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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > HOUSE RABBIT Q & A > Advice for an Elderbun with Thymoma/Cancerous Mass
Last Post by Beka27 at 10/24/2012 6:59 AM (8 Replies)
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User is Offline Margaux L
NJ
9 posts Send Private Message
10/23/2012 9:43 AM

Hi All:

Long time lurker, first time poster.  Thanks for all the advice I have gotten for free over the years 

Milo is an elderbun (9+) and I took him to the vet yesterday after noticing the upward tilted head and heavy breathing he was doing.  Poor guy had a chest full of fluid that was compromising his lungs.  Unfortunately, they found a mass in his chest (I didn't get it tested but vet suspects cancer of some type) so while I had the fluid drained and he can breathe easier now, it will only be a matter of time before he gets fluid in there again.

I have been reading about different treatments for thymomas etc and I don't want to put him through radiation, but I am curious if anyone has had any success with diuretics for this type of case.  I know Milo has had a good, long life, but I am interested in prolonging his comfort for as long as possible in every way possible; at least until I can tell he isn't interested in being Top Bun anymore.  We lost his sister in May to a stroke (and I had to euthanize her) so it's been a tough year.

Any advice or recommendations appreciated!


User is Offline Sarita
(Dallas)
Forum Leader
16776 posts Send Private Message
10/23/2012 12:31 PM
Oh no, I've known rabbits who have had this but the owner did not treat them - did the vet suggest a diuretic? I know alot will depend on if the mass is slow growing or not and if your rabbit seems to be eating and has a good quality of life. I know I would be concerned about that especially since the mass is causing pressure on the heart and lungs. You are in a very very tough position :~(

User is Offline Kokaneeandkahlua
Edmonton, Alberta; Canada
Forum Leader
11368 posts Send Private Message
10/23/2012 4:10 PM
Welcome-good to finally meet you! I'm sorry it's been such a tough year, sorry to hear your news.

It's difficult to suggest a course, i.e. if you should go with dieuretics, I would say discuss your wishes (prolonging life as long as quality is good, no radiation) and see what your vet suggests. Perhaps there are courses of medication which can help with quality of life.
Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Kokanee & Chuck My Bridge Bunnies-you left paw prints on my heart

User is Offline RabbitPam
South Florida
Forum Leader
10448 posts Send Private Message
10/24/2012 1:58 AM
Hi, and I want to say that I'm glad you found helpful info. from us over the years and posted so we can meet you. It's so hard when your bunny is at that geriatric age, especially two of them. I am sorry for your loss of his sister and his difficulties now.

I agree with K&K about discussing how you'd like to proceed with your vet. Perhaps a mild pain killer could be helpful so, if it grows and he is in distress, he won't be in pain per se while you make him comfortable. Your vet would know if a diuretic would help.

Do you have any other bunnies? Please update us as often as you like. As you can see here, it's a good place to come to when you just want to talk 'bunny' and get support from folks who understand how much you love him. Sometimes the other people in our lives don't understand how we feel.
 photo CarrotCrop100x500BBSiggy_zps0f2147e4.jpg Have your people call my people. We'll do carrots.

User is Offline Margaux L
NJ
9 posts Send Private Message
10/24/2012 4:17 AM

Thank you for the kind words!

I brought Milo home last night and he is as happy as a clam!  Eating like a champ, lambchop-ing, taking some laps around the living room, begging (of course) and loving all the extra scratches he is getting.  I can tell he is tired but otherwise he seems fine thank goodness.

I mentioned the diuretic to the vet and she didn't outright dismiss it but mentioned it is more of a heart disease treatment rather than what Milo has.  I also think she is cognizant of the fact that before his chest was drained he was basically suffocating and I don't think she wants to let me get too excited about prolonging life if it means suffering.  This is of course, the very last thing I have on my mind--I just love him so much that I want to keep him with me as long as he wants to be here!  Interestingly enough, this is the first case of thymoma/mass she has seen in a bun and she is one of the HRS recommended vets too!  Lucky Milo :/...maybe he should buy a tiny bunny lottery ticket.

But, to all of your points, I will keep an eye on his activity and pain levels and if need be, can treat the symptoms as much as possible that way.  I just can't process that a bunny who is so into eating and drinking and exploring, even with the breathing difficulties he was having, is ready to move on.

Milo is the only bunny I have now--but he and his sister Ella have given me a LOT of medical experience over the 8+ years since I adopted them--E.Cuniculi leading to head tilt and Motility/Gas issues the main ones. So I am now a well-practiced bunny whisperer.

Will check in with the vet today(and going forward) and let you know if she has any more advice!


User is Offline Sarita
(Dallas)
Forum Leader
16776 posts Send Private Message
10/24/2012 5:00 AM
I understand what you mean about the eating, drinking, etc...one of my adopters (from when I used to do rescue work) had her 9 year old rabbit who she adopted from me have the same diagnosis as your bun and I kept him for her while she went on vacation for a week. He was still eating and and she was also at odds on what to do and just allowed him to live out his life as he seemed comfortable and he was eating and acting as well as could be expected when I kept him. She also did not want to do radiation (and I told her I would not either because she consulted with me about him).

I would have concerns though about breathing difficulties though because I can imagine how it must feel for him so I would watch that very very closely.

It sounds to me that you and your vet have Milo's best interest at heart and you have experience with elder and unwell rabbits Milo is in good hands.

User is Offline Elrohwen
Hudson Valley, NY
Forum Leader
7306 posts Send Private Message
10/24/2012 5:32 AM
I'm so sorry to hear about Milo (and Ella). I don't have any experience with medical stuff like this, but I'm glad he's eating and generally being a happy little guy. Good luck with him.
- Elrohwen

User is Offline jerseygirl
Australia
14421 posts Send Private Message
10/24/2012 6:35 AM
Welcome Margaux
Sending some {{{vibes}}} for your Milo.

It's good to read he is currently comfortable. : )

Is surgery an option at all?


This story about a thymoma case was shared by one of the former forum leaders here. It contains links to other cases & info at bottom if the pdf. You may have already come across these stories during your research.

http://therabbithaven.org/Lucy_story.pdf

User is Offline Beka27
Cleveland, Ohio (USA)
Forum Leader
15498 posts Send Private Message
10/24/2012 6:59 AM
Welcome here, I only wish it was under happier circumstances... :o(

I don't have any medical advice regarding this, but just wanted to let you know I am wishing him some happy, healthy days ahead. And I hope you can enjoy this time with him... As long as he is comfortable, you've got some time. I know you'll make the right decisions.

Meadow..... Photobucket ...... Max, my angel bunny
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