Experienced and professional animal trainer provide their insights in answering this question :
A. It is likely that your rabbit is suffering with a parasite called E. Cuniculi, or an inner ear problem. I would suggest that you take him to see a vet as soon as possible.

How to Identify Common Pet Problems ?

Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced pet care professionals :

A head tilt in a rabbit is usually caused by a problem inside the ear or brain (where the balance centre sits). Inner ear infections and E. caniculi (a tiny parasite that causes swelling in the brain) are the two most common causes of a head tilt in a rabbit.
Although head tilt is not an immediate middle-of-the-night emergency, veterinarian help should be sought out as soon as possible. The quicker your bunny can start on medical treatment, the quicker he can recover. A same day or next day appointment should be made.
Rolling of the body and signs of distress. Paddling of the hands or limbs. Mental confusion. Blindness.
​Head tilt is a condition that causes a child to hold her head or neck in a twisted or otherwise abnormal position. She may lean her head toward one shoulder and, when lying on her stomach, always turn the same side of her face toward the mattress.
Rabbit is limp, floppy or cold

These rabbits are very, very sick and may be close to death. The common end point of dehydration, shock or sepsis is a weak floppy rabbit, often with cold ears. They tend to sit hunched in a corner and `feel funny` when you pick them up.

Although rabbits were used for all manner of research, the “rabbit test” became synonymous with pregnancy screenings, and the phrase “the rabbit died” entered common usage as a euphemistic way of saying someone was pregnant (even though the rabbit always died during the test).
Sadly, once head tilt has progressed, the symptoms are all too obvious. `A rabbit`s head can quite suddenly become rotated to one side, and may even touch the floor. The eye on the affected side of the head could also possibly droop and look painful.
Neurological symptoms, including head tilt, nystagmus, circling, rolling, loss of balance, ataxia, paresis, paralysis and/or seizure activity are commonly encountered in pet rabbits.
The animal may appear to go into a trance-like state, staring at an object, or appearing confused or disoriented. In more severe seizures twitching or loss of bodily control can occur. The animal might lose control of their limbs or may pass urine where they are sitting/standing.
Within 3 days to 3 weeks, central compensation results in gradual improvement of clinical signs; the compensation is maximal after about 3 months. The head tilt, however, may still be obvious and permanent.
phrasal verb

tilted at; tilting at; tilts at. British. : to attack (someone or something) in writing or speech.

The head tilt is a subconscious come–hither signal that the guy is interested in you. He can`t wipe off that wide-smile. Consider it the “Wow, you give me butterflies smile.” If it`s accompanied by a hearty laugh, look out. If he were any more into you, he might get down on one knee!
Often a rabbit in pain will sit hunched up, unwilling to move. A rabbit that sits hunched up, with eyes half closed, and firm teeth grinding is likely in pain and needs a vet check form filled out and supervisor notified.
Floppy Rabbit Syndrome (FRS) is considered an acute neurological condition characterised by a sudden inability to hop around. The muscles of the legs and sometimes the neck are flaccid. FRS remains a poorly understood diagnosis in rabbits, with research ongoing in an attempt to identify an inciting cause.
More often rabbits who aren`t feeling well will sit in a hunched position, not flopped over. You would also notice other signs that your rabbit is sick if they are laying on their side because of weakness or illness.
When a rabbit goes into shock, their body will become still or limp. The heart rate will be slow and difficult to detect and the rabbit will have pale white gums as a result of circulatory problems. Rabbits in shock will also have very cold ears because their body temperature is plummeting.
Pain is not the only form of suffering, quality of life is important too and there are a number of situations in which euthanasia is the kindest thing to do for your rabbit. Consider euthanasia if your rabbit: Is suffering untreatable pain from a large tumour. Is no longer able to eat or drink normally.
Although rabbits can be happy singles if they have enough companionship from humans, a rabbit that has been used to living in a pair is unlikely to ever be completely happy on its own again. A bereaved rabbit will sometimes accept a new partner very quickly, even the day after its old partner has died in some cases.
ere are three options to deal with your pet`s body a er he/she passes. Some people choose to take their rabbit`s body home and bury him/her. Most people choose to have their rabbit cremated. With private or individual cremation, you will receive your pet`s ashes back.
This may be normal behavior. Sick or injured rabbits may be identified by abnormal behaviors such as lying on their sides for extended periods of time, head tilting, falling over, or inability to run in a straight line.
Usually, rabbits play dead when they feel neglected by its owner. They are so stubborn and self-centred that if not calculated, they find other ways to get attentions. For example, they start biting and pulling at their human friend`s clothes.
A rabbit with ataxia may be unable to move properly. It may stagger, stumble, or fall over when attempting to move. Other neurological signs that can be seen alongside ataxia include a head tilt, or a tendency to walk in circles or fall to one side.
Unlike their wild relatives, who live for an average of one to two years, domesticated rabbits can live between eight to 12 years.
Rabbits might nudge, push, or toss things around as a form of play, to solicit attention from you, or as a territorial behavior meaning “mine!” or “get out of the way!” Rabbits can be very territorial and particular.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Q. My rabbit is 7 years old. She was thrashing and rolling around in her cage. Her head is tilted to one side and her eyes are shaking back and forth.
ANSWER : A. It is likely that your rabbit is suffering with a parasite called E. Cuniculi, or an inner ear problem. I would suggest that you take him to see a vet as soon as possible.

Q. Weak, discharge from eyes, swelling on right eye, does not want to open eyes. What is wrong?
ANSWER : A. If the discharge from the eye is green or yellow in color, it can indicate a secondary infection. Swollen eyes can be caused by a number of things ranging from allergies to infections, to injury to the eye itself or surrounding areas.

It is best to have your pet’s eye examined by your local vet. They will most likely wish to place a stain in the eye that can check for damage such as cuts or scratches. An ointment can then be given to help reduce inflammation, pain and take care of infection.

Until you can get to the vet, be sure to not let your pet scratch or paw at their eye as this can make things worse. You can also use a warm wet washcloth to gently remove any debris and allow the eye to open some, providing relief. However, if symptoms worsen, or the swelling travels to the face, head or neck, it may indicate a serious allergic reaction which should be treated immediately.

Q. I have a 13 1/2 year old Shih Tzu. How old is he in dog years?
ANSWER : A. It’s used to be that dog years were 7 years to every 1. Now it normally around 5 years to every year as long as your dog is healthy and kept up with vaccines. So he’s about 68ish in dog years.

Read Full Q/A … : Shih Tzu Age

Q. What can be given to dogs to stop the brown draining around dogs eyes? I was told tetracycline would work.
ANSWER : A. Eye leakage is normal in some breeds of dogs, especially those that are more “bug-eyed” types. This eye leakage is just normal tears coming from the eye which can stain lighter colored coats. Unless there is an infection it does not need to be treated with antibiotics. Signs of infection usually include drainage that is thick or goopy and is yellow or greenish in color. Dogs with infections may also want to keep the eye closed, or may paw and scratch at it.

For plain tear-staining. Tear-stain wipes can be used around the eyes to remove the stain and bring the coat back to natural color. If infection is suspected, it is best to have your vet take a look at the eye prior to placing any medications in it.

Q. I was told by my vet that my dogs cherry eye was caused by something hitting his eye when he was poking around under a bush. I was told surgery needed
ANSWER : A. Prolapsed gland of the eyelid refers to a pink mass protruding from the animal’s eyelid; it is also called a “cherry eye.” Normally, the gland is anchored by an attachment made up of fibrous material. The most common sign of “cherry eye” is an oval mass protruding from the dogs’s third eyelid. It can occur in one or both eyes, and may be accompanied by swelling and irritation. He may have acquired it by getting an injury to his eye but this isn’t the case sometimes. Sometimes there is a weakness in the fibrous attachment.

The veterinarian will review the mass in the dog’s third eyelid and determine if there is an underlying cause for the condition. The diagnosis of the prolapsed gland could be scrolled or everted cartilage in the third eyelid, abnormal cells in the third eye, or a prolapse of fat in the dog’s eye.

Treatment often includes surgical replacement of the gland in the dog’s eye, or removal of the entire gland if the condition is severe. Conversely, if medications are recommended, they are typically topical anti-inflammatory drugs that are effective in reducing swelling.

Q. My 15 yr old Shitzu/peek eats but has head tilt and now when she has to go to the bathroom sometimes has accidents. Also some whining nite.
ANSWER : A. Your dog may have what is called idiopathic vestibular disease. The vestibular system is composed of portions of the brain and ear and is responsible for maintaining our sense of balance. When something goes wrong with the vestibular system, it feels like the world is spinning.

Dogs with idiopathic vestibular disease have some combination of the following symptoms:

A head tilt

They are unsteady on their feet and may fall over

They circle in one direction or even roll across the floor

Their eyes flick back and forth, up and down, or rotate in a circle (this is called nystagmus)

An unwillingness to eat due to nausea


These clinical signs are not unique to idiopathic vestibular disease. Infections, tumors, inflammatory diseases and other conditions can all adversely affect a dog’s vestibular system, so a thorough physical exam is necessary. But when the symptoms seemingly appear out of nowhere in an older dog and then start to improve over the course of a few days to weeks, idiopathic vestibular disease is usually the cause.

Q. One eye is more red than the other. Last night he was pawing at it,today, he isn’t. Should I bring him to the vet?
ANSWER : A. Sounds possible that he had some irritation to the eye that is at least not itchy anymore. You can do either, having it checked now to confirm mild irritation, potentially due to debris or a topical irritant to the eye; or you can flush the eye with sterile saline eye wash (over the counter) using care not to poke or prod the eye and see if the irritation goes away on its own within the next 24 hrs. It has shown improvement already it appears, however if it is not cleared up and your pet seems irritated by it AT ALL, then it should be looked at by a vet and tested for a possible corneal scratch or ulcer. These can cause redness of the eye, eye discharge and pawing at the face. They are usually treated by prescription only topical eye antibiotic ointment and generally do very well after treatment.

Read Full Q/A … : Eye Problems in Cats

Q. My pet is suffering eyes discharge, what should I do?
ANSWER : A. Mucus, yellow-green pus, or a watery eye discharge can all be signs of conjunctivitis, which is inflammation of the lining of your dog’s eye.

There is a wide range of causes for conjunctivitis, from allergies, injury, birth defects, and tear duct problems, to foreign bodies, dry eye syndrome, infections or even tumors.

Other signs of conjunctivitis include excessive blinking or keeping the eye closed, squinting and pawing at the eyes.

Treatment of this condition depends on the underlying cause. In most of the cases cleaning, soothing the eye and applying antibiotics eye drops suffice but is some instances further investigation is required to establish the cause of the excessive eye discharge, and this should be performed by a veterinarian.