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Rabbits/11 yr old rabbit - tumor on lip?


QUESTION: I have an 11 yr old bunny rabbit I adopted from humane society when he was 6 mo old. He became lethargic 1.5 yrs ago and I noticed he had a brown front tooth. Took him to exotic pet vet who said they needed to remove the tooth, as they were taking xrays the tooth fell out as it had rotted. I assume he damaged the tooth when pulling on his cage door. The vet and I monitored his tooth but it never grew back. 6 months post the tooth falling out he started growing a "scab" on that lip. The vet and I assumed the lip was getting in the way as the tooth didn't grow back and hence was becoming a scab/callous. However, it's kept growing! it's no longer a flat scab, it's a thick 1/4 in growth with scab on top. it feels fairly hard, is not warm/hot to touch, has no oozing, doesn't smell so doesn't appear to be infection. Appears to be soft tissue growth? or a tumor? Given where it is and his age, the vet and I don't want to do surgery until it impedes his eating or quality of life. or until his teeth become a problem. to date neither the teeth nor this callous/tumor has become a problem, but I can tell it's starting to bother him - not pain wise (he'll let me touch it and clean it) but he's started to drool out of that side of his mouth due to the size of it. Do you have any recommendations or suggestions? Thank you. I appreciate your time and consideration of this issue.

ANSWER: Hi Kari,

I really wish I could offer you some advice but I think your vet is doing everything possible.  I would recommend that you ask Dr. Dana Krempels her opinion.  She may have some better ideas than I do.  She is also available on

Good luck and I wish I could have given you some better suggestions.


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: hi, I believe I found the answer

ANSWER: Thank you for letting me know.  I would not have even thought of that.  I have seen the horny wart presentation and it was quite something to see.  Luckily the bunny that had it recovered from it rather quickly.

Good luck


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: If you don't mind me asking, exactly HOW did the bunny in the pres you saw recover? did the "horn/wart" fall off? did the symptoms just go away? he has all the symptoms outlined in the link I sent and this has been going on for almost 1 yr. Currently i'm cleaning it daily to clean the oozing so it doesn't harden and grow into a horn. There is little research but I've read it can digress (doesn't seem to be), can continue to grow but doesn't cause system problems (wild rabbits have starved if horn prohibited them from eating), or can become cancerous. If it wasn't on his lip and if he wasn't 11 yrs old, surgery might be an option but not something the vet nor I feel we should pursue. I've place another call to my vet specifically asking about papillomatosis. thanks

Titan day 1 post surgery of wound
Titan day 1 post surge  

Titan day 30 post surgery
Titan day 30 post surg  

I was given an anti-fungal solution from the vet and I rubbed it on the areas involved twice a day.  Within a week the horns were gone.  I kept using the anti-fungal cleanse for several more weeks.  I also applied Heal X Soother Plus to the areas.  I do not know if Heal X Soother would be safe for a wound on the lip.  It may be.  They quite often lick it off and it doesn't bother them.  I can't recall what the anti-fungal cleansing solution was called but I know they no longer make it.  I have tried to get it for other wound care and have been told it is off the market.  I have no idea why.

You may want to look into the Heal X Soother Plus and the other natural products made by Harrison Pets.  They have had huge success with some of these products and there is a lot of clinical studies that have been by avian and exotic vets.  If your vet has not heard of the products I would ask her/him if they are familiar with the products.  I can't recall where you are located but there is a veterinarian in Clarence New York named Dr. Laura Wade.  She has done many case studies herself and she recommends it to her clients.  She is a board certified avian and exotic specialist and she may be willing to consult with your vet.  She has consulted with ours in the past but we live relatively close and are able to get our animals into her office if she feels that is necessary.

I will put the link the testimonials below.  I have used this stuff myself and done my own pseudo trials.  I am going to show you a photo of a rabbit that was bitten by a rat.  We had the wound excised by the vet and within 30 days of treatment there was absolutely no sign that he had ever been injured.  He was on heavy pain medication throughout his treatment.  The damage was pretty significant.

I do recommend getting as many opinions as you can.  This is so far beyond anything I can help with but I am happy to try to find you a specialist in your region.  Dr. Dana Krempels is from Florida and she is a PhD in Biology.  She has done much research on rabbits and hares and she may be able to give you some better information.

Good luck



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Paula Murdock-Briggs


I am a licensed American Rabbit Breeders Registrar. I do not show rabbits anymore nor do I breed them. I do believe it is important that people that chose to breed rabbits do so with only purebred and genetically sound animals or that they have a thorough understanding of genetics prior to breeding. I have chosen to keep my registars license to help the 4H youth in my area. I do stay current on all breeds, varieties, show rules, regulations of the ARBA. I have spent the past 8 years focusing on rescuing and caring for PET bunnies who were no longer wanted. I am the current CEO of Little Angels Animal Sanctuary, Inc. I was appointed CEO of the rescue organization and sanctuary in 2008. We gained our 501(c)3 IRS tax exemption status in 2012. We have taken on the task of rescuing unwanted PET rabbits as well as some farm animals. I teach genetics and health to the local youth as well as register and promote the breeding of only purebred and genetically sound animals. I rescue PET rabbits. These are rabbits that lived in peoples homes and were either surrendered to us or sent to the auction for meat. While I believe that all bunnies should be pets, I understand that people raise them for other reasons. I will answer questions from anyone, regardless of their purpose. I will reject any questions that are considered unethical or inhumane.

Little Angels Animal Sanctuary.

President and CEO of Little Angels Animal Sanctuary, Inc. I have over 10 years of experience working closely with a veterinarian that treats rabbits. We have studied and treated nearly every illness that can affect rabbits.

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