My bunny (7 years old now, spayed when she was adopted at 3 years old) has always had a big lopsided dewlap. A vet tested it years ago and found just fat, no abscesses or fatty tumors. Over time it seems to be getting bigger, though her weight has stayed steady. Attached is a photo comparing 2011 to 2014. (The brown marks in this year's photos are just there because she likes to lick that spot after she finishes eating pellets or treats).
I've never had a bun with a dewlap before so I'm wondering whether or not it's normal for this to happen. It doesn't seem to bother her at all, though recently I started having to help her groom her cheek and ear on her right side because her front paw isn't able to get past the dewlap, which sags more on the right. Her health has been excellent -- her latest blood work did show some values a little high, some a little low, but nothing immediately problematic, just needs to be rechecked in a few months.
Thanks so much for your help!
Answer Dear Shannon,
Some bunnies, no matter how lean, develop real "skirty" dewlaps. No clear reason except genetics, I suppose.
But do keep checking for anything granular or hard. If there are abscesses within the dewlap, the chronic infection can cause organ problems (liver and kidney). And if there is a tumor, then it should be excised.
If the dewlap is actually getting in her way, then dewlap reduction surgery is an option you might discuss with your rabbit-savvy vet.
Hope this helps.
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Really appreciate your answer, Dana. Donated to HARE in thanks.
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:
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