Help My bunny is sick (update: healed)

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So my bunny was an indoor/outdoor bunny. Predominantly indoor and now is 100% indoor since mid May. I noticed aeound that time he had a lump on his chest next to fur loss. The rabbit savvy vets near me didn't have any appt slots open for close to 2.5 months so I took him to a rabbit rescue for help. I honestly wasn't sure if the lump was a botfly. The guy at the sanctuary opened the mass with a scalpel looking blade and we didn't see a worm. He just lanced it once and did however pull out a shriveled piece of what looked like flesh not a fat worm. Nothing else came out besides some blood and the mass is hollow. We assumed the bunny had killed a bot larvae and it inclosed itself which caused a mass. He sent me home with antibiotics to help. Fast forward almost a month, my bunny is losing a lot of weight. I'm not sure if it is parasite related. That mass is still there as well and is still open and just hanging down. It literally touches the floor when he walks. The antibiotics seemed to help a little bit but didn't shrivel it away like the guy said it would. What should I do to try and help him? Should I purchase panacur? Should I get other antibiotics? I'm lost and don't want to lose the little guy if someone knows how to help. I'm attaching pictures of how this mass started to what it looks like now. It's warped slightly differently now but still large and not healed. Also attaching a picture of the hair loss on his side. Incase it's a symptom. He isn't scratching profusely and originally I assumed the fur loss was due to normal molting. It still hasn't grown back though and like I said earlier, I've been dealing with this mass since May. Please help!
 

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Moonshadow

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I think you need to get your bunny to a vet as soon as you can. This doesn’t sound like something that can just be treated at home especially your rabbit has lost a lot of weight and the wound hasn’t healed. If a regular exotics vet is booked too far out, if I were in your situation, I’d take him to an rabbit-savvy emergency vet.
 
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I think you need to get your bunny to a vet as soon as you can. This doesn’t sound like something that can just be treated at home especially your rabbit has lost a lot of weight and the wound hasn’t healed. If a regular exotics vet is booked too far out, if I were in your situation, I’d take him to an rabbit-savvy emergency vet.
That's my concern. I did call around but the emergency vets near me and within an 100 mile radius dont specialize in exotics or had staff that knew much about rabbits. I do have an appt with an exotic vet about 1.5 hrs out, but it's still a few weeks away, and I did explain it's an emergency but that's when their dr will be back. And I'm noticing the weight loss more than before. I'm honestly worried so I'm turning to the internet. Maybe someone will know something that will make an improvement during this waiting game. Also, he is eating fairly normal and his poops look around their usual size so I'm not understanding why the weight loss. He's usually over 6-7 lbs and now closer to 5lbs so I can definitely see and feel the difference
 

JBun

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If you're able to drive a distance, even a few hours away, you may need to do that to get to a knowledgeable rabbit vet that can help you sooner. That looks more like a possible tumor(possibly cancerous) to me. And with weight loss now occurring, it's something that needs to be looked into right away if at all possible.


Medirabbit: fibrosarcoma
 
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If you're able to drive a distance, even a few hours away, you may need to do that to get to a knowledgeable rabbit vet that can help you sooner. That looks more like a possible tumor(possibly cancerous) to me. And with weight loss now occurring, it's something that needs to be looked into right away if at all possible.


Medirabbit: fibrosarcoma
That was one of the things I was worried about. I thought with the weight loss either cancer or internal parasites (I dont seem to see any worms near his behind or in his poops), and I don't know much about other types of parasites which was why I wasnt sure if he needed panacur. And because he is turning 4 now would be the time that a tumor could show up, so that could be a possibility. I've literally called vets close to 4 hours away. All either aren't rabbit savvy and don't feel comfortable working on a rabbit, or are on vacation or booked solid even for emergencies. I had called an emergency vet a little over a 2 hour drive, sent them pictures like they asked, and she said when bringing him in to "limit his food and water incase they needed an emergency surgery ". Bunnies don't vomit, so fasting was a HUGE RED FLAG that they don't know about him as an exotic. I guess it's just a waiting game until our current appt. A friend in California who breeds rabbits suggested this forum, incase someone knew anything. I'm just praying at this point it's something that waiting won't make worse.
 
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I wanted to post an update! Mr Meli is all healed! Thank you to all that responded. I'm going to document exactly which route we ended up going on with pictures, incase anyone else ever goes through a similar situation.

So as I said in the original post, there aren't any bunny savvy vets anywhere near me. Meli had a lump that we initially thought was caused by a botfly. I took him to a rabbit rescue, out of someone's home, for help and they too were unsure what caused the lump. The guy lanced the mass and it seemed to be hollow. He did remove a chunk of meat but we were unsure if it was a dead warble. The texture was shriveled and looked like a piece of flesh vs Traditional botfly larvae. Anyway fast forward a few months, his lump wasn't healing and remained open, as the pictures above show, and he was losing a lot of weight with minimal appetite. I tried to take him to several vets, but none of which knew anything rabbit related and I was put on a waitinglist to see an exotic vet roughly 2 hours from me. That's when I turned to the forum and made the initial posting.

Since the future appt with the exotic vet was close to a month out and because Meli seemed to be getting worse by the day, I decided to continue self treatment. And I did crazy amounts of research, learning everything about their anatomy, treatments, sicknesses, how to dose meditation, etc. I figured anything was better than just waiting and, if I couldn't take him to a vet, I was going to become as knowledgeable as possible to help him myself. His weight went under 5 lbs, and he is usually a solid 8, his poops became shriveled (I went from changing his litter box every 3 days to once every 6 cuz it was barely wet or soiled), and he wasn't eating appropriately. His mass also started producing foamy puss, which I noticed while cleaning, and which hadn't been happening before, so I was concerned about him becoming septic. I purchased Bactracillin G 300,000 iu, and started dosing him, along with giving him electrolytes for his gut health.

(If anyone isn't familiar with how to dose rabbits for penicillin, here is a breakdown. It is 300,000 ius per 10 lbs. So 1 full ml of penicillin if your rabbit is 10 lbs. Because Meli weighed 4.5 lbs his dose of penicillin was .45 ml. Penicillin needs to be stored in the refrigerator, and you can use a 22 gauge syringe to dispense. The injection is subcutaneous, so under the skin, and because he was so sickly I was also giving him critical care and smashed banana with a feeding syringe. That helps maintain the rabbits gut flora.)

Along with the antibiotics, I decided to band the mass. It wasn't connected to anything along the muscle wall, and was hanging low enough to drag on the floor when he'd walk. It was constantly bleeding too because it hung so low and was obviously irritating him. I was skeptical but because he was literally withering away I was willing to try it. I used a castration band for goats, my brother held him, so I could have both hands free, and after his daily wound cleaning I placed the band behind the mass. He didn't flinch, or squirm. He didn't look in distress, and I had a cuticle cutter to cut the band handy, just incase it looked like he was hurting at all over the next few hours. I made him a little vest cover the mass and to prevent him from biting at his chest. He hates any type of clothing or collars, so he kept trying to slip his vest, but it did its purpose.

After day one, I examined the mass and went to clean it. If felt cooler so I knew the circulation was slowly cutting, and I noticed it wasn't as plump. Day 2, Meli had his full appetite back. He literally ate his body weight in food and was constantly hungry. By day 3 I noticed his poops were more hydrated and not as shriveled. He was drinking lots of water again and was having zoomies around the house. By day 4, the mass has become hard like a dried prune and I couldn't even stick a syringe inside to flush it. (We were flushing the mass over the last few months with a solution of iodine, water, and near the end some apple cider vinegar. Like a super diluted solution that was a light golden color). By day 12 Meli bit off the entire stabbed mass including the band. The wound was pretty closed but we kept triple antibiotic ointment without lidocaine (because lidocaine can literally stop their heart) until it was completely healed. Meli is now up 3.5 lbs and is eating normal, has his loads of energy, runs and has zooming, has hefty poops (his litter is being changed regularly again), and is back to being curious and sassy. I did take him to the vet when the appt came around just to make sure all was ok, and he said had I not done what I did, he would've died.

I'm just thankful it all worked out ok, and my bunny is back to being fully healthy! I hope this helps anyone who may experience something similar. I'm attaching pictures of him lounging today, along with what the mass looked like after day 4, and a photo of him in his vest (because he's too cute). And if you look at him lounging today vs when he was wearing his vest you can see his change in weight. His face is full again 💜
 

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Plumpedbunny

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Is there not an emergency vet around? Even if its not a rabbit savvy vet they might be able to help in some way or any animal rescue centers might be able to offer some help?
 

Moonshadow

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So glad you were able to do your own research and save your bunny! I hope he continues to stay healthy from now on and nothing like that ever happens again.

Did the vet have any idea what might have caused the mass or what it was? Regardless, thank goodness you were able to stop circulation to it’s growth. You definitely saved your bun’s life and the vet would have been way to late~
 
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So glad you were able to do your own research and save your bunny! I hope he continues to stay healthy from now on and nothing like that ever happens again.

Did the vet have any idea what might have caused the mass or what it was? Regardless, thank goodness you were able to stop circulation to it’s growth. You definitely saved your bun’s life and the vet would have been to late ~
Thank you so much! It was definitely a stressful learning experience, but glad I went with my gut.

So the vet had no clue what caused the mass, because by the time the appt came around it was completely gone and healed. I showed him videos and pictures of everything from May to show how it progressed. He took blood work and checked his weight/vitals. At the time he was a still slightly under weight but was bulking up daily. He's a solid 8 lbs right now, so definitely back to normal vs the 4.5 lbs that he had become.

I truly believe it was originally a botfly lavae that he killed by biting at it. When it was opened up prior to banding, the mass was hollow and had an extremely thick wall. Like a capsule. There was also a piece of soft meat that was pulled out immediately after it was lanced, that could've easily been a dead warble larvae. There wasn't puss in the beginning, so we ruled out a cyst. And he also said if it was a cancerous mass that it would've continued to grow, not stay the same size as an open hollow wound. That's not what typical cancer would look like. We also determined that his loss of appetite just before I band it, was because he was in a lot of pain. I was also giving him some metacam a few times a day, which is an anti inflammatory medicine, and that helped.

I'm glad to have him back to his spunky self 💜
 

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