ISSN 2398-2969      

Enteritis / enteropathy

Clapis

Introduction

  • Infectious causes of enteritis are rare in the adult rabbit (with viral and parasitic causes being more rare than bacterial causes).
  • Cause: the majority of cases of enteritis are secondary to cecal dysbiosis. Clostridium spiroformeand Escherichia coli  Escherichia coli  are present in low numbers in the cecum of every healthy rabbit, but if these bacteria get an opportunity to multiply then enteritis can occur. The most severe form of enteritis is associated with the multiplication of Clostridiaand the subsequent production of iotatoxins, which leads to diarrhea, dehydration and death (see Enterotoxemia   Enterotoxemia (Clostridiosis)  ).
  • Signs: diarrhea, staining of the perineum and abdomen, dehydration, bloating.
  • Diagnosis: history, clinical signs, fecal analysis, post-mortem examination.
  • Treatment: nursing, fluid therapy, motility drugs if ileus is present, analgesia.
  • Prognosis: fair.
  • Rabbits that are fed on a high-fiber, low-carbohydrate and low-protein diet rarely suffer from enteritis. A high-fiber diet encourages normal peristalsis, and maintains the pH of the cecum between 5.9-6.8. At this pH Clostridiaand E. coliremain at very low levels in the cecum.

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Cause

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Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Lord B (2012) Gastrointestinal disease in rabbits 2. Intestinal diseases. In Pract 34 (3), 156-162 VetMedResource.
  • Cooper D M & Gebhart C J (1998) Comparative aspects of proliferative enteritis. JAVMA 212 (9), 1446-1451 PubMed.
  • Whitwell K & Needham J (1996) Mucoid enteropathy in UK rabbits - dysautonomia confirmed. Vet Rec 139 (13), 323-333 PubMed.
  • Hillyer E V (1994) Pet rabbits. Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract 24 (1), 25-65 PubMed.
  • Clipsham R C (1989) Medical care of the pet rabbit. Calif Vet 43 (5), 12-16.

Other sources of information

  • Brown S A (1997) Gastrointestinal Physiology and Disease in the Domestic Pet Rabbit. In:  Proc Waltham/OSU Symposium for the Treatment of Small Animal diseases. Ohio State University, USA. pp 27-28.

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