View Full Version : Advice on Abcesses - What should I do?

29-03-2008, 07:44 PM
I'm so confused as to what is best for my beautiful boy Charlie. He is a 7 year old Netherland Dwarf and has an awful re-occurring abcess under his chin brought on my an infected molar tooth.

The first abcess occurred in October 2007 - I noticed one day that he had a tuft of fur which look alittle like a beard and assumed it was just loose and ready to fall out through molting and thought nothing of it (silly i know). However, 5 days later I went to pick him up and was horrified to see this large lump under his chin - I figured it had been gradually been growing other the course of the prev 5 days when I first noticed the small 'beard' and must have exhelarated in growth other the last 2 days as I had not been around alot - He never went off his food or drink and his behaviour was perfectly normal. I took him staright to the vets and he was admitted in that day spending 2 nights there - they drained his abcess off, packed it and treated the diseased bone as much as they could although he has been left with a boney lump on his jaw due to the abcess fusing to it.

He was treated with painkillers and antibiotics and recovered well. The vet advised me however, although they had managed to treat him due to the problem with his tooth which the root is diseased that the abcess would almost certainly re-occur leaving me with an option of either putting him through the op again or...how can i put this nicely, by sending him to rainbow bridge. I can honestly say it broke my heart there and then and I had to really stop myself from crying - my husband said he saw my eyes glaze and fill with tears.

Anyway in Mid Jan I became worried by lump so I took him to the vets - the vets confirmed infection had flared up in his tooth again and also had some spurs on his teeth. He was admitted in for day surgery to file the spurs on his teeth and they also had a closer look at the troublesome tooth but left it alone as they did not feel it was loose enough to come out. He was prescribed some anti-inflammatory shots and some anti-biotics to treat the infection. Again during all this he continued to eat & drink well and his behaviour didn't change.

I took him back to the vets at the end of Feb just for a check up as I was due to go away for 2 weeks on hols and he would be spending 3 weeks with a family friend while we were away. The vets said there was infection present again on the offending tooth but they were still unwilling to remove the tooth and again he had an anti-inflammtory shot aswell as anti-biotics. The vets advised to treat him for the next 5 days and gave me extra anti-biotics just incase he required them. Again I would just like to point out that his eating and drinking habits did not change and nor did his behaviour.

Anyway on Weds I returned home from my holiday (which was actually our wedding and honeymoon) and my Dad brought Charlie back from the family friend. Straight away I saw this awful abcess under his chin - not quite as bad as the once in October but almost there, I just could not believe it! I had given the anti-biotics over to the person who was looking after Charlie but they had not given him any (not really sure if it would have made any difference to him or not anyway but still) under the instruction of asking them to check the lump daily for any change and also to keep on eye of changes to behaviour/eating and drinking habits - apparently none of this had changed which by watching him it hasn't (apart from the lump growing).

I rang the vets Friday morning and took him straight down there. I got a diff vet this time as the usual vet who has prev treated Charlie is off until Monday - he was so harsh. He said he cannot treat him anti-biotics as by the size of the abcess it will do no good and as he his eating, drinking and appears happy in himself I can either a) leave it as it is, take him home and have him with me until the time comes that he is uncomfortable and the best thing to do is let him go to the rainbow bridge (he didn't word it so nicely) or b) go through the complicated op and have the abcess lanced again, treated, poss remove the tooth but beaware it will come back again.

I was just so confused as to what to do, especially as he just didn't seem interested - I have booked the op for Monday which will be with Charlies usual vet but I am just so confused as to what to do.

I look at Charlie and being the clever things they are they mask any pain that they may be in so I don't know what is best to do? I am aware 7 years old he is a senior citzen by bunny standards.

My immediate thought was to have the op, but with it re-occuring again then obviously it down the line it will re-occur again so am i being cruel by putting him through this or am I doing the right thing???

Sorry about the length of this, I just wanted to give the full facts. Any advice would be really greatly appreciated especially if you have been through this with your bunnys?

Thanks x

29-03-2008, 07:58 PM
my rabbit,Jess has just come through an abscess under her tongue. She had her front teeth removed and a while later developed this abscess. The vets operated and didn't give her much hope, during this time she stopped eating. After a full discussion with the vet, we decided to try a penicillin based antibiotic (lots of folk on the forum have used this, although there are lots of different kinds, we used betamox LA). The general feeling was she wouldn't survive, and this was the first time our vets had used this kind of antibiotic in rabbits.
Well, the vets are amazed, the abscess is totally gone and she has put on 600gms since her op. She is 4 and prone to abscess, she has already lost an eye to one. I would certainly try again if she developed another one. I think if they continue to be bright, eat and poo, we should help them fight.
If they miserable, sore and won't eat after all options have been tried, I would call it a day and let them go!
One thing to say, the pencillin must not be given orally, it upsets the rabbits gut, it must be given by injection only, and any residue the rabbit can lick must be wiped off.
Hope this help and your Charlie pulls through.

30-03-2008, 08:34 PM
Thanks for your message. I have thought long and hard about it and with the replies I have received I have desided to go ahead and allow Charlie to have the op tomorrow to lance the abcess and to do whatever else is neccessary. I think doubts only creeped into my head as rabbits can't really tell you if they are pain or not, however looking at the fact he is eating, drinking, going to the toilets and there is no change to his behaviour I am pretty sure the op is the best thing to do. I think also it didn't help that we saw this awful vet who just didn't seem interested in Charlies welfare but on Monday it will be Charlies usual vet who treats him so I won't have to see the other vet again thank god.

Will post again on the forum with an update of how charlie is.

Thanks again...

31-03-2008, 11:54 PM

01-04-2008, 12:15 AM
hi, how is Charlie doing? Hope the op went well and that you are ok too.
Keep us updated...

01-04-2008, 08:16 PM
is there any news?.. fingers crossed..

01-04-2008, 09:34 PM
I'm a bit late with this reply, I hope he came through the op ok.
Bobby has had a jaw abcess sinceabout October last year. He had it lanced and packed wth antibiotics, and has had it drained twice since.
The prognosis isn't great, but he does handle the treatment very well. He's a very placid boy.
I have decided to just monitor how he is. If he is still eating and happy, then I'l do nothing. If he stops behaving 'normally', then I will go for treatment until he looks like he can take no more.
You can tell when a bunny has had enough. It's happened to two of my bunnies, when I've made the decision to PTS, and they've gone to the bridge naturally just before they were due at the vet (well, one was on the vet table).
Hope all goes well.

01-04-2008, 09:37 PM
any word on Charlie?

01-04-2008, 10:39 PM
Hope Charlie is ok and sending lots of vibes.

06-04-2008, 12:37 PM
Hi everyone,

Sorry I haven't posted for a while.

Well Charlie had his op on Monday - they have lanced the abcess and removed 2 offending teeth! The abcess has been left open to drain and he goes back to the vets tomorrow evening for a check-up.

He's definately a little fighter - he was in and out of the vets in one day and was eating, drinking, pooing and weeing as soon as he was home. Poor little mite is not allowed any sawdust etc because of the open wound and i found after a couple of days on newspaper he started getting saw hocks so to help him feel more comfy one half of his house has a nice fleecy blanket and one half has newspaper for him to go to the toilet on.

Charlie is an indoor rabbit so I can keep an extra close eye on him and he can get in and out of his house when we are home. Right now he's having a sleep on his blanket - awww bless him!

Will let you all know how it goes tomorrow - fingers crossed everything goes well...

Violet's mummy
06-04-2008, 04:50 PM
My first rabbit Buckie had this type of abcess..the vet took one look at him and put him to sleep:cry::cry::cry:he was 18 months old.The vet told me that it wasn't fair to keep him going as they treat this type of abcess like a cancer..Buckie was eating and drinking as normal too and was a happy bunny..this was 12 years ago and i have never forgotten him.i hope your rabbit does over come this..the vet held no hope for my Buckie,and i went with what the vet said>Fingers crossed none of my rabbits have had this problem since..Fingers crossed for you and you bunny..