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Linda Garrett
Linda Garrett,
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 4648
Experience:  Owner at Self
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We have an appointment booked tomorrow to put our rabbit

Customer Question

We have an appointment booked tomorrow to put our rabbit down, but we feel we need advised and reassured if it’s the best decision for him.
JA: I'll do all I can to help. Can you tell me a little more about the rabbit's situation? How long has this been a concern?
Customer: Last year we found a lump and the vet thought it was cancer. We opted not to get a biopsy because we didn’t want to affect his quality of life. He’s coming on seven years. He’s lost a lot of weight, no matter how much he eats he’s not gaining, he’s pooping and peeing everywhere which he never did before either the other night he lost the power to his hind legs and kept falling to the side. But last night he was hopping around again and is acting much more normal which is why we’re doubting
JA: I know how worrying cancer can be. Let me get you the Vet right away. Before I do, is there anything else you'd like me to share?
Customer: just what I’ve mentioned above please
Submitted: 19 days ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Linda Garrett replied 19 days ago.

Hello, this is Dr. Linda & thanks for contacting JustAnswer.  I am a practicing veterinarian with 30 years experience in general medicine & surgery & I ope I can assist with your concerns today.

Expert:  Linda Garrett replied 19 days ago.

I am so sorry for your worries with making this very difficult decision for your rabbit.  What is his name?

Customer: replied 19 days ago.
Hi there, thank you I appreciate it. His name is*****’s a grey lion head
Customer: replied 19 days ago.
I’d rather continue communicating over text rather than phone if that’s alright. We’re quite upset so I’d end up crying
Expert:  Linda Garrett replied 19 days ago.

They are lovely rabbits.

Yes, I'm sorry but the phone requests are an automatic prompt from the site & not from me.  I am unable to accept calls at this time, anyway.

Is he still hopping around & eating well?

This all started approximately a year ago?

Customer: replied 19 days ago.
He’s eating a lot of veggies, but no dry food really except little bits here and there. He’s hopping to us. It was May last year, he’d lost weight and we found the lump, we upped his feeding quite a bit and he gained the weight back. But over the past two weeks or so his weight has plummeted, I can feel his bones now. No matter how much food he eats, and he’s acting like hes starving most of the time he doesn’t gain weight back.
Expert:  Linda Garrett replied 19 days ago.

Thank you.  I know you said there was no biopsy of the lump, but has Albert had any recent blood work to evaluate his overall condition?

Where is the lump located & did your veterinarian venture to guess what it might be?

Customer: replied 19 days ago.
No, there’s been no bloodwork. It’s on his abdomen and they said they thought it was cancer
Expert:  Linda Garrett replied 19 days ago.

This is a tough one.  A lump in the abdomen, especially the cranial abdomen, could be a trichobezoar, or hair ball.  But these usually cause colic in rabbits & not weight loss despite a good appetite.  So there is no way to say really what the lump is.  Has it gotten any bigger that you can tell?

Is his stool normal?

Customer: replied 19 days ago.
We haven’t noticed it get any bigger, but we aren’t lifting him as often since the weight loss. The past few days he’s been having a mixture of solid and diarrhea
Expert:  Linda Garrett replied 19 days ago.

I am not sure why he seemed to have lost mobility in his hind legs temporarily, but he is an older rabbit who may have some osteoarthritis going on.

As for the weight loss despite a good appetite, the number one reason for this is actually dental disease.  This is a common issue in rabbits.   I am really suspicious if the lump in his abdomen was a cancerous tumor mainly because he is still here one year later.   Intestinal cancers generally do not allow a patient to hang on so long & maintain a good appetite.

Honestly, if you have the finances, I would think about evaluating him further.  Is this possible?

Customer: replied 19 days ago.
Okay that’s interesting. We could possibly look into evaluating him further, but we had been advised the intensity of tests might be too much and stressful for him. He’s free roam, and is litter trained, but the past week he’s been pooping and peeing all over the place. His pee has been different too, typically it’s cloudy and maybe a bit yellow but it’s completely clear now.
Expert:  Linda Garrett replied 19 days ago.

A clear urine may be a sign of some renal insufficiency, but I hate to advise you to think euthanasia for Albert just yet.  I know I am suggesting doing some tests on him that might be a little stressful, but in the long run, if & when you need to make the decision you can do this with a very clear mind.  I would highly recommend a CBC & serum chemistry.  Make sure they also ask for thyroid levels when they submit the blood.  There have been a couple of cases of hyperthyroidism in rabbits recently.  I think Albert needs a good dental exam with radiographs & also abdominal radiographs or ultrasound.  Albert can be given a sedative to make this much less stressful to him.

If you just do not want to put him through all this, then I would try seeing if adding a probiotic & something like Oxbow's Critical Care to his diet.  If he will eat this, it may assist with some of the weight loss & diarrhea.

Does this all make sense?

Please continue with any additional questions you may have.

Customer: replied 19 days ago.
Thank you for your advice we really appreciate it. Is it possible to be emailed the recommendations you’ve provided?
Expert:  Linda Garrett replied 19 days ago.

I cannot email anything, but you can try taking a screen shot of our conversation.  Of course, you can do things the old fashioned way & just jot down some notes to yourself.

Is there anything else I might help with at this time?

Customer: replied 19 days ago.
Thank you I took screenshots.No, thank you for your help and advice. We said to the vet we wanted him checked before proceeding so we’ll talk about the options then. I really appreciate your help.
Expert:  Linda Garrett replied 19 days ago.

You are so welcome and I am so glad that I can assist with your concerns today. I don't know if this is going to make a big difference in Albert's life, but it's certainly worth pursuing before you make that final decision for him. If you should have any additional questions or concerns please do not hesitate to let me know by replying back in this chat. If you think you might have any future questions, please consider adding me as a favorite Expert. You'll have the option to do so on your "My Questions" page if you decide to rate  this interaction. You can also request me by name (@DrLinda1990), if you wish.

It was my pleasure chatting with you today and hope  my responses were satisfactory. It is my goal to provide the best information, education and guidance I can in an online veterinary forum. If any of my replies were unclear or you need more information, please ask.

Thank you again or choosing JustAnswer and  trusting me with your concerns. I do will invite you to ask any follow up questions you may have.

Take care and all the best to Albert .