Prepare for unexpected vet bills

What is Loss of Weight and Muscle?

The most common underlying conditions that cause weight loss are dental disease, respiratory infections and chronic age-related conditions such as renal failure and arthritis. Although not all the conditions that lead to weight loss can be cured, many are able to be effectively managed, improving life quality for your pet.

Loss of weight and muscle in rabbits is often a symptom of a chronic underlying disease or condition. Parasitic infestation, congestive heart failure, and environment are just a few of the causes for this condition.

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Loss of Weight and Muscle Average Cost

From 452 quotes ranging from $200 - $800

Average Cost

$300

Symptoms of Loss of Weight and Muscle in Rabbits

In cases of weight loss, the first symptom is usually a noticeably lighter pet. As the reason for weight loss is usually pain associated with an underlying health condition you may notice other signs of pain such as tooth grinding, hunching, depression and a reluctance to be stroked. Other symptoms vary depending on the cause of weight loss.

Types

There are many different conditions that may cause weight loss in your pet, these can be caused by:

Pseudo-anorexia

– if your pet is suffering from weight loss due to this form of anorexia they may still have a drive to eat, however, due to an underlying condition are unable to

True anorexia

– if your pet is suffering from this form of anorexia they may be losing weight due to loss of desire to eat; this is often due to underlying factors that cause pain or stress

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Causes of Loss of Weight and Muscle in Rabbits

There are many causes of weight loss in rabbits, these include 

  • Chronic respiratory infections
  • Neoplasia
  • Chronic conditions such as arthritis or renal failure
  • Dental disease
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Parasitic infection
  • Urolithiasis
  • Skin infections such as pyoderma or pododermatitis
  • Social problems such as loss of a companion or aggressive cage mate
  • Environmental stressors such as predators or change of environment
  • Ingestion of toxins
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Diagnosis of Loss of Weight and Muscle in Rabbits

Your veterinarian will perform a full clinical examination on your pet and carefully examine them for signs of underlying conditions that may be causing weight loss. She may ask questions to determine a history for your pet; these questions may include the speed of weight loss, possible access to toxins, recent social changes, and other symptoms. When performing a clinical examination your veterinarian will pay close attention to the following:

  • Abnormal amount of gas or abdominal masses on palpation
  • Signs of respiratory infection on chest auscultation
  • If your pet is female the vulva should be carefully examined for discharge which may suggest pyometra
  • Signs of infection or dermatitis
  • Excessive salivation or malocclusion which may suggest dental disease to be the cause
  • Signs of parasitic infection

Your veterinarian may choose to do following diagnostic tests:

  • Radiographs to investigate masses, osteoarthritis, spondylitis or other skeletal disorders
  • Blood chemistry which can rule out renal and liver disease, anemia, chronic infection or neoplasia and provide a health baseline when prescribing analgesia
  • Urinalysis to rule out urinary tract infections or hepatic lipidosis
  • Fecal analysis if your pet has a history of diarrhea to rule out infection
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Treatment of Loss of Weight and Muscle in Rabbits

Your rabbit’s treatment will depend on the underlying condition that is causing the weight loss. Your rabbit may be need to be admitted to the hospital for treatment.

Dental disease

If your rabbit is suffering from dental disorders he may require corrective dental treatment under general anesthetic.

Fluid therapy

Fluid therapy may be given to prevent dehydration and rehydrate gastrointestinal contents. Your pet will be encouraged to have fluids orally but may also be given intravenous or subcutaneous fluid therapy.

Analgesia

As weight loss is often associated with pain your pet may be given NSAIDs or opioids for pain relief. 

Diet

Your veterinarian may discuss a gradual change of diets to support weight gain and gastrointestinal health. 

Medication

For chronic conditions such as congestive heart failure or renal disease on-going medication may be given to support these systems and improve your pet’s life quality.

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Recovery of Loss of Weight and Muscle in Rabbits

The prognosis for a pet suffering from loss of weight can be good to guarded depending on how quickly treatment was sought and the underlying condition. If your veterinarian suspects that stress was the cause, it is important to adjust your pet’s environment to reduce or completely eliminate the stressor. As rabbits are social animals your pet may benefit from having another cage mate. 

If your pet is suffering from disease such as skin infections or abscesses your pet may need further medication and treatment. For chronic health conditions it is important that you discuss a long-term pain management plan with your veterinarian to alleviate your pet’s discomfort and support nutrition.

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Loss of Weight and Muscle Average Cost

From 452 quotes ranging from $200 - $800

Average Cost

$300

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Loss of Weight and Muscle Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

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Thumper

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Calico Rex

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1 Year

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Serious severity

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1 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Fur Loss
Cant Get Up
Not Eating Or Drinking
Weight Loss

My cousin got Thumper when he was 2 months old and gave him to me when he was 6 months old. I was super happy to get a new furry baby and I have had Thumper for 8 wonderful months. Thumper usually is really hyper, eats and drinks a lot, and a really happy bunny. The past few weeks I noticed the he started losing fur which I thought "Oh he is just shedding no big deal", but then he starting losing a lot of weight. When I came home from school yesterday, I went to go feed him then I noticed that he was not has hyper has usual and he didn't drink the water I put out for him before school. I sat on the flood then called him over and he got up to greet me and took one step the fell to the ground and that scared me. I picked him up and he was cold to the touch, so I held him in my arms close to my chest to keep him warm. After that he seemed a bit better and he started eating and drinking. This morning he is not eating or drinking, his stool is small, and can't hop or walk without falling down. I would take him to the vet, but there are no vets near where I live that deals with rabbits. I'm so scared I'm going to lose him.

Sept. 15, 2018

Thumper's Owner

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Daisy

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Netherland Dwarf

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3 Years

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Moderate severity

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1 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Weight Loss

Taking my nethie to the vet tomorrow, but hoping to get some info as to what might bw going on before then. My 3yo, Daisy, has been eating as usual and drinking water as usual but has lost weight...probably over the past few days if not longer, but it's only just become very obvious- visually. Her diet and environment have been the same for the past year, so that's not really a factor. She also has a best buddy that she lives with so is as happy and content as she would be otherwise. She has, however, been weeing a little and defecating everywhere the past couple of weeks... this is not normal for her. Her spine is so prominent now and she's no longer a little round ball of fluff when she sits. I think shes also been clenching her jaw and maybe grinding her teeth a couple that I've seen? Ive not heard any noise but it just looked like she was chewing nothing. Im so concerned, and upset...

July 2, 2018

Daisy's Owner

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1 Recommendations

Sudden weight loss in rabbits is concerning and may be due to a variety of different conditions which may include dental disorders, gastrointestinal disorders among other issues; without examining Daisy I cannot say what the specific cause is, however your Veterinarian will complete a thorough examination and will make the appropriate recommendation. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

July 2, 2018

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Loss of Weight and Muscle Average Cost

From 452 quotes ranging from $200 - $800

Average Cost

$300

Vet bills can sneak up on you.

Plan ahead. Get the pawfect insurance plan for your pup.

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