Vaginal discharge is not a common or normal occurrence in rabbits, and is normally taken to be a sign of infection or illness. Vaginal discharge includes any substance that comes from the vulvar labia, or vaginal area, including fresh blood or blood tinged fluid. Vaginal discharge is almost always considered abnormal, except in cases where the rabbit is discharging postpartum fluids -- the fluids that leave the uterus after birth.
The signs, symptoms and types of vaginal discharge vary from rabbit to rabbit and may vary according to the sexual status of the rabbit. Those that are sexually active are more at risk for vaginal discharge. Older rabbits are also more at risk.
Common symptoms and signs include:
The causes for vaginal discharge may include:
To diagnose the condition, your veterinarian will gather a specimen sample of the urine to distinguish blood in the urine from blood expelled from the uterus. Other exams will include ruling out uterine adenocarcinoma (cancer). Ultrasound can be used to examine the uterus and surrounding reproductive organs, and radiography will help your veterinarian to detect any masses in the uterus and help measure the size of the uterus to determine if it is abnormal in any way. Pregnancy can also be ruled out during the course of these diagnostic checks.
A culture will help rule out any bacteria infections, and will help assess the health of the vaginal flora – the collection of healthy bacteria, fungi, and microorganisms that normally live within the vaginal canal. An imbalance of the vaginal flora will be indicative of yeast overgrowth and other common fungal infections.
The prediction of a disease’s outcome in advance
The period that immediately comes after the birthing process
A procedure of imaging internal body structures by exposing film
The hollow bodily organ that holds the embryo and fetus and provides nourishment; only found in female animals.
A type of fungus that produces buds
The area between the vulva and anus or scrotum and anus
The glands in female animals that are used to produce milk; also called the udder or breast
The end of the gastrointestinal tract; the opening at the end of the tract.
The innermost layer of the uterus
Extreme loss of blood
The condition of being drowsy, listless, or weak
The result of a malignant growth of the tissue of the epithelial gland.