Bunny moves head slowly side to side

by Connie
(Pierre SD. USA.)

Since I got her at 8 weeks my holland lop bunny does this, when sitting still.


She slowly moves her head from side to side, looks almost neurological, but as soon as she starts moving it is gone.

She has developed normally in weight and body, looks like she is following movement with her head as if she were watching something move, from one side to other, never turns her head, I wonder if it is inherited.

It is not wry neck. I have never seen this in any bunnies I have ever raised. Anyone got suggestions or seen it in their rabbits? Thanks.

***** Karen Sez *****
Yeah, what you're seeing is kind of spooky-looking, but as far as I know, this is visual, not neurological. The rabbits I have seen "panning" their environment have all been either red-eyed white or blue-eyed white rabbits. Is your rabbit white, or does it have very light-colored eyes?

I am told that the head movement helps the rabbit see its environment better. You've seen animals cock their head. And perhaps you yourself have needed to shift your own vision just slightly to better see something in the distance.

I am not sure why some white rabbits do this but others do not. Perhaps other rabbit breeders can shed additional light on the behavior of panning side-to-side with the eyes/head.



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Feb 18, 2019
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Head Sway
by: Anonymous

I just brought home a bunny with head sway. She seems normal other than that and appearing out of it. She was put on dewormer and antibiotics. No change. After all I've read I think she is actually ok. Her eyes do not look red until light is on them then they are very red. So I'm going to discuss this with the vet and likely discontinue her meds. I feel very good about this information!

Feb 17, 2019
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Baby lop
by: Anonymous

I have two baby lops and the white one does this too! I'm glad to hear it is normal as I have never seen a rabbit do this before and was worried that it was something neurological.

Feb 21, 2018
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moves head side-to-side
by: Anonymous

Wow!! I came to this page because my California White Rabbit does the same thing! Almost like he's spacing out, then snaps out of it and goes on about his business. I also thought neurological, but he's totally bunny normal 99.9% of the time. I feel much better. His brother doesn't do the panning, but he's got his own quirks! Feeling better.

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