ISSN 2398-2969      

Gastrointestinal: intussusception

Clapis

Introduction

  • Prolapse or invagination of one portion of the gastrointestinal tract into the lumen of an adjoining segment.
  • Cause: intussusceptions are not commonly reported in rabbits. In the few reports in the literature, intussusception has been associated with diarrhea due to intestinal bacterial or protozoal infections. One report describes a cecal fibroid polyp as the cause and another describes intestinal lymphoma.
  • Signs: vary depending upon location of intussusception. Acute onset and sudden death to infrequent defecation, no fecal production or diarrhea, often with blood and mucus, inappetance, anorexia, signs of pain (hunched up, bruxism).
  • Diagnosis: clinical signs, radiography, ultrasonography, necropsy.
  • Treatment: fluid therapy, analgesia, surgery.
  • Prognosis: grave.
Print off the Owner factsheet on Intussusception - an intestinal condition to give to your client.

Presenting signs

  • Scant or no fecal production.
  • Diarrhea Diarrhea: overview, often with blood or mucus.
  • Anorexia Anorexia.
  • Weight loss Weight loss.
  • Hunched posture.
  • Acute abdominal discomfort.
  • Collapse.
  • Sudden death.

Acute presentation

  • Severe dehydration.
  • Weak/collapse.
  • Sudden death.

Age predisposition

  • Can affect rabbits of any age, although cases have described juvenile rabbits (recently weaned) with coccidiosis.

Sex predisposition

  • No known sex predisposition.

Breed predisposition

  • No known breed predisposition.

Pathogenesis

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Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Prevention

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Sequelae

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Varga M (2015) Emergency management of gut stasis in rabbits. Comp Anim 20 (1), 20-25 VetMedResource.
  • Harcourt-Brown F M & Harcourt-Brown S F (2012) Clinical value of blood glucose measurement in pet rabbits. Vet Rec 170 (76), 674 PubMed.
  • Lichtenberger M & Lennox A (2010) Updates and advanced therapies of gastrointestinal stasis in rabbits. Vet Clin North Am Exotic Anim Pract 13 (3), 525-541 PubMed.
  • Harcourt-Brown F (2007) Gastric dilation and intestinal obstruction in 76 rabbits. Vet Rec 161 (12), 409-414 PubMed.
  • Paul-Murphy J (2007) Critical care of the rabbit. Vet Clin North Am Exotic Anim Pract 10 (2), 437-461 PubMed.
  • Pizzi R, Hagen R U & Meredith A L (2007) Intermittent colic and intussusception due to a caecal polyp in a rabbit. J Exotic Pet Med 16 (2), 113-117 ScienceDirect.
  • Reusch B (2005) Rabbit gastroenterology. Vet Clin North Am Exotic Anim Pract (2), 351-375 PubMed.
  • McCulloch C R, Prosl H & Schmidt P (2004) A spontaneous and fatal jejunal intussusception in a European bown hare associated with Eimeria leporis. J Vet Med B Infect Dis Vet Public Health 51 (10), 470-472 PubMed.
  • Jenkins J R (1999) Feeding recommendations for the house rabbit. Vet Clin North Am Exotic Anim Pract (1), 143-151 PubMed.
  • Ogunbiyi A O & Uche E M (1981) Intussusception in a rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) associated with coccisiosis. Lab Anim 15 (2), 129 PubMed.
  • Weisbroth S H & Scher S (1975) Fatal intussusception associated with intestinal coccidiosis (Eimeria perforans) in a rabbit. Am Assoc Lab Anim Sci 25 (1), 79-81 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Bourne D & Lewis W (2018) Intussusception in Lagomorphs. Website: http://wildpro.twycrosszoo.org. Last accessed 9th January 2018.
  • Deflers H, Bolen G et al (2014) Influence of Morphine on the Rabbit Gastrointestinal Tract. In: Proc Assoc Exotic Mammal Vet Conference. Orlando, Florida, USA. pp 3.
  • Harcourt-Brown F (2014) Digestive System Disease. In: BSAVA Manual of Rabbit Medicine. Eds: Meredith A & Lord B. BSAVA, UK. pp 168-190.
  • Richards H, Whittington J K, Matheson J & Mitchell M (2014) Utilising Radiographic Imaging to Predict Outcome in Rabbits with Gastrointestinal Motility Disorders. In: Proc  Assoc Exotic Mammal Vet Conference.Orlando, Florida, USA. pp 7.
  • Varga M (2014) Digestive Disorders. In: Textbook of Rabbit Medicine. 2nd edn. Butterworth Heinemann Elsevier, UK. pp 303-349.
  • Harcourt-Brown F (2013) Gastric Dilation and Intestinal Obstruction. In: BSAVA Manual of Rabbit Surgery, Dentistry and Imaging. Eds: Harcourt-Brown F & Chitty J. BSAVA, UK. pp 172-189.
  • Kohles M (2013) Gastrointestinal Anatomy and Physiology of Select Exotic Companion Mammals. In: Proc Assoc Exotic Mammal Vet Conference. Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. pp 15-21.
  • Lennox A (2013) Radiographic Interpretation of the Abdomen. In: BSAVA Manual of Rabbit Surgery, Dentistry and Imaging. Eds: Harcourt-Brown F & Chitty J. BSAVA, UK. pp 84-93.
  • Campbell-Ward M L (2012) Rabbits. Gastrointestinal Physiology and Nutrition. In: Ferrets, Rabbits and Rodents: Clinical Medicine and Surgery. 3rd edn. Eds: Quesenberry K E & Carpenter J W. W B Elsevier Saunders, USA. pp 183-192. ISBN: 978-1-4160-6621-6627.
  • Oglesbee B L & Jenkins J R (2012) Rabbits. Gastrointestinal Diseases. In: Ferrets, Rabbits and Rodents: Clinical Medicine and Surgery. 3rd edn. Eds: Quesenberry K E & Carpenter J W. Philadelphia: W B Elsevier Saunders, USA. pp 193-204. 
  • Oglesbee B (2011) Constipation. In: Blackwells Five Minute Veterinary Consult. Wiley-Blackwell, UK. pp 382-385.
  • Brooks D L (2004) Nutrition and Gastrointestinal Physiology. In: Ferrets, Rabbits and Rodents: Clinical Medicine and Surgery. 2nd edn. Eds: Quesenberry K E & Carpenter J W. W B Saunders, USA. pp 155-160.
  • Jenkins J R (2004) Gastrointestinal diseases. In: Ferrets, Rabbits and Rodents: Clinical Medicine and Surgery. 2nd edn. Eds: Quesenberry K E & Carpenter J W. W B Saunders, USA. pp 161-171.

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