At first glance, head tilt in rabbits may seem like a simple quirk, especially for new bun parents. However, experts point out that it may be a symptom of some serious health conditions.
What Is Head Tilt in Rabbits?
This condition, which has the medical term torticollis and is sometimes called “wryneck,” causes a rabbit’s neck to twist, making the head tilt to one side.
Wryneck may develop slowly and so subtly that you hardly notice it. In other cases, it occurs suddenly and in a dramatic manner. But no matter how it presents itself, the result is the same.
Rabbit Head Tilt Symptoms
Head tilting usually doesn’t occur by itself. Depending on the severity of the condition and the cause, other symptoms may also be present. They include the following:
Lack of coordination or falling over
Causes of Rabbit Head Tilt
Head tilt is not considered a disease by itself. Instead, it is a symptom of ailments that affect a rabbit’s balance system. The balance system includes the central nervous system (CNS), vestibular apparatus in the inner ear, the visual system, and even the pads of his feet which tells him that he’s standing on the ground.
1. E. Cuniculi
Encephalitozoon cuniculi or E. Cuniculi is a microscopic parasite that resides in a rabbit’s body and can cause several diseases. These include kidney problems, cataracts, and conditions that affect a rabbit’s CNS.
Infections in the middle and inner ear are one of the top causes of wryneck in rabbits. Yeast, bacteria, or a mix of both are the usual sources of such issues.
Localized infections sometimes lead to the formation of abscesses. Depending on where the abscess develops, it may affect a rabbit’s sense of balance and coordination, making him tilt his head.
Rabbits are prone to having ear mites. These tiny pests usually thrive in your bun’s ears and feed on the wax there. Such action creates a loud sound in the ear canal which can be painful and irritating to your pet.
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