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Rabbits/possible uterine/mammary problems in my 5 yr old doe


Dear Dana
My rabbit Blackberry appears healthy and v lively. However I was doing a routine body check and discovered a squashy elongated lump under one of her teats. It is not attached to her but appears part of the mammary duct. I took her to the vets and she said I could observe it for a while to see if it gets bigger or have it removed.She asked me if she had any blood in the urine and I said no but on getting home she did a puddle with a small amount of blood in it. The vet told me that mammary cysts can be assoc with uterine cancer sometimes. Do you recommend I have her spayed and have the squashy cyst removed Dana? The blood worried me. Neither me or the vet could detect any abdominal masses but would you be able to feel these?
I am hoping that if it is uterine cancer then it is early stage. Is this likely with this mammary lump or could that be unrelated as I read it doesnt always spread there but more likely to the lungs. Her mother is still going strong at 8.
Also is it safe to spay her at 5.
Thank you very much and hope you can advise me

Dear Linda,

While no surgery is 100% risk-free, if your bunny has mammary cysts (or cancer) and has had spotting of blood in the urine, then she is probably one of those who needs to be spayed ASAP.  Radiographs of the lungs might reveal whether there are metastases there.  In that case, surgery would be too late.  But if the vet sees no sign of metastasis, then the sooner she is completely spayed (ovariohysterectomy), the better.

Please see:


I am not sure I'd wait too long, given the blood in the urine.

I hope she and her mama will both be fine and live long, happy, love-filled lives.

(If they are bonded, then mama should go along on the day of the surgery for moral support, and to lessen the chance of un-bonding.)

Hope this helps.



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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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