Cuniculi and research being done on it.
There may be more sites that I didn't get written down but you can get to them from the above sites.
The Penicillin probably works because it took care of any secondary infections and gave the rabbit's immune
system a chance to fight the E. Cuniculi. I also took the part about the E. cunicli being passed in the
urine and respiratory secretions as meaning that another rabbit would have to come into direct contact
with these fluids to pick up the spores. No where have I seen it said that it's an airborne infection. The
rabbits that don't show symptoms apparently have a stronger immunity. Which would explain why one rabbit
gets it and another doesn't
. This summer I have been finding that many of my cases of wry neck respond to treatment of the ears with a drench of peroxide and injectable(oily form seems to work a little better than powdered) Tetracycline. The Peroxide foams out any infection and the Tetracycline helps clear infectionand possibly smothers any mites. This summer has had favorable weather for mites and a high mouse population was probablya contributing factor. I changed my mouse control method and reduced the population and am now going through treating any ears that look suspicious. I recently had a doe that had a small abcess just below her ear. Her ear had some crusty, darkish matter so I removed what I could then poured in the Peroxide mixture. Boy did it foam! And it hadn't looked that bad. I repeated the treatment every 2-3 days and the eat looked better but the abcess remained. We went to convention so the ear didn't receive treatment for a few days. I checked the ear and it looked clean when we got back but I treated it anyways because I had a feeling that the abcess was connected. Turns out it was and I was able to press all the pus out through the ear. I have continued the Peroxide treatments every couple of days and there are no signs as of yet of the abcess coming back. I don't know if the rabbit got ear mites and then debris caused a secondary infection that went deep enough to cause the abcess or what. I've never had a problem with ear mites before so haven't had much experience to draw on. Just thought I'd share this as it was a first for me.
I just wanted to let you know how our New Zealand did. I was not sure on how much Depo-Medrol to give, as it comes it 3 strengths (20mg/ml 40mg/ml and 80mg/ml). What I had was the 80mg/ml, so I based her dosage on the 20mg/ml. I had already treated her x 7 days with injectible penicillin, with no noted improvement. The first day after the Depo-Medrol injection, there seemed to be mild improvement, the next day showed some regression so I repeated the Depo-Medrol, this time basing the dose on the 40mg/ml. I did not have any Ivomec available (could not believe the stores were out...but 4H is up and running strong around here right now.) I did have some Corid and decided to utilize that...Even though the corid is used for the coccidiosis I felt it was worth a try. I began using the Corid in water the same day as the first Depo-medrol injection, and treated x 5 days (will repeat in another 10 days). We had removed the litter from the doe (age 3 weeks)...the litter refused to nurse from supplements and were not eating enough to sustain themselves, the doe also seemed more stressed from having the kits removed, so after a day and a half we returned the kits to the doe.
So far the kits seem uneffected by the medications, they are a little smaller than another litter of the same age, but this doe seems to have smaller kits. We will have to see how they develope long term. The good
news is the doe is completely recovered. No head tilt, is very active and eating and drinking well. (I also attribute that to the Depo-Medrol) I plan to add Ivomec to my treatment program for all rabbits. At what ratio
do you mix the Ivomec for the rabbits, and how young can you treat them?? I have often wondered why I had babies that "wasted" often shortly after weaning...With the dwarfs I was always told that "it just seems to happen more with the small breeds". I had looked into fur block, feed, genetics...nothing added up....but the E.cuniculi does. Thanks for all of your efforts in this. I was very glad to be able to benifit from all of
your experience. Phyllis Kronk.
...but a foot note to that story....4 months later the doe had a relapse and I was unable to save her....The kits all did fine, and as far as I know did not ever have "wry Neck". Phyllis.
|Hello! My EC buck from just over 2 weeks ago is doing quite well now -
I'm so relieved!! He's still got head tilt, but his appetite is getting better though he's
still picky, but at least he won't become emaciated.
The Voren suspension that he was given (I remember you asking why he got it 2 days running: the first dose wasn't enough to have any effect, so he got a higher dose the next day which made him feel like nibbling hay within 3 hours) is an anti-inflammatory that lasts for 4-5 days. Ive been told that Depo-Medrol stays in the system for about 4 weeks - although it's 2 & 1/2 weeks since he came down with symptoms, to relieve the head tilt should he get Depo-Medrol now, or should I just leave him as he is?
My friend had a doe that came down with head tilt just after kindling, & after 5 weeks she's now fine which made me more optimistic about my buck Bernie's head getting back to normal, and also that you said they can recover completely.
All the same, it's so heartbreaking when (as it usually is!) the best rabbit is found with symptoms, so the does I know are carriers aren't going to be bred from again except for experimental reasons. I've got a sealpoint I suspect is a carrier, and as I need a daughter from her I think I'll foster her next litter. Do you think it's through rearing that the babies get the parasite, or while still in the doe? I suspect it's through rearing, just wondering what you thought.
I'd still like to try my breeding/fostering experiments to establish how it's transmitted. I've emailed a Professor in Parasitology at Glasgow Vet School to see if he knows anything/anybody who might be able to help, so we'll see how that turns out.
Anyway, now I know how to treat this nightmare if I encounter it again, thank you so very much
Bye for now, Jacki
Hi! If you want you can use my article on your own website, as yet it's not on any other site, but I would like if it was included on the UKrabbitbreeders site (check this out as soon as you can - "wry neck", "spinal shock"... ) I've not read these messages properly yet, just saw the titles and thought, at last others are admitting to it existing!
I'm starting to think there might be a genetic disposition which allows EC to develp, as I've experienced a 1 in 4 ratio of Tab's babies developing it, indicating a recessive gene combination from both parents which could cause some weakness somewhere. It could just be for less body fat, or smaller size, but it works out at the said recessive ratios anyway.
My friend Mark's blue buck came down with EC symptoms again, just 2 months appox after the first time.
I've not culled my entire line, I've got Bernie's babies, at least 2 i think I'll keep, and all my other does are quite closely related to Tabitha, it's just her anbd her daughters who are out.
Check this out too, ASAP:
Anyway, guess I'd better go for now, speak soon, Jacki
|Well the little doe is fine ! The third day she was almost back to her
own self, though she couldn't eally hop much due to her hind legs. Yesterday she was
hopping all right and even binkied and ran but crabwise. I have given her a first shot of
Ivomec and did so with all my rabbits (adults and kits), thought it wouldn't hurt and they
hadn't been wormed for a long time. The vet insisted I should give her a 5 day Baytril
treatment too. I don't know if I should call this wry neck since she only had a tilt head
the first day. The second day she was almost back to normal. Let's hope this will continue
! I will keep you updated. The other doe who had this too two monhs ago is fine too, she
is lively and eats well, her head isn't tilt either though it took a couple days before it
came back to normal.
I have shown your article and the vet's article, though he doesn't speak of Ivermectin in his article I insisted I wanted to try it. My vets were very intereeted in all that and read the articles right away. Albendazol is hard
to get here, I mean for rabbits since it is often used in cows but as a result it can only be bought in huge backets !
Thanks for your concern,
|Just a quick note to let you know the buck I wrote you about is holding
his own. At first he was wasting away although he was eating, but now his condition
is good. The head is still tilted slightly, but he was to the point
of rolling under stress when I first wrote you. I am getting my hopes up that he may have stabilized and just thank you so much for being willing to share information to help others.
I filled out your survey for this rabbit, but I don't see in question form what I wanted to tell you about it, so I'll tell you about it first! I can't remember the weather when his neck started tilting, but it was quite severe. Not upside down, but the most I've had so far in my rabbitry. I brought him upstairs, gave him at LEAST .2 ccs of Zimectrin, (ivermectin 1.87%), and a shot of penicillin. He was living with a doe at the time, and I didnt' remove her because they were very sweet together, and he huddled next to her for comfort, which she gave him.. Also, I didn't think that it would really be contagious, but even if it was, he needed her! I'm not discounting the frequent heightened sexual activity as a factor, either precipitating OR to help him recover (??? doubt it, but ???)
He didn't look any better for a couple of days. The first day, after the zimectrin and penicllin, he actualy looked worse. By about the 4th day he seemed more confident, and was after the doe again to get to business <G> , but his head was still tilted, but maybe about 10% less than before, and his balance must have been good enough to teeter on an unwilling doe.
Then MIRACULOUSLY, the day of the worst part of our Northeastern Heawave when 2 of my French lops, a Standard Rex, and all but two of a litter of French Lops in the nest box died, despite cool water misting. (just to make a point of how hot and HUMID it was), his head was COMPLETELY straight! This was about 10 days after hte initital Zimectrin and Penicillin, but I hadn't given him more of either. I don't know what the weather was like when he started the bad tilt, but it wasn't a heatwave, I know..
It's been straight for about 3 days. I gave him his second Zimectrin that day. Another strange thing is, a doe that came down with Wry neck last spring, maybe April or so, when I sent the first survey in who I had treated with Zimectrin and Baytril (Baytril for a week, one and a half purple pills. Forget the Mgs.. 11.7?/pill, which is a little high) had made a semi-recovery in that her head had been a little less tilted, and her balance was ok, Suddenly ALSO straightned more that same day, and I had done nothing to her since the second Ivermectin dose ten days after the first back in April.
Her head isn't perfectly straight still, but it seems a lot closer to it than it was the week before. It made me wonder if the HEAT had something to do with it. I suppose probably not, but I was hoping maybe you would make a note of it, just in case it ever comes up again in the future. Thanks!
I believe it's week 3 for "Ashes". No improvement. Initially the vet said she would not administer Depo Medrol and that if I insisted I would have to find another vet. (The reason she gives is that IF Ashes has an infection the steroid would reduce her immune system.) So, "O.K." I decided to see what she would come up with. She's even consulted with Carol Harvey, I think that is her name.
After the 10 days on Baytril, she switched the antibiotic to Doxycycline for 10 days. Then after consulting Dr. Harvey she switched again to a Trimeth-Sulfa, this time with addition of an anti-inflammatory (baby aspirin). The next visit they added Albendazole, which I believe is in place of Ivormectin, but at this point I'm totally confused and if Ashes recovered tomorrow I would have no idea what worked and what didn't. It's very frustrating.
Ashes is compensating for her handicap rather well, even though her head is practically upside down, still. She's able to eat hay and pellets and drink water on her own. It's me who's getting discouraged and I'm not sure how much longer I want to go on treating her when it doesn't seem to be doing any good. And it's costing me every time they switch the medications. At the same time I'm being stubborn about this because I'd like to see the vet take a step "outside the box" and try something unconventional. She even muttered something about trying a cortizone treatment if nothing else worked. "What could it hurt?" I think I heard her mumble. I'll let you know.
I wanted to thank you for sharing your thoughts on wry neck as my GC buck came down with it after we got a bad batch of feed, I did what you said to on your site and he has pulled out of it.
Sarah, Floppity Bunnies
I just wanted to say thank you for publishing the article about wry neck online. My rabbit is fully recovered due to your recommendation of Ivomec. Even though her vet is unfamilar with the condition, he agreed to try it and it turned out a complete success. My bunny and I thank you for saving her life. Much Appreciation,