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

Nicola Di GirolamoDepartment of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK

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Daniele PetriniOspedale Veterinario San Concordio, Lucca, Italy

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Zoltan SzaboTai Wai Small Animal & Exotic Hospital, Tai Wai, Shatin, Sha Tin, Hong Kong

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Laetitia Volait-RossetExotic Animal Medicine and Surgery Unit, Alfort National Veterinary School, University of East Paris, Maisons-Alfort, France

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Barbara L. OglesbeeMedVet Hilliard, Columbus, OH

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Giordano NardiniClinica Veterinaria Modena Sud, Spilamberto, Italy

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Marzia PossentiL’Arca Ambulatorio Veterinario Associato, Cassano d’Adda, Italy

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Sebastiano GerosaClinica Veterinaria CMV, Varese, Italy

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Simone RotaPolivet, Rome, Italy

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Minh HuynhExotic Department, Centre Hospitalier Vétérinaire Frégis, Arcueil, France

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Daniele VitoloClinica Veterinaria Turro, Milano, Italy

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Elisabetta DevescoviClinica Veterinaria D’Amaddio, Agliana, Italy

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Annalisa NicolettiClinica per Animali Esotici, Rome, Italy

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Paolo SelleriClinica per Animali Esotici, Rome, Italy

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David GuillierExotic Animal Medicine and Surgery Unit, Alfort National Veterinary School, University of East Paris, Maisons-Alfort, France

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David ReeseVetCT Consultants in Telemedicine, Fremantle, WA, Australia

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Alexandra NicolierVet Diagnostics, Lyon, France

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Edouard Reyes-GomezUnité d’Histologie et d’Anatomie Pathologique, Ecole Nationale Vétérinaire d’Alfort, Maisons-Alfort, France

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Giorgia MatteucciAbLab Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, Sarzana, Italy

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Drury R. ReavillZNLabs Veterinary Diagnostics, Citrus Heights, CA

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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.

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).