Because rabbits are commonly kept as pets, veterinary practitioners need to be aware of the specific health problems of this species. Continuous growth and eruption of their teeth makes rabbits susceptible to dental abnormalities.1–3 The most common dental problems are cheek teeth (premolar and molar) overgrowth, incisor overgrowth, facial abscess, periodontal disease, and diseases of the nasolacrimal duct.3–6 Diagnosis of such problems is often difficult. Besides intraoral inspection and collection of a thorough clinical history, radiographic or CT examination of the head may be necessary to identify deformations of the teeth and dental arcades.3,5,7–9
Use of CT in diagnosing dental abnormalities in exotic animals is growing,5,6,8,10,11 and an increasing number of published clinical reports10,12,13 involve dental CT. However, publications regarding CT anatomy of anatomically normal heads in these species are rare. To accurately interpret CT scans of the rabbit head, a thorough knowledge of the anatomic features of clinically normal heads is necessary. To our knowledge, only 1 publication14 includes a description of the cross-sectional anatomy of the rabbit head. In another textbook,15 only a few CT scans of the head of a healthy rabbit are described, whereas a third publication16 includes a brief description of chinchilla dentition on CT images. A recently published overview8 concerning the application of CT for the diagnosis of dental disease in rabbits, guinea pigs, and chinchillas provides some detailed CT images of an anatomically normal rabbit skull. Some anatomic CT images of the normal rabbit head are provided in another report17 by the same author. To our knowledge, a detailed study of gross anatomic sections of the rabbit head to identify structures visible on CT scans has not been conducted. The purpose of the study reported here was to provide a comprehensive atlas of the skull and the surrounding soft tissue structures in clinically normal rabbits by use of anatomic sections and corresponding CT images.
Diagnostic Imaging and Communications in Medicine
Dormitor, Orion Corp, Espoo, Finland.
Eurovet Animal Health, Bladel, the Netherlands.
T-61, Hoechst Roussel Vet GmbH, UnterschleiBheim, Germany.
Prospeed CT scanner, GE Medical Systems, Milkauwee, Wis.
Merge efilm, Merge eMed, Milwaukee, Wis.
eFilm Workstation PACS software, Merge eMed, Milwaukee, Wis.
Eureka, Savioli Lelio snc, Coriano, Italy.
van Foreest A. Tandheelkundige problemen bij konijnen en knaagdieren. Deel 1: anatomie, fysiologie, symptomatologie, diagnostiek. Tijdschr Diergeneeskd 1998; 123:698–706.
Verhaert L, Gorrel C. Dental diseases in lagomorphs and rodents. In:Rodenhuis J, ed. Veterinary dentistry for the general practitioner. Edinburgh: Elsevier Health Science, 2004;175–196.
Capello V. Other diagnostics. In:Capello V, Gracis M, Lennox A, eds. Rabbit and rodent dentistry handbook. Greenacres, Fla: Zoological Education Network, 2005;109–112.
Capello V, Cauduro A. Clinical technique: application of computed tomography for diagnosis of dental disease in the rabbit, guinea pig, and chinchilla. J Exot Pet Med 2008; 17:93–101.
Verstraete FJ, Crossley DA, Tell LA, et al. Diagnostic imaging of dental disease in rabbits, in Proceedings. 14th Eur Cong Vet Dent, 2005;57–60.
Crossley DA, Jackson A, Yates J, et al. Use of computed tomography to investigate cheek teeth abnormalities in chinchillas. J Small Anim Pract 1998; 39:385–389.
Souza MJ, Greenacre CB, Avenell JS, et al. Diagnosing a tooth root abscess in a guinea pig (Cavia porcellus) using micro computed tomography imaging. J Exot Pet Med 2006; 15:274–277.
Popesko P, Rajtová V, Horák J. Rabbit. In:Popesko P, Rajtová V, Horák J, eds. A colour atlas of anatomy of small laboratory animals. Volume one: rabbit and guinea pig. 2nd ed. London: Elsevier Saunders, 2002;18–47.
Silverman S, Tell LA. Radiology equipment and positioning techniques. In:Silverman S, Tell LA, eds. Radiology of rodents, rabbits and ferrets. St Louis: Elsevier Saunders, 2005;222–223.
Brenner S, Hawkins MG, Tell L, et al. Clinical anatomy, radiography, and computed tomography of the chinchilla skull. Compend Contin Educ Pract Vet 2005; 27:933–944.
Capello V, Lennox AM. Computed tomography of the head. In:Capello V, Lennox A, eds. Clinical radiology of exotic companion mammals. Ames, Iowa: Wiley-Blackwell, 2008;76–80.
World Association of Veterinary Anatomists. Nomina anatomica veterinaria. 4th ed. Ithaca, NY: International Committee on Veterinary Gross Anatomical Nomenclature, 1994;1–198.
Capello V. Clinical technique: treatment of periapical infections in pet rabbits and rodents. J Exot Pet Med 2008; 17:124–131.
Mackey EB, Hernandez-Divers SJ, Holland M, et al. Clinical technique: application of computed tomography in zoological medicine. J Exot Pet Med 2008; 17:198–209.
Drees R, Dennison SE, Keuler NS, et al. Computed tomographic imaging protocol for the canine cervical and lumbar spine. Vet Radiol Ultrasound 2009; 50:74–79.
Crossley DA. Rodent and rabbit radiology. In:Deforge D, Col-mery D III, eds. An atlas of veterinary dental radiology. Ames, Iowa: Iowa State University Press, 2000;247–259.
Seeram E. Multislice spiral/helical computed tomography: physical principles and instrumentation. In:Wilke J, ed. Computed tomography: physical principles, clinical applications, and quality control. 2nd ed. Philadelphia: WB Saunders Co, 1991;245–265.