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Thread: 6 1/2 year old Lionhead with mass/growth on lower leg - amputation?

  1. #1

    Default 6 1/2 year old Lionhead with mass/growth on lower leg - amputation?

    Hi, I took my bunny to the vet tonight as she has a mass/growth on her lower leg. She is a 6 1/2 year old Lionhead and is still hopping around, eating and toileting fine, but we noticed the lump. I was really shocked when the vet said to me it was bad news and we should consider putting her to sleep by this Friday! That there was nothing that could be done for the lump and amputation isn't a good idea.

    She is a lovely bunny and of course I want to do the best thing by her and for her not to be in any pain. The vet has prescribed 5ml (I think right measurement, apologies if not) of Metacam for her pain.

    I am thinking of seeking a second opinion from a rabbit specialist vet re amputation - but wanted to seek your advice on here as to whether I am doing the right thing at her age. any advice much appreciated.

  2. #2
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    PTS on Friday seems harsh if she still has a good quality of life and you don't know what the lump is. I would want more information on what exactly the 'lump' is. Abscesses can be treated by surgical removal and injectable antibiotics. Cancer is obviously more serious, and it depends on the spread as to whether amputation is a realistic option.

    Seeking a second opinion from a specialist is a good idea, and should give you some answers / options. I would expect at least x-rays (or a more expensive CT scan) to see if there is bone degredation from the lump, and maybe a fine needle aspiration if a cyst or abscess is suspected. You also need to know if there are any secondary sites of spread, eg lungs.

    Tripod bunnies do quite well, if amputation is an option. Her age shouldn't be a risk factor for anaesthetic, if there are no other health issues. I've had 9 year old dental rabbits undergo regular GAs.

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    Forum Buddy olices's Avatar
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    I agree with the great advice from Shimmer. My bridge bunny Bobby had an amputation and managed well, even went up and downstairs on his own. I hope you find a specialist vet who can look at more options.

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    Warren Veteran bunny momma's Avatar
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    While bunnies do hide pain well, she does not seem to be acting like a bunny who is in a lot of pain. Even if she is not treatable, as long as any pain is controlled and she has a good quality of life, there is no reason to rush your decision.
    A second opinion and perhaps additional testing should be done to determine treatment options or palliative care.

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    Warren Veteran InspectorMorse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bickers View Post
    Hi, I took my bunny to the vet tonight as she has a mass/growth on her lower leg. She is a 6 1/2 year old Lionhead and is still hopping around, eating and toileting fine, but we noticed the lump. I was really shocked when the vet said to me it was bad news and we should consider putting her to sleep by this Friday! That there was nothing that could be done for the lump and amputation isn't a good idea.

    She is a lovely bunny and of course I want to do the best thing by her and for her not to be in any pain. The vet has prescribed 5ml (I think right measurement, apologies if not) of Metacam for her pain.

    I am thinking of seeking a second opinion from a rabbit specialist vet re amputation - but wanted to seek your advice on here as to whether I am doing the right thing at her age. any advice much appreciated.

    I would seek a second opinion from a Specialist. Perhaps your Vet believed the lump to be an Osteosarcoma, in which case amputation would not be curative. Chemotherapy would be required too. Doing both might buy the Rabbit a bit more time depending on how advanced the disease process is. But the cancer cannot be cured.

    So identifying what the lump is and carrying out other diagnostics such as scans to check for metastatic disease is what I would want before proceeding with amputation.

    I have cared for Rabbits who have had a limb amputated for a variety of reasons.

    I had a 7.5 year old Rabbit with osteosarcoma in his hip. I did not opt for amputation for him, he received palliative care and enjoyed a comfortable time for about 6 months.
    Last edited by InspectorMorse; 02-03-2022 at 06:32 AM.


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  6. #6

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    Thank you everyone, this is so much appreciated, I did come out feeling very shocked - thank you.

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    Forum Buddy Pets mum's Avatar
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    So sorry to hear about your bunny, I hope a second opinion can offer a positive way forward for him. Sending lots of vibes for your boy x
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  8. #8
    Wise Old Thumper Bunny Buddy's Avatar
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    I agree with everybody else. Too soon to call it a day on Friday without knowing what you are dealing with.

    I think a lot of vets think rabbit owners will not want to invest in their rabbits (indeed, most don't so vets don't get the required experience to follow through).

    A second opinion sounds like an excellent idea, especially as you say, the bunny is still enjoying life.
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