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Hemipelvectomy to treat sarcoma of the proximal portion of the femur in a rabbit

Laura M. HomerFrom Fitzpatrick Referrals Oncology and Soft Tissue, Guildford GU2 7AJ, England

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Nicholas J. BaconFrom Fitzpatrick Referrals Oncology and Soft Tissue, Guildford GU2 7AJ, England

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Abstract

CASE DESCRIPTION

A 7-year-old sexually intact female rabbit was admitted to the hospital because of a 6-month history of chronic right pelvic limb lameness.

CLINICAL FINDINGS

Clinical examination revealed a prominent right pelvic limb lameness and signs of pain on manipulation of the right hip joint, with a focal, well-defined soft tissue mass palpable in the right pelvic area. Pelvic radiography revealed a lytic hip joint lesion and CT detailed an expansile lesion within the proximal portion of the femur with an appearance consistent with a soft tissue mass. Histologic evaluation of incisional biopsy samples of the soft tissue mass revealed a poorly differentiated sarcoma.

TREATMENT AND OUTCOME

A hemipelvectomy was performed, and histologic evaluation of the soft tissue mass confirmed the diagnosis, with tumor-free margins achieved. The patient recovered well from surgery and had good mobility. The patient survived 21 months after surgery and died of a non–cancer-related disease. Anatomic dissection was described in a cadaver rabbit to aid future surgeries.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

To the authors’ knowledge, this was the first report of a hemipelvectomy performed in a rabbit. Hemipelvectomy is more routinely performed in canine and feline patients, but with the right candidate and owner commitment to aftercare, it may be safely and successfully performed in rabbits.

Abstract

CASE DESCRIPTION

A 7-year-old sexually intact female rabbit was admitted to the hospital because of a 6-month history of chronic right pelvic limb lameness.

CLINICAL FINDINGS

Clinical examination revealed a prominent right pelvic limb lameness and signs of pain on manipulation of the right hip joint, with a focal, well-defined soft tissue mass palpable in the right pelvic area. Pelvic radiography revealed a lytic hip joint lesion and CT detailed an expansile lesion within the proximal portion of the femur with an appearance consistent with a soft tissue mass. Histologic evaluation of incisional biopsy samples of the soft tissue mass revealed a poorly differentiated sarcoma.

TREATMENT AND OUTCOME

A hemipelvectomy was performed, and histologic evaluation of the soft tissue mass confirmed the diagnosis, with tumor-free margins achieved. The patient recovered well from surgery and had good mobility. The patient survived 21 months after surgery and died of a non–cancer-related disease. Anatomic dissection was described in a cadaver rabbit to aid future surgeries.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

To the authors’ knowledge, this was the first report of a hemipelvectomy performed in a rabbit. Hemipelvectomy is more routinely performed in canine and feline patients, but with the right candidate and owner commitment to aftercare, it may be safely and successfully performed in rabbits.

Contributor Notes

Dr. Homer's present address is Wear Referrals, Veterinary Hospital, Bradbury, Stockton-on-Tees TS21 2ES, England.

Address correspondence to Dr. Homer (Lauramartinhomer@gmail.com).