My son loved to watch episodes of “Jay Jay the Jet Plane” when he was little.  I figure it was probably a knock-off of “Thomas the Tank Engine”, but I don’t know.  At any rate, it was about a bunch of young planes and a helicopter, and how they learn things as they are growing up.

One episode was called “Herky Catches Upsy-Downosis”.  Herky was the young helicopter friend of Jay Jay.  Upsy-Downosis was like a cold, and Herky got it.  It caused him to fly upside-down, and was very disorienting, as you can imagine.  Like people who drag themselves to work when they are sick, and force themselves to try to perform, Herky expended great effort to fly upright so no one would know he was sick.  Eventually, it got bad enough that he couldn’t hide it, and he had to take a few days to rest and recover.

What does this have to do with anything?

Well, our buck, Pinto, has Upsy-Downosis.

Actually, it’s called Wry Neck, or Torticollis, but the effect is pretty much the same.  Poor Pinto expends lots of effort to remain upright, but his head is never upright unless we hold him that way.  To him, upright is this:

Hi!  I'm Pinto, and I'm rightside-up!

Hi! I’m Pinto, and I’m right-side-up!

This can be caused by several things, but probably most common is a protozoan (or a fungus, they can’t decide) called Encephalitozoon Cuniculi.

While I’m not absolutely positive that is the correct diagnosis, I really need to treat it like it is.

So for the last eight days, since this started on July 4th, we’ve been spending a lot of time getting medicine, food, and water into Pinto.

Fact:  A rabbit with Wry Neck will drain all the time in your life away.  And I am soooooooo tired!  He’s doing better, though.

Time to go give Pinto some water and then go to bed!


Upsy-Downosis — 4 Comments

    • Thank you, Annette! I suppose it’s time for an update…

      He’s gotten much stronger and much more feisty, and spends a lot less time doing barrel rolls trying to get his footing. He stands a good bit of the time.

      We put a raised wire floor in the carrier he’s living in to help him be able to grab something and stand, and also to keep him out of his waste. A litter bed is fine for a healthy rabbit, but not as good for one that can’t control his body well.

      He is stubborn. He doesn’t like the medicated food he is on. We add pumpkin, applesauce, pineapple juice, a little molasses — all sorts of things to tempt him to eat it. It takes all day to get him to eat it all, usually. He has taken to occasionally peeing on my mom to express his displeasure. I don’t think it’s incontinence.

      He will eat regular pellets, BOSS, and oats. And hay. We were putting hay on the wire, but it filled up under the wire too fast. I put a clip through the carrier door, and we clip hay in it for him. He finds a way to reach it. He is very, very bony, but he has finally put a little weight back on.

      He managed to finish getting his private parts cleaned a while back. I have no idea how, except that he’s obviously determined. I could do only so much with scissors, and was going to soak it, but he got it clean first. He tries valiantly to wash his face, but has very limited use of his right paw. Sometimes, he will lick my mom’s sweater sleeve a bunch, and then rub his face on that. Resourceful little thing.

      His head turn is really no better. :( I don’t know why.

      He has gone from being a “touch-me-not”/well, maybe a little scritch/never mind, I don’t want a scritch/okay, you can scritch me over here, but only for 30 seconds… to loving being held and licking you to death sometimes.

    • He took the move really well. In fact, he became more laid-back in the new rabbitry.

      I did find that it can take 1 – 3 months for them to recover, and it’s been about a month and a half so far.

      He has gotten so that he can move his head more, so maybe the head tilt will start improving soon. I have wondered if it might be permanent, and I’m not sure yet how we’ll handle it if it is.

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