Floppy Rabbit Syndrome – Is It Fatal Or You Can Treat It At Home?

Did your pet diagnose with the floppy bunny syndrome and now you want to know everything about it?

This disease varies from bunny to bunny, but it’s very important to recognize early signs of it, so your beloved pet can get proper treatment and recover fully and quickly.

What is Floppy Bunny Syndrome?

This dramatic and alarming condition is very unpleasant for the rabbit owner and the rabbit itself.

The Floppy Rabbit Syndrome (FRS) is a neurological condition manifested with acute onset weakness to flaccid paralysis of the skeletal muscles. It can affect the hind or front legs or both.

brown bunny

Bunnies that are seriously affected by this syndrome won’t be able to do anything but lie. Less severe cases won’t be able to hop around, but they still can sit up and eat.

The progression of this condition varies from one rabbit to another, from one to several hours.

Luckily, with proper and intensive nursing, the prognosis for most cases is good and rarely with fatal consequences.

Floppy Syndrome Symptoms

You should always observe your beloved pet to notice differences in its behavior. There is no breed, sex or age predilection for rabbits who suffer from this syndrome. Look for the following signs:

  • Little movement (or not at all) in front or back legs, or both
  • Generalized weakness or even paralysis
  • Poor appetite or not drinking/eating at all

tired bunny
Also, it is important to note possible complications. That refers to the development of gut stasis – when normal motility of the gastrointestinal tract slows and results in painful gut distension and lack of appetite.

What Causes This Syndrome?

Unfortunately, the cause of the floppy bunny syndrome is still unknown, despite all research and studies. So, here we’ll mention all potential factors and possible causes.

  1. Genetic Or Temperature/Humidity Based Factors – Interestingly, this syndrome is noticed in warmer areas rather than colder ones. Also, some experts noticed more cases during or after humid days. The possible cause can be related to different genetic populations, too.
  2. sick bunny

  3. Hypocalcemia – That term refers to low calcium. This syndrome is sometimes seen in lactating bunnies.
  4. Hypoglycemia – Young rabbits often suffer from this condition that can be treated with a proper diet.
  5. Hypocalcemia – This rare condition is sometimes linked with FRS. It is caused by low potassium levels in the blood.
  6. Dehydration – Unfortunately, bunnies can dehydrate quickly and can hide signs of this condition. They can easily collapse and show signs usually associated with the floppy bunny syndrome.
  7. bunny lying on ground

  8. Infection Causes – Many rabbits that struggle with the floppy syndrome are often positive for Encephalitozoon cuniculi – that parasite often causes other neurological issues.
  9. Ingestion Of Toxins – Contamination from garden plants, hay or feed.
  10. Vitamin E And/Or Selenium Deficiency

In many cases, the cause is impossible to identify, however, it is important to make all tests and exclude some factors.

Floppy Bunny Syndrome Treatment

So, what to do when you notice something’s wrong with your bunny?

The first thing you should do is book an appointment with your vet. He/she will perform a few simple tests to find out an underlying cause. If tests don’t show anything, further investigation should be done. That includes extensive blood tests or X-rays or CT scans.


There is some good news – the majority of rabbits affected with this syndrome recover within 2 to 7 days. But the severity of the condition will prolong the recovery time.

Provide your bunny with supportive care. This can consist of hydration (IV drip, orally or by injection), feeding (syringe feeding), hygiene (changing of bedding more often than before), movement (massage, changing of position) and pain relief and gut motility medications.

woman cares for rabbit

Also, treatment may include anti-inflammatory medications, pro-kinetics that keep the gastrointestinal system working,  keeping the rabbit warm and calm, providing proper hydration and supplementary feeding.

To Sum Up

Floppy syndrome is a terrible condition, but with the right tests, treatment and care, your lovely rabbit can recover fully and quickly. That’s why it is important to recognize early symptoms, so you can react accordingly.

Diane has a Master’s degree in Economy. Her work experience began in 2016. when she graduated and got her first job in the pet company. The interest in pets and animals was increasing over time and finally, she decided to write about pets. On Petovly, her domain is dogs, cats, hamsters, and guinea pigs. She is in touch with many experts who share their professional knowledge with her helping her to complete the articles.