In a previous post I showed Clover bunny’s belly with a large painful bruise appearance that went necrotic. He’s also been limping on one front leg. He started eating again last Thursday (he’s been on meds and syringe feeding for awhile now) and as of this weekend was feeling himself again, even running to greet me when I came in the room, although his front left elbow swelled up to golf ball size. And while he lost a lot of weight, he needed to lose weight after pigging out on his pal Arliss’ food the last several months, so he’s actually back to an appropriate size for a mini-rex (I used to call him maxi-rex).
He’s been back to the vet several times and I was happy that the edges of the bizarre wound were finally defined–no more dying tissue, which left us with an area we could treat or work with. One plan was to surgically remove the large dead area and stitch the skin closed, and due to losing a sixth of his weight since May, he needed a bit of a tummy tuck anyway so there was extra skin to work with. Others suggested letting it be a ‘natural bandage’ and have it heal on its own.
Several rabbit experts and vets have seen the pictures over the past couple of weeks and possible causes were posited as a burn, squeezing too hard during recent bladder expression, pooling/contaminated sub-q fluids that killed the vascular supply to the area, or a traumatic injury like being kicked. None of these seemed to fit well and some were basically impossible.
This is how it looked Sunday morning, which is gross but an improvement since it seemed to have stopped getting worse and he felt so much better. The mess at his mouth is because he needs a napkin when I give him meds and food!
But today he saw the vet and we found out what it was… a giant abscess. Squeezing on the ‘swollen’ elbow causes pus to come out his belly area. It’s a big awful mess and now he has a giant open area on the belly which can’t really be stitched shut because of how extensive the abscess is. Nor can it all be excised because it’s so large. He has a drain in it but he’s likely to chew it out.
Clover needs lots of good wishes. The aftercare is going to be hard and the prognosis is difficult for any abscess that can’t be adequately removed and flushed. He also did poorly with anesthesia and had a really traumatic day on top of this horrible injury.
Ms. Arliss will tell him to buck up, I’m sure.