Lapis ISSN 2398-2969

Eye: retrobulbar abscess

Contributor(s): David L Williams, Livia Benato, David Gould, Vetstream Ltd, Vladimir Jekl

Introduction

  • Retrobulbar abscesses in rabbits cause exophthalmos with drying keratitis, as well as periorbital inflammation.
  • Cause: secondary to dental disease, soft tissue trauma or foreign body.
  • Signs: mainly unilateral exophthalmos and globe exposure.
  • Diagnosis: clinical signs, ophthalmoscopy, radiography, ultrasonography and CT.
  • Treatment: surgical treatment by periocular approach, intraoral approach or performing enucleation.
  • Prognosis: good to guarded.

Presenting signs

Acute presentation

Geographic incidence

  • Worldwide.

Age predisposition

  • Retrobulbar abscess is commonly associated with acquired dental disease - higher incidence in rabbits older than 2 years.

Public health considerations

Anaerobic bacteria are commonly isolated - Prevotella spp, Actinomyces spp Actinomyces spp, etc can be isolated and were also described as pathogens in cases of human oral disease, so basic hygiene principles should always be followed.

Cost considerations

Special risks

  • Due to manipulation with the eye, oculo-vagal reflex (bradycardia) was seen by the author in two cases. Premedication with atropine Atropine is recommended (even though a lot of rabbits have atropinesterase which breaks down the atropine more rapidly than in other species).
  • Rabbits should always be intubated during the procedure.

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.
  • Gardhouse S, Sanchez-Migallon Guzman D, Paul-Murphy J et al (2017) Bacterial isolates and antimicrobial susceptibilities from odontogenic abscesses in rabbits: 48 cases. Vet Rec 181 (20), 538 PubMed.
  • Riggs G G, Cissell D D, Arzi B et al (2017) Clinical Application of Cone Beam Computed Tomography of the Rabbit Head: Part 2-Dental Disease. Front Vet Sci 30, 4, PubMed.
  • Capello V (2016) Surgical Treatment of Facial Abscesses and Facial Surgery in Pet Rabbits. Vet Clin North Am Exot Anim Pract 19 (3), 799-823 PubMed.
  • Martínez-Jiménez D, Hernández-Divers S J, Dietrich U M et al (2007) Endosurgical treatment of a retrobulbar abscess in a rabbit. JAVMA 230 (6), 868-872 PubMed.
  • Wagner F, Beinecke A, Fehr M et al (2005) Recurrent bilateral exophthalmos associated with metastatic thymic carcinoma in a pet rabbit. JSAP 46 (8), 393-397 VetMedResource.
  • O'Reilly A, McCowan C, Hardman C et al (2002) Taenia serialis causing exophthalmos in a pet rabbit. Vet Ophthalmol 5 (3), 227-230 PubMed.
  • Ujházy E, Balonová T, Durisová M et al (1993) Terotegenicity of cyclophosphamide in New Zealand white rabbits. Neoplasma 40 (1), 45-49 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Jekl V, Niemiec B A & Gawor J (2017) Radiography in Pet Rabbits, Ferrets, and Rodents. In: Niemiec B A, Gawor J, Jekl V Practical Veterinary Radiography. CCR Press, USA. pp 271-346.
  • Jekl V, Hauptman K (2016) Orofacial Surgery and Pain Management in Rabbits. Proceedings of the 21st Annual ABVP Symposium. 6-9.10.2016, San Antonio, USA. Accessible online only: www.vin.com.
  • Varga M (2014) Ophthalmic Diseases. In: Textbook of Rabbit Medicine. 2nd edn. Butterworth Heinemann Elsevier, UK. pp 350-366.
  • Jekl V (2013) The Dental Examination. In: BSAVA Manual of Rabbit Imaging, Surgery and Dentistry. Eds: Harcourt-Brown FM, Chitty J. BSAVA, UK. pp 337-348
  • van der Woerdt (2012) Ophthalmologic Diseases in Small Pet Mammals. In: Ferrets, Rabbits and Rodents Clinical Medicine and Surgery. Eds: Quesenberry K E & Carpenter J W. 3rd edn. Saunders, USA. pp 523-531.
  • Williams D (2012) Ed. The Rabbit Eye. In: Ophthalmology of Exotic Pets. Blackwell Publishing, USA. pp 15-55.


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