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Rabbits/Help! Whisker/Skin Drainage and Odor/Follicle Infection?


Hello! My rabbit, Hunter, is acting normal and healthy for the (most) part. She is eating normally, enjoying her foods, she is chewing her huts and toys regularly, and enjoying her normal petting sessions. However, she seems to have been acting a little bit lethargic compared to her normal self in the past few weeks. Hunter has two symmetrical spots on her face, about at each side of her nose. The other day I noticed her left spot was wet and scruffy looking (This spot is where most of her whiskers come out of) I also noticed an unpleasant odor coming from this area of her face. This is not water, as I have tried cleaning it, only to no avail. I cannot find any help on the internet, and I do not know if this is a problem or not. Hunter has not had any smell in the two years I have had her. I am wondering if there is an infected whisker follicle? There is, however, no bumps (that I can feel from the surface, at least). This spot is so wet-like, (more like damp) that I can separate her fur into little sections and move her whiskers apart to about see her skin. Also, this wet spot has been coming on and off for about 5 days. One morning she will start hopping around, and by evening this spot will be damp and smelly. I have not yet taken Hunter to the vet, I do not know if its an alarm problem. Another unusual symptom Hunter has been going through in the past month or so is what I believe to be drooling. When she smells a tasty treat or cut up fruit, she starts to make a sucking noise with her mouth and acts as if shes already almost chewing the fruit. Is this excess saliva? I am ever so grateful for your advice! Please get back with me ASAP, as I have been monitoring this area for a few days, as it comes and goes.

Dear Monica,

It sounds as if Hunter may have molar spurs, or possibly a dental abscess that's causing the drooling and bad smell.  Anything like this is certainly reason to get her to a rabbit-savvy vet for examination and treatment, as appropriate.  Please find a vet here:

and you can read more about dental problems here:

The sooner she's seen by a good rabbit vet who can diagnose and fix the problem, the better.

I hope this helps.

P.S. - adorable picture of Hunter.  :)


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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:

Find a rabbit vet at 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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