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QUESTION: Dear Doctor,

I live in India and have had my rabbit Gabru for 5 years. I adopted him when he was already adult ( I therefore do not know his exact age)
Over the last few weeks he has developed a lump on his neck/chest area. The fur on this site is visible separately. There is no wetness or crustiness here. It is a bit hard but moves about under my finger. He shows no discomfort if I touch it.

But now he has suddenly started having some trouble eating. He can eat his pellets and his hay but any other food he gets very uncomfortable and literally throws it our of his mouth. It is his right side that seems to be in trouble.

I love my Gabru very deeply and I have kept him as well as I can throughout. He lives in very clean environments and is a house rabbit with free access to space and exercise.

There are no rabbit vets here in India and I am at my wits end.
Please please please help.

Thank you
Disha

ANSWER: Dear Disha,

It sounds as if your bunny may have a dental abscess that is now interfering with his eating.  I cannot see it to be sure, and since I can't see I can't tell exactly what this looks like.  If you can send a clear picture to hunhare@gmail.com it would help.

Please see:

http://www.bio.miami.edu/hare/dental.html

and

http://www.bio.miami.edu/hare/jawabscess.html

I hope these might help you get the problem under control.  Please share the information with *any* vet willing to see your bunny, because you will not be able to handle this problem without medical assistance.

I hope your bunny will be better soon, and I hope this helps.

Dana

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Dear Dr,

Thank you for this..I will mail you the pics I have on the gmail id you shared. I have had a vet recommend a 10 day course of Septran to begin with. The doctor will be available after that time so I plan to take Gabru to her in a week or so.

Please take a look at the mail I will send you with some of his photos attached. Please let me know what you think..

I will also be taking some xrays of his jaw soon. Will share those with you too.

Thank you so much!

Love n hope
Disha

ANSWER: Hi, Disha

I hope the information I sent you from the Gmail address will be helpful.  Sending many healing thoughts to Gabru.

Dana

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hi Doctor,

Thanks for checking with me!
I have been travelling and just got back. By the looks of it Gabru is eating okay now. I will be taking his X rays in a few days. And the vet will be available next week.
I did check Gabru and now am thinking he is probably female. :) Do you think then that the furry thing on his/her chest is a dewlap? Does it come so late? What does it feel like when touched?

Do advise,

Love
Disha

Answer
Hi, Disha

A dewlap should be soft and flexible.  If there is a hard mass inside, it could be an abscess, or even a tumor (less likely).

It's good that you're having a vet check it, but I'm glad s/he is feeling better!

If Gabru turns out to be female, please read:

http://www.bio.miami.edu/hare/spay.html

Unspayed females have a high risk of uterine cancer.  But if there are no experienced rabbit surgeons accessible to you, you might have to hope for the best.  :(

Hope s/he continues to improve.

Dana

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Dana Krempels, Ph.D.

Expertise

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:
THE INTERNET IS NOT THE PLACE TO SEEK HELP IN AN EMERGENCY.

...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.

Experience

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.

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

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

Education/Credentials
Ph.D - Biology
B.S. - Biology
B.A. - English

Awards and Honors
Lightspan Academic Excellence Award for web site on rabbit health and biology
(http://www.bio.miami.edu/hare)

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