To determine the clinical and pathological findings of rabbits diagnosed with lymphoma.
The medical and pathology records database of the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital at the University of California, Davis was searched for rabbits diagnosed with lymphoma from 1996 to 2019.
Mean age of the 16 rabbits was 8 years (range, 4.5 to 12 years). Immunophenotyping was performed in 14 cases. Diffuse, large, B-cell lymphoma was most common (n = 7) followed by epitheliotropic, T-cell lymphoma (2); type II enteropathy-associated, T-cell lymphoma (2); marginal-zone, B-cell lymphoma (1); peripheral, T-cell lymphoma not otherwise specified (cutaneous nonepitheliotropic lymphoma; 1); primary, mediastinal (thymic) large B-cell lymphoma (1), and unclassified (cytology only with no immunophenotyping; 2). Multiple chemotherapy protocols were used on the basis of each individual animal’s disease state. Initial clinical improvement was reported for most rabbits receiving chemotherapy (5/6), with diffuse B-cell lymphoma responding most favorably to treatment. The 11 rabbits included in the survival analysis had a median survival time of 60 days (range, 1 to 480 days), and those diagnosed with B- and T-cell lymphoma had a median survival time of 8 and 36 days (range, 1 to 150 and 1 to 90 days), respectively.
Rabbits develop a range of lymphoma subtypes and, similar to humans and dogs, diffuse large B-cell lymphoma appears to be the most common. Chemotherapy treatments followed multiple protocols, which were mostly well tolerated and had a highly variable response. Further research into chemotherapy protocols is needed to optimize treatment of lymphoma in rabbits.