Lapis ISSN 2398-2969

Cutaneous neoplasia

Contributor(s): Stephen White, John Chitty, Anna Meredith, Vetstream Ltd

Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC)

  • While relatively rare, squamous cell carcinomas may occur via malignant transformation of papillomas caused by the Shope papilloma virus   Papilloma virus    Papillomatosis  .
  • The Shope papillomavirus (SPV)  produces hyperkeratotic nodules, especially on the ears and eyelids. SPV is a naturally occurring pox virus of North and South American wild rabbits ( Sylvilagusspp).
  • Infection of domestic rabbits ( Oryctolagus cuniculus) is rare but has been reported, causing multiple horn-like lesions around the ears and eyelids. Manual removal usually results in healing in wild rabbits.
  • In domestic rabbits experimental infection may result in approximately 75% of inoculation sites undergoing malignant transformation to squamous cell carcinoma. Domestic rabbits are occasionally infected via mosquito vectors and develop papillomas which may slough away approximately 30 days post-inoculation, or may transform into SCCs. Newborn and young animals often develop more extensive lesions. Metastasis of the squamous cell carcinomas to the axillary lymph nodes has been reported.
  • Experimentally, SCC can be induced in the correct lines by chemical irritation; this suggests that it can be a sequel to chronic irritation, as in other species.
  • In pet rabbits, occurrence in poorly furred areas of skin linked to sunlight exposure has also been proposed.
  • Diagnosis is based on clinical signs and histopathology.
  • Treatment involves removal of the papillomas/SCCs and control of arthropod vectors.

Fibromas

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Cutaneous lymphoma

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Miscellaneous cutaneous neoplasms

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Sant R & Rowland M (2009) Skin disease in rabbits. In Pract 31 (5), 233-238 PubMed.
  • Jenkins J R (2001) Skin disorders of the rabbit. Vet Clin North Am Exot Anim Pract (2), 543-563 PubMed.
  • White S D, Campbell T, Logan A et al (2000) Lymphoma with cutaneous involvement in three domestic rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus). Vet Dermatol 11 (1), 61-67 VetMedResource.
  • White S D, Rosychuk R W, Scott K V et al (1993) Use of isotretinoin and etretinate in the treatment of benign cutaneous neoplasia and cutaneous lymphoma in the dog. JAVMA 202 (3), 387-391 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Va Praag E, Maurer A & Saarony T (2010) Skin diseases of Rabbits. Website:www.medirabbit.com.
  • White S D, Bourdeau P, Meredith A (2002) Dermatological Problems of Rabbits. Semin Avian and Exotic Pet Med. July.
  • Burgmann P (1997) Dermatology of Rabbits, Rodents and Ferrets.In: Practical Exotic Animal Medicine.Ed: Rosenthal K. The Compendium Collection, Trenton, NJ, Veterinary Learning Systems. pp 174-195.


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