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An abscess in a rabbit is a serious condition and may be life threatening. Veterinary help should be sought as soon as you notice any sign of a lump or draining sore on your rabbit. The bacteria causing abscesses in rabbits is called Pasteurella. Many rabbit kits contact the bacteria soon after birth from their doe. It may lie dormant in their system for months or years, but will cause disease eventually, usually when the rabbit is stressed (eg showing, fighting, cold, wet, improper bedding, pregnancy).

The only curative treatment for these abscesses is complete surgical removal. Unfortunately, if the abscess occurs on the face, throat or limbs, this is not possible. Antibiotic treatment will give some respite- an antibiotic called enrofloxacin is safe in rabbits given orally or by injection. Often, euthanasia is the eventual outcome, to prevent the rabbit suffering.

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