do rabbits have anal glands? : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

A friend asked me to help her with her rabbit. Seems she was pulling fur (2 year old larger mixed breed) and wasn't sure if their new rabbit was a male so I had a look see. It was a female. While checking over the fur puller, just to make sure there weren't lice or fleas, she asked me to check to make sure she was a girl also. When I turned her over, I noticed a foul-smelling, waxy discharge on both sides of her genitals. Upon cleaning it up, I found what looked like glands under the mess, no broken skin. Also, she recently lost a rabbit with no apparent, outward reason although she said the rabbit was always smaller then the other even though they were littermates. Any chance of it causing the death?

So, what up with this? She is calling the vet tomorrow but I'd like to know what it is because I had never seen this before.

-- Dee (, April 29, 2001


Warbles? It is a larva that lives under ths skin of infected rabbits, usualy in private areas.just a guess.on the one who died hard to tell but some animals [runts usualy] dont do as well and have shorter lifes.

-- kathy h (, April 29, 2001.

Thanks kathy, not warbles. I've (unfortunately) had experience with them. YUCK!! And know what they look like. I thought it was one that died at first until I saw the same thing on the other side.

-- Dee (, April 30, 2001.

yes Dee rabbits do have scent glands.....and some rabbits are just smaller then the others in a litter, just a genetic thing.

Are you asking if the gland build up killed the rabbit or being smaller was the cause of death?


-- suzanne wilson (, April 30, 2001.

As was said, yes, they have scent glands.

On to the question, though....

Is the discharge still there??? It could be a form of enteritis... Is the dung normal?

I had a very young rabbit die of enteritis - no real diarrhea, but there was a sticky, yellowish-white discharge. It smelled horrible. Cleaning did work, but by evening it was back, and by morning he was dead.

If this is the case, cull immediately, and disinfect the cage he was in and surrounding cages. Watch the others closely.

Normally, older rabbits will get some diarrhea, but it won't kill them. Young rabbits will not survive it. It IS highly catching...

For a doe, I would suggest that perhaps she is pregnant. Usually, without a nest box, they will pull fur right before the birth, however, if she is not a first timer, she will pull fur about three days before, maybe even a week.

I have two does that nobody can tell when they are pregnant or not until they are nearing delivery and weigh a ton. Even had a professional breeder who couldn't tell.

Best I can say is to keep her as clean as possible and seperate from the rest... A nest box wouldn't hurt either, and can be removed in a few days if she doesn't deliver.

It can be caused by stress, also by poor sanitation. There is no cure for it.

-- Sue Diederich (, April 30, 2001.

Thanks for the answers. The doe was never bred so I knew that wasn't the problem but I did think it was a false pregnancy. She took the rabbit to the vet and the vet said the doe was having some hormonal things happening. She was even lactating.

The gland thing was what threw me off. I'd never seen it before.

-- Dee (, May 01, 2001.

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