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View Full Version : Ruptured tumour in elderly rabbit - need advice



Babooshka
29-11-2019, 01:23 PM
I could really do with some advice from fellow rabbit owners. Last night I discovered a tumour rupture on the underside of our elderly doe's (10 years) abdomen. She had been diagnosed with mammary cancer over 18 months ago & our vet's advice was it's too risky for her to undergo anesthesia/surgery due to her age and health. She's been doing brilliantly since that time and I'm so so pleased she's outlived her initial diagnosis.

So I jumped into a cab straight away & took her to the local Veterinary Hospital; saw a very sympathetic vet who said, despite the rupture, her vital signs were all excellent, she was still feeding, drinking and alert etc. He told me we have a couple of options open to consider: administer metacam and an anti-biotic to prevent infection of the wound & see how she goes OR consider the dreaded euthanasia route as the problem of the tumours obviously won't go away. I discussed it with my husband last night when I returned in the wee hours & he has gone this morning to obtain the anti-biotic. Buns was her usual self this morning, feeding, alert etc. She was ravenous!

I'm just wondering what would other rabbit owners do in this situation, though? We would like to have her with us for as long as possible, she is absolutely part of our family and has been for a decade! My husband said it would be wrong to book euthanasia when she is her lively self. But this has been a long time coming....I know she can't stay with us forever. We have 2 children who adore our pet, our younger daughter is especially attached to her. They do not know life without her as the rabbit is 2 years older than our eldest child. But I'm very worried we will be trying to prolong her life & something could possibly happen at Christmas or when the kids are off school & nursery, which would taint a very special time of year. Is it best to prepare them in some way now??

Thank you for reading & any advice welcome xx

Omi
29-11-2019, 02:08 PM
This is a very personal decision and I can only tell you what I would do in the circumstances. I would find it very difficult to have a bunny pts if he/she was still enjoying life, even though suffering from a terminal illness. I would take the chance of something happening during the Christmas period, but would talk to the children beforehand about the situation. Not to be harsh, but doing what's best for your doe is the priority in my view.

Zoobec
29-11-2019, 02:10 PM
This is a very personal decision and I can only tell you what I would do in the circumstances. I would find it very difficult to have a bunny pts if he/she was still enjoying life, even though suffering from a terminal illness. I would take the chance of something happening during the Christmas period, but would talk to the children beforehand about the situation. Not to be harsh, but doing what's best for your doe is the priority in my view.

I agree with Omi. Sending lots of vibes to your bunny.

Babsie
29-11-2019, 02:12 PM
This is a very personal decision and I can only tell you what I would do in the circumstances. I would find it very difficult to have a bunny pts if he/she was still enjoying life, even though suffering from a terminal illness. I would take the chance of something happening during the Christmas period, but would talk to the children beforehand about the situation. Not to be harsh, but doing what's best for your doe is the priority in my view.

Yes, this is what I would do, too.

Jack's-Jane
29-11-2019, 03:03 PM
This is a very personal decision and I can only tell you what I would do in the circumstances. I would find it very difficult to have a bunny pts if he/she was still enjoying life, even though suffering from a terminal illness. I would take the chance of something happening during the Christmas period, but would talk to the children beforehand about the situation. Not to be harsh, but doing what's best for your doe is the priority in my view.

I am the third person to totally agree with the insightful and empathetic advice given by Omi. Just take things one day at a time, but talk with your children about how your Doe is an elderly lady now and that she has some health problems which are not currently causing her too much trouble, but that in the relatively near future this my change and that Bunny will then need to hop off to a pain free 'Bunny Heaven' (or whatever you refer to her passing as). You could start making a memory box for your Children. Some fur that can eventually be put into a Locket or some other keepsake. Some photographs and anything else that will be special to your children to keep once their little friend passes on.

Babooshka
29-11-2019, 03:16 PM
I am the third person to totally agree with the insightful and empathetic advice given by Omi. Just take things one day at a time, but talk with your children about how your Doe is an elderly lady now and that she has some health problems which are not currently causing her too much trouble, but that in the relatively near future this my change and that Bunny will then need to hop off to a pain free 'Bunny Heaven' (or whatever you refer to her passing as). You could start making a memory box for your Children. Some fur that can eventually be put into a Locket or some other keepsake. Some photographs and anything else that will be special to your children to keep once their little friend passes on.

Thank you to all who have replied. Yes, I agree with the consensus, it just seems very wrong to put down an animal who has a great quality of life, is much-loved and - for the time-being at least - has a sound plan for pain-management.

Jack's Jane, my children are aware she's an old lady. Since that first diagnosis, I have ensured that they know she is elderly and has to be handled carefully. We actually had a 10th birthday celebration for her recently where she had a special 'forage cake' and we made a photo-collage of all her pics over the years so we have this as a memento. I'm so glad we did this as a family for her :love: Thank you for your kind words.

kattymieoww
29-11-2019, 05:35 PM
No further advice,just want to sent soothing vibes for your elderly girl.x

Shimmer
29-11-2019, 06:47 PM
Totally agree with all of the above. If a rabbit still has a good quality of life and is eating well, I will keep doing whatever is feasible to keep it that way. PTS is always an available option, for whatever reason, when the time is right (and you will know when that is).

Would just like to add:
- has your vet suggested using manuka honey to pack the wound to aid healing / prevent infection? I've used it for jaw abscesses / open wounds on rabbits before. It is relatively easy to use and should cause no harm

- maybe think about / discuss as a family what would happen should she not remain well. At what point would you consider PTS? Or she may also die quite suddenly. Would she be buried (where?) or cremated (on her own or not? / ashes returned or not?). Would you have a memorial service? I find it helps if you know what you are going to do next, and you will all be prepared for that step.

bunny momma
29-11-2019, 08:55 PM
25 years ago I had three female bunnies from the same litter . All got mammary gland cancer. One had surgery and cancer returned. Of three, only Midnight got an open sore. We kept her clean and gave her soft bedding. I do not recall if she had antibiotics and what she got for discomfort. Midnight died at home 4 days before my mom died.

ShivyRex
30-11-2019, 12:20 AM
Good luck with your bun. You will make the right decision. Elderly buns are so precious and I always feel very privileged to have a bun reach an age such as 10. Take care

joey&boo
30-11-2019, 11:57 AM
I like Shimmers Manuka idea - its wonderful stuff. You've obviously given her a fantastic life, I hope she remains bright & happy for as long as possible

Babooshka
06-12-2019, 04:05 PM
Thank you to everybody who responded with comments & advice - I really do appreciate it. Sadly, I have returned to the forum to say that we had to make the very difficult decision to put buns to sleep yesterday :cry: She was doing so well, we were extremely careful with her care, padded out her indoor quarters with those long soft cotton pads, my husband created a little ramp for her as we were worried she would stretch/damage the wound if/when she wanted to jump out to have a run around. But unfortunately on Tuesday night, after returning with our son from a scouting event, I noticed a blood patch on the floor and, investigating further, could see the lump had opened up in another area and was much much larger with flesh protruding. I stayed with her through the night & next morning we decided to book the appt. We gently warned our children, our daughter had the opportunity to spend the morning with bunny & then we encouraged her to say a goodbye.

I am absolutely heartbroken but I know it was the right decision to make, she went peacefully with my husband and myself at her side and we had time to have a quiet moment with her.

Omi
06-12-2019, 04:30 PM
I'm really sorry to read this sad update :cry:

kattymieoww
06-12-2019, 05:24 PM
Im so sorry,binky free Buns.x:(

joey&boo
06-12-2019, 06:14 PM
I'm sorry buns time came :( but I hope it is some comfort that she had such a wonderful long life & that the decision you had to let her go was clear. Sweet dreams buns

Jack's-Jane
06-12-2019, 06:22 PM
You made the most compassionate and loving decision for her, even though it must have been heartbreaking for you to do :cry:

Binky Free Buns xx

Babsie
06-12-2019, 07:04 PM
I’m so sorry to read this update.:cry: You certainly did everything you could for her - and how lovely that you gave her a birthday party. Binky free and sweet dreams Buns.

loobers25
06-12-2019, 07:27 PM
I am so sorry to see this update. Binky free Buns. Sending hugs at this difficult time xx

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Cuthbert&Dillon
06-12-2019, 08:25 PM
I am so sorry to read your loss. x

mini lop1
06-12-2019, 09:00 PM
So sorry, Binky free buns xxx

Zoobec
06-12-2019, 09:26 PM
Iím so sorry:cry: binky free Buns xx

Beau Belle
06-12-2019, 09:28 PM
Iím so sorry xx

Barn Yard Bunnies
07-12-2019, 02:45 AM
I am very very sorry for your loss. Hugs to you and your family.

bunny momma
08-12-2019, 03:26 AM
I am sorry for your loss. She was a very loved bunny and I know she will be missed.

Babooshka
09-12-2019, 12:20 PM
Thank you everybody, I really appreciate your good wishes and condolences. This past weekend was hard, I'm not going to lie; made me realise how much of our domestic routine revolved around her, from peeking in on her first-thing in the morning, to leaving all the veggie scraps for her when cooking, to making sure the back door was closed when going into the garden for a quick non-bun pit-stop. I get a feeling it will be a long adjustment for me personally - she truly was my little companion & having her there was simply good for the soul & a stress-relief :angel: