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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 16211
Experience:  I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
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My eleven year old rabbit has a healthy appetite, drinks water,

Customer Question

My eleven year old rabbit has a healthy appetite, drinks water, has no be labored breathing but I've noticed arthritis and spots where the hair is disappearing. Most of them are on his back and behind his ears I think it's due to his inflexibility. Any advice? Thank you,
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Pet
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today. I do apologize that your question was not answered before. Different experts come online at various times; I just came online, read about your wee one’s situation, and wanted to help.
As long as you are seeing no changes to the skin, it is quite possible that his lapse in coat quality is secondary to his arthritis. Further to helping him manage his coat with brushing and such, I would note that you can try to help him with those aged joints that are causing him trouble.
First, if he is very stiff and sore, then you can speak to his vet about trialling a rabbit safe anti-inflammatory (ie Metacam). This can reduce inflammation and discomfort in the joint and often can give them a new lease on life. Otherwise, I would note that there are some joint supplements that could also help Marek. Specifically, we often will use Glucosamine (at a dose of 21.5 mg per kilogram of body weight daily) with rabbits. There are many versions available OTC at vets, pet stores, and online that you can use. Or you can try him on a glucosamine containing joint support from Oxbow. (https://www.thehayexperts.co.uk/joint-support-oxbow-natural-science.html). These come in palatable tablet form and can also be of benefit to our arthritic rabbits.
Finally, I would note that keeping him away from chills, drafts, and keeping his cage warm can also benefit still joints. So, you could consider offering him a heating pad (with supervision to mind those wires and prevent any chewing). Otherwise, you could make a safe warmer by filling a clean sock 2/3rds full with uncooked white rice. Tie it closed and microwave (approx 1-1.5 min). Make sure to shake to allow the heat to distribute before use. (If it cools, you can re-warm as required). The warmth can soothe his aged joints (just as it would ours) and help him be comfortable and regain some flexibility for proper grooming and getting around.
I hope this information is helpful.
If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!
All the best, *****
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Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Hi Tori,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Marek. How is everything going?

Dr. B.