You are here:

Rabbits/Cancer in Rabbits

Advertisement


Question
Hi Dr Krempels

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.

Thank you

Elaine

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.

Sincerely,

Dana

Rabbits

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


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)

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.