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Dr. Dan M.
Dr. Dan M., Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 1504
Experience:  10 years of experience as a veterinary surgeon
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I have a 9 year elderly lion head indoor rabbit, he is just

Customer Question

I have a 9 year elderly lion head indoor rabbit, he is just recovering from a bout of gut stasis, something he experiences occasionally but always picks up after a few days, he started was a lot better yesterday and I took him out to clips his claws, I'd noticed when cleaning his rear end during the gut stasis that his hind claws had got way to long, so last night clipped them the same way I've done for years, I should have done it much earlier but it stresses him so much! Anyway from the minute I put him back in his hutch he was unsteady on his feet, sort of wobbly, he is the same today, he can move / walk but very gingerly, he is eating, drinking etc, could this be that I let his claws get to long and his feet are now either hurting or feel strange or could it be something else?
Thank from the worried mum of Barney Rabbit
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. Dan M. replied 4 years ago.

I hope I can give you some help regarding Barney.

I am thrilled he is settling from his bout of stasis, he is an incredible age so to get through this is wonderful news.

The development of a wobbly hindlimbs after clipping his nails could be from the sudden occurrence of shorter nails, but I would only expect this if the nails originally were very very long.

It is possible the manipulation of holding him whilst cutting the nails pulled on his hips or knees. At this age I wouldn't be surprised if he has some arthritis somewhere and sometimes out of the ordinary movement or restraint can cause it to be apparent.

It is worth making sure none of the claws were cut too short as this may cause some mild pain and altered movement.

It could of course be coincidental and be unrelated to the nails. Wobbliness in rabbits can develop from inner ear infections, vestibular disease (labyrinthitis) or parasitic disease (E.cuniliculi).

Certainly, if the wobbliness is persisting then get him checked over and a more precise diagnosis and possible medication can be given.

Good luck

Dan Makin