Skeletal Problems

Broken Bones
A broken nail or a toe should heal on its own. A broken arm or leg needs medical attention. These rabbits should be rushed to the vet so they can properly set with a splint to allow the bone to heal. If it is left go, it’s possible for the rabbit to go into shock and die.

Broken Back
This is spotted when a rabbit is dragging its hind feet or entire lower body. The rabbit might not have feeling in his feet or legs and can’t control them. This can happen with rough handling or stress. If there is a loud noise, they can jump and end up breaking their own back. The best way to prevent this is to keep stress out of the hutch and proper handling. A broken back could potentially heal and the rabbit may get some control over it’s lower half once swelling goes down but most of the time the rabbit will need to be put down.

Splay Legs
This is a genetic disease and these rabbits should be culled. The hind legs of the rabbit stick out to the side. It gets around by using its front paws and belly to wiggle around. In worse cases, the front and back legs are affected and the rabbit usually can’t move at all. Splay legs can also be a result in a broken leg from in the nest box, when it occurs here, it is not genetic. One leg may stick out to the side but the other remains normal.

“Wire Tail”
This is rare but it is a genetic disease. The tail of the rabbit doesn’t stick erect and
against the rump. Instead it twists to the side, often with the tip pointing down. Injuries may also cause this if the tail has been broken to that extent. Most broken tails appear bent and have a knot in the bone that can be felt.

“Hooked Spine”
Another rare genetic defect. I have seen it once in a Holland Lop. The top of the shoulders will have an extra bony protrusion from the spine. It will hook to the left or the right before connecting to the base of the skull.