Lapis ISSN 2398-2969

Abscess

Synonym(s): Subcutaneous abscess, Dental abscess

Contributor(s): Vetstream Ltd, Ron Rees Davies, Richard Saunders, David Scarff, Vicki Baldrey

Introduction

  • Subcutaneous abscesses are common in domestic rabbits.
  • Cause: whilst some are associated with evidence of underlying disease, especially dental disease, many have no evidence of points of entry of infection. Several bacterial types may be involved.
  • Signs: subcutaneous mass (particularly common on head), if discharging sinus is present, exudate is very thick. Internal abscessation can also occur, less commonly, and is more difficult to diagnose.
  • Diagnosis: external appearance, palpation, needle aspiration.
  • Treatment: may be difficult, and recurrence is common. Underlying disease must be looked for, and treated if present.
  • Prognosis: guarded.

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Presenting signs

Acute
  • Subcutaneous masses present in any part of the body, but are particularly common on the head.
  • Abscesses may be large and appear fixed to underlying tissues Abscess 10: eye - severe.
  • Multiple abscesses or infection elsewhere (rhinitis Rhinitis / sinusitis, pneumonia   Pneumonia, metritis Pyometra) may be present.
  • Retrobulbar abscesses Eye: retrobulbar abscess Abscess 09: retrobulbar - exophthalmos Abscess 11: retrobulbar - exophthalmos Abscess 13: retrobulbar - exophthalmos Abscess 14: retrobulbar - globe displacementare also common.
  • Internal abdominal or thoracic abscessation is less common Abscess 07: lung - pathology.
  • Concurrent disease may be present.
  • If discharging, exudate is very thick (caseous).

Cost considerations

  • Expensive.
  • Repeated anesthesia and surgery may be very costly.

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.
  • Legendre L (2011) Treatment of oral abscesses in rodents and lagomorphs. J Vet Den 28 (1), 30-33 PubMed.
  • Taylor W M, Beaufrère H, Mans C et al (2010) Long-term outcome of treatment of dental abscesses with a wound-packing technique in pet rabbits: 13 cases (1998-2007). JAVMA 237 (12), 1444-1449 PubMed.
  • Harcourt-Brown F (2009) Dental disease in pet rabbits 3. Jaw abscesses. In Pract 31 (10), 496-505 VetMedResource.
  • Sant R & Rowland M (2009) Skin disease in rabbits. In Pract 31 (5), 233-238 VetMedResource.
  • Meredith A (2007) Rabbit dentistry. Euro J Comp Anim Pract 17 (1), 55-62.
  • Renfrew H, Rest J R, Holden A R (2001) Extraskeletal fibroblastic osteosarcoma in a rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus)​. JSAP 42 (9), 456-458 PubMed.
  • Molan P C (1999) The role of honey in management of wounds. J Wound Care(8), 415-418 PubMed.
  • Tobias K M S, Schneider R K & Besser T E (1996) Use of antibiotic impregnated polymethyl methacrylate. JAVMA 208 (6), 841-845 VetMedResource.
  • Harcourt-Brown F M (1995) A review of clinical conditions in pet rabbits associated with their teeth. Vet Rec 137 (14), 341-346 PubMed.
  • Harvey C (1995) Rabbit and rodent skin diseases. Semin Avian Exotic Pet Med 4 (4), 195-204 ScienceDirect.
  • Remeeus P G & Verbeek M (1995) The use of calcium hydroxide in the treatment of abscesses in the cheek of the rabbit resulting from a dental periapical disorder. J Vet Dent 12 (1), 19-22 PubMed.
  • Hillyer E V (1994) Pet rabbits. Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract 24 (1), 25-65 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Powers L V (2015) Why so Many Options for the Treatment of Dental Abscesses in Rabbits? In: Proc 20th Annual ABVP Symposium. New Orleans.
  • Varga M (2014) Abscesses. In: Textbook of Rabbit Medicine. 2nd edn. Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford. pp 249-270.
  • Capello V (2011) Treatment of Difficult Facial Abscesses in Pet Rabbits. In: Proc ABVP Practitioner's Symposium. St Louis.
  • Capello V (2006) Small Mammal Orthopedics. In: Proc BSAVA Congress. pp 209-211.
  • Meredith A (2006) Skin diseases and Treatment in Rabbits. In: Skin diseases of Exotic Pets. Ed: Paterson S. Blackwell Publishing, Oxford. pp 288-311.
  • Capello V (2004) Extraction of Cheek Teeth and Surgical Treatment of Periodontal Abscessation in Pet Rabbits with Acquired Dental Disease. Exotic DVM 6 (4), 31-38.
  • Taylor M (2003) Wound Packing techniques for Rabbit Dental Abscesses. Exotic DVM 5 (3), 28-31.
  • Bennett R A (2001) Managing Abscesses on the Head . In: Proc BSAVA Congress. pp 15-16.
  • Harcourt-Brown F M (1999) Treatment of Facial Abscesses in Rabbits. Exotic DVM 1 (3), 83-88.


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