November 28, 2022
what are the causes of Splayed Legs in Rabbits

What are the causes of Splayed Legs in Rabbits?

Know what are the causes of Splayed Legs in Rabbits? The splayed legs in rabbits can make you wonder how they would deal with such deformities. But a little help and proper caring can help them live everyday life. Such rabbits would need more help from you than other rabbits. If a rabbit has splayed legs, its functional limbs carry its whole body weight. Indeed, it would drastically affect the legs that are working. Some bunnies are born with such health conditions, and it becomes difficult to treat them. But losing hope isn’t advisable; rather than that, you should consider consulting the vet and look for treatment options. In this article, we will discuss all the causes of splayed legs in rabbits and how to treat them. Therefore, if you have such a rabbit, stay tuned and read this article.

Do Rabbits have Splayed Legs?

Yes, rabbits can have splayed legs. Some rabbits are born with splayed legs, whether its front, hind or even all four legs. You must know that a splayed leg is a physical disability, and some animals are born with it. Experts suggest that this condition is likely due to genetics resulting in weak connective tissue. Rabbits with splayed legs would face some difficulties to live a normal life.

They cannot walk upright because of the improper functionality of the legs. If you have adopted a rabbit with splayed legs, you need to be careful while handling them. You don’t have to do anything different, but you need to be more attentive. Further, we will discuss more the causes of splayed legs in rabbits. If you are curious, then stay tuned.

What are the causes of splayed legs in Rabbits?

Most of the time, genetics results in weak connective tissues, but it can happen because of environmental conditions. It may take time to understand a recently born, but you may see it after a few weeks of birth. Besides genetics, some environmental factors that can cause splayed legs in rabbits are slippery flooring. If Rabbit has weak joints, walks on the slippery floor, its tissues break down even more and result in splayed legs. Several other causes are accidents, injury, or trauma. The rabbits are very playful, leading them to severe injuries. That’s why it is better to keep track of their activities.

Signs of splayed legs in Rabbits

If a rabbit has a splayed leg condition, then you don’t need some signs to recognise it as it is a most visible deformity. We understand that many diseases don’t knock but severely affect the animals, and that’s why it is necessary to know their early signs of them. But in the case of splayed legs in rabbits, you don’t have to worry about that. You can recognise just by seeing a rabbit if it has splayed legs or not.

As we illustrated earlier, sometimes this condition results from genetics, but there are other causes. You can’t do anything about the genetic cause, but you can prevent other causes by being more attentive towards your pet. Other signs that would indicate that your rabbit has splayed legs are unable to hop, and the affected legs stop working altogether, and you may see them finding it difficult to walk.

How to treat splayed legs in Rabbits?

Unfortunately, there are no medicines available for treating splayed legs in rabbits. Rabbits born with splayed legs will have to deal with it for the rest of their lives. Neither, this conditions were resolved by surgery. However, using a leg brace instead would help your rabbit to walk.

Not only walk, but after some training and exercises, your rabbit will be able to hop without affecting them. Wearing a leg brace would seem difficult at first, but later your pet would get accustomed to using it. The adult rabbit may cope with the leg brace, but it would be easy to get used to it if your rabbit is young. Forcing it on an adult rabbit would give him stress, so it’s better to avoid it. However, consulting a professional would be a great idea.

How to take care of a Rabbit who has splayed Legs?

Taking care of a rabbit having splayed legs may seem complicated, but it’s just the same as a normal rabbit. However, it does require special care and attention. As you know, it’s not a disease or infection that would go away once treated. Sometimes, rabbits with splayed legs need to spend their lives in the same condition. If your bunny got splayed legs due to an accident or injury, then you need to consult the vet regularly.

Along with that, it will also be stressful and painful for the pet. You may have to make some changes in their living environment. Don’t forget that your pet rabbit has several limitations, and you shouldn’t do anything to bother them. If you have no idea what changes you should make to make your pet’s life easier, then read the following points.

Home Environment

When we prepare a rabbit’s home, we consider all the factors affecting it: litter box, bedding, food, and water. A rabbit with splayed legs needs relatively more attention and care. Apparently, it all starts with preparing an appropriate and comfortable hutch. We understand that all pet owners want to give their best for their pets. The first thing you need to prepare is the bed. It would be best if you made the hutch soft and comfortable. To make the bed nice, you can stuff it with hay to make it soft underneath.

The bed should be ground-level to keep your rabbit away from trouble. You also need to make sure that the rabbit can reach the food dishes and water bottle. If your rabbit cannot reach their food, water, or even their litter box, you must clean their cage almost daily. Keeping a rabbit in an unclean environment would make things worse for it. That’s why you need to keep track of cleaning, diet, and other activities as well.


Having splayed legs in rabbits doesn’t imply that they shouldn’t do exercise. It is crucial that your rabbit exercises properly and lives a normal life. You shouldn’t take the course in your hands but let the vet decide what type of exercise would keep your rabbit healthy. Keeping the rabbit indoors all the time wouldn’t be helpful, and it can lead them to stress and other health issues. After consulting the vet, you should give your rabbit room to do the exercise. Make sure the room is empty, or you can place a couple of toys to make the experience more enjoyable. While doing the exercise or playing, you shouldn’t push your rabbit limits. As you know that your rabbit is already struggling with deformities.

Grooming and cleaning

Rabbit’s who have splayed legs have the same grooming and cleaning requirements as normal rabbits. Don’t make their life harder by drifting them towards other severe health conditions. You need to make sure that you are cleaning their hutch regularly along with their bedding. Splayed legs in rabbits make them unable to groom themselves properly.

As you know, even a perfect rabbit finds it difficult to groom themselves properly. So, you need to be more helpful and assist with grooming. Rabbits like to be clean and intact, so do whatever you can to make it possible. Along with that, you need to keep track of their diet and exercise. Our life is affected by many factors, and all these factors help make it entertaining.

Can Rabbits have other health problems if they have splayed legs?

We have discussed earlier how you can take care of a rabbit with splayed legs. Now, many of you must be wondering that rabbits with splayed legs are likely to have other health problems as well, then yes. Splayed legs in rabbits can lead them to arthritis and bumblefoot. Arthritis is a painful disease and caused due to wear and tear of a joint.

Rabbit’s who have arthritis can find difficulty in moving. You need to make sure that your rabbit, who has splayed legs, is not likely to suffer from any other disease as it is already suffering and living a hard life. We recommend you see the veterinary doctor occasionally to ensure that your rabbit is just doing fine other than splayed legs.

Should I adopt a Rabbit with splayed legs?

Seeing the deformities of a pet makes you question your decision whether to adopt them or not. But before making that decision, you must know that the rabbits with splayed legs may be different in appearance from the normal ones, but they are also playful, docile, and calm.

You may need to be more careful and attentive while dealing with a rabbit with splayed legs. If you think you can take proper care of this rabbit, then go for it. You don’t have to worry about anything. Other than that, vets would make everything easier for you, so don’t hesitate to take their assistance.

Does having splayed legs in Rabbits make their life difficult?

If you wonder if a rabbit with splayed legs would be in pain, it’s not. However, it solely depends on the cause. If the rabbit has splayed legs due to an accident, injury, or trauma, then it may be painful for him. Pet owners having splayed legs rabbits report that they behave, run, and play just like their buddy, which suggests they are normal, just like the other pets.

But you shouldn’t ignore the splayed legs of your pet and do the needful. Not taking any action regarding the same can lead to more severe health concerns. That’s why you must go to the veterinarian and let them know your concerns. Along with that, don’t forget to make regular veterinary visits to make sure that your rabbit isn’t suffering from any secondary condition.

Can splayed legs in Rabbits be fixed?

It is difficult to see your rabbit unable to walk properly. But there is no medication for this condition that can fix it. So, instead of finding a solution, your pet has to live with this. However, your rabbit has another option, and that is leg braces. Young or small rabbits can get used to it over time, but adult rabbits may not. Apparently, adult rabbits get used to their splayed legs and learn to live the way it is. If your rabbit doesn’t like to have leg braces, you should force it on him.

Having splayed legs isn’t a regular condition, but it’s also dependent on genetics, and sometimes the environmental cause also leads to your rabbit. Other than that, bumblefoot is a bacterial infection of the skin.

What is Floppy bunny syndrome?

Floppy Bunny Syndrome (FBS) is an acute neurological condition characterized by a sudden inability to hop and jump around. Ongoing research is attempting to identify the cause of this syndrome. The symptoms of Floppy Bunny Syndrome include:

  • No or little movements in the front or back legs of your rabbit.
  • Rabbits aren’t drinking or eating enough.
  • It shows weakness or paralysis as well.

When you notice such symptoms, you need to consult the vet and tell them all about it. You should be more careful about your rabbit’s health and do everything you can to save it from worse.

Would amputating the splayed leg of a Rabbit be helpful?

Amputation shouldn’t be the go-to option if you have a rabbit with splayed legs. If the situation gets out of hand, you should consult the vet. Apparently, directly jumping on the decision to get the rabbit’s leg amputated isn’t a wise choice. You must discuss it with the veterinary doctor to see if there is any other option. The rabbit’s life wouldn’t become easier after the amputation, and that’s why you need to think once again.

Final Words

That was all about what are the causes of splayed legs in rabbits. We have thoroughly discussed the signs, causes, and treatment options you have while dealing with rabbits with splayed legs. We understand that it is challenging to take care of such rabbits, but leaving them would worsen. I hope this article has helped you assist your rabbit in having splayed legs. If you have something to add, feel free to drop it in the comment section. Your valuable views would help the others experiencing the same problem and, of course, help us to do better. Besides, it would be nice to hear from our fellow readers.

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Peyton Taylor

Hey readers! My name is Peyton Taylor, and I help others to have a great experience with their pets. Nothing compares to the happiness of having a healthy and affectionate pet. My sole purpose is to assist newbies and experienced pet owners to learn more and more about the behavior and character of their pets.

View all posts by Peyton Taylor →

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