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Forum HOUSE RABBIT Q & A Eschar surgery

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    • Antacid
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      Hi.

       

      My rabbit has eschar on his belly, chest and part of one leg, i’m not sure how he got it, the vet says it’s the result of a chemical burn, but i can’t think of anything chemical he came in touch with except for maybe his pee… and he was getting medications for gi stasis few weeks ago…

      The vet says he needs to operate and removes the eschar, and it’s a long operation of almost 2 hours. I’m terrified, anyone has any experience with eschar? is there an alternative way to treat it?

      Or with operations? and can tell me how dangerous it is and what to expect?

      I have an appointment for another vet for 2nd opinion.

      I’m really anxious and terrified about this, please let me know if you have some information related to this.

       Thanks.


    • jerseygirl
      Moderator
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      Im sorry to hear it. Im not familiar with eschar. I did look it up and it mentioned, beside chemical burn, that spider bite could be another cause. Could it be a painful bite brought on the gi stasis perhaps?
      Did the vet take a swab of the infected tissue at all? Does your rabbit need to be on antibiotics?

      How has your bun been since the stasis? Is he eating and toileting more regularly now? That is important if he is to undergo any surgery.
      A second opinion sounds like a good idea, as long as you can get one soon.


    • LBJ10
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      Hmm… something doesn’t sound right here. What could he have come in contact with that you wouldn’t have known about? Do you have pictures of this? Is the tissue actually dead? I’m wondering if there is a simpler explanation.


    • Antacid
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      The vet didn’t take a swab, it’s a pretty hard tissue, like scab. The rabbit is not on antibiotics, he was when he was having the gi statsis.
      He is pretty much back to normal since the stasis, eating and toileting normally, and activity is close to normal.
      The eschar is pretty big so i don’t think it’s the result of a bite, but yeah, it’s possible that something was hurting him there to begin with and that’s why he stopped eating. It’s also possible that it happened during the gi stasis, because there were nights he felt so bad that he slept only in one place without moving, And one night he stayed in his litter box, i figured it isn’t bad, as it’s comfy with the hay and everything there. But maybe he was laying in his pee the whole night?

      I don’t have pictures, i tried to take a picture to send to the vet, he struggled with me and it started to bleed, that’s when i realized it’s serious and took him to the vet.
      I have to get more info from the vet on how urgent is the surgery and what can be the outcome if it isn’t done.
      But i was wondering if anyone else has experience with surgeries for rabbits and know how dangerous they are for them.


    • Antacid
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      If there is a vet on the forum, i would also like to ask if there’s a chance that if we wait, at least some of the eschar would heal on its own, and then the surface area that needs to be removed in a surgery can be smaller and the operation easier?


    • Bunny House
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      I didn’t see this mentioned, is it possible there was a fungal infection in his skin and that is what caused this?


    • Bam
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      Antacid, I’m afraid there are no vets on the forum.

      How dangerous surgery is for rabbits depend on the condition of the rabbit, type of surgery and the rabbit-savviness of the vet performing it. Full anesthesia can be tricky in rabbits, but it’s gotten a lot better in recent years. Many rabbits regularly get dental burrs under full anesthesia.

      I have not heard of eschar in rabbits before, when I looked it up I found a mention of it possibly being caused by the bacterium pasteurella multocida. This is a bacterium that practically all rabbits carry in their nasal cavities and it’s not unreasonable to think that the rabbit licking a smaller wound could result in bacterial transfer from the mouth to the wound.


    • Wick
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      Has your rabbit been in contact with lemon grass essential oils? Perhaps you have a spray or a scent diffuser, or maybe lotions with it? I found one study conducted in Korea (entire article is in Korean, so unsure of exact methods, but the abstract is in English and gives sufficient information) where lemon grass essential oil was applied to intact skin, and it created eschar within 24 hours to 72 hours, as well as swelling and redness.

      The answers provided in this discussion are for general guideline purposes only. The information is not intended to diagnose or treat your pet. Seek the advice of your veterinarian or a qualified behaviorist.


    • Antacid
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      I don’t know about bacteria, i know i never used lemon grass essential oils, not even sure what those are, i’m not using sprays or lotions… hmm.. and i certainly haven’t changed what i use at home in the last few weeks…

      It’s just very disturbing, i look at him and he is acting fine, it’s not like your rabbit is sick and you have to help him. But the vet says we need to operate… i don’t want to if it’s not absolutely required.


    • Bam
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      I was just in contact with another BB member, Muchelle. Her rabbit Kuro had an eschar on his belly. He bit his belly and passed bacteria from his mouth to the wound and got a big eschar. Underneath there was an abscess, so both the abscess and eschar had to be surgically removed. If the eschar is “dry” meaning there’s no signs of infection underneath, it should be left to slough off.

      Muchelle will try to log on to the forums later and have a look at this thread.


    • Antacid
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      I’m waiting anxiously to hear from Muchelle. Thanks.


    • Muchelle
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      Hi! I’ve read everything and I have to list my perplexities. I am in no way an expert, I am just talking out of experience with humans and with my unlucky bun.

      An eschar is basically necrotic (dead) tissue, so it’s a big damage (–> comes from an extreme condition, may it be from decubitus/chemicals/etc)

      1- chemical burn eschar would mean that the rabbit either found himself in a puddle of chemicals or laid in his own pee for weeks. Either option would cause great discomfort to the bun and you would have noticed before the formation of an eschar so big;

      2- even in humans, if the eschar is not infected then it’s not touched, especially if it occupies an extensive amount of skin. That is unless it’s leather-hard and in places that may cause other damages or big discomfort;

      3- if the bun is moving fine and this “thing” is so extended, I’m inclined to think it’s not leather-hard;

      4- don’t put anything on him. Get a bacterial test + bloodwork asap to determine if the area is infected and the origin of infection.

      5- could it be instead something like mange/scabies scarring or similar? Has the bun been in contact with other pets? Let’s think of something not “eschar” to come up with possible differential diagnosis.

      In conclusion, a surgery so extended wouldn’t be done in one go on a human so, personally, I would never have someone do that on a rabbit. If it is indeed an eschar and it indeed needs to be taken out, I’d settle for multiple sessions to reduce the stress and the risk of secondary infection.

      I hope my monologue can be of help. I often get server issues so I don’t log often on the forums… in case I can’t come back do summon me through one of the mods


    • LBJ10
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      I’m going to agree with the others. Could this be the result of bacteria? Or could this be the result of mites? Those seem like more likely possibilities than a chemical burn. Muchelle is also correct in saying they typically leave it alone in humans if it isn’t infected. It’s better to let the tissue underneath heal and the dead tissue to fall off on its own. It’s less likely to become infected that way. Unless there is a reason (mobility issues, etc.) to take it off, particularly all at once, I don’t see how it would be beneficial. You already have an appointment for a second opinion, so I would be anxious to hear what the second vet says.


    • Antacid
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      Thanks for the responses. I can answer some of the perplexities.

      The gi stasis crisis lasted for more than a week, and he felt very bad during it, so if that’s when the damage to his belly started, i wouldn’t have thought there is an extra problem here and i didn’t notice…

      The first vet is considered to be quite the expert, he said the tissue underneath will not heal if he won’t remove the eschar, and he needs to cover the wound with new skin… not sure how… he did not do any bacterial test, but i think he said there is some puss… i will speak to him again tomorrow.
      I any case, i don’t think i’m more qualified than him to diagnose my rabbit.
      I will also hear what the second vet has to say, hell if needed i’ll get a 3rd opinion too. And i don’t know why he decided to do it all in one go…
      I will discuss it with the 2nd vet as well.

      For the meanwhile, the surgery is scheduled for monday morning, i will ask both of them how urgent it is and if i can postpone. I need to carefully consider my options here.
      Thanks.


    • Muchelle
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      If by “he felt very bad” you mean that he didn’t move from his spot for several days, then a combination of pressure ulcer + urine burn could be a very likely culprit.
      Do make sure he explains with extensive detail what he is going to do, so that you can have all the information you need to decide.
      In particular, ask more details about this skin implant + how he is planning to manage the post-operation care (how many days will the bun be kept there, what kind of care he’ll need once at home, etc etc)


    • Antacid
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      Thanks Muchelle.

      Can you tell me about your experience?


    • Muchelle
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      My case was different, we had a necrosis caused by bacteria that from his mouth (he bit himself while being distressed after molar trimming + tongue wound cleaning) passed to his belly. The lesion was rock hard and right in the middle of his belly + an abscess underneath.
      He got emergengy surgery to remove abscess and lesion, the post-op was difficult for me (needed to force feed+medicate every 4 hours for days), very painful for him (20+ abdominal stitches) and very costly.


    • Antacid
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      That’s hard, i hope the end was happy…

      I just got a 2nd opinion from the other vet, she said surgery is a must. However when i told her who is my vet she said he is an expert that does it a lot and i shouldn’t worry, so hoping for the best.


    • Bam
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      I just want to send good surgery-vibes for your bun.


    • Antacid
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      Thanks.
      We are heading out soon… scared but hopeful.


    • Bunny House
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      Keep us updated. Hoping for the best


    • Antacid
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      Hi everyone.
      The surgery was successful, Merlin is home with a huge stitch, and now i’m trying to keep him fed, clean and medicated, which is a little hard.
      Thanks for the help and good wishes.


    • Bunny House
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      Yay! Hope he keep doing good and heals up nicely.


    • Bam
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      Many, many good healing-vibes for (((((Merlin)))))

      The website Disabled Rabbits has tips on how to care for temporarily or permanently disabled buns. Merlin will of course be high maintenance now for a while.

      http://www.disabledrabbits.com/


    • Antacid
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      Thanks. My main problem is how to give him meds, it’s been quite a struggle in the past, and now i don’t want to hold his belly, so i’m not sure how to.


    • Bunny House
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      You can put a towel over him and kinda tuck it underchim and you be overhim and make it snug, and then give him the meds since you don’t want to pick him up


    • Bam
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      Some buns will eat their med if you hide them in something yummy, like banana. Medirabbit has tips on how to restrain a rabbit in a “bunny burrito”: http://www.medirabbit.com/EN/Transport/Towel/Towel.htm


    • meridiian
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      Bam’s suggestion is a good one. Worked for me when my bunny had GI and required meds. “.. hide them in something yummy”

      I was having real trouble getting my bunny to accept her med, but that worked like a charm!

      Vibes to little (((Merlin)))

      Best of luck and keep us posted. xx


    • Wick
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      I use the following technique for syringe feeding. It doesn’t require pick up or towels… because I only have two small hands and arms and although Wick is tiny, I lack the coordination to do that, haha: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N12eJ5vdo4w

      The answers provided in this discussion are for general guideline purposes only. The information is not intended to diagnose or treat your pet. Seek the advice of your veterinarian or a qualified behaviorist.


    • Antacid
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      Thanks. i’m doing something like Wick suggested, i do it, but he tries to run forward real fast and i have to hold him, i hope i can’t hurt him this way.


    • Antacid
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      I found a fairly good way to do it, i wake him up from sleep and give him med quick, he is too sleepy to put much of a fight. Heh


    • Bunny House
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      Haha, very cleaver

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Forum HOUSE RABBIT Q & A Eschar surgery