I have a 10 year old rabbit, he had a tumor starting early this year. The vet sent a needle aspirate sample to cytology and the result came back as cancer, but they are not able to identify what kind it is.
After a while, there was fluid around the tumor and I've been taking him to the vet to extract the fluid to make him more comfortable (in my opinion) I did not wanted him to have a surgery because I thought he's too old to handle that. After 2-3 months of extraction, his skin broke and created a hole on his abdomen area, the vet said I either need to clean his wounded area often or she can remove the tumor so the skin can be closed. So he had a surgery in April.

Recently, I felt a new tumor in about the same area as previous one. There is no fluid yet. But his appetite has dropped... He did not eat yesterday all day, but he finally eaten this morning and later at night. He's been laying on the ground side way almost all the time for the past few days. His appointment is not until next week and I was wondering if there is anything I can/should do to make him feel better.

I picked him up today to check on the tumor and I found some new bumps(3-5) spread out in his abdomen area, they felt like hard acne without the whitehead. More like a minor blister or mosquito bites.  
When he is on the ground and I put my hands around him (like underarm area?) I can feel them too, feel like blood vessel with bumps.

I'm having hard time to tell if he is in pain or he just enjoys patting on the head. Do you have any suggestion that I can do to help him feel better before the appointment?

Please see image of his recent activity...

Thank you so much in advance.

Dear Kai,

If you can get an earlier appointment with the vet, then please try to do so.  The vet can at least prescribe pain medication such as metacam and tramadol (or something stronger, as the vet determines necessary).  I cannot tell without seeing your bunny in person whether he is in pain or not.  But loving him and giving him lots of attention can only be good for him.

If you are not certain about the diagnosis, then you can always find another rabbit expert vet for a second opinion:


The lumps you feel might be small abscesses, not tumors, and those can be treatable with the appropriate antibiotics.  Please ask the vet about this, and consider getting a second opinion if you are not sure the first vet is a rabbit expert.

I hope this helps.



All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


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

©2017 About.com. All rights reserved.