Lapis ISSN 2398-2969

Abdomen: abscess

Contributor(s): David Perpinan, Vicki Baldrey

Introduction

  • Cause: localized collection of pus within the abdomen usually involving bacteria such as Staphylococcus or Pasteurella.
  • Signs: gut stasis, abdominal swelling, discomfort, reduced appetite and fecal production.
  • Diagnosis: palpation, imaging and/or exploratory laparotomy.
  • Treatment: marsupialization with prolonged antibiotic therapy.
  • Prognosis: guarded to poor.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

Predisposing factors

General

  • Unknown, but believed to be poor general health and husbandry.

Specific

  • Ingestion of sharp foreign bodies that can perforate the intestine and facilitate the formation of an abscess on the intestinal serosa .
  • Hematogenous/lymphatic spread from other abscesses (particularly in the head).
  • Abdominal surgery with compromised sterility.

Pathophysiology

  • Bacterial contamination will initiate abscess formation. Abdominal abscesses are not restricted by bone such as dental abscesses, and therefore they can grow faster and larger than those abscesses seen on the head .
  • Abscesses encapsulate and continue growing. Systemic antibiotics do not generally penetrate well into rabbit abscesses.
  • Very rarely an abscess in a rabbit with resolve with no human intervention.

Timecourse

  • Chronic (weeks to months).
  • Abdominal abscesses can grow to a significant size without producing obvious clinical signs to the owner .

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.
  • Perpiñán D (2009) Abdominal abscess in a rabbit. Exotic DVM 11 (1), 13-15.
  • Segura P, Martinez J, Peris B et al (2007) Staphylococcal infections in rabbit does on two industrial farms. Vet Rec 160 (25), 869-872 PubMed.
  • Gaertner D J (1991) Comparison of penicillin and gentamicin for treatment of Pasteurellosis in rabbits. Lab Anim Sci 41 (1), 78-80 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Varga M (2014) Abscesses. In: Textbook of Rabbit Medicine. 2nd ed. Elsevier, Edinburgh, UK. pp 249-270.


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