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  • Author or Editor: Jay N. Gladden x
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Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To investigate the reasons for evaluation on an emergency basis of and short-term outcomes for chickens from backyard flocks.

DESIGN

Retrospective case series.

ANIMALS

78 chickens.

PROCEDURES

For chickens evaluated on an emergency basis at a New England veterinary teaching hospital in January 2014 through March 2017, information including age, sex, flock size, primary medical problem, final diagnosis, and immediate outcome was obtained from electronic medical records. Primary medical problems were classified as abnormal droppings, crop or gastrointestinal tract disease, lameness, neurologic disease, nonspecific signs (ie, undefined illness), respiratory tract disease, reproductive tract disease, and trauma.

RESULTS

78 chickens were evaluated on an emergency basis, of which 71 were females from small flocks. The median age of the chickens was 1 year (range, 0.1 to 7 years). The most common problem was trauma (n = 25), followed by nonspecific signs (11) and reproductive tract disease (10); 18 birds had neurologic disease (6), lameness (6), or gastrointestinal tract disease (6). Five birds had respiratory tract disease, and 3 had abnormal droppings. Six birds were brought to the emergency service for euthanasia only. Trauma, reproductive tract disease, and signs of Marek disease were most frequently identified in birds that were fully evaluated. Thirty-five (45%) chickens were discharged from the hospital.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Results indicated that backyard flock chickens were evaluated on an emergency basis most commonly because of trauma and reproductive tract disease. Although approximately half of the evaluated chickens were euthanized, the remainder were discharged from the hospital and required medical management. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2019;254:1196–1203)

Restricted access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To describe the clinical findings and short-term outcomes for rabbits with signs of gastrointestinal tract dysfunction or rabbit gastrointestinal syndrome (RGIS).

ANIMALS

117 client-owned rabbits.

PROCEDURES

The electronic medical records database of a veterinary teaching hospital was searched to identify rabbits that were examined because of altered or absent food intake and decreased or absent fecal output between June 1, 2014, and June 30, 2016. For each rabbit, information extracted from the record included history of prior episodes of gastrointestinal tract dysfunction, signalment, physical examination and diagnostic test results, and outcome.

RESULTS

117 of the 484 (24%) rabbits examined at the hospital during the study period met the inclusion criteria and were enrolled in the study. Fifty-nine and 58 rabbits were managed on an inpatient and outpatient basis, respectively. Gastrointestinal stasis without overt obstruction was diagnosed for 43 rabbits on the basis of abdominal radiographic, ultrasonographic, or necropsy results. Many rabbits had concurrent disease and biochemical abnormalities. Fifteen, 18, and 84 rabbits died, were euthanized, and survived to hospital discharge, respectively. Rabbits that were hypothermic (rectal temperature, ≤ 36.6°C [97.9°F]) during the initial examination were 5 times as likely to die or be euthanized as were euthermic rabbits, after controlling for potential confounders.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Results indicated that the prognosis was generally good for rabbits with signs of RGIS unless they were hypothermic during initial examination. Prospective studies are warranted to further elucidate and characterize RGIS and assess the efficacy of various treatments and outcomes for affected rabbits.

Restricted access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To use duplex Doppler ultrasonography to compare gastrointestinal activity in healthy sedated versus nonsedated rabbits and to evaluate agreement between B-mode and pulsed-wave Doppler (PWD) ultrasonographic measurements.

ANIMALS

10 healthy client-owned rabbits brought for routine physical examination and 11 brought for routine ovariohysterectomy or castration.

PROCEDURES

Duplex Doppler ultrasonography of the gastrointestinal tract was performed once for the 10 rabbits that underwent physical examination and twice (before and after presurgical sedation) for the 11 rabbits that underwent routine ovariohysterectomy or castration. Mean number of peristaltic contractions during a 30-second period was determined for the stomach, duodenum, jejunum, cecum, and colon from B-mode and PWD ultrasonographic images that had been video recorded. Findings for the duodenum and jejunum were compared between B-mode and PWD ultrasonography and between sedated and nonsedated rabbits.

RESULTS

Duodenal and jejunal segments had measurable peristaltic waves; however, the stomach, cecum, and colon had no consistent measurable activity. B-mode and PWD ultrasonographic measurements for the duodenum and jejunum had high agreement. No significant difference was identified between nonsedated and sedated rabbits in mean number of peristaltic contractions of the duodenum or jejunum.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Results suggested that both B-mode and PWD ultrasonography of the duodenum and jejunum may be suitable for noninvasive evaluation of small intestinal motility in rabbits and that the sedation protocol used in this study had no impact on measured peristaltic values.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research