How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Dr. Kara Your Own Question

Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 15584
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
49838867
Type Your Vet Question Here...
Dr. Kara is online now

My granddaughters elderly female house rabbit has started constantly

Resolved Question:

My granddaughters elderly female house rabbit has started constantly eating and drinking and also passing out lots of urine and faeces. What is the cause and is it treatable?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 2 years ago.
Hello, my name is***** and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian. I'd like to help with your concerns about Twinkle's sudden increase in appetite and water consumption and subsequent increase in urine and stool production.
Is Twinkle losing weight, or at least not gaining weight even with all of the extra food that she is taking in?
Animals that start eating more, yet don't gain weight or even lose weight are either having trouble digesting and absorbing the food that they are eating or have a disease process that is increasing their metabolic rate such that they cannot eat enough calories.
The most common cause of her symptoms is diabetes. Although diabetes is fairly rare in rabbits, it can develop. Treatment is feeding a diet very high in fiber and low in processed carbohydrates, which means a diet mostly consisting of high quality timothy or mixed grass hay, some fresh vegetables, and fewer pellets with no treats that are carbohydrate based.
Other possible causes are Cushing's disease (hyperadrenocorticism) which is an overproduction of cortisone by her body, kidney or liver disease, or primary intestinal disease.
These are disease processes we attempt to manage, and cannot be cured.
If she isn't spayed an ovarian or uterine tumor can be the cause of her symptoms
Reproductive tract tract tumors are common in older, unspayed female rabbits. Unfortunately they tend to be very aggressive, infiltrative tumors that have often metastasized (spread to other sites in the body) by the time that they are diagnosed. We can take radiographs to look for metastases in the lungs, and an abdominal ultrasound will help us determine if the tumor has spread into other places in the abdomen.
Lymphoma, a cancer of the lymphatic system can also be the cause of her symptoms, but is less common in rabbits than other species. Rabbits don't tolerate traditional chemotherapy well, so steroids are often the only drug used and the response is often short lived.
Until we know what particular disease process she has it is difficult to know how to guide you in treatment. Ideally she would see a veterinarian very knowledgeable about bunnies.
Until then I recommend feeding a high fiber low carbohydrate diet, and feeding as much as she wants to eat. Make sure not to limit water either, so that she doesn't become dehydrated.
Please let me know if you have any further questions.
Dr. Kara, Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 15584
Experience: Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
Dr. Kara and other Vet Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for your reply. Twinkle has not put on any wait in fact she seems quite thin. I have only looked after for a few days on two occasion while my granddaughter was away. She has a sister living in a separate cage. The sister has grown a little larger, and prefers eating "herb hay" and not too many of the concentrated pellets they both have. And she drinks very little in comparison. Twinkle hardly touches the Hay but consumes an enormous number of pellets. Does this give you a further idea? Should my granddaughter feed her the hay and remove or restrict the pellets for a while to see if this helps? Do you recommend any particular hay? For how long should Amy try this with her before consulting a Vet please?

Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for the further information.
I am sorry to hear that she is losing weight. That makes me believe even more that getting her examined and getting her tested is important now, I wouldn't put this off.
Ideally she should eat more hay, but with her weight loss we don't want to restrict what she is eating as we don't want her to lose any more weight. If she eats hay better being hand fed then I would encourage your granddaughter to that for her.
The best hays for adult bunnies are fresh timothy and mixed grass hays.

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • It was so professional, so personally concerned (as we were) and you answered all of our questions. George and I are so happy that I found ""JustAnswer"" on my Google search -- you are now in my ""Favorites"" list! And, yes we do love our kitty - she makes our life complete! Bev & George
< Previous | Next >
  • It was so professional, so personally concerned (as we were) and you answered all of our questions. George and I are so happy that I found ""JustAnswer"" on my Google search -- you are now in my ""Favorites"" list! And, yes we do love our kitty - she makes our life complete! Bev & George
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C.
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C.
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Dr Scott Nimmo

    Dr Scott Nimmo

    Small Animal Veterinary Surgeon.

    Satisfied Customers:

    135
    BVMS, MRCVS. { Glasgow UK }
< Previous | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/VE/VetAnswers/2013-4-5_8257_prof10.64x64.jpg Dr Scott Nimmo's Avatar

    Dr Scott Nimmo

    Small Animal Veterinary Surgeon.

    Satisfied Customers:

    135
    BVMS, MRCVS. { Glasgow UK }
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/VE/vetforyou/2012-6-20_33122_PearlPhoto.64x64.jpg Dr. Andy's Avatar

    Dr. Andy

    Medical Director

    Satisfied Customers:

    2572
    2003 Graduate
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/AN/andrewDVM/2012-4-27_12585_iStock000011751407XSmall.64x64.jpg Dr. Drew's Avatar

    Dr. Drew

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    1840
    Small Animal Medicine and Surgery
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/doggfone1/2009-07-16_133633_vet_pic.jpg Dr. Scott's Avatar

    Dr. Scott

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    865
    15 years of small animal, equine and pocket pet experience in medicine and surgery.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DR/DrRalston/2011-10-18_1611_Vet.64x64.JPG DrRalston's Avatar

    DrRalston

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    169
    Over twelve years of internal medicine, surgery, and preventive care.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/VE/vetdeb/Debbie Headshot 500.64x64.jpg Dr. Deb's Avatar

    Dr. Deb

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    103
    I have been a practicing veterinarian for over 30 years.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PE/petdoctor09/2011-12-14_51529_Picture1.64x64.jpg petdoctor09's Avatar

    petdoctor09

    Board Certified Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    72
    Veterinarian, General Practitioner
 
 
 

Related Vet Questions