So I bought a "holland lop" from a pet store 2 days ago. I held it before i bought it and looked around its mouth, ears, eyes, nose and genitals and it looked all good and he was the most energetic bunny there. He seems all good and healthy so i bring him home and let him get use to my room but before I put him in his cage I was gonna try to sex him (still not sure, I actually think it's a she) and while i was moving his fur I noticed a lump where its nipples would be. I could not fine any visible nipples (does that mean it's a boy?) but that was the placement of the lump. I don't know what to refer to for size but to descripe it, it was a lump and then another lump coming out of it. So I set him down, washed my hands and then gently pressed on it. It was pussing a tiny bit but I couldn't go back to the store as it was closed. He seemed to be in no pain during the touch even when i put more pressure on. Today, I took another look and it stopped pussing but still the same size. Once again, he showed no pain and ran around for hours today (obviously taking breaks, but he has so much energy) and hopping and sniffing and chewing (haha). So my question is what do you think it is and what should I do? The store is an hour away so I'd rather not go in but I figure maybe they'll be more understanding the sooner I bring him in. He has a 15 day health guarantee and I'm going in on tuesday so I can bring him then. But even then, I'm scared because I'm already attached and I don't want another rabbit nor do I want them to put him down if it's a tumor and they don't want the hassle and cost of surgery. I would pay for the surgery myself but I'm short on money and would rather not go into my savings which I'm not sure is enough (I just got a job so only about $200) and I also feel as they should pay or chip in as they sold me a "sick" bunny. Please respond with advice and your opinion. Sorry for the long question and thank-you so much. Also, he is eating and drinking fine as well as his bowel movements and peeing are normal.

Dear Nadine,

You're right about not taking him back.  He would end up dead if he's got a health problem.  
So if you love your bunny, you need to do the right thing and get him to the vet for treatment.  This sounds like an abscess, and it might not be expensive to treat.

In the meantime, you can flush the abscess with dilute povidone iodine solution to disinfect it and start to kill the bacteria inside.  If you do not know how to do this, then have the vet show you, since you certainly don't want to rupture the abscess capsule.

Poor bunny may have gotten a bite at the pet store, and it became infected.  Hard to see exactly what's going on from the blurry picture, but if you see pus, then the bunny needs to be seen by a vet.  (Part of the "joy" of pet ownership is the knowledge that sometimes you have to pony up for veterinary care.  He may not have cost much to buy, but sometimes a pet can get *very* expensive after the initial purchase.  Come to think of it, human babies are pretty much *free*, so...)

I hope he will be fine soon.

Good luck,



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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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