What are the Causes of Rabbit Seizures?

Written by erin ringwald
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What are the Causes of Rabbit Seizures?
Rabbits can develop seizures for a number of a reasons. (Rabbit image by Warren Millar from Fotolia.com)

According to Grassmere Animal Hospital, seizures occur when the normal function of the brain is disrupted which results in mental or physical state change. Seizures are a symptom of a larger problem. Knowing the causes of seizures can help you and your veterinarian determine the medical cause of the seizures and determine proper treatment for your rabbit.

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Low Blood Sugar

Just as a human can develop hypoglycaemia, so can your rabbit. Hypoglycaemia occurs when the body is not receiving enough sugars or cannot process the sugars it is receiving, resulting in a low glucose level in the blood, according to Hypoglycemia Support Foundation. In the case of rabbits, this generally occurs in younger rabbits, but can infrequently occur in adult rabbits. It can happen when a rabbit has developed diarrhoea or is refusing to eat. Low blood sugar can lead to seizures. Your vet may treat such seizures with an intravenous tube to feed your rabbit and address the underlying cause of diarrhoea or eating problems.

Permethrin

Certain things your rabbit comes in contact with on a regular basis can be toxic to him. One of the common toxins encountered is permethrin. Permethrin is commonly the active ingredient in insecticides, especially those used on your lawn. If your rabbit comes in contact with an insecticide and has a sensitivity to permethrin, symptoms may begin, including lethargy, appetite loss and seizures. The first course of action, if you suspect permethrin poisoning, is to bathe your rabbit with gentle shampoo to remove the toxins from his body, according to WildlifeInformation.org.

Encephalitozoon Cuniculi (E. Cuniculi)

E. Cuniculi is a parasite that is usually transmitted through urine or through the birth process. The parasite can live unknown in the rabbit’s body for long periods of time with no evident symptoms. However, if symptoms do occur, seizures are often noted, as well as head tilting, balance problems and general weakness or hindquarter paralysis.

Epilepsy

According to the Epilepsy Foundation, epilepsy is the predisposition of the brain to have electrical interferences that causes seizures; seizures are an epileptic symptom. Epilepsy is known to occur in a number of animals, including humans, dogs, cats and rabbits. Epilepsy occurs for a variety of different reasons including a brain injury that cannot be healed. If this is the case, your rabbit will be more likely to have repeat seizures in the future.

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