Lapis ISSN 2398-2969

Cecum: impaction

Synonym(s): Distension, enlargement or hypomotility of the cecum; Dehydration of cecal contents

Contributor(s): Anna Meredith, Livia Benato

Introduction

  • Cause: stress, diet low in fiber, dehydration, excess lignified material, clay cat litter, dysautonomia.
  • Signs: hunched posture, anorexia, reduced or absent fecal output, teeth grinding, reluctance to move, enlarged abdomen, doughy or firm cecum.
  • Diagnosis: abdominal palpation and radiographic examination.
  • Treatment: aggressive fluid therapy, analgesia, fluid therapy.
  • Prognosis: cecal impaction is difficult to treat and the prognosis can be guarded or poor depending on the severity of the impaction and the general health of the rabbit.

Presenting signs

  • Decreased appetite and anorexia   Anorexia  .
  • Reduced or absent fecal output.
  • At the early stage, fecal pellets may be reduced in size and amount. Mucus can also be passed with the feces.
  • No palpable fecal pellets in the distal colon.
  • Increased or decreased gastric sounds.
  • Enlarge cecum, palpable firm or doughy large sausage-like structure in right and mid-ventral caudal abdomen.
  • Weight loss   Weight loss  .
  • Abdominal pain.
  • Abdominal distension.
  • Lethargy and reluctance to move.
  • Hunched posture.
  • Teeth grinding.

Acute presentation

  • Anorexia   Anorexia   and absent fecal output.
  • Depression.
  • Dyspnea   Dyspnea  and labored breathing due to pain.
  • Teeth grinding.
  • Abdominal pain.
  • Abdominal distension.
  • Death.

Age predisposition

  • Cecal impaction is often associated with mucoid enteropathy   Enteritis / enteropathy  in juvenile rabbits.
  • Cecal impaction is considered less common in adult rabbits.

Public health considerations

  • Cecal impaction does not present any public health risks.

Cost considerations

  • The main cost is due to radiographic examination in order to make a diagnosis, and aggressive supportive care in order to treat the impaction.

Special risks, eg anesthetic

  • Anorexic rabbits easily develop metabolic acidosis and hepatic lipidosis   Liver: hepatic lipidosis  .
  • Some risks are associated with sedation or anesthesia during the investigation.
  • In severe cases, cecal rupture may occur.

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.
  • Harcourt-Brown F M & Harcourt-Brown S F (2012) Clinical value of blood glucose measurement in pet rabbits. Vet Rec 170 (26), 674 PubMed.
  • Gidenne T, Combes S, Feugier A et al (2009) Feed restriction strategy in the growing rabbit. 2. Impact on digestive health, growth and carcass characteristics. Animal (4), 509-515 PubMed.
  • Hahn C N, Whitwell K E & Mayhew I G (2005) Neuropathological lesions resembling equine grass sickness in rabbits. Vet Rec 156 (24), 778-779 PubMed.
  • Hahn C N, Whitwell K E & Mayhew G (2001) Central nervous system pathology in cases of leporine dysautonomia. Vet Rec 149 (24), 745-746 PubMed.
  • Whitwell K & Needham J (1996) Mucoid enteropathy in UK rabbits: dysautonomia confirmed. Vet Rec 139 (13), 323 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Vennen K M & Mitchell M A (2009) Rabbits. In: Manual of Exotic Pet Practice. Eds: Mitchell M A & Tully T N Jr. Sauders Elsevier. pp 382-411.
  • Johnson-Delaney C A (2006) Anatomy and Physiology of the Rabbit and Rodent Gastrointestinal System. In: AEMV Proceedings. pp 9-17.
  • Harcourt-Brown F (2002) Digestive Disorders. In: Textbook of Rabbit Medicine. ButterworthHeinemann. pp 249-291.


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