My 8 year old Rex male was diagnosed with Leiomyosarcoma of the intestines today. I was told that it has already spread to his lungs. Are there any treatments available for Rabbits? I am feeling helpless that I can't do anything to help my boy.
Answer Dear Elaine,
I am very sorry about this sad diagnosis. Sadly, chemotherapies are not well developed for rabbits. In most cases, the "cure" ends up being worse than the disease, speeding a downhill spiral and making the bunny very sick in the end. I've never heard of chemotherapy being successful for a rabbit.
Radiation might help if this were a single lesion. But if the cancer has already spread to his lungs, it's Stage Four. That means he probably has limited time left.
I am so sorry. But at this point, if this were my bunny, I would give him all the loving care, spoiling and everything he wants for as long as possible. Pain management is essential, and your vet can suggest/provide various types of analgesia, with stronger ones necessary as the condition becomes worse.
This is as hard and bad as having a human family member diagnosed with a terminal condition, and my heart goes out to you. I hope your remaining time together is filled with love.
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.
If your rabbits is LETHARGIC
If your rabbit is NOT EATING
If your rabbit is PHYSICALLY INJURED (including broken bones)
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