As a pet owner, it is your responsibility to take care of the health of your pet.
Abscesses on Bunny Rabbits
Rabbit Welfare UK explains that an abscess is a contained area of tissue that contains puss which is filled with bacteria. This area becomes infected or inflamed and if the infection is not treated, then it can spread to other areas.
An abscess can occur in any organ as well as any location within the body.
If you rabbit gets an abscess, you need to get it treated as soon as possible and your rabbit will mostly likely be put on antibiotics.
Abscess On A Rabbits Face Or Chin
If your rabbit gets an abscess, then you need to find out why it suddenly appeared. Any lumps that suddenly appear should be checked out immediately.
According to Science Direct, the area where an abscess occurs on a rabbit can usually help the owner determine what the underlying issue is.
There can be two reasons why an abscess can appear on the face or chin of a rabbit.
- If an abscess occurs on the rabbits face, then the obvious conclusion could be that it is related to dental issues.
- If an abscess occurs on another area of the face, then maybe a bite or a scratch got infected.
How Could an Abscess Occur
- Since a rabbit’s teeth continue to grow over their lifetime, they need to chew wood to help them wear down their teeth. If they don't then their teeth will grow to long and this could cause them to get a cut in their gums or jaw.
- If your rabbit is housed outside and allowed to run around outside, then it cut get hurt or cut while outside. If you did not notice it, and the wound was not treated then it could get infected which then could lead to an abscess.
Draining an abscess in a rabbit is difficult as the pus is thick. Surgery is required to remove an abscess.
Causes Of Rabbits Abscess
There can be many factors that can cause an abscess in a rabbit.
- Malocclusion is when spurs occurs in your rabbit’s mouth. If a rabbit does not wear down there teeth, then molar spurs can occur. This is where a tooth or teeth end up growing down toward the tongue and if these are not treated, then they can cut into a rabbit gum or cheek.
- Pasteurella which is a respiratory disease that can also cause an abscess in the organs of a rabbit.
- If your rabbit got bitten or cut and the cut gets infected, then this could lead to an abscess.
If the abscess is internal, then the root of the problem must be established.
If the abscess is external then the cause of the issue needs to be cut out because rabbit’s pus is thick and this makes it hard to drain.
Once you've noticed the abscess, you need to get your rabbit treatment. Don't ever attempt to treat the abscess yourself.
Your veterinarian will carry out the following steps.
- Access the location the abscess is in.
- Ask you some questions to determine how the abscess occurred.
- If the abscess is external, then surgery will be required to remove the abscess and assess the cause of the infection.
- They will then provide a course of antibiotics to ensure that the infection in treated.
Does Your Rabbit Have An Abscess
It is always a good idea to do a physical on your pet on a regular basis. Check their face, head, body and tummy to ensure that everything appears well.
If you find any lumps when inspecting these areas, then you need to get it checked out.
Rabbit are notorious for not being able to communicate how they feel. So as an owner the onus is on you to know if they are unwell.
If your rabbit has an abscess, they might not like you touching this area.
If there is an abscess on their head, cheek or mouth, then the lump and the lack of interest in eating could be the first sign something it up
An abscess when pressed will appears hard and your rabbit will not like you touching this area.
Keep Monitoring Your Pet
An abscess is filled with pus. Pus is an accumulation of dead white blood cells and the bacteria that is causing the infection.
Rabbit Check Up
Treating an Abscess
Since it is difficult to lance an abscess surgery will be required and your veterinarian will have to cut out the abscess, clean it and treat the issue that lead to the abscess.
The wound will be accessed and cleaned and if it is kept clean then the antibiotic should help clear up any remaining infection.
The dosage will vary from pet to pet as the weight of each rabbit determines the dose.
In some case an abscess might not yet have had time to grow and there is not an accumulation of pus within the wound. In this instance the veterinarian will put your rabbit on a dose of antibiotics like Baytol.
Dealing WIth An Abscess
However, if the abscess is quite large and is caused by an infected tooth,surgery will be required to remove it. All the skin and bone (if necessary) which is infected will also need to be removed. The area will then be cleaned with an antibiotic solution.
Rabbit abscesses seem to be able to stretch to all areas and have talons which the veterinarian must ensure they remove to ensure there is no chance of a re-occurrence.
In some cases depending on where the abscess is located, some veterinarians may try a method where they pack the abscess with a caustic material like antibiotic beads which help to clear the infection from the inside out.
Of course the severity of the abscess would also play a part in the choice of this method.
Post Op Treatment For An Abscess
Once your rabbit is release home, then you will have to look after them for a few weeks. Daily cleaning of the wound as well as administering antibiotic will be required until the next check-up.
Once the wound is scabbed over, the skin will begin to rejuvenate. A daily dose of antibiotics will also be given to the rabbit for a week or more to help clear up any remaining infection.
An abscess can reoccur again and that is why it is important to treat as early as possible.
Medicine Used To Treat Abscesses
One medicine which is used to treat infections in pets is Baytol. It's specifically for dogs and cats, but many veterinarians give it to rabbits too.
To find out more about Baytol read here.
Bicillin is another medicine which is used to treat abscesses where surgery is not a suitable option.
Feed Your Bunny
Once your rabbit is released back into your care, you might notice that they are not acting like themselves. They will be tired, sore and scared. So don't touch them unless you have to. Give them their space. Ensure that they continue to eat, drink and use the toilet. If they are fussy when it comes to their food, try to soften the pellets and ensure that you give them plenty of hay and vegetables.
Veterinarian Talking About Abscess
Your rabbit will be called in for a check-up a few days after the surgery. It will be given a check up to see how it is progressing. The wound will be inspected to see how it is healing.
You will be asked to keep an eye on it and to notify them if you see any sudden changes in it or your rabbit. If so you will need to return to the veterinarian for an additional check-up.
RSPCA Rabbit Health Check Advice
Monitor Your Pet
As a rabbit owner, you need to carry out monthly as well as yearly checks on your rabbit. A rabbit cannot communicate if it is unwell.
Inspect the ears, the eyes, the nose, the body and the feet to ensure that there is nothing wrong with each area.
Make sure that your rabbit continues to eat and drink plenty of water. If your rabbit is a fussy eater and stops eating its food try an alternative brand of pet food.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.
© 2013 Sp Greaney
Sp Greaney (author) from Ireland on January 01, 2014:
hi belleart, it pays to be alert alright. That's what happened with me, thankfully our guy recovered well.
belleart from Ireland on December 31, 2013:
wow, I did not know about this! Our Bunny's an indoor one so I never thought she would get something like this....thanks so much :) Il keep it in mind