1887

Problems of the geriatric rabbit

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Abstract

Pet rabbits are living longer owing to improvements in the understanding of their dietary and health requirements. As a result, more geriatric diseases are being seen either as a result of the ageing process or due to the increased ‘wear and tear’ associated with a longer lifespan.. These diseases are reviewed, together with their impact and management.

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Figures

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20.1 Radiograph showing thoracic and cervical spinal lesions at C3–C4 and C7–T1 in an older rabbit. The presenting sign was of pododermatitis of the forefeet, which responded well to meloxicam at 1 mg/kg orally q12h.
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20.2 Radiograph of a rabbit with spinal lesions at T1–T2 and T2–T3. The presenting sign was of a neuropathy of both forelimbs and wastage of the triceps muscle. This corresponded to a lesion of the caudal brachial plexus.
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20.3 Radiograph of a giant-breed rabbit showing osteoarthritis of hip joints secondary to dysplasia, and of the stifles secondary to valgal limb deformity.
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20.4 Subluxation of the lumbar spine. This elderly rabbit presented with muscle wastage and weakness of the hindlimbs.
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20.5 This case of cardiomegaly was presented with dysphagia and regurgitation, probably due to the extremely large heart and compression of the oesophagus. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy was confirmed using echocardiography.
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20.6 Renoliths due to reduced urine flow secondary to a thoracic spinal lesion (chronic subluxation).
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20.7 Radiograph showing metastasis of uterine adenocarcinoma to the ilium. The presenting signs related to lameness of the left hindlimb, not to the primary tumour.
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20.8 Pleural effusion and chest masses representing metastatic spread from uterine adenocarcinoma.
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20.9 The left adrenal gland of this rabbit is enlarged due to neoplasia.

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