Inflammation of the Brain and Brain Tissue in Rabbits

Treatment and Care


Treatment is generally based on the symptoms. Appropriate antibiotics will be prescribed according to the type of infection that is diagnosed, and anti-epileptic medications can be given to relieve seizures, if they have been observed.


Living and Management


To avoid injury, restrict the rabbit's activity (e.g., avoid stairs and slippery surfaces) according to the degree of balance, but encourage a return to activity as soon as safely possible, since activity may enhance recovery of the vestibular function.


It is absolutely imperative that the rabbit continue to eat and take in sufficient fluid during and following treatment. Offer a large selection of fresh, moistened greens such as cilantro, romaine lettuce, parsley, carrot tops, dandelion greens, spinach, collard greens, etc., and good-quality grass hay, and also offer the rabbit's usual pelleted diet, as the initial goal is to get the rabbit to eat. Encourage oral fluid intake by offering fresh water, wetting leafy vegetables, or flavoring water with vegetable juice. If the rabbit is too weak, or refuses to eat a sufficient amount of food, you will need to feed your rabbit a gruel diet by syringe until it can eat normally again.


High-carbohydrate, high-fat nutritional supplements are contraindicated. Note that antiseizure treatment may be given immediately to relieve the symptoms, but this is only symptomatic and may not consistently help unless a primary cause can be identified and treated. This condition is life threatening if left untreated, but in some cases, even with treatment, there may be worsening of mental status and death may occur. If your rabbit can be successfully treated and recovers, your veterinarian will schedule follow-up exams to repeat the neurologic examination at a frequency that is dictated by the underlying cause.