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Outcome of limb fracture repair in rabbits: 139 cases (2007–2015)

Hiroshi Sasai DVM, PhD1, Daisuke Fujita DVM2, Eiko Seto DVM3, Yuki Denda DVM4, Yutaro Imai DVM5, Kanako Okamoto DVM6, Kensaku Okamura DVM7, Masaru Furuya DVM, PhD8, Hiroyuki Tani DVM, PhD9, and Kazumi Sasai DVM, PhD10
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  • 1 Kitasuma Animal Hospital, 9–5–8 Yokoo, Suma-ku, Kobe, Hyogo, 654–0131 Japan.
  • | 2 Kitasuma Animal Hospital, 9–5–8 Yokoo, Suma-ku, Kobe, Hyogo, 654–0131 Japan.
  • | 3 Kitasuma Animal Hospital, 9–5–8 Yokoo, Suma-ku, Kobe, Hyogo, 654–0131 Japan.
  • | 4 Kitasuma Animal Hospital, 9–5–8 Yokoo, Suma-ku, Kobe, Hyogo, 654–0131 Japan.
  • | 5 Kitasuma Animal Hospital, 9–5–8 Yokoo, Suma-ku, Kobe, Hyogo, 654–0131 Japan.
  • | 6 Kitasuma Animal Hospital, 9–5–8 Yokoo, Suma-ku, Kobe, Hyogo, 654–0131 Japan.
  • | 7 Kitasuma Animal Hospital, 9–5–8 Yokoo, Suma-ku, Kobe, Hyogo, 654–0131 Japan.
  • | 8 Laboratory of Veterinary Internal Medicine, Division of Veterinary Science, Graduate School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Osaka Prefecture University, Izumisano, Osaka 598–8531, Japan.
  • | 9 Laboratory of Veterinary Internal Medicine, Division of Veterinary Science, Graduate School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Osaka Prefecture University, Izumisano, Osaka 598–8531, Japan.
  • | 10 Laboratory of Veterinary Internal Medicine, Division of Veterinary Science, Graduate School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Osaka Prefecture University, Izumisano, Osaka 598–8531, Japan.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To evaluate outcome of limb fracture repair in rabbits.

DESIGN Retrospective case series.

ANIMALS 139 client-owned rabbits with limb fractures treated between 2007 and 2015.

PROCEDURES Medical records were reviewed for information on fracture location, fracture treatment, and time to fracture healing.

RESULTS 25 rabbits had fractures involving the distal aspects of the limbs (ie, metacarpal or metatarsal bones, phalanges, and calcaneus or talus). Fractures were treated in 23 of these 25 rabbits (external coaptation, n = 17; external skeletal fixation, 4; and intramedullary pinning, 2) and healed in all 23, with a median healing time of 28 days (range, 20 to 45 days). One hundred ten rabbits had long bone fractures, and fractures were treated in 100 of the 110 (external skeletal fixation, n = 89; bone plating, 1; intramedullary pinning, 3; and external coaptation, 7). The percentage of fractures that healed was significantly lower for open (14/18) than for closed (26/26) tibial fractures and was significantly lower for femoral (19/26) and treated humeral (4/6) fractures than for radial (23/24) or closed tibial (26/26) fractures. Micro-CT was used to assess fracture realignment during external skeletal fixator application and to evaluate fracture healing.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE The prognosis for rabbits with limb fractures was good, with fractures healing in most rabbits following fracture repair (109/123). Micro-CT was useful in assessing fracture realignment and evaluating fracture healing.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To evaluate outcome of limb fracture repair in rabbits.

DESIGN Retrospective case series.

ANIMALS 139 client-owned rabbits with limb fractures treated between 2007 and 2015.

PROCEDURES Medical records were reviewed for information on fracture location, fracture treatment, and time to fracture healing.

RESULTS 25 rabbits had fractures involving the distal aspects of the limbs (ie, metacarpal or metatarsal bones, phalanges, and calcaneus or talus). Fractures were treated in 23 of these 25 rabbits (external coaptation, n = 17; external skeletal fixation, 4; and intramedullary pinning, 2) and healed in all 23, with a median healing time of 28 days (range, 20 to 45 days). One hundred ten rabbits had long bone fractures, and fractures were treated in 100 of the 110 (external skeletal fixation, n = 89; bone plating, 1; intramedullary pinning, 3; and external coaptation, 7). The percentage of fractures that healed was significantly lower for open (14/18) than for closed (26/26) tibial fractures and was significantly lower for femoral (19/26) and treated humeral (4/6) fractures than for radial (23/24) or closed tibial (26/26) fractures. Micro-CT was used to assess fracture realignment during external skeletal fixator application and to evaluate fracture healing.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE The prognosis for rabbits with limb fractures was good, with fractures healing in most rabbits following fracture repair (109/123). Micro-CT was useful in assessing fracture realignment and evaluating fracture healing.

Contributor Notes

Address correspondence to Dr. Furuya (furuya@vet.osakafu-u.ac.jp).