• Forum/Server Upgrade If you are reading this you have made it to the upgraded forum. Posts made on the old forum after 26th October 2023 have not been transfered. Everything else should be here. If you find any issues please let us know.
  • Please Note - Medical Advice

    Please keep in mind that posts on this forum are from members of the public sharing personal opinions. It is not a replacement for qualified medical advice from a veterinarian. Many illnesses share similar symptoms but require different treatments. A medical exam is necessary for an accurate diagnosis, without which appropriate treatment cannot be given.

    You should always consult your vet before following any suggestions for medication or treatment you have read about. The wrong treatment could make your rabbit worse or mean your vet is unable to give the correct treatment because of drug interactions. Even non prescription drugs can do harm if given inappropriately.

    We are very grateful to members who take time to answer other members questions, but please do be clear in your replies that you are sharing personal experience and not giving instructions on what must be done.

    Urgent Medical Advice: If you need, or think you might need, urgent medical advice you should contact a vet. If it is out of working hours phone your vet's normal number and there should be an answer phone message with instructions on what to do.

Barrie has lost a lot of weight


Wise Old Thumper
Early November 2023: take the buns for their annual Nobivac. Both are somewhat underweight. I realise it's probably because I'm being overstingy with pellets (and their hay isn't the greatest right now) so I up them. Everybun back to normal (less prominent spines).

Second week of December 2023: I notice Barrie looks hollow around his pelvis. I say some swearwords 🤣 Oh man he feels baaaad, really skinny. But, other than that, there is nothing wrong with him: he's happy, bouncy, running and jumping, input and output totally normal. Still shiny. I decide to just give him some baby food and oats to see if he'll last until January as he's not a very good patient and while he's happy, I'm reluctant to change his routine too much. He loves his porridge.

Just before Christmas 2023: he seems to have put a little bit back on, and maintaining, but still has ribs like razorblades (that is such a great description, thanks Rabbit House!). We have hope he'll last until January.

So, I popped into the vets yesterday on my way home from work (I walk right past it) and booked him in. There's, objectively, nothing wrong with him (apart from tooth hooks but he's always had those and they're doing nothing) except he's lost 1/4 of his bodyweight, poor lad. So he's had some blood tests sent off and I'm to pop back with him Saturday.

Barrie doesn't have a history: he was found as an adult in a carpark. I reckon he's quite old because he sleeps with is face smooshed into the floor (i.e. he no longer wakes and lifts his head like a slightly younger old bun). I certainly have no worries about him: if it's his time, then so be it, and he's been so normal I never felt there was any urgency. Quality over quantity every time. I wanted to get the bloods done, as I've been managing him for 4wks with just extra food, and he's not gone any more downhill so let's see if it's something acute, who knows! I just need to feel we've done our best for him. He's not the greatest patient, and I don't feel he'd benefit from full hands-on care in this circumstance. I.e. he'd hate it.

Our experience with Lopsy losing weight was different: Lopsy was actively much less happy, much less himself, so the went to the vets straightaway. If Barrie goes on like this and pops his clogs one night, I know I'll have done him right. I even told our bunny sitter over Christmas that he might just drop dead, but he never did, so that shoebox I kept never needed to be used. Chibbs was apparently being more of a bully to him though, but I think that's because she thinks she can run circles round our bunny sitter ;P

Realistically, I suspect it's terminal, like kidneys or a tumour we just can't feel. We've only had Barrie for 2yrs but I think he's had fun while he's been here (Chibbs' attitude notwithstanding ;P), and that's all we could ask for :)
Sending vibes for Barrie's blood results on Saturday. I do very much agree with how you view his overall health. It's always about quality for me and if my choices aren't the same as those of others then so be it.
Sending vibes for Barrie's blood results on Saturday. I do very much agree with how you view his overall health. It's always about quality for me and if my choices aren't the same as those of others then so be it.

I second this and add my vibes for Barrie xx
Sending vibes for Barrie's blood results on Saturday. I do very much agree with how you view his overall health. It's always about quality for me and if my choices aren't the same as those of others then so be it.
My view too. Sending lots of vibes xx
Aw, I'm sorry Barrie's lost so much weight. I'm glad he's still happy and bouncy, at least. Are you sure the molar spurs aren't doing anything? I know you say he's always had them, but they only have to grow a tiny little bit to change from not being a problem to something that bothers him, and changes in input can be subtle enough that it can be easy to miss them. Either way, I'm sending him lots of vibes. 💙
I'm sorry Barrie is acting old & has lost so much weight. Hoping the blood tests come through fine. Good for him maintaining is shine & bounce though. I too was wondering if his spurs have finally got to a problematic stage for him. Loads of vibes xx
I'm sending a lot of vibes and energy to Barrie, I hope we get good updates from you xxx
Sending Barrie positive vibes for his blood work.
Is the cooler weather causing him to expend more calories on keeping warm?
His teeth may need burring as others said.
It is always good when they are shiny and bouncy.
So, bloods back: it's likely terminal. Liver-related. His teeth might have a very small effect although he's still eating with as much enthusiasm as before, but the bloods indicate serious liver issues. Plus, his liver area is covered in bumpy bits. It likely points to a tumour, and the further investigations include an ultrasound. This won't tell us much more than we already know and subjecting him to further tests isn't IMO in his best interests. He's been dosed up with expensive hay and lots of Barrie-friendly cuddles, even from grumpy old Chibbs (she loves him sometimes).

He was so scared at the vets, poor boy. He just tries to disappear through the table or squish into me. He was so scared I could even palpate his liver and feel the lumpy bits. Yeah, they weren't normal. Really thorough vet this morning though, not one I've seen before but she went all over him and his spiky teeth have no visible effect on his mouth (tongue or cheeks) but we can't rule it out obvs. She let me have a look as well: really interesting!

We'll keep him going while he's still himself, and see where we go from here :) He was certainly absolutely fine once he was back in the house: he just doesn't hold a grudge anymore!
Poor boy :cry: Completely understand and agree with your decisions. Sending him lots of comforting vibes and hope he can continue to enjoy life as long as possible.
I am sorry the news wasn’t better. There are some supportive things that can be given to help liver function. For example Milk Thistle

i'm sorry your instincts were right and Barrie is confirmed to have liver problems. I agree theres no point pointing him through the trauma of further investigations because it won't change his treatment plan. Good to hear he settled instantly once home & that Chibbs is doing her bit. Loads of vibes that he has some nice remaining time being bouncy & shiny xx
I’m so sorry it wasn’t better news. I hope he will remain happy for a long time to come xx
I am so sorry his liver is the problem, yet glad he is happy at home. There is no point in doing an US if it does not change the treatment. I hope he can have a good qol for a long time and his weight will remain stable. Good girl Chibbs.
I'm so sorry to hear the news isn't good. 😥
I know you'll give Barrie the utmost in care and comfort for what time he has remaining. Thinking of you all. xxxxx
Oh, I'm so, so sorry to hear it's his liver. Poor Barrie being so very scared at the vets, too... I agree, too, that further investigations wouldn't be helpful, especially when he gets so afraid. I'm glad he felt better once he got home, and that he has lots of lovely hay and cuddles. Sending him lots and lots of vibes that he'll stay comfortable and happy for a good while yet.