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Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To characterize the epidemiologic features of rabbits with retrobulbar abscesses, including the clinical signs, diagnosis, treatment, and outcome.

ANIMALS

21 client-owned rabbits.

METHODS

The medical record database of a veterinary teaching hospital was searched from 2011 to 2022 for records of rabbits diagnosed with retrobulbar abscesses by CT. Data reviewed included age, breed, presenting complaint, association with an odontogenic infection, aerobic and anaerobic culture results, treatment, and outcome.

RESULTS

The primary presenting complaint was exophthalmos (19/21 [90%]). Most cases (15/21 [71%]) were associated with an odontogenic infection. Dental disease, not associated with a retrobulbar abscess (14/21 [67%]), was a common comorbidity on CT. The most common aerobic and anaerobic isolates were Streptococcus intermedius (5/12 [42%]) and Fusobacterium nucleatum (2/12 [17%]), respectively. Surgical treatment combined with long-term systemic antibiotic therapy was performed in 9 of 21 (43%) cases. It included intraoral tooth extraction (4/9 [44%]) versus extraoral peribulbar abscess lancing with either abscess packing with antibiotic-soaked gauze (3/9 [33%]) or surgical abscess debridement (2/9 [22%]). Resolution of the clinical signs with no recurrence for at least 6 months occurred in 7 of 9 (78%) surgically treated cases. Medical treatment with long-term systemic antibiotic therapy was performed in 4 of 21 (19%) cases, and 3 of 4 (75%) resolved. Due to poor prognosis or financial concerns, euthanasia was performed or recommended in 8 of 21 (38%) cases.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

On the basis of the data from this study, retrobulbar abscesses in rabbits carry a guarded prognosis. When intraoral and extraoral surgical treatment options combined with systemic antibiotic therapy were used, it resolved clinical disease in most cases.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To characterize the epidemiologic features of rabbits with odontogenic abscesses.

ANIMALS

72 client-owned rabbits.

METHODS

The medical record database of a veterinary teaching hospital was searched to identify rabbits with odontogenic abscesses characterized by a palpable facial mass and confirmed via CT scan. Data reviewed included age, breed, presenting complaint, abscess location, bacterial culture results, treatment, and outcome.

RESULTS

Lop-eared rabbits were the most common breeds affected (20/72 [28%]), and mini lop rabbits were significantly overrepresented. The mandibular quadrants were more frequently affected (65/92 [71%]), and osteomyelitis was a common comorbidity on CT (53/72 [74%]). The most common aerobic and anaerobic isolates were Streptococcus spp (17/40 [43%]) and Fusobacterium spp (10/22 [45%]), respectively. Systemic antibiotic therapy alone was performed in 35 of 62 (56%) treated cases, with documented resolution in 25%. Abscess packing with antibiotic-soaked gauze in conjunction with systemic antibiotic therapy was performed in 20 of 62 (32%) treated cases. Resolution of the odontogenic abscesses with this treatment protocol was documented in 17 of 20 (85%) cases. The number of packing procedures used to obtain resolution of infection was 4 (IQR, 3 to 5).

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

A combination of the abscess-packing technique, which avoids extensive surgery and extraction of the involved elodont teeth, with systemic antibiotic therapy can be an effective treatment option for rabbits with palpable odontogenic abscesses and can result in a high cure rate comparable to more invasive surgical treatments. Antibiotic treatment alone is not recommended, as it has a low chance of abscess resolution.

Open access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association