Lapis ISSN 2398-2969

Liver: disease

Contributor(s): Vetstream Ltd, Anna Meredith, Ron Rees Davies, Richard Saunders, Vicki Baldrey

Introduction

  • Many conditions may affect the liver and a variety of clinical signs may indicate a diagnosis of liver impairment, either as primary or secondary condition.

Anatomy

  • The rabbit liver is divided by a deep cleft into right and left lobes, which are each divided into anterior and posterior lobules.
  • The right lobe has a further division into the quadrate lobe, which lies caudal to the gall bladder.
  • There is also a small circular caudate lobe adjacent to the right kidney, which has a narrow attachment. This makes the lobe susceptible to detachment or torsion. The gall bladder is found deep within the right anterior lobule.
  • The common bile duct joins the cystic bile duct and opens into the duodenum just distal to the pylorus.
  • Rabbits secrete a large amount of bile (approximately 125 ml/kg/day) and the primary bile pigment is biliverdin rather than bilirubin.
  • The bile and pancreatic ducts open separately into the duodenum in the rabbit.

Clinical signs

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Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Liver diseases

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Graham J & Basseches J (2014) Liver lobe torsion in pet rabbits: clinical consequences, diagnosis, and treatment. Vet Clin North Am Exotic Anim Pract 17 (2), 195–202 PubMed.
  • Graham J, Orcutt C J, Casale S A et al (2014) Liver lobe torsion in rabbits: 16 cases (2007-2012). J Exot Pet Med 23 (3), 258-265 ScienceDirect.
  • Huynh M & Pignon C (2013) Gastrointestinal disease in exotic small mammals. J Exot Pet Med 22 (2), 118–131 ResearchGate.
  • Meredith A (2013) Liver disease in rabbits. In Pract 35 (6), 291-300 VetMedResource.
  • Wenger S, Barrett E L, Pearson G R et al (2009) Liver lobe torsion in three adult rabbtis. JSAP 50 (6), 301-305 PubMed.
  • Benson K G & Paul-Murphy J (1999) Clinical pathology of the domestic rabbit. Acquisition and interpretation of samples.​ Vet Clin North Am (Exotic An Pract) 2 (3), 539-551 PubMed.
  • Paul-Murphy J & Ramer J C (1998) Urgent care of the pet rabbit. Vet Clin North Am (Exotic An Pract) 1 (1), 127-152 PubMed
  • Evering W & Edwards J F (1992) Hepatic lobe deformity in a rabbit. Lab Anim 21, 14-16.
  • Makkar H P S & Singh B (1991) Aflatoxicosis in rabbits. J Appl Rabbit Res 14 (4), 218-221 VetMedResource.
  • Morgan R V, Moore F M, Pearce L K et al (1991) Clinical and laboratory findings in small companion animals with lead poisoning: 347 cases (1977-1986). JAVMA 199 (1), 93-97 PubMed.
  • Swartout M S & Gerken D F (1987) Lead-induced toxicosis in two domestic rabbits. JAVMA 191 (6), 717-719 PubMed.
  • Muñoz M E, González J & Esteller A (1986) Bile pigment formation and excretion in the rabbit. Comp Biochem Physiol 85 (1), 67-71 PubMed.
  • Clard J D, Jain A V, Hatch R C et al (1980) Experimentally induced chronic aflatoxicosis in rabbits. Am J Vet Res 41 (11), 1841-1845 PubMed.
  • Clampitt R B & Hart R J (1978) The tissue activities of some diagnostic enzymes in ten mammalian species. J Comp Pathol 88 (4), 607-621 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Elliott S & Saunders R (2017) Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease in the UK. Vet Rec 181, 516.
  • Oglesbee B L & Jenkins J R (2012) Rabbits. Gastrointestinal Diseases. In: Ferrets, Rabbits and Rodents: Clinical Medicine and Surgery. 3rd edn. Eds: Quesenberry K E & Carpenter J W. Elsevier Saunders, USA. pp 193-204.
  • Saunders R & Rees Davies R (2005) Hepatobiliary Tract Disorders. In: Notes on Rabbit Internal Medicine. Blackwell Publishing, Oxford. pp 142.
  • Besch-Williford C (1997) Tyzzers disease in rabbits. In: House Rabbit Society Veterinary Conference National Symposium Program and Abstracts. pp 113-116.
  • Jenkins J R (1997) Gastrointestinal diseases. In: Ferrets, Rabbits and Rodents; Clinical Medicine and Surgery. Eds: Hillyer E V & Quesenbery K E. Saunders, USA.
  • Manning P J, Ingler D H & Newcomer C E (1994) Eds The Biology of the Laboratory Rabbit. Academic Press, USA.
  • Harkness J E & Wagner J E (1989) The Biology and Medicine of Laboratory Rabbits and Rodents. 3rd edn. Lea & Febiger, USA.


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