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Clinical, surgical, and pathological findings in client-owned rabbits with histologically confirmed appendicitis: 19 cases (2015–2019)

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  • 1 Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK
  • | 2 Ospedale Veterinario San Concordio, Lucca, Italy
  • | 3 Tai Wai Small Animal & Exotic Hospital, Tai Wai, Shatin, Sha Tin, Hong Kong
  • | 4 Exotic Animal Medicine and Surgery Unit, Alfort National Veterinary School, University of East Paris, Maisons-Alfort, France
  • | 5 MedVet Hilliard, Columbus, OH
  • | 6 Clinica Veterinaria Modena Sud, Spilamberto, Italy
  • | 7 L’Arca Ambulatorio Veterinario Associato, Cassano d’Adda, Italy
  • | 8 Clinica Veterinaria CMV, Varese, Italy
  • | 9 Polivet, Rome, Italy
  • | 10 Exotic Department, Centre Hospitalier Vétérinaire Frégis, Arcueil, France
  • | 11 Clinica Veterinaria Turro, Milano, Italy
  • | 12 Clinica Veterinaria D’Amaddio, Agliana, Italy
  • | 13 Clinica per Animali Esotici, Rome, Italy
  • | 14 VetCT Consultants in Telemedicine, Fremantle, WA, Australia
  • | 15 Vet Diagnostics, Lyon, France
  • | 16 Unité d’Histologie et d’Anatomie Pathologique, Ecole Nationale Vétérinaire d’Alfort, Maisons-Alfort, France
  • | 17 AbLab Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, Sarzana, Italy
  • | 18 ZNLabs Veterinary Diagnostics, Citrus Heights, CA

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To report clinical, surgical, and pathological findings in client-owned rabbits with histologically confirmed appendicitis.

ANIMALS

19 rabbits.

PROCEDURES

Medical records for client-owned rabbits that had a histologic diagnosis of appendicitis were reviewed.

RESULTS

Median age of the rabbits at presentation was 24.0 months (range, 4 to 84 months). Seventeen cases occurred during the summer and fall seasons. Decreased appetite (17/19 rabbits), abnormal rectal temperature (hyperthermia, 9/16 rabbits; hypothermia, 4/16 rabbits), hypocalcemia (8/11 rabbits), and hypoglycemia (7/15 rabbits) were common signs. Abdominal ultrasonography and CT findings were suggestive of appendicitis in 6 of 8 rabbits and in 1 of 2 rabbits, respectively. Of the 6 rabbits that received medical treatment, 3 died at 48 hours, 1 died at 24 hours after hospitalization, and 1 died at 10 days after presentation; 1 rabbit was alive at 1,030 days after presentation. Of the 8 rabbits that underwent appendectomy, 3 died before discharge from the hospital and 1 died 113 days after surgery; 4 rabbits were alive at 315, 334, 1,433, and 1,473 days after presentation. The remaining 5 rabbits either died or were euthanized before treatment could be instituted. In each of the 19 rabbits, the appendix had evidence of severe inflammation with mucosal ulceration, heterophilic inflammation, and necrotic debris.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

For rabbits with decreased appetite and an apparently painful abdomen, hyperthermia, hypocalcemia, or hypoglycemia, appendicitis should be considered as a differential diagnosis. Further comparisons of medical and surgical treatments are required to establish treatment recommendations for rabbits with appendicitis.

Supplementary Materials

    • Supplementary Table S1 (PDF 93 KB)
    • Supplementary Table S2 (PDF 92 KB)
    • Supplementary Table S3 (PDF 88 KB)
    • Supplementary Table S4 (PDF 80 KB)

Contributor Notes

Corresponding author: Dr. Di Girolamo (nicoladiggi@gmail.com).