Facial asymmetry, paresis
Causes found in rabbits
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Facial paralysis is usually related to the 7th cranial nerve. Rabbits suffering from this problem present an asymmetric face, when looked from the front. Depending on the extent of the damage, it can cause the dropping of the ear, eyelid, appearance of the third eyelid, and dropping of the lip.
The causes of this paralysis are multiple, extracranial, intracranial, or intratemporal :
Extracranial causes can be, among others:
· Traumatic injury;
· Neoplasia (presence of a tumor in the brain).
Intracranial causes can be, among others:
· Iatrogenic injury;
· Cancer, ;
· Degenerescence of the muscles or nerves ;
· Inflammation of muscles - myositis.
Intratemporal causes can be, among others:
· Traumatic injury, like temporal bone fracture or penetrating injuries;
· Chronic problems of teeth roots, abscesses;
· Bone damage, osteomyelitis, osteolysis, osteonecrosis;
· Bacterial infection, often outer or chronic middle ear infection;
· Fracture of the petrous portion of the temporal bone (also called petrous pyramid);
· Iatrogenic (inadvertently caused by the diagnosis or treatment of a veterinarian) causes;
· Various types of neoplasia (e.g. hemangioma, meningioma, carcinomas, arachnoidal cyst).
In rare cases, metabolic diseases are involved. In those cases, facial paralysis is regularly observed as bilateral.