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Old 03-10-2011, 01:29 PM   #1
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Rabbit: French Dwarf Lopp, 2 years old, currently living inside, eats rabbit royal cereal mixed with rabbit nuggets.

For the past 5 months or so this rabbit has been losing her fur and getting scabby skin. She lives with her brother who is completely fine. She is losing her fur from her tummy, legs, feet, neck, under her chin and where her ears join her head.

She's been on a course of antibiotics for about 3 months (starting at 1ml per day now up to 3.8ml per day plus 2ml of piryton allergy medicine) but isn't getting better. She has been given steroids twice which pick her back up and make her fine again for about a week but the vets wont offer this as a proper form of treatment due to the risks. Shes had skin biopsy which have come back clear so there are no mites and they dont think it's urine burn as the fur loss is also on her neck etc.

Her skin goes really dry and red which causes her to naw and scratch at it making it go scabby and smelly and of course losing her fur. She still eats and drinks fine and runs around but you can tell she feels sore. Washing her with warm water on a cloth doesn't do much either. The vets are stumped and are calling some rabbit expert in Bristol but maybe someone here has an idea?

Below is two pictures showing you her skin.






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Old 03-11-2011, 02:46 AM   #2
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Ouch, that does look sore! The location does look like urine scold sort of area, but I take it you haven't noticed her wet at all and like you say, that's not going to spread to the areas on top.

Maybe something fungal - though you'd think the tests would pull that up.

Does she pick at it much? Where exactly is the patches on her head - is it in an area she could access herself? It wouldn't be a partner overgrooming with area that big underneath, they usually go for face/shoulders/back.

You could try sudocrem or aloe vera pet gell/cream. It's not a cure but it might help her skin feel a little better. I would try a small area first just to make sure it doesn't irritate her.

There is a rabbit clinic in Bristol sponsored by the Rabbit Welfare Association, which is probably who your vets are consulting with - they get a lot of unusual cases so hopefully they can help.



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Old 03-11-2011, 04:11 AM   #3
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I wonder if it is an allergy problem? I haven't really heard of that in rabbits, but one of my cats has similar problems from food allergies. Tamsin's idea of a fungal problem holds merit too. There is a simple test with a special black light- any idea if they have done that? It would show ringworm and other fungal infections. That dry flakiness looks a little like when one of my buns had ringworm. I still have no idea how she got it, being an indoor bunny with no exposure to outside animals.

I would also ask about treating her for mites just in case. Sometimes they can't be found in the skin scrapings. When my allergic cat had a particularly bad spot that wouldn't go away, we tried shots for mites out of desperation and it actually helped. The vet thought that maybe the allergies started the skin problem and that mites attacked the unhealthy skin after.

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Old 03-11-2011, 11:17 AM   #4
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Does she go outside in the grass at all?




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Old 03-11-2011, 12:17 PM   #5
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She doesn't pick at it, but it is itch and she does scratch and bite it. It feels like sore skin, like a rash. I don't think it's over grooming because of the location and her brother doesn't try to groom her much. She does feel sweaty underneath sometimes but the vets don't think it's urine due to the medicine she has had plus the loss of fur on top.

We've tried sudacream which didn't change a thing, just made her want to lick it off more.

We and the vets think it might be an allergy but not sure what. She lives inside in the moment, but we have been giving her allergy medicine which hasn't done a thing. The vets have not done a black light test or mentioned such a thing. She did have skin scrapes, biopsys etc (costing over £100) which returned nothing.

Shes been treated for mites with 7 weeks of injections (normally they have 3) and again they haven't seen any on her and don't believe they are the cause.

She currently lives in doors and hasn't been out on the grass since september last year but she will be placed outside in a few weeks time.

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Old 03-11-2011, 02:49 PM   #6
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I looked it up, and the light is called a Wood's lamp. I'd call your vet and see if he has one. It is a very simple diagnostic test- just look at the skin under the light and infected areas will show. I'm betting on a fungal infection here.

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Old 03-11-2011, 04:35 PM   #7
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She has had all sorts of skin scraps and biopsys that came back clear. Would these not pick up fungal infections? I will ask them however as we've now spent hundreds on this rabbit seeing two different vets (first kept prescribing mite medication as a solution) and we are not getting anywhere. Thanks

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Old 03-11-2011, 05:08 PM   #8
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I'm guessing allergy. Have you tried changing the food?

What about the environment? Rabbits are so sensitive to everything on their skin, but I would think if it were general environmental the brother would be reacting as well.

Good luck figuring it out, poor bun looks unhappy

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Old 03-12-2011, 01:31 AM   #9
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I think the black light is a cheaper way of testing for the same thing that should show up in skin scrappings but I'm not 100% sure. It depends exactly what they tested for.

You'd think if it was an allergy the anti-allergy stuff would help but I as you've tried everything else then ruling potential allergens out can't hurt. Trying a change of food would be one more thing to rule out. I would just go for straight hay for 10 days. If that shows no change then introduce the dry food gradually again. I'm presuming you haven't swapped food but it could be they swapped ingredients.

As it's underneath - what does she sit on/what litter do you use? Maybe completely swap for a week or so and see if that has any effect.

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Old 03-13-2011, 12:11 PM   #10
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The bedding has been completely changed. Originally they were on saw dust and hay, but this has since been changed to shredded paper and dust free hay and there has been no change.



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