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Rabbits/Urgent: bunny drooling, sore under tongue infected and with necrotic tissue


Dear Dr Dana,
Please, I need advice to help my bunny. Here are the details.
My bunny Floppy got back from the vet 7 days ago. He had GI stasis. The vet treated him with IV and an antibiotic bay trio. She sent me home with "Dex" , a steroid, which is the thing he responded to in the hospital.
While he was in there the vet noticed Floppy was drooling so she suggested we do a dental exam and tool filing. She did and she found an ulcer under his tongue , infected, w necrotic tissue.
I have him home now these last seven days and he is eating and drinking and passing decent poops. But I can see he is drooling more. His chin is wet and I am terribly worried. I take him back to the vet in two days but she's never seen this mouth ulcer in rabbits. What is the treatment?

I am located in Indiana pa.
Thank you(ps you helped me before).

Dear Teelyn

I think I have responded to this question directly from my email, but can't find it.  So I'll repeat here:

If bun is still drooling after the molar filing, there could be a dental abscess that needs to be diagnosed and treated.  

Most experienced rabbit vets don't like to use steroids in rabbits, as they can have bad side effects in this species and can suppress the immune system.  That could make a bacterial infection worse.

I'd suggest head radiographs (x rays) to see if any sign of dental infection can be found.

Mouth ulcers can be caused by molar spurs scraping the area, and it's possible that a really bad spur could be the culprit here.  The vet might want to check for a foreign body.  The good news is that once the source of the irritation is removed, the mouth mucosa tend to heal quickly.

I hope your bunny will be well soon.



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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:

Find a rabbit vet at 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

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