RABBIT MEDICAL GALLERY

Caution: some images may be disturbing to some viewers.

Nebulizing a Rabbit
Bladder Sludge
Cecals
Incisor Malocclusion
Abscesses


Nebulizing a Rabbit -
Sometimes it may be necessary to nebulize your rabbit due to a lower respiratory infection (pneumonia, fungal infection, lung abscess). You can use a clear plastic storage bin and cut a slit in the top just big enough for a nebulizer tip to fit through as in the photos below.

You can see in the photo of the blue storage bin top where a slit has been cut to insert the white tip of the nebulizer hose/mouthpiece. The tube feeds mist into the nebulization 'tank' - which is just a plastic bin from a local store.

The nebulizer is the gray machine (top two photos) which simply pushes air through clear tubing that is attached to a nebulization 'cup' (third photo above). This cup has a special chamber which blows on the medicine in the bottom of the cup. The medicine is agitated and becomes vapor which floats up and through the blue hose and falls down into the nebulization tank.

The tank is slowly filled with the medicated mist which is then inhaled by the rabbit. This rabbit, Camille (fourth photo), was adopted and returned twice and came back very sick the second time. She had a rare fungal infection and struggled to take very breath. She was nebulized twice a day with the medicines show in syringes in the second photo. Those medicines were then put in the cup and mixed gently. Then she was nebulized.

Camille was very sick for several months and not even the vets thought she would get better. She lost a lot of fur as a side effect of one of the many medicines she was on during that time. Camille had a very strong will-to-be and never gave up. She made a full recovery and is a happy, active rabbit today. She is now a sanctuary rabbit as we will not risk her being returned a third time. Rabbits don't like change and she made it clear she wants to be in our expert care. Camille's story is an inspiration to all her know her.


Rabbit Bladder Sludge

In the photo below, you can clearly see one example of how bladder sludge might appear. Note the urine is a milky consistency, is opaque and in one area, is darker. This rabbit's diet is too high in calcium. This is a painful condition as urination becomes painful. Bladder sludge shows up most of the time on xrays (radiographs) as bright white areas in the bladder which sit along the bottom of the bladder. If the condition is not corrected, the rabbit can develop bladder stones which can be more serious. Often the veterinarian will prescribe subcutaneous fluids to try and flush the bladder stones out if they are small enough and they usually are.

Bladder sludge may also appear as a tea color streaked through pale urine. The tea-colored streaks are a sandy consistency that for males especially (who have much narrower urethras), are painful to pass (urinate).


Cecals - Logs and Overproduction -
If you see what we call 'cecal logs' as pictured below, then your rabbit has one of several possible conditions. His diet may be too rich as in too many pellets, or too many treats or the wrong type of treats (made with refined sugar). Or he may have an imbalance in his gut flora (the naturally occuring bacteria in his gastrointestinal tract) due to the aforementioned. You should never see your rabbit's cecals, he should always be ingesting them. The cecals are the 'recycled' poops which ferment in the hind gut of certain animals like rabbits so that the cecum, or end of the GI tract, can extract nutrition from the indigestible fiber their diet comprises - hay and other roughage.



Incisor Malocclusion

Here is a photo of a rabbit's overgrown incisors. This condition can be caused by poor nutrition or genetics. It is debatable of what is exactly the cause. It can be corrected with adding some high nutrient value to the diet but which may cause overproduction of cecals as show above. This rabbit will need these incisors trimmed down regularly for the rest of his life or he cannot eat. In olden days, some folk would use wire cutters to trim incisors like these but this is very risky, painful to the rabbit, and can splinter the incisor and cause a tooth abscess from which the rabbit can die. Have a vet do it and review the rabbit's diet. Since these types of incisors are predisposed to abscessing anyway, sometimes it is recommended to remove them. That is a painful and expensive surgery which should only be performed by an experienced rabbit vet who also believes in the value of analgesia.


Abscesses

Here are some photos of rabbit abscesses which are a life-threatening condition. Note the white substance which has an adhesive consistency and is very difficult for the veterinarian to remove. In many cases, the abscesses are 'scraped' off. Any little bit leftover may cause the abscess to reoccur and growth is rapid and insidious. The rabbit shown with stitches around his legs and down his chest and then wrapped in a purple bandage made a complete recovery. His abscess was discovered by his owner. She had just taken him to the vet for a checkup due to a small lump on his chest. She was told he was fine and sent home. By the time she got home, the lump had grown precipitously. She checked his temperature and he had a fever well over the 104 degree range (101-104 is the normal body temperature for rabbits). He was returned to the vet, surgery was scheduled but by the time he had surgery, the abscess had 'grown in 'fingers' and nearly encased his body under his skin. He went on to live many more happy years and never had a reoccurence of the abscess.


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