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  • Author or Editor: Molly D. Gleeson x
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To characterize clinical and pathological findings of rabbits evaluated at a veterinary teaching hospital because of dystocia.


Retrospective case series.


9 client-owned rabbits and 1 wild rabbit with signs of dystocia evaluated at a veterinary teaching hospital from 1996 through 2016.


Medical records of rabbits were reviewed to collect data on signalment; medical history; physical examination, laboratory, diagnostic imaging, and procedural findings; treatment; final diagnosis; and outcome. Data were summarized.


Dystocia in 7 rabbits was successfully managed through medical treatment, assisted vaginal delivery, or both (n = 6) or surgery alone (1); 3 rabbits were euthanized. Primiparous does, does ≤ 4 years old, and does of small breeds (< 2 kg [4.4 lb]) were most common. All client-owned rabbits had clinical signs of abnormal second-stage parturition, whereas the wild rabbit had only hemorrhagic vulvar discharge. Imaging was used to identify the number, size, and state of fetuses in most rabbits. Overall, 35 fetuses were accounted for, 25 of which were dead or later died. The cause of dystocia was determined for 8 rabbits and included fetal-maternal mismatch (n = 4), uterine inertia (2), fetal death or mummification (1), and stress-induced abortion (1).


Obstructive dystocia from fetal macrosomia with or without secondary uterine inertia was the most common cause of dystocia in the evaluated rabbits. Although medical management was successful for many rabbits with dystocia in this study, surgery could still be required in other affected rabbits, particularly when fetal-maternal mismatch is involved.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


OBJECTIVE To determine the pharmacokinetics and sedative effects of 2 doses of a concentrated buprenorphine formulation after SC administration to red-tailed hawks (Buteo jamaicensis).

ANIMALS 6 adult red-tailed hawks.

PROCEDURES Concentrated buprenorphine (0.3 mg/kg, SC) was administered to all birds. Blood samples were collected at 10 time points over 24 hours after drug administration to determine plasma buprenorphine concentrations. After a 4-week washout period, the same birds received the same formulation at a higher dose (1.8 mg/kg, SC), and blood samples were collected at 13 time points over 96 hours. Hawks were monitored for adverse effects and assigned agitation-sedation scores at each sample collection time. Plasma buprenorphine concentrations were quantified by liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry.

RESULTS Mean time to maximum plasma buprenorphine concentration was 7.2 minutes and 26.1 minutes after administration of the 0.3-mg/kg and 1.8-mg/kg doses, respectively. Plasma buprenorphine concentrations were > 1 ng/mL for mean durations of 24 and 48 hours after low- and high-dose administration, respectively. Mean elimination half-life was 6.23 hours for the low dose and 7.84 hours for the high dose. Mean agitation-sedation scores were higher (indicating some degree of sedation) than the baseline values for 24 hours at both doses. No clinically important adverse effects were observed.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Concentrated buprenorphine was rapidly absorbed, and plasma drug concentrations considered to have analgesic effects in other raptor species were maintained for extended periods. Most birds had mild to moderate sedation. Additional studies are needed to evaluate the pharmacodynamics of these doses of concentrated buprenorphine in red-tailed hawks.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research