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Thymoma in Rabbits

Exotic pets have unusual health issues. Additionally, their instinct tells them to hide signs of illness, so they don't appear weak. Unfortunately, a potential medical problem for 8% of bunnies is thymoma. Therefore, today, we’re going to learn all about thymoma in rabbits.

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What is thymoma in rabbits?

According to James K. Morrisey, DVM, DABVPthymomas are rare tumors that arise from the thymus. This organ is part of the immune system and is found in the chest cavity. Thymomas tend to be slow-growing but have the potential for local invasion into the lung and surrounding tissue, making it hard for your rabbit to breathe. Thymomas may even metastasize to other organs.

If you want to see what a thymoma in rabbits looks like, go here

Warning signs

Any time your rabbit breathes through an open mouth is an emergency; they are in respiratory distress. While breathing through an open mouth is one warning sign of thymoma in rabbits, here are the rest:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Exercise intolerance
  • Eyes may appear to bulge out of the skull
  • Neck, head, and forelimb edema (fluid build-up)
  • Open-mouth breathing
  • Shortness of breath


If your rabbit displayed any warning signs, you should already be at your trusted exotic vet's office or the animal emergency room. Thymoma in rabbits requires several tests for diagnosis:

  • Xray (radiographs)
  • CT Scan or MRI
  • Ultrasound
  • Biopsy via needle aspiration (requires anesthesia)
Cartoon rabbits of various breeds

Treatment options

Thymoma in rabbits has three potential treatment options. However, you and your vet or a veterinary oncologist (cancer specialist) must take a holistic view of your bun's health before starting any treatment.

  • Surgery to remove the tumor.
  • Radiation therapy + Chemotherapy
  • Chemotherapy
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We don’t wish thymoma in rabbits on anybun! However, we believe in empowering our valued customers with knowledge to help you care for your precious pets. So, finally, if you've got a thymoma in rabbits story to share, please email it to us or comment on our socials.

DISCLAIMER: The links and information are being provided as a convenience and for informational purposes only; they do not constitute an endorsement or an approval by Small Pet Select of any of the products, services or opinions of the corporation or organization or individual.

VETERINARY DISCLAIMER: We are not veterinarians, and none of our information should be construed as veterinary advice.  If your pet is acting unwell, you have concerns for their well being, or before adding any new product, please contact your veterinarian immediately. 

NATURAL PRODUCTS DISCLAIMER: Please note that Small Pet Select’s products contain all-natural, farm-fresh ingredients.Additionally, all toys and chews are handmade by American artisans. Therefore, there may be slight variations from one item to the next, or the product may not look exactly as pictured on Small Pet Select’s website.

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