ArticleLiterature Review

Gastrointestinal Disease in Guinea Pigs and Rabbits

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  • Graham Veterinary Consulting LLC
Article

Gastrointestinal Disease in Guinea Pigs and Rabbits

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Abstract

This article reviews diagnosis and management of gastrointestinal diseases in guinea pigs and rabbits. The review includes established causes of gastrointestinal disease in these species. The authors highlight syndromes that may be considered emerging or less-recognized causes of gastrointestinal stasis, including gastric dilation and volvulus in guinea pigs and lead toxicity, colonic entrapment, and liver torsion in rabbits. Practitioners should recommend initial diagnostics, including radiographs and blood work on guinea pigs and rabbits presenting with nonspecific signs of gastrointestinal stasis, to better determine possible cause and make the best treatment recommendations.

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... Rabbit production is affected by different factors including viral, bacterial, and parasitic diseases. Coccidiosis in domestic rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) is a parasitic disease caused by different species of genus Eimeria [3]. Eleven different species of Eimeria have been discovered in domestic rabbits; ten of these species colonize the intestinal tract and Eimeria stiedae infects the bile ducts [3,4]. ...
... Coccidiosis in domestic rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) is a parasitic disease caused by different species of genus Eimeria [3]. Eleven different species of Eimeria have been discovered in domestic rabbits; ten of these species colonize the intestinal tract and Eimeria stiedae infects the bile ducts [3,4]. ese species of Eimeria affect rabbits in different ways and intensities, according to their degree of pathogenicity, which can result in stunted growth and death, especially in young animals [3,5]. ...
... Eleven different species of Eimeria have been discovered in domestic rabbits; ten of these species colonize the intestinal tract and Eimeria stiedae infects the bile ducts [3,4]. ese species of Eimeria affect rabbits in different ways and intensities, according to their degree of pathogenicity, which can result in stunted growth and death, especially in young animals [3,5]. e transmission of coccidiosis is due to the intake of food contaminated with feces containing the sporulated oocysts which develop within the digestive system of rabbits, where they reproduce causing lesions and are excreted again in stool to reinitiate the infection cycle [6]. ...
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Coccidiosis in rabbit production is responsible for high morbidity, mortality, and economic losses. The use of natural antimicrobial substances in rabbits represents a promising way to improve their health and production. The aim of the present study was to assess the activity of Salix babylonica hydroalcoholic extract (SBHE) on the elimination of Eimeria spp. in rabbits. The phytochemical compounds and chemical composition of SBHE were determined. The cytotoxicity of SBHE was determined by a microwell assay using Artemia salina . Twenty-five New Zealand rabbits, 28 days old and 872 ± 171 g body weight (BW), were used in a completely randomized design. The rabbits were assigned to five groups of five rabbits, control group (A) received only basal diet (BD), B group received BD + 25 mg/kg BW of SBHE, C group received BD + 50 mg/kg BW of SBHE, D group received BD + 100 mg/kg BW of SBHE, and E group received BD + coccidiostat Baycox® (75 mg/kg body weight) for 28 days. Feces samples were collected at days 0, 7, 14, 21, and 28; morphological and morphometric identifications of Eimeria were carried out by the flotation technique and counting of oocysts by the McMaster technique. The rabbits were found naturally infected with Eimeria spp. The SBHE present phytochemicals with anticoccidial activity, and the cytotoxicity test indicate that this extract is nontoxic. This study demonstrates that oral administration of SBHE at 25 and 50 mg/kg BW reduced the release of oocysts per gram of feces. This effect was observed at day 14 and had the most significant effect at day 28 for both concentrations. The results indicate that SBHE could be a natural alternative for the control of coccidiosis in rabbit production.
... The fasting period was determined as described by Whittington [13]. A 20 mg/kg peroral dose of simethicone was used according to [14], and this was administered 20-30 min before the examination (adapted from [15]). A dorsal recumbent position on a foam V-trough pad was the standard position used during procedures. ...
... In rabbits, simethicone is indicated in the treatment of abdominal discomfort caused by gas [11]. The recommended dose for this purpose ranges from 20 to 130 mg/kg; in this study, it was chosen 20 mg/kg because it was the lowest one [13][14][15]. The pre-treatment period of 20-30 min was adapted from the recommended 1 h for treatment of bowel distension in rabbits caused by gas [14]. ...
... The recommended dose for this purpose ranges from 20 to 130 mg/kg; in this study, it was chosen 20 mg/kg because it was the lowest one [13][14][15]. The pre-treatment period of 20-30 min was adapted from the recommended 1 h for treatment of bowel distension in rabbits caused by gas [14]. Moreover, a shorter period between administration and ultrasonography allows the sonographer to administer the simethicone rather than the owner. ...
Article
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Presence of significant quantities of gas in the intestines may hinder a proper conduction of abdominal ultrasonography. In humans, preparatory techniques are used to solve this, but measures to avoid ultrasonographic complications due to intestinal gas in rabbits have not been reported. The objective of this study was to evaluate the influence of fasting and simethicone administered orally on the quality of ultrasonographic images of the gallbladder, kidneys, and jejunum in adult New Zealand White (NZW) rabbits. A total of 28 adult NZW rabbits were included in a crossover design study, involving four groups: F: fasting for 4–6 h before the examination; FS: fasting and application of simethicone (20 mg/kg, orally) 20 to 30 min before the examination; S: application of simethicone 20–30 min before the examination without fasting; and C: controls without fasting and no application of simethicone. Evaluation of the ultrasonographic images was done in terms of percentage of visualization of each organ and image quality using a 3-point scoring system (unacceptable, acceptable, or excellent). The kidneys and the gallbladder were visualized at an equal frequency in all groups, while the jejunum was visualized more frequently in the FS group. The image quality scores for gallbladder, right kidney, and left kidney was similar for all groups, but for the jejunum, a higher number of images with acceptable scores was found within the FS group.
... A decrease in the gas content of the stomach and intestines is commonly involved in patient preparation for ultrasound examination, for these may contribute to ultrasound artifacts (D'Anjou and Penninck, 2015). One way of decreasing gas content is to maintain a good rate of bowel movement, thereby preventing the accumulation of stool and gases (Decubellis and Graham, 2013). For rabbits, the feeding of hay has been described as beneficial for health maintenance because it has a high fibre content (which maintains a good rate of bowel passage of the ingested content), contributes to the maintenance of dental health (continuous chewing of hay favours suitable dental wear) and is a dry food source. ...
... This, along with the higher possibility of visualisation of the jejunum at 77 d of age (Table 2), suggested that the withdrawal of commercial feed a day before the examination had a better result for rabbits with a longer exposure to hay. Machado et al. (2011) gastrointestinal transit time, favouring the growth of undesirable bacteria and the occurrence of stasis, which may bring about health risks to the animal (Ferreira et al., 2006;Decubellis and Graham, 2013). Generally, the commercial feed supplied is for mixed use, whereas the supply of hay may enable higher levels of ADF than that provided by an exclusive diet of concentrate. ...
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pThe aim of this study was to evaluate the influence of feed change on image quality of ultrasound scanning of the gallbladder, kidney and jejunum in New Zealand White kits. Thirty-nine 35-day-old rabbits were used, distributed into 4 diet groups: C, only commercial feed; CH, commercial feed and hay; C24H, only commercial feed, replaced by hay 24 h before examination; and CH24H, commercial feed and hay, with the commercial feed withdrawn 24 h before the exam. The rabbits received the diet for 42 d (from 35 to 77 d of age) and the ultrasound evaluations were performed on days 56 and 77. Ultrasonographic assessment for image quality focused on the possibility of visualisation and an image quality rating (3 scores: unacceptable, acceptable or excellent) for the gallbladder, kidneys and jejunum. The kidneys were visualised in 100% of animals of all diets and ages. There was no difference in visualisation (P>0.05) of the gallbladder among the animals fed different diets on days 56 and 77. The C24H diet had a higher visualisation possibility (P<0.05) of the jejunum compared to the C and CH diets on day 77. For the image quality score, there was no difference in the studied organs on day 56. However, on day 77, there was a difference for the jejunum (P<0.05), and only the C24H and CH24H diets presented images classified as excellent. In conclusion, the image quality of the kidneys and gallbladder was unaffected by feed, and the jejunum had an improved image quality with the inclusion of hay and without the commercial feed 24 h before the test in New Zealand White rabbits at 77 d of age.
... 16 Another recommends 20 mg/kg simethicone by mouth every 8 to 12 hours to reduce gas distention. 17 Both are recommended in conjunction with other supportive care such as fluid therapy, analgesia, and prokinetic agents if an obstruction has been ruled out. However, the mechanism of action should be taken in consideration. ...
... In guinea pigs recovering from surgery to correct gastric dilation and volvulus, simethicone has been recommended to enhance gas absorption; however, this should only be administered after hydration to prevent a potential foreign body from dehydrated simethicone in the GI tract. 17,18 In conclusion, although simethicone is readily available, relatively inexpensive, and a safe drug, little information exists on the mechanism of action or efficacy in our vertebrate patients. When considering its use in a patient, the mechanism of action should be considered so as to maximize effective therapy. ...
... Gastrointestinal infections were reported in 11.73% of guinea pigs in the sample population. Contaminated food has been suggested as a factor associated with the frequency of gastrointestinal infections, and it is advised that owners wash fresh fruits and vegetables prior to feeding [28,29], but bacterial transmission could also occur through shared food in multi-animal environments. However, the majority of owners surveyed demonstrated a high level of awareness of good hygiene and husbandry. ...
... It would be of interest as to whether the aforementioned pathogens are susceptible to common pet disinfectants. A further cause of gastrointestinal problems in guinea pigs can be sudden changes to diet [29]; we did not question owners on whether they had changed their pet's diet in this survey, but this is something that could be explored in future work. ...
Article
Domestic guinea pigs suffer morbidity and mortality due to a range of bacterial infections amongst other causes. Microorganisms such as Bordetella bronchiseptica and Streptococcus pneumoniae are commonly implicated in respiratory disease; however, there is a lack of research surrounding the prevalence of these bacterial infections. The aim of this study was to investigate the frequency with which owners reported bacterial infections in pet guinea pigs and to assess owner knowledge of correct husbandry practices to inform prevention of the development of bacterial infections. An online questionnaire, consisting of 30 questions was promoted to guinea pig owners. Of all respondents (n = 524), 39.39% reported that their guinea pig(s) had been clinically diagnosed with a bacterial infection, with upper respiratory tract infections the most commonly reported (46.95%), followed by urinary tract (15.49%) and then gastrointestinal infections (11.73%). Owners demonstrated knowledge of correct husbandry practices and there was no significant effect (p = 0.475) of owner knowledge on having owned a guinea pig with a bacterial infection. Bacterial infections may be more common in guinea pigs than was previously thought. Further research is required to understand why bacterial infections are common in pet guinea pigs and to help owners to prevent and recognize these infections.
... Rabbit Gastrointestinal Syndrome (RGIS) [7,8] is a term that describes a range of clinical signs and concurrent pathologic conditions that affect the digestive system. There are many different etiologies of RGIS, which it makes challenging to diagnose, and treat [7,12]. ...
... Diagnostic imaging is an essential diagnostic tool for veterinarians working with exotic companion mammals [11,12,27,32]. Ultrasonographic evaluation of the GI tract in rabbits is challenging due to reverberation artifact caused by the normal large amount of gas and ingesta, mainly in the cecal region [11,[26][27][28][29][30]. ...
Article
Background Gastrointestinal (GI) diseases are common in rabbits. Although diagnostic imaging studies can assist clinicians in selecting therapeutic approaches, there are few reports of advanced imaging findings in normal rabbits. Computed tomography (CT) is recognized as a useful tool in dogs and cats, but there are few reports of normal findings on multidetector computed tomography (MDTC) in rabbits. The goals of this study are to describe the CT anatomical imaging appearance of the GI tract and their normal variation in healthy pet rabbits and to obtain the normal wall thickness measurements of normal GI tract structures. Methods Twenty-three rabbits were scanned under general anesthesia and the CT abdominal images were analyzed by two experienced radiologists. Location and size of the major GI organs and structures were determined, and wall thickness of the stomach, small and large intestines were measured, including the interobserver agreement. Statistical analysis of quantitative and qualitative variables were performed. Results Wall thickness values were established for the different parts of the stomach (cardia: 3.4 ± 0.4mm; fundus: 1.4 ± 0.2mm; body: 1.4 ± 0.1mm; pylorus: 2.9 ± 0.5mm), small intestines (duodenum: 1.4 ± 0.1mm; jejunum: 1.2 ± 0.1mm; ileum: 1.4 ± 0.1mm), and large intestines (cecum: 1.2 ± 0.1mm; colon ascending: 1.4 ± 0.3 mm and descending: 1.3 ± 0.3mm). When distended the stomach did not extend beyond the caudal limits of the L2 vertebra. The cecum occupied the ventral abdominal region from T12/T13 to L7/S1, the sacculus rotundus was identified in 11 of the 23 rabbits. The sacculus rotundus and vermiform cecal appendix were identified only in rabbits with mild large intestinal distension. Conclusions and clinical relevance It was possible to use CT to evaluate the different portions of the GI tract that are not normally readily visible on radiographs and ultrasound (US). Normal wall thickness values of the different portion of the GI tract were stablished. These results provide new and important reference values for CT studies in normal pet rabbits and provide data for further studies in rabbits with GI diseases.
... Rabbit Gastrointestinal Syndrome (RGIS) [7,8] is a term that describes a range of clinical signs and concurrent pathologic conditions that affect the digestive system. There are many different etiologies of RGIS, which it makes challenging to diagnose, and treat [7,12]. ...
... Diagnostic imaging is an essential diagnostic tool for veterinarians working with exotic companion mammals [11,12,27,32]. Ultrasonographic evaluation of the GI tract in rabbits is challenging due to reverberation artifact caused by the normal large amount of gas and ingesta, mainly in the cecal region [11,[26][27][28][29][30]. ...
Article
Background There are few studies describing characteristics of the urinary tract in rabbits using multidetector computed tomography (CT). The aim of this study was to describe the CT appearance and main features of the urinary tract in healthy pet rabbits. Methods Twenty-three healthy rabbits underwent plain and contrast-enhanced CT scan under general anesthesia. Results Normal renal length was 3.27-3.43 cm. The ureters were identified in the pre-contrast phase, but better delineated in post-contrast phases. Some focal filling defects were observed in the middle and caudal third of the ureters in more than 50% of the animals on post-contrast exams. There was interobserver disagreement regarding the measurements of renal pelvis, ureters, and the exact position of the kidneys in relation to the lumbar vertebrae. Conclusions and clinical relevance This study provides a detailed anatomic description of the urinary tract in rabbits from CT imaging and reference values for further investigations.
... 17 Ileus can, however, be caused by multiple factors, including pain, stress, inappropriate diet and dental disease. 47 The presence of ileus alone, therefore, does not necessarily signify a primary gastrointestinal or even abdominal disease. One previous study reported a prevalence of 25.1 per cent for ileus, with young adult rabbits, dwarf and lop breeds potentially being at increased risk. ...
Article
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Background The domestic rabbit is a common pet species, but limited research exists on the health of pet rabbits. This study aimed to characterise common disorders of pet rabbits and reasons for mortality as recorded by veterinary practices in England. Methods This cross-sectional study covered anonymised clinical records of 6349 rabbits attending 107 primary veterinary care clinics. Results The median age was 3.2 years (interquartile range (IQR) 1.6–5.1), and the median adult bodyweight was 2.1 kg (IQR 1.7–2.6). The most common breed types were domestic (n=2022, 31.9 per cent), lop (1675, 26.4 per cent) and Netherland dwarf (672, 10.6 per cent). For those rabbits that died during the study period, the median age at death was 4.3 years (IQR 2.1–7.0). The most common causes of death were recorded as myiasis (prevalence 10.9 per cent, 95 per cent confidence interval (CI): 7.4 to 15.2), anorexia (4.9 per cent, 95 per cent CI: 4.0 to 10.4), recumbency/collapse (4.9 per cent, 95 per cent CI: 4.0 to 10.4) and ileus (4.3 per cent, 95 per cent CI: 3.5 to 9.5). The most prevalent specific disorders recorded were overgrown claw/nails (16.0 per cent, 95 per cent CI: 14.5 to 17.5), overgrown molar(s) (7.6 per cent, 95 per cent CI: 6.6 to 8.7), perineal soiling (4.5 per cent, 95 per cent CI: 3.7 to 5.4), overgrown incisor(s) (4.3 per cent, 95 per cent CI: 3.5 to 5.2) and ileus (4.2 per cent, 95 per cent CI: 3.4 to 5.0). Conclusions This study augments the limited evidence base on rabbit health and can assist veterinarians to better advise owners on optimal animal husbandry priorities.
... were not reported for the rabbits of that study, 2 idiopathic gastrointestinal stasis was common and frequently affected young adult rabbits (mean ± SD age at onset, 3.1 ± 1.9 years). Despite the fairly high prevalence of RGIS, most of the published veterinary literature 1,4,5 focuses on treatment recommendations based on expert opinion rather than those based on clinical research of potential etiologies and patient outcomes. The objective of the study reported here was to describe the clinical findings and short-term outcomes for rabbits with signs of RGIS. ...
Article
Objective: To describe the clinical findings and short-term outcomes for rabbits with signs of gastrointestinal tract dysfunction or rabbit gastrointestinal syndrome (RGIS). Animals: 117 client-owned rabbits. Procedures: The electronic medical records database of a veterinary teaching hospital was searched to identify rabbits that were examined because of altered or absent food intake and decreased or absent fecal output between June 1, 2014, and June 30, 2016. For each rabbit, information extracted from the record included history of prior episodes of gastrointestinal tract dysfunction, signalment, physical examination and diagnostic test results, and outcome. Results: 117 of the 484 (24%) rabbits examined at the hospital during the study period met the inclusion criteria and were enrolled in the study. Fifty-nine and 58 rabbits were managed on an inpatient and outpatient basis, respectively. Gastrointestinal stasis without overt obstruction was diagnosed for 43 rabbits on the basis of abdominal radiographic, ultrasonographic, or necropsy results. Many rabbits had concurrent disease and biochemical abnormalities. Fifteen, 18, and 84 rabbits died, were euthanized, and survived to hospital discharge, respectively. Rabbits that were hypothermic (rectal temperature, ≤ 36.6°C [97.9°F]) during the initial examination were 5 times as likely to die or be euthanized as were euthermic rabbits, after controlling for potential confounders. Conclusions and clinical relevance: Results indicated that the prognosis was generally good for rabbits with signs of RGIS unless they were hypothermic during initial examination. Prospective studies are warranted to further elucidate and characterize RGIS and assess the efficacy of various treatments and outcomes for affected rabbits.
... Whereas opioids provide excellent analgesia in mammalian species, their negative effects on gastrointestinal motility ( Dai et al. 1993;Shahbazian et al. 2002;Cooper et al. 2009;Martin- Flores et al. 2017) are of particular concern in hindgut fermenting species such as rabbits, where gastrointestinal stasis may result in a potentially life-threatening disorder necessitating aggressive medical care (DeCubellis & Graham 2013). Moreover, a decrease in respiratory rate and hypoxemia have also been reported in healthy rabbits following the administration of opioids ( Flecknell et al. 1989;Shafford & Schadt 2008). ...
Article
Objective: To describe the landmarks for localization and to determine the methodology and volume of methylene blue dye to adequately stain the auricular nerves in rabbit cadavers. Study design: Prospective, randomized, cadaveric study. Animals: A total of 26 rabbit cadavers (Dutch-Belted and New Zealand White breeds). Methods: Part I: anatomical dissections were performed to identify the sensory auricular nerves and to establish the ideal injection approach and volume of dye required for nerve staining. Part II: a single injection technique using 0.1 mL kg-1 dye was evaluated for staining the greater auricular nerve and two techniques (perpendicular and angled needle approaches) using 0.075 mL kg-1 dye were evaluated for the auriculotemporal nerve. Dye spread was evaluated through cadaveric dissections and nerve staining graded using a 0-2 point scale. Injections were considered successful if the nerve was stained circumferentially. Cadavers were assessed for staining of the mandibular nerve owing to the close proximity to the auriculotemporal nerve. Fisher's exact test and mixed effects logistic regression model were used for statistical analysis. Results: The greater auricular nerve was stained in 24/27 (88.9%) injections. The auriculotemporal nerve was stained in 7/12 injections (58.3%) with the perpendicular needle approach; staining success increased to 80% (12/15 injections) with the angled needle approach; however, this difference was not statistically significant (p = 0.228). Mandibular nerve staining occurred on seven auriculotemporal injections with no statistically significant difference in the incidence of nerve staining between techniques. Conclusions and clinical relevance: Results suggest that the auricular nerves in rabbit cadavers can be successfully located and stained using anatomic landmarks and the described injection techniques.
... 8 Ad libitum hay was available to 72.8 per cent of the guinea pigs included in Harrup and Rooney's study, 10 but it is concerning that this figure was not higher given the importance of hay for dental wear and gastrointestinal health. 4,5 The majority of guinea pigs (99.1 per cent) were fed a pelleted diet (Fig 2), with most owners supplementing vitamin C in some form, which is consistent with previous research. 14 However, most owners opted for pellets with vitamin C already added as their primary provision, which could represent a concern given the propensity for the vitamin C to oxidise once fortified feed has been opened. ...
... In rabbits, gastric surgeries are commonly performed to remove foreign objects (usually hairballs) and less commonly to treat or diagnose gastric neoplasms or ulcerations that are life threatening or nonresponsive to medical treatment. 24,25 In cases of small intestinal obstruction, the stomach is usually distended and filled with gas and ingesta. If necessary, the gas and the stomach contents can be released via an orogastric tube before the abdominal incision is made. ...
Chapter
The general principles of soft tissue surgery in rabbits, including presurgical considerations, surgical principles and postoperative considerations, are discussed. The indications, approach and complications associated with soft tissue surgeries in rabbits of the integumentary system (removal of the perineal skin folds and inguinal pouches), the eye (enucleation), the ear (partial an total ear canal ablation, lateral and ventral bulla osteotomy), the abdominal cavity (laparotomy, inguinal hernias), digestive system (gastrotomy, enterotomy), the perineum, rectum and anus (resection of anorectal masses), the liver (biopsy, lobectomy), the kidney and ureter (nephroureterectomy), the bladder and urethra (cystotomy, cystectomy, urethrotomy), the reproductive system (ovariohysterectomy, ovariectomy, orchiectomy), the thoracic cavity (thymoma removal), the upper respiratory system (rhinotomy and rhinostomy) and the lower respiratory system (lung lobectomy and thoracostomy tube placement) are reviewed.
... Extended use of antibiotics in hindgut fermenters such as rabbits is known to cause antibiotic-associated enterotoxemia, a condition in which antibiotic use disrupts the delicately-balanced intestinal flora (dysbiosis) thereby causing gastrointestinal stasis and overgrowth of opportunistic organisms such as Escherichia coli and Clostridium spp. [35,36]. Hypothermia is a sign of this condition. ...
Article
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The use of antibiotics is a vital means of treating infections caused by the bacteria Bacillus (B.) anthracis. Importantly, with the potential future use of multidrug-resistant strains of B. anthracis as bioweapons, new antibiotics are needed as alternative therapeutics. In this blinded study, we assessed the protective efficacy of teixobactin, a recently discovered antibiotic, against inhalation anthrax infection in the adult rabbit model. New Zealand White rabbits were infected with a lethal dose of B. anthracis Ames spores via the inhalation route, and blood samples were collected at various times to assess antigenemia, bacteremia, tissue bacterial load, and antibody production. Treatments were administered upon detection of B. anthracis protective antigen in the animals' sera. For comparison, a fully protective dose of levofloxacin was used as a positive control. Rabbits treated with teixobactin showed 100% survival following infection, and the bacteremia was completely resolved by 24-48 h post-treatment. In addition, the bacterial/spore loads in tissues of the animals treated with teixobactin were either zero or dramatically less relative to that of the negative control animals. Moreover, microscopic evaluation of the tissues revealed decreased pathology following treatment with teixobactin. Overall, these results show that teixobactin was protective against inhalation anthrax infection in the rabbit model, and they indicate the potential of teixobactin as a therapeutic for the disease.
... Guinea pigs require a dietary source of Vitamin C; however, a number of recent studies have reported that owners are aware of this and many supplement their animals in addition to providing dietary materials high in Vitamin C [90,91]. Similarly to rabbits, guinea pigs require a high fiber diet in order to maintain good gastrointestinal health and avoid gastrointestinal stasis [92]. Owners need to be aware that guinea pigs require constant access to high quality hay in order to prevent the development of disease. ...
Article
Full-text available
There has been a recent trend towards keeping non-traditional companion animals, also known as exotic pets. These pets include parrots, reptiles, amphibians and rabbits, as well as small species of rodent such as degus and guinea pigs. Many of these exotic pet species are not domesticated, and often have special requirements in captivity, which many owners do not have the facilities or knowledge to provide. Keeping animals in settings to which they are poorly adapted is a threat to their welfare. Additionally, owner satisfaction with the animal may be poor due to a misalignment of expectations, which further impacts on welfare, as it may lead to repeated rehoming or neglect. We investigate a range of commonly kept exotic species in terms of their suitability as companion animals from the point of view of animal welfare and owner satisfaction, and make recommendations on the suitability of various species as pets.
... The long-term outcome has been reported as good, with some rabbits having recurrent episodes of gastrointestinal stasis. 2,17,21,22 Rabbits that present for evaluation of nonspecific clinical signs of liver lobe torsion mimicking gastrointestinal stasis may result in clinician selection of an alternative, full-body imaging modality such as CT. Computed tomography in rabbits is useful for identification of comorbidities and evaluation of common areas of disease including the skull, thorax, and abdomen for evidence of dental disease, respiratory infections, gastrointestinal disturbances, genitourinary abnormalities, and neoplasia. ...
Article
Clinical signs of liver lobe torsion in rabbits are often nonspecific and mimic those that are also generally detected with gastrointestinal stasis. Nonspecific clinical signs may result in pursuit of full‐body imaging such as computed tomography (CT). The aim of this multicenter, retrospective, case series study was to describe CT findings of liver lobe torsion in a group of rabbits. Computed tomography studies of six rabbits with confirmed liver lobe torsion by surgery or necropsy were evaluated. The caudate liver lobe was affected in six out of six rabbits and was enlarged, rounded, hypoattenuating, heterogeneous, and minimally to noncontrast enhancing, with scant regional peritoneal effusion. Precontrast, mean Hounsfield units (HU) of the torsed liver lobe (39.3 HU [range, 24.4‐48.1 HU]) were lower than mean HU of normal liver (55.1 HU [range, 49.6‐60.8 HU]), with a mean torsed:normal HU ratio of 0.71 (range, 0.49‐0.91). Postcontrast, mean HU of the torsed liver lobe (38.4 HU [range, 19.7‐48.9 HU]) were also lower than mean HU of normal liver (108.4 HU [range, 84.5‐142.0 HU]), with a lower postcontrast mean torsed:normal HU ratio of 0.35 (range, 0.14‐0.48) compared to precontrast. Mean HU of torsed liver lobes had little difference pre‐ and postcontrast (postcontrast HU 1.0 times the average precontrast HU [range, 0.81‐1.1]), and contrast enhancement of the torsed liver lobes was on average 50% lower than in normal liver. Liver lobe torsion should be considered in rabbits with an enlarged, hypoattenuating, heterogeneous, minimally to noncontrast enhancing liver lobe, particularly the caudate lobe, and scant regional peritoneal effusion.
... Bélsárpangás során a felsorolt tünetek és az ilyenkor fellépő gázosodás gyomorcsavarodáshoz vezethet. A betegvizsgálat részeként röntgenfelvétel készítendő, amin a gázzal telt gyomor és/vagy belek jól felismerhetők (2). ...
Article
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The authors present the case of a five year old, male, lethargic pet guinea pig presented to the clinic with anorexia. The symptoms started the previous day. Physical examination revealed dyspnoe and tachycardia. A gas and fluid filled tense structure could be palpated in the abdomen, which was painful upon palpation and exacerbated the symptoms. Radiological examination suspected gastric dilatation and volvulus. During laparotomy the authors found gastric dilatation and a 180 degree rotation of the stomach, which was resolved. The small intestines, the colon and the caecum were pushed to the left side of the abdomen by the stomach. Parts of the small intestines were located in front of the stomach. The animal fully awoke from surgery but after 3 hours its status got worse and the animal died 5 hours after surgery. The owner took the animal home, so necropsy couldn't be performed. No long term survival in a guinea pig with gastric volvulus has been reported in the literature.
... In rabbits, gastric surgeries are commonly performed to remove foreign objects (usually hairballs) and less commonly to treat or diagnose gastric neoplasms or ulcerations that are life threatening or nonresponsive to medical treatment. 24,25 In cases of small intestinal obstruction, the stomach is usually distended and filled with gas and ingesta. If necessary, the gas and the stomach contents can be released via an orogastric tube before the abdominal incision is made. ...
Article
This article summarizes the available information on different soft tissue surgical procedures in rabbits, based on the literature and the authors' experiences, emphasizing the differences between rabbits and the more familiar dogs and cats. The major surgical principles in rabbits are discussed, and common surgical procedures, such as abdominal exploration, gastrotomy, enterotomy, liver lobectomy, nephrectomy, cystotomy, cystectomy, ovariohysterectomy, ovariectomy, orchidectomy, are described.
... Unfortunately, rabbits are prone to gastrointestinal tract diseases, among which bacterial enteritis. Enteritis commonly observed in rabbits can cause high death rates in commercial farming leading to a significant loss in productivity and profit (Gómez 2006;DeCubellis and Graham 2013). For instance, rabbit's mortality due to enteritis has been reported to cause between 4.03% and 17.12% of economic losses each year between 2006 and 2010 in grower's farm in Tamil Nadu, India (Pasupathi et al. 2014) and 3.4% death was recorded in a commercial farm in Spain between 2000 and 2005 (Rosell and de la Fuente 2009). ...
Article
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Bacterial enteritis is one of the diseases negatively affecting the rabbit farming industry. Communities across the globe are using medicinal plants as an alternative treatment against many diseases in rabbits. This study aimed at identifying medicinal plants used by local farmers in Cameroon and evaluate their antibacterial activity alone and in combination with oxytetracycline against some bacterial causative agents of diarrhoea in rabbits. The ethnopharmacological survey was performed in Cameroon’s Western and Central regions, where breeders were interviewed about their knowledge on the medicinal plants and plant parts often used to cure rabbit diseases, the methods of preparation and the route of administration. Plants were collected, and extracts were prepared by decoction, infusion and maceration using distilled water. The antibacterial activity of extracts and combinations was evaluated against enteropathogenic Escherichia coli , Salmonella enterica and Clostridium perfringens (WAL-14572 HM-310) using the microdilution and checkerboard methods. From the survey, fifteen medicinal plants belonging to nine families, with Asteraceae being the most represented, were identified as currently used to treat diarrhoea in rabbits. Bidens pilosa and Psidium guajava were the most mentioned medicinal plant species with 24 and 17 citations, respectively. Leaves were the most commonly used plant parts, and maceration in water was the primary preparation method of remedies administered orally. Out of the forty-five extracts prepared, only six from Tithonia diversifolia ( Td l M , Td l I , Td l D ) and Psidium guajava ( Pg l M , Pg l I , Pg l D ) exhibited potency with MIC values ranging from 1.25 to 5 mg/mL. The combination of infusion extract from leaves of Tithonia diversifolia ( Td l I ) and decoction extract from Psidium guajava ( Pg l D ) exhibited synergistic interaction (FICI = 0.312; 0.281; 0.265), while oxytetracycline in combination with decoction extract from leaves of Psidium guajava ( Pg l D ) exhibited a synergistic interaction (FICI = 0.5). The phytochemical screening of the six extracts revealed polyphenols, glycosides, saponins, terpenoids, anthraquinones, tannins and flavonoids. The antibacterial activity of extracts from medicinal plants P. guajava and T. diversifolia demonstrated in the present study supports the use of these plants by farmers of the targeted localities to treat diarrhoea in rabbits.
... In humans, FMT (also called fecal bacteriotherapy or transfaunation depending on the context) has gained considerable attention as a simple but highly effective treatment for overgrowth of Clostridium difficile. Interestingly, this practice has existed for many centuries in human medicine (Zhang et al. 2012) and is also used in veterinary medicine as a treatment for dysbiosis, primarily in horses (Naylor and Dunkel 2009), guinea pigs, and rabbits (DeCubellis and Graham 2013). Experimentally , FMT allows for prospective evaluation of the effects of complex microbial populations on a model system. ...
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Eukaryotic organisms are colonized by rich and dynamic communities of microbes, both internally (e.g., in the gastrointestinal and respiratory tracts) and externally (e.g., on skin and external mucosal surfaces). The vast majority of bacterial microbes reside in the lower gastrointestinal (GI) tract, and it is estimated that the gut of a healthy human is home to some 100 trillion bacteria, roughly an order of magnitude greater than the number of host somatic cells. The development of culture-independent methods to characterize the gut microbiota (GM) has spurred a renewed interest in its role in host health and disease. Indeed, associations have been identified between various changes in the composition of the GM and an extensive list of diseases, both enteric and systemic. Animal models provide a means whereby causal relationships between characteristic differences in the GM and diseases or conditions can be formally tested using genetically identical animals in highly controlled environments. Clearly, the GM and its interactions with the host and myriad environmental factors are exceedingly complex, and it is rare that a single microbial taxon associates with, much less causes, a phenotype with perfect sensitivity and specificity. Moreover, while the exact numbers are the subject of debate, it is well recognized that only a minority of gut bacteria can be successfully cultured ex vivo. Thus, to perform studies investigating causal roles of the GM in animal model phenotypes, researchers need clever techniques to experimentally manipulate the GM of animals, and several ingenious methods of doing so have been developed, each providing its own type of information and with its own set of advantages and drawbacks. The current review will focus on the various means of experimentally manipulating the GM of research animals, drawing attention to the factors that would aid a researcher in selecting an experimental approach, and with an emphasis on mice and rats, the primary model species used to evaluate the contribution of the GM to a disease phenotype. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Institute for Laboratory Animal Research. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.
... The use of opioids is discouraged owing to their effects on gastrointestinal motility, which is further reduced (Barter 2011;Mans 2020). Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as meloxicam, show adverse effects in dogs and cats and should be administered cautiously in rabbits, specifically in those with RGIS because they are prone to develop gastric ulceration (Lichtenberger & Lennox 2010;DeCubellis & Graham 2013). Although, oral meloxicam at a dose of 1 mg kg e1 for 29 days did not cause adverse effects (Delk et al. 2014). ...
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This study described characteristics and measurements of the liver, gallbladder, kidney, urinary bladder and jejunum of young and adults New Zealand White (NZW) rabbits. The young rabbits’s group was composed of 39 rabbits of both sexes (20 males and 19 females), weaned at 30-31 days of age, and the evaluations carried out at 35, 56 and 77 days of age. The adults group was composed of 23 females and 15 males, with more than 6 months of age, and one ultrasonographic evaluation per animal. The exam consisted in the evaluation of liver, gallbladder, right and left kidneys, jejunum and urinary bladder. All the animals were weighed before the evaluations. The average weight increased (p<0.05) from 35 days to adults. Both in adult and in young rabbits, the liver presented predominantly isoechogenic in relation of right kidney and with homogeneous texture. The gallbladder had an elongated ovoid shape, ranging for pear-shaped to almond, with anechogenic content, not being visible in 2.6% of young rabbits and 26.3% of adults. The length and width were 1.06 and 0.39; 1.44 and 0.53; 1.41 and 0.58; 1.57 and 0.67cm, respectively at 35, 56, 77 days and adults. For young and adults rabbits, the gallbladder and the left and right kidneys were positively correlated (p<0.05) with weight. The kidneys had an ellipse shape with smooth surface, increasing (p>0.05) from 35 days to adulthood. There was a positive correlation (p<0.05) between the right and left kidney volumes. The description of urinary bladder more frequently (86%) observed was anechogenic content, with small free echogenic structure within the lumen, both in young and in adult rabbits. There was no difference (p>0.05) in the thickness of the layers of the jejunum among ages, with the mean of 0.23cm for all animals. With the results, the first Brazilian ultrasonographic data for liver, gallbladder, kidney, jejunum and urinary bladder were defined to NZW rabbits in 35, 56 and 77days of life, as well as adults.
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An approximately four-year-old male castrated guinea pig (Cavia porcellus) was presented for painful defecation with a 24-hour history of hyporexia and intermittent episodes of rolling behavior. Upon presentation the patient was quiet, alert, and responsive, and mildly hypothermic. Abdominal palpation revealed an approximately 2-cm long oblong mass within the caudal abdomen. Abdominal radiographs revealed gastric dilation without volvulus and a peritoneal mass effect. The patient was euthanized following gastric reflux of brown malodorous fluid from his nares and oral cavity. A necropsy was performed and revealed a jejuno-jejunal intussusception causing mechanical gastrointestinal ileus, and gastric dilatation without volvulus. While non-obstructive gastrointestinal stasis is common and obstructive ileus is uncommon in guinea pigs, this report shows that intestinal intussusception is a differential in guinea pigs with ileus and gastric dilatation.
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Studies related cryptosporidiosis will be essential, due to its relevance in public health and pathogenicity in pets and production animals. Over the past 20 years, there has been a rapid expansion of research involving the Cryptosporidium genus, largely related to molecular studies, providing a description of various species, genotypes and subtypes of the parasite. The molecular characterization of isolates from different sources (human, animal and environmental) has been widely used in order to investigate the potential zoonotic of this protozoa. The documented transmission forms from animals to humans, from person to person, through water intake or water for the leisure that are directly or indirectly contaminated with sporulated oocysts. The high rate of animals naturally infected and the susceptibility by protozoan, justify the importance of attending to the occurrence of this disease. So are demonstrated epidemiological aspects of this zoonotic disease in domestic animals. Estudos referentes á criptosporidiose são essenciais, devido sua relevância em saúde pública e por sua patogenicidade em animais de produção e de companhia. Nos últimos 20 anos, houve uma rápida expansão das pesquisas envolvendo o gênero Cryptosporidium, em grande parte relacionada a estudos moleculares, propiciando a descrição de várias espécies, genótipos e subtipos do parasito. A caracterização molecular de isolados de diferentes origens (animal, humana e ambiental) tem sido amplamente usada com o intuito de investigar o potencial zoonótico deste protozoário. As formas de transmissão documentadas são de animais para o ser humano, de pessoa para pessoa, por meio de ingestão ou do uso de água destinada a lazer contaminada direta ou indiretamente com oocistos esporulados. A elevada taxa de animais naturalmente infectados e a susceptibilidade ao protozoário justificam a importância de se atentar para a ocorrência desta enfermidade. Assim, são demonstrados aspectos epidemiológicos desta zoonose em animais domésticos.
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Guinea pigs are frequently seen in general practice, presented both for routine health checks and for treatment of illnesses. Conditions frequently observed in guinea pigs include respiratory disease, gastrointestinal stasis and dental disease; cardiac disease is also seen. Anorexia must be treated as a matter of urgency. 10.12968/coan.2018.23.12.711
Chapter
Guinea pigs share many similarities with other small rodents. However, recognizing some of their physiological peculiarities as well as understanding several species‐specific conditions is critical to diagnose and treat them adequately when presented in emergency situations. This chapter covers the most common emergency presentations (anorexia, dyspnea, etc.) and provides differential diagnoses and treatment approaches for these clinical situations. Guinea pig‐specific diseases are presented, such as scurvy, infestation by Trixacarus caviae , dystocia, toxemia of pregnancy, gastric dilation and volvulus, ovarian cysts, etc. Guidelines for management of frequent conditions are provided including respiratory, gastrointestinal, neurological, endocrinological, urinary, reproductive, ophthalmic and dermatological diseases, as well as trauma and toxicities.
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Objective: To describe the paracostal approach to caudate liver lobectomy in rabbits and compare the outcome of paracostal versus ventral midline approach for caudate liver lobectomy in rabbits with caudate liver lobe torsion (LLT). Study design: Cadaveric and retrospective study. Animals: Normal rabbit cadavers (n = 5) and rabbits with caudate LLT (n = 22). Methods: Cadavers - a right paracostal or ventral midline approach was made. Accessibility of the caudate liver lobe and relationship to the gastrointestinal (GI) tract were assessed. Clinical LLT cases - 9 cases were treated via the paracostal approach and 13 were treated via the ventral midline approach. Medical records (January, 2018 to October, 2021) were reviewed. Anesthesia and surgical times, mortality rate, and relevant clinical data were compared between groups. Results: In cadavers, caudate liver lobectomy was feasible through a paracostal approach without retraction of the GI tract. In clinical cases, there was no difference in anesthesia time (P = 0.1397) or surgical time (P = 0.9462) between groups. All rabbits that underwent paracostal approach survived to discharge. Mortality was lower (P = .053) and postoperative time until eating was shorter (P = .0238) for patients undergoing paracostal approach. Conclusion: Rabbits experienced lower mortality and shorter time until eating when treated through a right paracostal approach compared to the ventral midline approach. The paracostal approach resulted in minimal to no manipulation of the GI tract. Clinical significance: A right paracostal approach for caudate liver lobectomy in rabbits provides good exposure while avoiding GI tract manipulation. This approach may result in improved survival and earlier eating in rabbits with caudate LLT.
Article
Objective: To investigate risk factors, clinical features, and prognostic indicators in guinea pigs with urolithiasis. Animals: 158 guinea pigs with urolithiasis. Procedures: Medical records of an exotics animal specialty service were searched, identifying guinea pigs with urolithiasis. Signalment, clinical data, and outcomes were recorded. Variables of interest were analyzed for statistical associations with outcome. Results: Overall, 54.4% (86/158) of animals survived to discharge. Median survival time was 177 days. Females (53.2%; 84/158) were more common than males (46.8%; 74/158). Males were presented younger (mean age, 3.64 years) than females (4.41 years). In 81 of 154 (52.5%) cases, animals were presented with primary urinary concerns, while 73 (47.5%) presented for nonurinary primary concerns. Females more commonly presented with distal urinary tract urolithiasis (63/84; 75%) but fared better overall with a longer median survival time (1,149 days) than males (59 days). Surgical intervention was not a risk factor for nonsurvival; however, increased age (> 4.1 years), male sex, anorexia, weight loss, and lower rectal temperature (< 37.2 °C) on presentation were associated with nonsurvival. Reoccurrence was noted in 13.9% (22/158) of cases, at an average of 284 days. Clinical relevance: Urolithiasis should always be considered a differential diagnosis for any unwell guinea pig. In particular, distal urinary tract urolithiasis should be considered in females. A poorer prognosis was associated with older, male guinea pigs, and those displaying anorexia, weight loss, and hypothermia. The need for surgical intervention should not confer a poorer outcome. Further studies are needed to determine specific risk factors and identify possible preventative measures.
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Rabbits have been a popular domesticated pet for many years, with 2% of adults owning a rabbit and over 900 000 estimated to be owned within the UK alone, however, few people understand the requirements of rabbits for a happy, healthy life. They are often hospitalised for dietary issues (dental problems and gut stasis) and appetite change; providing the correct nutritional needs can be difficult, and the success of nutritional supplementation depends on the feeding route, frequency of feedings, and the quality of the diet fed.
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Animals are valuable resources in biomedical research in investigations of biological processes, disease pathogenesis, therapeutic interventions, safety, toxicity, and carcinogenicity. Interpretation of data from animals requires knowledge not only of the processes or diseases (pathophysiology) under study but also recognition of spontaneous conditions and background lesions (pathology) that can influence or confound the study results. Species, strain/stock, sex, age, anatomy, physiology, spontaneous diseases (noninfectious and infectious), and neoplasia impact experimental results and interpretation as well as animal welfare. This review and the references selected aim to provide a pathology resource for researchers, pathologists, and veterinary personnel who strive to achieve research rigor and validity and must understand the spectrum of "normal" and expected conditions to accurately identify research-relevant experimental phenotypes as well as unusual illness, pathology, or other conditions that can compromise studies involving laboratory mice, rats, gerbils, guinea pigs, hamsters, naked mole rats, and rabbits.
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Rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) are common household pets, and make endearing companions for both the young and old. Rabbit medicine has advanced greatly in recent years, and we are now able to recognise, diagnose and treat many conditions and presentations that may have previously been poorly understood. One of the conditions that is increasingly recognised is liver lobe torsion, which can prove difficult to recognise in clinical practice, especially if the team has not encountered the condition before. The purpose of this article is to highlight liver lobe torsions in rabbits, their presentation and treatment options and nursing care, and describe a successful case seen at the clinic.
Chapter
Rabbits are popular companion animals that are presented to veterinary clinics for routine and emergency care. As hindgut fermenters and prey species, special consideration should be taken in their handling, housing, and treatment to avoid undue stress or disruption of normal digestive processes. Dental, gastrointestinal, respiratory, and neurologic disease are common. This chapter will review emergency presentations and management specific to rabbits.
Chapter
Ferrets, rabbits, and other exotic companion mammals are often admitted to animal shelters. It is imperative for shelters to be aware of the unique anatomic features, husbandry requirements, and safe handling techniques for these species. This chapter reviews some of the most important aspects of appropriate care for these animals in a shelter setting. Ferrets are social animals and are ideally housed with other ferrets. Ferrets are predators and the odors of ferrets can be stressful to prey species like rabbits and rodents; it is important to house ferrets away from these species. Rabbits are social animals and can be housed in pairs or small groups if they are neutered and have personalities compatible with conspecifics. Housing rabbits away from dogs, cats, ferrets, and guinea pigs is recommended to avoid exposure of these species to B. bronchiseptica.
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Gastric dilatation volvulus (GDV) is a known acute abdominal emergency in dogs. The condition is life threatening and without corrective surgery results in the death of the patient. GDV in guinea pigs has been documented in literature but is not well known to many of the general small animal veterinary practices. This is probably due to the species' sudden death from this condition, absence of specific clinical signs, a lack of experience in this species, and a high mortality rate known with this condition in guinea pigs. This article explains the signs and care of this condition in these animals and discusses a case of GDV in the author's own guinea pig in the hope that awareness of this condition can be raised.
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There are an estimated 1.5 million pet rabbits in the UK, when compared to cats (11 million) and dogs (9.4 million) this figure may seem small; however, rabbits have been domesticated for a relatively shorter period of time and their population is rapidly increasing in comparison. Rabbits rise in popularity as pets has caused an increase in presentation in veterinary practice. Rabbit owners expect the same high standards of care that dogs and cats receive in veterinary practice, therefore it is essential that veterinary professionals achieve a better understanding about the species to provide efficient care. Rabbits being a prey species often conceal their illness until they are in critical condition, posing a significant challenge to both owners and veterinary professionals in early recognition of clinical signs. Therefore it is essential that registered veterinary nurses (RVN’s) and veterinary surgeons (VS) are confident in identifying changes in rabbit behaviour which includes eating habits and faecal output. Recognising symptoms early will aid in implementing treatment and reducing mortality rates.
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A composite scale for pain assessment in rabbits has been previously designed and tested (CANCRS). The present study describes the refinement of the scale and the evaluation of its ability to detect pain variations over time. Furthermore, a comparison between the CANCRS and the Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) has been performed, to underline the differences between an objective (CANCRS) and a subjective (VAS) assessment of abdominal pain. In the first part of the study, 86 rabbits (n=47 heathy patients and n=39 patients with gastrointestinal stasis syndrome) underwent pain assessments with the VAS and the CANCRS. Thirty-two patients with gastrointestinal stasis syndrome participated to the second part of the study. These patients underwent four pain assessments with the CANCRS. The first assessment took place before meloxicam administration and the others after 30, 60 and 90 minutes. The CANCRS showed differences between healthy and diseased rabbits ( P = 0.0001), median scores were 5 (IQR 4 - 6) and 9 (IQR 7 - 11) respectively. The VAS showed differences between healthy and diseased rabbits ( P = 0.02), the median scores were 4 (IQR 2 - 5.35) and 5.3 (IQR 2.65 - 6.45) respectively. The cut-off scores for the CANCRS and for the VAS for differentiation between healthy and diseased patients were 7 (Sp 89%, Se 79%) and 4.4 (Sp 59%, Se 69%) respectively. Sensitivity and specificity for each parameter of the CANCRS were calculated, in order to obtain weighting factors. Accordingly, the evaluation of respiratory pattern and vocalizations should be excluded from the CANCRS, since their performances in pain evaluation are poor. Internal validity of the CANCRS was tested assessing pain before and after the analgesic treatment and the results showed significancy at each time point. The CANCRS showed better performances than the VAS and its responsiveness to pain variations has been verified.
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A ten-month-old male pet rabbit was referred to the Surgery Clinic of the University of Sarajevo Faculty of Veterinary Medicine with the history of several days gradual loss of appetite, decreased defecation frequency and the weight loss. Physical examination revealed low body condition score, tachypnea, tachycardia and distended abdomen painful on palpation. Abdominal radiographs were unremarkable displaying abdominal distention with gas accumulation in the intestines. Urgent explorative celiotomy was performed, and definitive diagnosis of intestinal volvulus was maded. Manual reposition of the intestines secured reestablishment of the intestinal blood flow, and after the observation of intestinal peristalsis the abdomen was closed in a routine fashion. Analgesics, antibiotics and supportive therapy were administered over the next seven days, and the case was finally concluded 14 days post-surgery without any complications detected. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of spontaneous intestinal volvulus in a pet rabbit diagnosed by exploratory laparotomy and successfully surgically resolved.
Article
Background: Liver lobe torsion (LLT) in rabbits can be under-recognised and potentially fatal. The clinical features of cases presented to an exotic animal veterinary service in Australia were retrospectively reviewed. Method: Medical records of confirmed rabbit LLT cases between 2016 and 2021 were reviewed for signalment, clinical signs and findings, diagnostic imaging results, management strategies and outcomes. Variables of interest were analysed for statistical association with outcome. Results: A total of 40 rabbits were included. The mean presenting age was 56.2 months (SD 30.5). Neutered males (23/40, 57.5%) were over-represented. Common clinical signs and findings included reduced appetite (40/40, 100%), lethargy (32/40, 80.0%), reduced faecal production (16/40, 40.0%), a doughy distended stomach (20/40, 50.0%), pale mucous membranes (19/40, 47.5%) and hypothermia (17/40, 42.5%). Anaemia and elevated plasma alanine aminotransferase and blood urea nitrogen were common clinicopathologic findings. Computed tomography (CT) was performed in 34 of 40 rabbits, confirming the presence and position of LLT (34/34, 100%), stenosis of the caudal vena cava or portal system (28/34, 82.4%) and increased free peritoneal fluid (29/34, 85.3%). Fifteen (15/40, 37.5%) rabbits were medically managed, and surgical intervention was performed in 23 of 40 (57.5%) rabbits. Overall, 30 of 40 (75.0%) rabbits survived. Surgical intervention did not confer a significant difference in outcome compared to medical management (odds ratio 0.77, 95% confidence interval 0.15-4.10, p = 0.761). Conclusion: CT can be an invaluable diagnostic modality for rabbit LLT. Favourable outcomes can be achieved in selected cases with medical management alone.
Technical Report
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Onderzoek naar de gezondheids-en welzijnsstatus van konijnen in de Nederlandse gezelschapsdierensector D.J. Vink, C.M. Vinke, Y.R.A. van Zeeland 2018 Copyright / Disclaimer Wij wijzen u erop dat niets uit deze rapportage mag worden verveelvoudigd, opgeslagen in een geautomatiseerd gegevensbestand of openbaar gemaakt mag worden in enige vorm of op enige wijze, hetzij elektronisch, mechanisch of door fotokopieën, opname, of op enige andere manier, zonder voorafgaande schriftelijke toestemming van de auteurs.
Article
OBJECTIVE To use duplex Doppler ultrasonography to compare gastrointestinal activity in healthy sedated versus nonsedated rabbits and to evaluate agreement between B-mode and pulsed-wave Doppler (PWD) ultrasonographic measurements. ANIMALS 10 healthy client-owned rabbits brought for routine physical examination and 11 brought for routine ovariohysterectomy or castration. PROCEDURES Duplex Doppler ultrasonography of the gastrointestinal tract was performed once for the 10 rabbits that underwent physical examination and twice (before and after presurgical sedation) for the 11 rabbits that underwent routine ovariohysterectomy or castration. Mean number of peristaltic contractions during a 30-second period was determined for the stomach, duodenum, jejunum, cecum, and colon from B-mode and PWD ultrasonographic images that had been video recorded. Findings for the duodenum and jejunum were compared between B-mode and PWD ultrasonography and between sedated and nonsedated rabbits. RESULTS Duodenal and jejunal segments had measurable peristaltic waves; however, the stomach, cecum, and colon had no consistent measurable activity. B-mode and PWD ultrasonographic measurements for the duodenum and jejunum had high agreement. No significant difference was identified between nonsedated and sedated rabbits in mean number of peristaltic contractions of the duodenum or jejunum. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results suggested that both B-mode and PWD ultrasonography of the duodenum and jejunum may be suitable for noninvasive evaluation of small intestinal motility in rabbits and that the sedation protocol used in this study had no impact on measured peristaltic values. (Am J Vet Res 2019;80:657–662)
Article
Gastrointestinal disorders are common in exotic mammals such as rabbits, guinea pigs and chinchillas. Presenting clinical signs of gastrointestinal disease can vary widely. Small herbivores require specific dietary support and therapeutic treatments. Ileus is a common clinical condition and can be a primary or secondary disease. Common forms of treatment for ileus include fluid therapy, pain relief, nutritional support, and prokinetic therapy. The prognosis of the exotic mammal patient with gastrointestinal disease depends on the timing of the diagnosis and initiation of treatment. Surgical conditions such as gastrointestinal obstruction can have a good outcome if diagnosed early.
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Anatomic FeaturesBibliography For Anatomic FeaturesViral InfectionsBibliography For Viral InfectionsBacterial InfectionsBibliography For Bacterial InfectionsMycotic InfectionsBibliography For Mycotic InfectionsParasitic DiseasesBibliography For Parasitic DiseasesNutritional, Metabolic, and Other DisordersBibliography For Nutritional, Metabolic, and Other DisordersDiseases Associated With AgingBibliography For Diseases Associated With AgingNeoplasmsBibliography For Neoplasms
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BACKGROUND AND AIMS Evidence suggests that the intestinal actions of Clostridium difficile toxin A—stimulation of secretion and motility, and an acute inflammatory response—have a neurally mediated component. METHODS Direct intracellular electrophysiological recording of electrical and synaptic behaviour in enteric neurones was performed in the submucous plexus of guinea pig small intestine during exposure to the toxin. RESULTS Application of toxin A affected both the electrical behaviour of the neuronal cell bodies and inhibitory noradrenergic neurotransmission to the cell bodies. Altered electrical behaviour included depolarisation and increased excitability. Tetrodotoxin or a histamine H2 receptor antagonist did not affect the depolarisation evoked by toxin A. Failure of the histamine antagonist to suppress the actions of toxin A is evidence that its actions were not mediated by degranulation of intramural mast cells. The action of toxin A on neurotransmission was suppression of inhibitory postsynaptic potentials evoked in the neuronal cell bodies by stimulation of sympathetic nerve fibres that synapsed with the cell bodies. The inhibitory postsynaptic potentials were mediated by norepinephrine (noradrenaline) acting at postsynaptic alpha adrenoceptors on the cell bodies. Hyperpolarising responses evoked in the cell bodies by micropressure application of norepinephrine were unaffected by toxin A. This fulfils criteria for a presynaptic inhibitory action of toxin A to suppress release of norepinephrine from sympathetic postganglionic axons. CONCLUSIONS Results suggest that the neural component of the action of toxin A involves both direct excitation of enteric neurones and suppression of norepinephrine release from postganglionic sympathetic nerve fibres in the enteric nervous system.
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Rabbits and rodents are popular pets and are often presented to veterinarians for evaluation and medical treatment. Anesthesia in exotic pets is required for many diagnostic and surgical procedures and is associated with a higher perioperative risk in rabbits and rodents when compared with dogs and cats. Inhalation anesthetic agents are commonly used as the sole source of anesthesia in small rodents, whereas injectable agents in combination with inhalation anesthesia are often used for rabbits and larger rodents. Analgesia is an important component of exotic pet medicine. Although it may be difficult to recognize signs of pain in companion exotic mammals, adequate pain management should always be provided. Opioid and nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs are the analgesic medications of choice, but others should be considered (e.g., local anesthetic agents). This article provides an update of the current literature regarding anesthesia and analgesia in rabbits and rodents.
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The recommended diets of pet rabbits and herbivorous rodents are often based on hays (dried forages) as the staple diet item. The rationale for this recommendation is a combination of logistical factors (i.e., hays are more readily available than a constant supply of fresh forage) and health concerns (i.e., using hays rather than fruits, nonleafy vegetables, and grain products apparently circumvents several health problems). Offering a variety of hays is a feeding concept that has so far received little attention. The choice of hays should be based primarily on a hygienic evaluation. Although hays have to be of impeccable hygienic quality, they need not necessarily be of high nutritive quality. A high proportion of stems and high-fiber material may be adequate for the maintenance of herbivores, and hays of higher nutritional quality can be used as dietary supplements in animals with increased energy requirements. Educating pet owners about the use of multiple hay combinations and the appreciation of the nutritive variety of hays may represent an opportunity for channeling interest and engagement in their animal while concurrently providing a preventive health measure.
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Biliary tumors are rarely diagnosed in rabbits, and there are very few published case reports of this disease within this group of animals. This case involves an approximately 6-year-old spayed female pet rabbit that was referred for an abdominal mass noted on survey full-body radiographs obtained during an examination after presenting for acute onset anorexia. Otherwise, the patient had an unremarkable history, and physical examination abnormalities were limited to a slightly distended abdomen. Laboratory evaluation revealed an isolated elevation in gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase. Ultrasonography documented a 5.4-cm multicystic, intrahepatic mass with hyperechoic septations. The mass was surgically resected and described histopathologically as a proliferation of ectatic duct structures with a simple epithelial lining, supporting a diagnosis of biliary cystadenoma. The rabbit recovered without incident and was doing well 15 months postsurgery. The case is presented with a review of all reported cases and discussion of the potential origins of this unusual tumor in the rabbit. Surgery is recommended in rabbits that are diagnosed with a biliary tumor.
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Dental disease remains a major cause of morbidity and mortality in rabbits, rodents, and other small herbivores. Because of their small oral commissure, the rigid telescope is an ideal tool for examining and working within the buccal cavity of these animals. Focal illumination and magnification provide greater sensitivity and accuracy for identifying occlusal dental disease than other modalities. In addition, the telescope provides intraoperative visualization during dental trimming, extractions, and exploration of abscess, nasal, or paranasal cavities associated with dental structures.
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This article presents a review of differences in physioanatomy of the masticatory apparatus and pathophysiology of dental disease in rabbits, guinea pigs, and chinchillas. The entire dentition of these commonly kept pets is aradicular hypsodont, with teeth that continue to grow throughout life. This peculiarity of nature is present in animals with marked chewing behavior and allows replacement of tooth substance that is lost because of constant abrasive wear. Evidence is emerging that inappropriate physical form and composition of the diet may be responsible for tooth elongation and associated conditions in captive lagomorphs and rodents.
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Twenty 3- to 7-week-old New Zealand rabbits from 2 different production facilities were presented to the Department of Pathology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Mehmet Akif Ersoy, with symptoms of abdominal distension, diarrhea, and bruxism. The rabbit production facilities maintain approximately 1500 and 200 animals, respectively. The owners of both facilities stated that the rabbits were fed commercial cattle feed that contained high levels of energy and low fiber. Abdominal distention and diarrhea were the most prominent clinical signs affecting the diseased rabbits. Mortality rates at the 2 production facilities were 35% and 15%, respectively. Oral antibiotic treatment was prescribed by the veterinary practitioner who initially saw the cases, but there was no therapeutic response in the diseased rabbits. Affected rabbits were then presented to the pathology department at the University of Mehmet Akif Ersoy for diagnostic necropsy. The gross necropsy results revealed gastric and jejunal distention with fluid and gas, cecal impaction, and colonic distention with mucoid exudate. Histopathologically, marked goblet cell hyperplasia of small intestinal mucosa with minimal bacterial proliferation was observed. After the diagnosis of enteropathy was confirmed, conversion to a higher-fiber, lower-energy diet was recommended. After the dietary change, affected animals recovered and there were no other deaths reported. Additionally, electron microscopy studies showed that viral particles were present in the intestinal epithelial cells. These results support the hypothesis that an inappropriate diet was the primary cause of the mucoid enteropathy, and that the concurrent viral infection was more likely an incidental finding and not a significant contributor to the disease process.
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AbstractBecause of their size and oral anatomy, it is intrinsically difficult to perform a thorough oral examination on rabbits and rodents. Furthermore, most of the dental structure (the “reserve crown” of hypsodont teeth) remains hidden to clinical inspection. The clinical crown, visible above the gingival margin, corresponds to a small portion of the tooth. Also, supporting bone and periapical structures should always be evaluated when looking for signs of dental disease. Therefore, diagnostic imaging modalities acquire particular importance in the evaluation of teeth and surrounding structures. They may permit early diagnosis, which allows early intervention, ultimately improving the patient's prognosis. Conventional radiography in particular can provide notable information to complement the clinical examination. A complete radiographic study should include extraoral laterolateral, right-to-left and left-to-right latero-oblique, dorsoventral (or ventrodorsal), and rostrocaudal head views, as well as intraoral views. Computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging can also be useful but are relatively expensive and not always readily available. Radiographic equipment and techniques, and normal radiographic dental anatomy of rabbits, guinea pigs, and chinchillas, are reviewed and described.
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AbstractComputed tomography (CT) is a well-recognized diagnostic tool in human and traditional companion animal medicine, and is beginning to find application in exotic companion mammals as well. In particular, CT is useful for evaluation of patients with dental disease, and aids diagnosis, determination of a more accurate prognosis, and planning of treatment. Although axial slices provide the most useful information, new reconstruction software allows images to be converted to virtual 3-dimensional forms, providing yet another imaging tool for the practitioner.
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Dental disease is one of the most common reasons for pet rabbits to need veterinary treatment. The continual eruption and growth of the teeth predispose rabbits to dental problems. Any abnormality in the shape, position, or structure of the teeth interferes with normal wear and can lead to malocclusion and crowns that are no longer functional, and may grow into surrounding soft tissue causing pain and eating or grooming difficulties. Root elongation is a feature of dental disease in rabbits and can lead to a number of clinical problems such as epiphora, dacrocystitis, or abscesses. Repeated examination of rabbits with dental problems alongside skull radiography and visual examination of prepared skulls from affected cases has shown that the majority of rabbits with dental problems are suffering from progressive changes in the shape, structure, and position of the teeth. The nature of the abnormal dental changes suggests that underlying metabolic bone disease is a possible cause. This progressive syndrome of acquired dental disease can be staged. This article describes the clinical and pathological features of each stage of progressive syndrome of acquired dental disease and provides recommendations for the treatment of cheek teeth malocclusion.
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AbstractPeriapical infections, abscesses, and osteomyelitis are common sequela in pet rabbits and rodents after congenital or acquired dental disease. Aggressive treatment is usually required, utilizing different surgical options. Gaining complete surgical access to the infection site, thorough debridement, marsupialization of soft tissues, and postoperative local treatment are required to manage these cases because of animal's size and natural anatomical features. In this article, different surgical options for periapical infections will be described.
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Rabbits that have sudden onset anorexia commonly present to veterinary practices with dilated stomachs. Postmortem examination or surgical investigation often identifies the underlying etiology of the gastric dilation as small intestinal obstruction. The condition is frequently fatal if left untreated, but protocols for diagnosis and treatment have not been established. This article attempts to clarify diagnosis of the condition by clinical and radiographical signs, as well as providing a guide to the management of these difficult cases. With appropriate decision making and treatment, the prognosis for small intestinal obstruction in rabbits can be dramatically improved.
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AbstractDental disease is common in pet rabbits and is seen in a variety of presentations. Underlying causes of dental disease can be divided into congenital and acquired, with both varying greatly in severity. The goal of treatment for rabbit dental disease is restoration of continually growing (elodont) teeth to normal length and shape; therefore, function improves and control of secondary inflammation and infection is maintained.
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AbstractRodent species are routinely presented to veterinary hospitals for wellness checks and different illnesses. When rodents are presented to the veterinarian for diagnosis and treatment, they deserve the same thorough approach that any other domestic species receives. The purpose of this article is to provide readers a review of the current information regarding examination, diagnosis, and treatment of some of the most common conditions for which rodent patients are presented. This article will cover 5 of the most common rodent species presented to veterinarians: guinea pigs, chinchillas, rats, mice, and hamsters.
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AbstractDentistry naturally invokes images of procedures that can and often do produce at least some level of discomfort. Many procedures regularly performed in exotic companion mammals are by nature likely to be at least moderately painful. Modern anesthetic and analgesic agents provide a wide range of choices for protocols chosen to enhance exotic companion mammal patient safety and comfort, and include modalities such as injectable induction and anesthetic agents, and local anesthesia and analgesia.
Article
AbstractAcquired dental disease is relatively common in pet rodents and is seen in many different presentations depending on species and type of teeth affected. The degree of disease severity will vary between individuals of the same and different species. A thorough understanding of the anatomy and physiology of rodent teeth and a complete workup are needed for proper diagnosis and prognosis. Treatment is aimed at restoration of the normal shape and function of the dental arcades. This article will highlight the differences between diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment of dental disease in rabbits and pet rodent species.
Article
AbstractA 3.5-year-old female Peruvian guinea pig was examined because of a history of anorexia, abdominal pain, and a palpable abdominal mass. Physical examination revealed a round, well-defined mass in the cranial abdomen. When palpated, the abdomen was slightly painful. Ultrasonography revealed a round hyperechogenic mass situated in the gastrointestinal tract, anatomically in the area of the stomach. Abdominal exploratory surgery was performed, and a 4-cm diameter compact trichobezoar was removed from the stomach through a gastrotomy incision. Postsurgical recovery of the guinea pig was uneventful. Four months after surgery, the guinea pig was in good clinical condition. Prophylactic treatment consisted of a changed diet containing a higher percentage of hay; additionally, the hair was kept short by the owner, and an oral lubricant paste was given with the intention to lower the risk of recurrence.
Article
Clostridium spiroforme produces the binary actin-ADP-ribosylating toxin CST (C. spiroforme toxin), which has been proposed to be responsible for diarrhea, enterocolitis, and eventually death, especially in rabbits. Here we report on the recombinant production of the enzyme component (CSTa) and the binding component (CSTb) of C. spiroforme toxin in Bacillus megaterium. By using the recombinant toxin components, we show that CST enters target cells via the lipolysis-stimulated lipoprotein receptor (LSR), which has been recently identified as the host cell receptor of the binary toxins Clostridium difficile transferase (CDT) and Clostridium perfringens iota toxin. Microscopic studies revealed that CST, but not the related Clostridium botulinum C2 toxin, colocalized with LSR during toxin uptake and traffic to endosomal compartments. Our findings indicate that CST shares LSR with C. difficile CDT and C. perfringens iota toxin as a host cell surface receptor.
Article
4 rabbits (1.5 to 6 years old) were evaluated at the Angell Animal Medical Center from June 2007 to March 2009 because of nonspecific clinical signs including anorexia, lethargy, and decreased fecal output. Physical examination revealed signs of pain in the cranial portion of the abdomen, gas distention of the gastrointestinal tract, and diminished borborygmi. Serum biochemical analyses and CBCs revealed moderately to markedly high alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, and alkaline phosphatase activities and mild to moderate anemia with polychromasia. Abdominal radiographic findings were nonspecific. Three of the 4 rabbits underwent abdominal ultrasonography; abnormalities in shape, size, echogenicity, and blood flow of the liver, indicative of liver lobe torsion, were detected. All 4 rabbits underwent surgery, during which liver lobe torsion was confirmed and the affected liver lobe was resected. Histologic examination of sections of the excised lobe obtained from 3 of the 4 rabbits revealed severe, diffuse, acute to sub-acute hepatic ischemic necrosis. All rabbits recovered from surgery; owners reported that the rabbits were doing well 22 to 43 months after surgery. Liver lobe torsions in any species are rarely reported, yet 4 cases of liver lobe torsion in domestic rabbits were treated at 1 referral center in a 2-year period. In rabbits, clinical signs of this condition are nonspecific and results of additional tests, including abdominal ultrasonography and serum biochemical analysis, are necessary for diagnosis. Prompt diagnosis and hepatectomy of the affected lobe are recommended and appear to be associated with an excellent prognosis.
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Gastrointestinal stasis is currently a vaguely defined term for decreased gastrointestinal motility. The term gastric stasis syndrome was previously proposed, but falls short of an accurate description, as in many cases portions of the gastrointestinal tract other than the stomach are affected. The term rabbit gastrointestinal syndrome (RGIS) defines a complex of clinical signs, symptoms, and concurrent pathologic conditions affecting the digestive apparatus of the rabbit. When ill rabbits present for examination it is important to determine if RGIS is present and if so, begin treatment and a diagnostic workup to determine underlying contributing factors. Identification of underlying cause is often difficult; many rabbits present with evidence of RGIS whereby attempts to identify an underlying cause are unfruitful. In many cases, these rabbits respond positively to supportive therapy including fluids, hand feeding, and motility-enhancing drugs.
Article
A 3-year-old, intact female guinea pig (Cavia porcellus) was presented for anorexia and abdominal distention of 24 hours' duration. Radiographs revealed a severely distended stomach, suggestive of severe gastric dilatation or gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV). Exploratory surgery was recommended, but the owners elected euthanasia. On necropsy, the guinea pig was found to have GDV. No underlying conditions were identified that could have predisposed this guinea pig to the development of GDV. J Am Anim Hosp Assoc 2010;46:174-180.
Article
Rabbit meat breeding may be heavily affected by enterotoxaemia due to Clostridium spiroforme. Data on its antimicrobial susceptibility are insufficient, presumably because of difficulties in cultivating and identifying the pathogen. Our aim is therefore to provide this information to veterinary practitioners by focusing on a panel of therapeutics used in intensive rabbit units. Lincomycin was also checked in order to investigate the origin of resistance to macrolides. Minimal inhibitory concentrations (MICs) were determined with the agar dilution method according to the CLSI M11-A7 protocol (2007). MIC(50) and MIC(90) were, respectively, 64 and 64microg/ml for tiamulin, 32 and 32microg/ml for norfloxacin, 0.063 and 0.125microg/ml for amoxicillin, and 8 and 16microg/ml for doxycycline. MIC(50) and MIC(90) were 256microg/ml for sulphadimethoxine, spiramycin and lincomycin. Our results have shown that intrinsic or acquired antimicrobial resistances are diffuse in the C. spiroforme population and suggest focusing on prevention rather than on treatment of clostridial overgrowth, by reducing risk factors and using antimicrobials prudently.
Article
During an 18-month period, gastric dilatation was recognized in six guinea pigs from a colony with a monthly average of 253 animals. All of the affected guinea pigs were breeders and ranged in age from 8 to 26 months. Clinical signs were tachycardia, dyspnea, cyanosis, and marked abdominal distention. Macroscopic lesions included gastric volvulus, gastric dilatation, and splenic congestion.
Article
Cholestyramine, an ion exchange resin shown to bind bacterial toxins, was utilized to treat rabbits with antibiotic induced enterotoxaemia. Three groups of 6 rabbits were administered 30 mg/kg clindamycin phosphate intravenously on day 1. One group was untreated; 2 groups were treated daily by gavage with 2 g cholestyramine in 20 ml water until day 21, starting on either day 1 or 3. Daily body weights, faecal output, faecal occult blood, food and water consumption, and body temperatures were determined. Four of 6 rabbits in the untreated group either died or were moribund and euthanased. There were no deaths in either treatment groups. Dramatic decreases in food consumption (86%), water consumption (62%), and faecal output (89%) were noted within 3 days after clindamycin administration in all groups. These parameters remained depressed throughout the study. There was no clear trend in body weight changes, body temperature, or faecal occult blood test results. Cholestyramine was effective in eliminating mortality associated with the intravenous administration of clindamycin and is recommended to prevent the development of enterotoxaemia when pyrogen testing or administering antibiotics known to induce the syndrome in rabbits.
Article
In conscious, gastric fistula rabbits, gastric acid and pepsin secretion averaged 4.5 +/- 0.1 mmol/h (1.3 mmol.kg-1.h-1) and 4.9 +/- 0.3 IU/h (1.6 IU.kg-1.h-1), respectively; these values represent approximately 40-50% of maximal output. Basal serum gastrin concentrations averaged 24 +/- 4 pg/ml and did not correlate with basal acid secretion. Atropine and vagotomy incompletely inhibited basal acid secretion (by 84 and 50%, respectively) and completely inhibited 2-deoxy-D-glucose-stimulated gastric acid secretion. Atropine and vagotomy similarly inhibited basal pepsin secretion by 50 and 40%, respectively. Ranitidine decreased acid and pepsin secretion, but as with atropine, inhibition was not complete (73 and 37%, respectively). Although omeprazole did not affect pepsin secretion, omeprazole completely inhibited basal acid secretion and elevated postprandial intragastric pH above 5.0. Conscious, gastric fistula rabbits have the highest basal acid and pepsin output among species commonly studied. Both vagal-cholinergic pathways and histamine drive basal acid and pepsin secretion in the rabbit.
Article
An outbreak of aflatoxicosis in Angora rabbits involving a large number of rabbitries was investigated. Mortality was more in weaners than in adults. Affected animals showed anorexia, dullness and weight loss followed by jaundice in terminal stages. Death occurred within 3-4 d of the appearance of clinical signs. Livers were moderately to severely congested, icteric and were hard to cut. Gall bladders were distended and had inspissated bile. Liver sections showed degenerative changes of hepatic cells along with dilatation and engorgement of sinusoids. Bile ducts had mild to severe periportal fibrosis. Focal areas of pseudolobulation and regenerative foci were also predominant. The level of aflatoxin B1 in feed samples from various farms submitted at the time of the investigation varied from 90 to 540 ug aflatoxin B1/kg of feed. Withdrawal of feed and supplementary therapy resulted in gradual disappearance of signs and mortality.
Article
Oral papillomas were seen in 31% of New Zealand white rabbits (n = 51) examined from 2 local sources. Papillomavirus structural antigens were detected by the peroxidase-antiperoxidase technique in cells of the stratum spinosum which contained basophilic intranuclear inclusions. Homogenates of papillomas hemagglutinated mouse RBC and also induced papillomas on the ventral surface of tongues, but not bulbar conjunctiva or vulva, os susceptible rabbits. The same oral papilloma homogenate induced fibromas in neonatal hamsters. Homogenates of hamster fibromas did not cause lesions on tongues of susceptible rabbits.
Article
The epidemiology of naturally acquired rotavirus infection in commercial rabbitries was studied. Antibody titers to rotavirus were determined by an enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Studies of antibody levels over time within individual rabbit litters and in a colony of rabbits of different ages showed that transplacentally derived maternal antibodies had declined to low levels by about one month of age. More than half of the 88 rabbits 1 to 2 months of age had antibody titers of less than 1/100. All 98 rabbits over 2 months old had titers above 1/100 and 83 had titers over 1/1000. Rotavirus was detected in 25% of diarrheic feces and in 10% of normal feces.