CASE DESCRIPTION A 3-month-old sexually intact female chinchilla (Chinchilla lanigera) was examined for sudden onset of non–weight-bearing lameness of the right hind limb.
CLINICAL FINDINGS On physical examination, the right pes was swollen. An open wound on the medial aspect of the metatarsal region exposed the second metatarsal bone, and the pes was displaced laterally. Radiographs of the right pes revealed oblique displaced fractures of the 4 metatarsal bones.
TREATMENT AND OUTCOME Surgical treatment was elected, and enrofloxacin was administered prior to surgery. The protruding fragment of the second metatarsal bone was excised, and the third and fourth metatarsal bones were repaired with intramedullary pins and external skeletal fixation. The chinchilla was bearing weight on the affected limb 9 days after surgery with only mild lameness. The implants were removed 35 days after surgery when radiographs showed bony union of the third and fourth metatarsal bones and continued reduction of the fractures of the second and fifth metatarsal bones. Fifty-six days after surgery, the chinchilla was bearing full weight on the limb, and radiographs showed bony union of the third, fourth, and fifth metatarsal bones.
CLINICAL RELEVANCE Findings suggested that intramedullary pinning combined with an epoxy resin external fixator may be an effective technique for metatarsal fracture repair in chinchillas. This method allowed physiologic positioning of the limb and functional hind limb use during fracture healing. Prospective studies of fracture healing in exotic small mammals are indicated.
Case Description—A 0.65-kg (1.43-lb) 24-month-old sexually intact male albino pet rat was examined because of a 3-week history of hypodipsia, apparent blindness, and sudden change in behavior.
Clinical Findings—The rat was able to move around its cage but appeared unaware of its surroundings, was visually unresponsive, and seemed unusually aggressive. The rat's hind limbs appeared mildly paretic, and it had sporadic difficulty placing its hind limbs on a flat surface. Given the rat's age, history, and physical examination findings, the primary differential diagnosis was a pituitary tumor. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the rat's brain was performed and revealed a large pituitary mass, which was indicative of a tumor.
Treatment and Outcome—Cabergoline (0.6 mg/kg [0.27 mg/lb], PO, q 72 h) was administered. On follow-up MRI 2 months later, the pituitary mass had substantially decreased in size. For 6 months following the second MRI study, the rat continued to receive the same dosage of cabergoline and had no clinical signs of disease or unusual behavior. However, at 8.5 months after the start of the treatment, the rat was in poor condition and had clinical signs similar to those initially. A third MRI study was performed and revealed substantial regrowth of the mass. The rat was euthanized and a necropsy was performed; a histopathologic diagnosis of pituitary adenoma was made.
Clinical Relevance—Pituitary adenomas have long been recognized as a common finding in geriatric rats (> 18 months old). Affected rats may respond favorably to oral administration of cabergoline.
CASE DESCRIPTION AS-year-old male Dwarf rabbit and 4-year-old female Mini-Rex rabbit were evaluated because of anorexia and urine scalding of the perineum.
CLINICAL FINDINGS Abdominal radiography revealed a diffuse increase in the opacity of the urinary bladder attributable to urinary sludge. In 1 rabbit, abdominal ultrasonography revealed several mass-like lesions protruding from the mucosal surface into the lumen of the urinary bladder. Rabbits were anesthetized, and cystoscopy was performed with a rigid 2.7-mm, 30° endoscope. Histologic analysis of tissue samples obtained through the cystoscope operating channel revealed findings consistent with polypoid cystitis.
TREATMENT AND OUTCOME To remove the urinary sludge from each rabbit, the urinary bladder was filled with sterile saline (0.9% NaCl) solution and emptied with a gentle massage several times until the ejected fluid was transparent. Rabbits were treated with NSAIDs, antimicrobials (chosen following microbial culture of urine and antimicrobial susceptibility testing), bathing of the perineum, and a low-calcium diet. The male rabbit died of unrelated causes 18 months later; postmortem examination findings confirmed the polypoid cystitis. The female rabbit remained disease free through to last follow-up (12 months after initial evaluation).
CLINICAL RELEVANCE This was the first report of polypoid cystitis in pet rabbits. Although ultrasonographic findings supported this diagnosis, a definitive diagnosis was achieved through cystoscopy and lesion biopsy. Treatments administered were intended to reduce the potential sources of irritation. Research is needed to investigate the effectiveness of the applied interventions and the association between excessive urinary calcium excretion and polyploid cystitis in rabbits.