Floppy Rabbit Syndrome

Floppy rabbit syndrome. Click here for full page view with caption.

Summary Information
Diseases / List of Miscellaneous / Metabolic / Multifactorial Diseases / Disease summary
Alternative Names See also: Hypokalaemia in Rabbits
Disease Agents Unknown, possibly toxin or hypokalaemia. (B600.12.w12)
Infectious Agent(s) --
Non-infectious Agent(s) --
Physical Agent(s) --
General Description
Clinical signs
  • Acute onset general weakness or flaccid paralysis. (B600.12.w12, B601.11.w11, B603.3.w3)
  • Affected rabbits can eat and drink if food and water are placed where they can reach them. (B600.12.w12)
  • Clinical pathology: sometimes low serum potassium (hypokalaemia). (B600.12.w12)
Further Information
  • Flaccid paralysis/apparent collapse in the absence of other causes (normal heart rate and sounds, respiratory rate, rectal temperature, mucous membrane colour etc., no abnormalities on radiography. (B600.12.w12)
  • Check serum for low potassium (hypokalaemia). (B600.12.w12)
Differential diagnoses

A variety of diseases may cause flaccid paralysis in rabbits. The following should be considered and ruled out before a diagnosis of idiopathic floppy rabbit syndrome is made. 

  • Supportive, particularly assisted feeding. (B600.12.w12)
  • Fluid therapy may be required (e.g. Hartmann's solution, intravenously). (B600.12.w12)
  • Note: the prognosis is good, signs usually subside within two to three days. (B600.12.w12)
Associated Techniques
Host taxa groups /species
Disease Author Debra Bourne MA VetMB PhD MRCVS (V.w5)
Referees John Chitty BVetMed CertZooMed MRCVS (V.w65)

Return to top of page