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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 16242
Experience:  General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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My rabbit has a very swollen stomach. She is eating and pooping

Customer Question

My rabbit has a very swollen stomach. She is eating and pooping well. She is spayed. She is about 6 years old and seems otherwise happy. Interacts well with us and our other 2 bunnies. She does like to chew the skirting boards. We try not to let her but she is very sneaky. Her back bones are very prominent. Thanks
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 10 months ago.
Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.
How long has she been showing these signs?
Does her distended belly feel fluidy or firm?
Any breathing changes?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
About a month. I wormed her about two weeks ago. It feels firm. No her breathing seems fine. She seems perfectly happy otherwise
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 10 months ago.
Thank you,
Now I have to say that these signs are quite worrying here.
We can assume the skirting boards are a red herring since she is passing normal stool. Instead, to have firm abdominal distension with weight loss over the spine and no signs of being unwell; we would be very concerned about an abdominal tumor being present. These often cause little issue other then to steal nutrition from the affected rabbit and then cause distension as it grows.
We can also see a similar presentation with organ enlargement or fluid accumulation (from heart, liver, or again cancerous issues); but in those cases we usually have either a poorly rabbit or one that has a belly that feels like water balloons as opposed to firm when palpated.
Overall, her signs are quite concerning here and considering everything a mass is most likely here. Since she is comfortable just now, this isn't an emergency. But we'd want to consider a visit with her vet when they are open so that they can confirm our worries and potentially offer treatment (surgical removal depending on your wishes and the organ its arising from, pain relief just in case she is sore, etc)to keep her comfortable for as long as possible.
Please take care,
Dr. B.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Thank you. That is what I was thinking since it didn't seem like bloat. Thank you for your time. We will take good care of her
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 10 months ago.
You are very welcome,Yes, bloat would have affected her appetite, her stool passing, and they are often withdrawn and sore with that. So, she is telling us that this cause for distension isn't affecting the GI and is something firm that is just stealing weight from the rest of her body. So, that sounds like a good plan of action and do try giving her a bit more pellet or nutrient rich foods to just help slow the amount of weight this steals from her.Please take care and best wishes for you both,Dr. B.-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. *Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need, as this is the only way I receive credit for helping you today. Thank you! : )
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 10 months ago.
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