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Bone Cancer In Joints

Discussions relating to bone cancer symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and prognosis

Bone Cancer In Joints

Postby Bardalph » Tue Jun 21, 2016 7:15 pm

My dwarf rabbit has a swollen hind leg joint and was not walking on it, so I took her to the vet to get it checked out. They took x-rays and the vet says it looks like bone cancer, but we would have to do a biopsy to be sure. The biopsy is pretty expensive and can be inconclusive, and they may not do anything differently as far as treatment goes if we find out it is cancer. We also saw on the x-ray that the other hind leg joint has the same thing going on to a lesser degree. There is no metastasis anywhere else in the body to be found. I ran this by my parents who are both M.D.'s and they think it would be very unusual for a cancer to occur in the same spot on both legs. I haven't had any luck searching the internet on the issue, I am only finding things about cancer in the head or spinal areas. My rabbit has also had some digestive issues lately, but I'm not sure that is related at all, and she seems otherwise in good health. I guess I'm looking for your opinion on the matter and any other recources I could check out.
Bardalph
 
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Bone Cancer In Joints

Postby Maoltuile » Wed Jun 22, 2016 5:44 pm

My dwarf rabbit has a swollen hind leg joint and was not walking on it, so I took her to the vet to get it checked out. They took x-rays and the vet says it looks like bone cancer, but we would have to do a biopsy to be sure. The biopsy is pretty expensive and can be inconclusive, and they may not do anything differently as far as treatment goes if we find out it is cancer. We also saw on the x-ray that the other hind leg joint has the same thing going on to a lesser degree. There is no metastasis anywhere else in the body to be found. I ran this by my parents who are both M.D.'s and they think it would be very unusual for a cancer to occur in the same spot on both legs. I haven't had any luck searching the internet on the issue, I am only finding things about cancer in the head or spinal areas. My rabbit has also had some digestive issues lately, but I'm not sure that is related at all, and she seems otherwise in good health. I guess I'm looking for your opinion on the matter and any other recources I could check out.
Maoltuile
 
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Bone Cancer In Joints

Postby Jedd » Wed Jun 22, 2016 5:52 pm

Dear Sara,

I agree with your parents that it would be pretty unusual for a cancer to occur in a bilaterally symmetrical fashion, although I suppose it's not impossible.  More likely(and more common in rabbits) is osteomyelitis caused by bacterial infection.  If the hocks are infected, then a culture and sensitivity test done via needle biopsy would help identify the problem:

www.bio.miami.edu/hare/culture.html

It seems to me that this would be sufficient for a cancer biopsy, too.  It might be wise to seek a second opinion from a vet who is more familiar with rabbit medicine:

www.rabbit.org/vets

If this is a bone infection, then it might be worthwhile to try certain antibiotics with good abscess and bone penetration, as indicated by the C & S test.  If the bacteria are sensitive to penicillin, then bicillin injections could be effective.  Zeniquin(marbofloxacin) is another antibiotic(a fluoroquinolone) with broad spectrum efficacy and long "hang time" that fosters good abscess and bone penetration.  So you might wish to ask your(new) vet about this.

If your bunny is showing signs of mushy or runny stool, this could be related to the hocks, since pain will elicit GI tract slowdown and even ileus.  Pain management is critical at this point, until you find out what's going on and how to treat it.  Please read:

www.bio.miami.edu/hare/poop.html

I hope this helps get you started.  Please write back if you have more questions.

Dana
Jedd
 
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