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  • Author or Editor: Alexandra Nicolier x
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A 4-year-old sexually intact male leucistic axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) was presented with a 2-week history of dysrexia and difficulty swallowing.


Physical examination revealed a 1-cm-diameter intraoral mass on the rostral aspect of the palate and swelling of the left nasal fossa. Local invasion into the left nasal fossa was suspected during oral examination. The lesion was marginally excised, and an incompletely excised olfactory neuroblastoma was diagnosed histologically. Five weeks later, physical examination revealed persistent erythema, delayed healing of the rostral portion of the palate, and a mild facial deformity associated with a white mass in the nasal cavity.


6 weeks after excision, adjuvant electron (6-MeV) beam radiotherapy was initiated for treatment of the incompletely excised olfactory neuroblastoma and likely presence of a recurrent mass. The protocol consisted of 4 weekly fractions of 8 Gy each (total, 32 Gy) with the axolotl under anesthesia. No acute adverse radiation effects were noted following radiotherapy. The oral erythema resolved after the third session. No recurrence was observed 2 months after treatment, and the owners reported no abnormal signs at home. The axolotl died 3.5 months after radiotherapy was completed (8 months after marginal excision of the tumor) secondary to an environmental management failure. Postmortem histologic evaluation showed no evidence of neoplasia.


In axolotls, olfactory neuroblastoma should be considered in the differential diagnosis of intraoral palatal masses. This report describes the first application of radiotherapy for treatment of an olfactory neuroblastoma in an axolotl.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association



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


19 rabbits.


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


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.


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.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association