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To assess the efficacy of transmucosal euthanasia solution to induce euthanasia.


6 bearded dragons (Pogona vitticeps).


An initial dose of euthanasia solution containing pentobarbital and phenytoin sodium was administered transmucosally in conscious lizards (100 mg/kg pentobarbital dose), followed by a second dose 20 minutes later (400 mg/kg pentobarbital dose). The presence of movement, leakage of euthanasia solution, behaviors consistent with oral irritation, respiratory rate, heart rate, palpebral and corneal reflex, and response to noxious stimuli were recorded until death, confirmed by the absence of Doppler cardiac flow and cardiac electrical activity. The time to loss of all parameters was calculated. Postmortem evaluation allowed for histopathologic evaluation of the oral cavity and gastrointestinal tract to detect potential mucosal damage from the alkaline euthanasia solution.


The median time to death was 300 minutes (range, 300 to 360 minutes), median time to respiratory arrest was 30 minutes (range, 30 to 50 minutes), and median time to loss of deep pain response was 30 minutes (range, 20 to 50 minutes). Signs consistent with oral irritation occurred in 4 of 6 (66.7%) lizards, including 2 lizards that exhibited whole-body spasms after euthanasia solution administration. Histopathologic changes indicating peracute mucosal ulceration, suspected to be from caustic causes, were identified in 1 (1/6 [16.7%]) lizard.


Transmucosal euthanasia solution administration resulted in clinical euthanasia within 6 hours. This method should be utilized only after premedication with analgesic and/or anesthetic medications due to the potential for acute mucosal ulceration and behaviors that may be distressing in client-owned animals.

Open access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Case Description—An approximately 8-month-old female Miniature Lop rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) was evaluated because of an acute onset of progressive paraparesis.

Clinical Findings—The rabbit was ambulatory paraparetic, and results of neurologic examination were consistent with a myelopathy localizing to the T3-L3 spinal cord segments. Evaluation with CT myelography revealed focal extradural spinal cord compression bilaterally at the level of the articular process joints of T12-L1.

Treatment and Outcome—A Funkquist type A dorsal laminectomy was performed at T12-L1, and the vertebral column was stabilized with pins and polymethylmethacrylate-based cement. Multiple vertebral synovial cysts were confirmed on histologic evaluation of the surgically excised tissues. The rabbit was nonambulatory with severe paraparesis postoperatively and was ambulatory paraparetic at a recheck examination 7 weeks after surgery. Fourteen weeks after surgery, the rabbit appeared stronger; it walked and hopped slowly but still fell and dragged its hindquarters when moving faster. Thirty-seven weeks after surgery, the neurologic status was unchanged.

Clinical Relevance—Although thoracolumbar myelopathy in rabbits is commonly secondary to vertebral fracture, vertebral synovial cysts should be considered a differential diagnosis for rabbits with slowly progressive paraparesis. Decompressive surgery and stabilization can result in a good outcome for rabbits with this condition.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Case Description—A 10-year-old spayed female Holland Lop–mix pet rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) was evaluated because of purulent-hemorrhagic discharge from the right ear canal and a suspected mass within that ear canal.

Clinical Findings—Results of contrast-enhanced CT, video otoscopy, and histologic examination of endoscopic tissue biopsy samples indicated severe otitis media and externa and a benign trichoepithelioma of the right ear canal.

Treatment and Outcome—Total ear canal ablation and lateral bulla osteotomy were performed. Histologic examination of a surgical biopsy sample of the mass indicated malignant trichoepithelioma. Tumor recurrence was detected 22 weeks after surgery. The rabbit was euthanized 33 weeks after surgery because of the large size of the recurrent tumor and declining quality of life. Necropsy findings indicated a malignant trichoepithelioma with local and lymphatic invasion into the right mandibular lymph node.

Clinical Relevance—This was the first report of the clinical diagnosis, surgical treatment, and outcome for a domestic rabbit with a diagnosis of a malignant trichoepithelioma of the ear canal and associated otitis media and externa. Neoplasia should be included as a differential diagnosis for pet rabbits with otitis externa and media. Although such tumors are typically benign, trichoepitheliomas in rabbits can be malignant. Computed tomography and histologic examination of tissue samples were useful diagnostic techniques, but histologic examination of an endoscopic biopsy sample did not allow identification of malignant characteristics of the trichoepithelioma.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association