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Dr. Barbara
Dr. Barbara, Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1614
Experience:  Thirty years experience in small animal medicine and surgery.
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Male Bunny, fixed, 4yrs - Fluid/swollen belly/hindquarters

Customer Question

 He's eats well, but is wasting away...he's lost much weight, and will not gain muscle tone. His fecal pellets vary; large piles, to small reg. pellets. He's seen the vet twice. She put him on Albon for 15 days. On day 15, that's when I first noticed a small amt. of fluid in his legs. By day 3 after the Albon, he was very swollen. She then pt him on a directic...his pellets became loose, swelling didn't subside. Ideas?

Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Barbara replied 4 years ago.

Dr. Barbara :

Hi, Welcome to JustAnswer. I am a licensed veterinarian and I'm here to help you. I'm so sorry to hear about your bunnie's illness. What you are describing is edema or fluid accumulation in the tissues of the rear legs and probably within his abdomen. This is when fluid leaks out of the blood vessels in the abdomen and the rear legs and can come from heart disease, from an obstruction in the inguinal area of blood or lymph. This edema could also occur from a very low albumin count of the serum. Low albumin could come from maldigestion or malabsorbtion of his nutrients (I would suspect this since this started with a digestive tract abnormality), from poor production of albumin in his liver, or from loss of protein in his kidneys. All of these are quite serious as you have probably guessed and not as simple as an intestinal parasite.

Dr. Barbara :

I'd recommend that he have a full blood profile to check his protein level, his liver and kidney function, etc., and a urinalysis. If these are all normal then I'd recommend a thorough evaluation of his heart function. An EKG, chest xrays, and an echocardiogram can all be used to evaluate his heart. Also, an abdominal ultrasound will evaluate his abdominal organs and look for possible masses in the inguinal area causing this edema.

Dr. Barbara :

I know that these are an immense amount of diagnostics, but we should begin with the urine and blood tests and move on only if you want to and we are still looking for the cause (s) of his edema, large stools, and his weight loss.

Dr. Barbara :

Good luck with all of this. I'm sure you have comments and questions, so please don't hesitate to get back to me.

Dr. Barbara :

Dr. Barbara