Loki's Mystery Illness: Likely Bone Marrow Cancer

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naturestee

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I brought Loki and his wifebun Mocha in today because someone is drinking/peeing more. They were also about due for a dental check, as both get molar spurs. I also noticed yesterday that Loki is a little thin. I suspected he was the one drinking/peeing more and I was concerned about kidney problems.

They had trouble getting Mocha's blood drawn while she was awake, so they'll wait till she's anesthetized for her molar grind tomorrow. Aside from the molars, which was expected, she's great.

Loki dropped about 3/4 of a pound and his gums were pale. He needs his molars done soon but we'll wait for now. On palpation, everything felt appropriate and normal-sized- gut, kidneys, bladder, etc. Vet did a CBC in addition to the planned liver/kidney values test because of his gums. Oddly, his kidney values are just fine and his liver is slightly high but considered normal for his age. His red blood cells are low and his white blood cells are nearly nonexistent. Several different views were done on x-rays and nothing beyond minor arthritis were found, although the vet said that anything less than 1 cm in size was not likely to be noticeable on the x-ray. Gut, kidneys, bladder, liver, lungs, heart, bones (aside from mild arthritis)- they all looked good. She also said ultrasound wasn't likely to show any more than the x-ray.

The peeing is possibly from a UTI. They didn't test the urine because with the white blood cell count, he'd be getting sent home with an antibiotic no matter what. The vet is hoping that it's just an infection using up all the white blood cells. He's getting a recheck of his blood next week to see if being on antibiotics makes a difference.

If it's not an infection, we're looking at cancer that just isn't large enough to notice on the x-rays. The likely culprits are kidneys or bone marrow. We can do a bone marrow biopsy if he's still anemic, but since rabbits are fragile it has a risk of breaking the bone.

Anyone ever dealt with anemia in a bun?
 

Bunnylova4eva

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my old bunny Jelly had anemia, and reallly high lymphocytes. Not sure exactly what it indicates, but we didn't even get the bloodwork back, the day after putting her down. =/ I"m curious about it too.
 

Maureen Las

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I just looked this up in kathy Smith's first book ( you probably did also)

Decreased RBC may indicated

bone marrow disorder
external blood loss from a wound or surgery
internal hemorrhaging

chronic liver or kidney disease

anemia of chronic disease.

It seems like the low WBC's would cause him to really have limited abiltity to fight infection??
Ihope that the vet can get to the bottom of it...:pray:
 

Bunnylova4eva

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wooops I meant my bunny had really low lymphocytes.. wow I feel silly now. lol
 

Pipp

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Never dealt with these test results but Darry was experiencing weight loss, drinking a ton and peeing a lot. I thought it was an old-age wasting and kidney issue seeing as she is an old bunny (at least 8) and wasting and loss of kidney function is common.

I was planning on taking her in, but I did notice she was pretty stressed when heading to her food bowl. She had always been a leisurely eater when she was with Radar.

Mister had been her mate of the past year or more at that point, and he was quite the pig and overweight, so they were getting less treats than the other buns.

I started slipping her extra 'good stuff' in her side of the salad bowl and letting her out on her own a bit, and she plumped right up again and relaxed.

I'm resigned to Mister being a bit chubby and spoiling Darry in her old age. It's probably been a year, she still drinks a ton (and eats more than a ton of hay), but she seems otherwise really healthy. I never did take her in.


sas :clover:
 

naturestee

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Loki had his recheck today. His urinalysis was fine- normally concentrated with no apparent renal casts or signs of infection. The vet said that there usually isn't any testable sign of There is good news and bad news about today's CBC. His RBCs are increasing slightly, but his WBCs are down a little further and there are no signs of immature white cells on either the CBC or by viewing under a microscope. He most likely cancer, although there could be some sort of rare immunosuppression problem going on. My vet could refer me to the UW vet school for further diagnosis and treatment, but I have chosen not to put him through such difficult treatments.

Because he essentially has no immune system, he will be staying on antibiotics indefinitely. He will be on Cipro for now, and she has chosen another one to add if it is needed. We will delay his molar grind until it begins affecting his eating. The fear is that the anesthesia and dental work might be difficult for him to recover from.

I am looking into herbal medicines in case they might help with some of the symptoms. My vet will double-check them and recommend dosage before I start giving any of the strictly medicinal ones (as opposed to veggies like dandelion greens that I can add to his diet). Thankfully, Kathy Smith (of the rabbit health books) is helping me with suggestions on herbal meds, as she is pretty familiar with treating rabbits with herbals. It's great how helpful rabbit people are.
 

Maureen Las

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I am sorry to hear this :(but glad that Kathy can help you ;)

Hopefully he may improve with some alternative treatment. I hope so :hug:
 

naturestee

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I hope I'm just being paranoid, but Loki's nose is a little moist under the nostrils and he didn't murder his morning greens like he normally does. There's still some there and it's been a few hours. He was still super-excited to get some Nutrical a few minutes ago, though. There's no rabbit vet in today or tomorrow so he might have to wait till his appointment on Monday, but Dr. Travis is swinging by the office today so hopefully he'll call me back. He's my favorite rabbit vet and the one that usually sees my rabbits, but he's not the one that's been treating Loki's current illness.

It's only around 80, but it's really humid. I just turned the central air on in the hopes Loki will be a little more comfortable.

:lookaround
 

naturestee

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Ok, talked to Dr. Travis. He's not sure about adding another antibiotic at the moment. He's not sure what to add that would be of any more help than Cipro, especially since we're trying to avoid injecting anything unnecessary to avoid introducing more bacteria to his system. For now he's just having me give Loki some metacam and keep him comfy until Monday.
 

naturestee

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Maureen, it will be hard to tell if his appetite is 100% until he gets his dinner. He finally finished up his greens after several hours, when normally they're gone in 30 minutes or less. I've seen him nibbling on hay. He's still excited about treats, but that's Loki for you.

Right now he is comfortably resting in his happy spot (on his shelf in the sunlight) with Mocha, instead of sleeping in his litterbox, which is rare for him. It looks like the pain meds are helping. But the moistness under his nose is what concerns me most. Despite antibiotics, with his immune system he's essentially doomed as soon as he gets an active infection. So I'm a paranoid bunny mama.
 

CCWelch

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:pray:Lots of prayers for you and Loki. It might be the dampness under the nose was from the heat and humidity earlier or it may be from the molar spurs.
Cipro is a heavy antibiotic if any are going to help it would be that. Have you contacted the UW vet yet? My dog was in a UW study at one time testing the rabies vaccine to see how long the antibodies stay in the system. They were all very nice and very professional.
 

naturestee

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It wasn't actually hot, only 80 in the house so I don't know if that was hot enough to make his nose wet. After having central air on all day, his nose looks about the same. Thankfully he still seems pretty happy with his pain meds. He wasn't acting the way he normally does when he has gas, when he's pressing his belly to the floor and shifting his weight back and forth.

Right now, Loki is hopping around the living room and begging for nose rubs. I haven't given him his full supper yet but he snarfed up his after-medication snack.

I haven't contacted the UW vets because I'm not going to put Loki through the chemo or radiation he would need to treat this, since it is most likely cancer. I have talked to both of my rabbit vets, Kathy Smith, and Dana Krempels, and none of them know of any immunosuppressive diseases that this could be other than bone marrow cancer, and even that is rare in rabbits. It is a really hard decision for me to decide not to even do the bone marrow biopsy because I am always driven to know this stuff. But his quality of life is more important to me.
 

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