Rabbits/Black lump


Hi, I have notice a black crusty lump on my rabbit's side, just behind her right shoulder. It is hard and there is fur growing on it.
She is a house rabbit so I doubt it's insects; she's never been outside. I've had her for about 3 months and never seen anything like this before. Any ideas?

Dear Hayley,

Rabbits occasionally develop melanomas.  I would have this looked at by a rabbit-savvy vet, and perhaps ask that a biopsy be taken under local anesthesia so the lesion can be characterized.

If the mass is of noticeable size, it might be best to have it completely removed with good margins (probably under general anesthesia, but some vets can do this with light sedation and local anesthetic), in case it is a melanoma.

If it is not attached to underlying tissue, such as muscle, bone, or fascia, the prognosis is better than if it *is* attached.  So the sooner this is done, the better.

Hope all will be fine.



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Dana Krempels, Ph.D.


I've lived with companion rabbits for more than 35 years, and consider them members of my family. I can answer any questions about the biology and health of rabbits, from the commonplace to the unusual. But please note:

RULE #1:

...it is an EMERGENCY.

Find a rabbit vet at www.rabbit.org/vet for immediate help, and don't risk your bunny's life by spending time asking questions online! If you can't get in touch with your vet, read these Emergency Sick Bunny Instructions.

If you have found a wild baby rabbit, please read these EMERGENCY INSTRUCTIONS FOR WILD BABY RABBITS and then use this link to FIND A LOCAL WILDLIFE REHABILITATOR who can give you the right advice.

RULE #2:
Help me help you! Please make your subject line informative if you have an urgent question. then LET ME KNOW IN THE SUBJECT LINE so I can give your question highest priority over non-urgent questions. If you don't do this, then I can't guarantee timely assistance!

For all the best, most accurate rabbit health, care and behavior information, visit The House Rabbit Society.


I have been rescuing and rehabilitating domestic and wild rabbits for about 30 years. I have written articles for many rabbit rescue publications, as well as for the veterinary journal, Exotic DVM. I own EtherBun, the internet's largest listserve dedicated to health, care, and behavior of domestic rabbits.

Houserabbit Adoption, Rescue, and Education, Inc. (H.A.R.E., Inc.) president National House Rabbit Society (Board member)

Exotic DVM
Warren Peace (Journal of the House Rabbit Society of Miami)
Various newsletters of the House Rabbit Society, nationwide

Ph.D - Biology
B.S. - Biology
B.A. - English

Awards and Honors
Lightspan Academic Excellence Award for web site on rabbit health and biology

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