Head tilts in rabbits – how to tell if they are caused by central or peripheral disease

Date added: 15th April 2014

The following extract is taken from the information provided by Emma Keeble in March’s Exotics Club webinar ‘Neurology in Rabbits’.
It is important to try to determine whether the cause of a head tilt in a rabbit is central or peripheral. There are clues you can pick up from the clinical examination which will give you that information. You can look at whether there are any clinical signs associated with another disease. You can also check to see if there is any evidence of nystagmus and then quantify what the nystagmus is and how it is affecting the rabbit. In addition, you should check for other nervous disorders such as Horner’s syndrome and facial paralysis.

In this way you can quantify a little better as to where the disease process is in your patient. The table below shows how you can interpret your findings.
rabbit head tilt

For more information about diagnosing and managing rabbits presenting with neurological disease, join Exotics Club and watch the webinar recording 'Neurology in Rabbits'.

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