Case Description—An approximately 8-month-old female Miniature Lop rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) was evaluated because of an acute onset of progressive paraparesis.
Clinical Findings—The rabbit was ambulatory paraparetic, and results of neurologic examination were consistent with a myelopathy localizing to the T3-L3 spinal cord segments. Evaluation with CT myelography revealed focal extradural spinal cord compression bilaterally at the level of the articular process joints of T12-L1.
Treatment and Outcome—A Funkquist type A dorsal laminectomy was performed at T12-L1, and the vertebral column was stabilized with pins and polymethylmethacrylate-based cement. Multiple vertebral synovial cysts were confirmed on histologic evaluation of the surgically excised tissues. The rabbit was nonambulatory with severe paraparesis postoperatively and was ambulatory paraparetic at a recheck examination 7 weeks after surgery. Fourteen weeks after surgery, the rabbit appeared stronger; it walked and hopped slowly but still fell and dragged its hindquarters when moving faster. Thirty-seven weeks after surgery, the neurologic status was unchanged.
Clinical Relevance—Although thoracolumbar myelopathy in rabbits is commonly secondary to vertebral fracture, vertebral synovial cysts should be considered a differential diagnosis for rabbits with slowly progressive paraparesis. Decompressive surgery and stabilization can result in a good outcome for rabbits with this condition.