ISSN 2398-2969      

Pseudopregnancy

Clapis

Synonym(s): False pregnancy


Introduction

  • Common condition in group-housed female rabbits.
  • It can also occur in does kept alone.
  • Not clinically significant.
  • Condition resolves in 15-18 days without treatment.
  • Cause: normal elevation in plasma prolactin concentration post-ovulation.
  • Signs: nesting behavior.
  • Diagnosis: clinical signs.
  • Treatment: no treatment required; it generally resolve spontaneously.
  • Prognosis: good.

Print out the Owner factsheet Why does my rabbitNeutering - why and when, Uterine problems and Caring for your rabbit before and after surgery to give to your client.

Presentation

  • Sexually mature female rabbit.
  • Mammary gland enlargement.
  • Nest-making behavior.
  • Hair-pulling.
  • Increased aggression Aggression: female.

Geographic incidence

  • None reported.

Age predisposition

  • Adult animals.
  • Sexually mature rabbits.

Gender predisposition

  • More common in entire females housed together or housed with sterile male.

Breed predisposition

  • Rare in wild rabbits.

Special risks

  • If condition occurs repeatedly may → uterine infection such as pyometra Pyometra, a more severe and life threatening condition, hydrometra and mastitis Mastitis.

Morbidity

  • Low.
  • If condition occurs repeatedly, stress disorders and possible development of pyometra may occur.

Mortality

  • Rare.

Pathogenesis

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Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Prevention

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Carter C L, Adamas J K, Czarra J A & Coan P N (2016) An incidence of pseudopregnancy associated with the social enrichment of rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculi). J Am Assoc Lab Anim Sci 55 (1), 98-99 PMC.
  • Keeble E (2001) Endocrine diseases in small mammals. In Pract 23 (10), 570-585 VetMedResource.
  • Boiti C, Canali C, Zerani M et al (1998) Changes in refractoriness of rabbit corpora lutea to a prostaglandin F2 alpha analogue, alfaprostol, during pseudopregnancy. Prostaglandins Other Lipid Mediat 56 (4), 255-264 PubMed.
  • Beltrame D, Longo M & Mazue G (1996) Reproductive toxicity of cabergoline in mice, rats and rabbits. Repro Toxicol 10, 471-483 PubMed
  • Hillyer E V (1994) Pet rabbits. Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract 24 (1), 25-65 PubMed.
  • Morrell J M (1993) Preliminary investigation of an ELISA kit as a qualitative assay for rabbit progesterone. Vet Rec 132 (17), 434-436 PubMed.
  • Marcinkiewicz J L, Moy E S & Bahr J M (1992) Change in responsiveness of rabbit corpus luteum to prostaglandin F-2 alpha during pregnancy and pseudopregnancy. J Reprod Fertil 94 (2), 305-310 PubMed.
  • Kaufmann A F, Quist K D & Broderson J R (1971) Pseudopregnancy in the New Zealand white rabbit - necropsy findings. Lab Anim Sci 21 (6), 865-869 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Quesenberry K E, Orcutt C J, Mans C & Carpenter J W (2021) Ferrets, Rabbits and Rodents: Clinical Medicine and Surgery. 4th edn. Elsevier, USA.
  • Meredith A & Lord B (2014) BSAVA Manual of Rabbit Medicine. BSAVA, UK. 
  • Mayer J & Donnelly T (2013) Clinical Veterinary Advisor: Birds and Exotic Pets. Saunders. Elsevier Inc, USA. 

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