Lapis ISSN 2398-2969

Mastitis

Synonym(s): Mammitis, Garget

Contributor(s): Richard Saunders, Anna Meredith, Sarah Pellett

Introduction

  • Cause: primary bacterial infection, from trauma and/or poor hygiene; cystic (hormonal), due to intact reproductive status, or from endometriral disorders or uterine adenocarcinoma; secondary bacterial infection following a systemic bacterial infection originating elsewhere, or neoplasia, eg mammary neoplasia.
  • Signs: depends on cause.
  • Diagnosis:
  • Treatment:
  • Prognosis:
  • Female rabbits possess 4 or 5 pairs of nipples; more commonly 4 pairs.
  • Nipples are rudimentary in the male.
  • Mastitis describes inflammation of the mammary area, which can be from infection (septic) or hormonally (cystic) induced.

Presenting signs

  • Depends on exact cause.
  • Variable swelling and discolouration of the mammary region Mammary gland: enlargement - mild cystic changes.
  • More than one gland generally affected in cystic and bacterial mastitis.
  • Usually only one, but can affect many, in cases of bacterial infection secondary to neoplasia.
  • Variable discharge from the nipple Mammary gland: cystic mastitis; purulent discharge in the case of the primary or secondary mastitis; brownish thin fluid discharge in cystic mastitis.
  • Heat, pain and inflammation in the case of primary or secondary bacterial mastitis.
  • Painless swelling, with no heat, in cystic mastitis.
  • Rabbit may be systemically normal or profoundly unwell depending on cause.
  • Signs of related disease processes, eg endometritis Pyometra may be noted.

Geographic incidence

  • There is no geographic or breed incidence noted, although a mammary dysplasia can occur in aged, primiparous New Zealand White New Zealand White does due to prolactin secreting pituitary adenomas.

Sex predisposition

  • Females only are affected.
  • All lesions occur more frequently in entire does.
  • Primary bacterial mastitis is more common in breeding does, especially lactating ones.
  • Hormonal mastitis is most common in does over 3 years of age.
  • Mammary neoplasia is most common in does over 3 years of age.

Mortality

  • Very low in cystic mastitis.
  • Variable, potentially fatal due to overwhelming septicemia in primary bacterial cases.
  • Variable, depending on metastases in neoplasia cases, but the secondary bacterial infection is rarely the cause of death.

Cost considerations

  • Variable depending on cause.
  • Cost ranges from supportive care and antibiotics, as in or out patient, to surgical removal, with thoracic radiography Radiography: thorax and/or ovarohysterectomy Ovariohysterectomy.

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.
  • Harcourt-Brown F M (2017) Disorders of the reproductive tract of rabbits. Vet Clin Exot Anim 20 (2), 555-587 PubMed.
  • Sikowski P, Trybus J, Cline J M et al (2008) Cystic mammary adenocarcinoma associated with a prolactin-secreting pituitary ademona in a New Zealand white rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus).  Comp Med 58 (3), 297-300 PMC.
  • Heatley J & Smith A (2004) Spontaneous neoplasms of lagomorphs. Vet Clin of North Am Exotic Anim Pract 7 (3), 561-577 VetExotic.
  • Easson W (2001) A review of rabbit and rodent production medicine. Semin Avian Exotic Pet Med 10 (3), 131-139.
  • Keeble E (2001) Endocrine diseases in small mammals. In Pract 23 (10), 570-585 VetMedResource.
  • Lipman N S, Zhi-Bo Z, Andrutis K A, Hurley R J, Fox J G & White H J (1994) Prolactin secreting pituitary adenomas with mammary dysplasia in New Zealand White rabbits. Lab Anim Sci 44, 114-120 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Mancinelli E & Lord B (2014) Urogenital System and Reproductive Disease. In: BSAVA Manual of Rabbit Medicine. Eds: Meredith A & Lord B. BSAVA, UK. pp 191-204.
  • Varga M (2014) Skin Diseases. In: Textbook of Rabbit Medicine. 2nd edn. Elsevier, UK. pp 271-302.
  • Hess L & Tater K (2012) Dermatologic Disease. Ferrets, Rabbits and Rodents. In: Clinical Medicine and Surgery. 3rd edn. Eds: Quesenberry K E & Carpenter J W. Elsevier-Saunders. pp 232-244.
  • Oglesbee B (2011) Mastitis, Cystic and Septic. In: Blackwell’s Five-Minute Veterinary ConsultRabbits. 2nd edn. Ed: Oglesbee B L. Wiley-Blackwell, UK. pp 451-452.
  • Percy D H & Barthold S W (2007) Rabbit. In: Pathology of Laboratory Rodents and Rabbits. 3rd edn. Blackwell, UK. pp 253-308.
  • Saunders R A & Rees Davies R (2005) Notes on Rabbit Internal Medicine. Blackwell. pp 170-171.
  • Pare J A & Paul-Murphy J (2004) Disorders of the Reproductive and Urinary Systems. In: Ferrets, Rabbits and Rodents: Clinical Medicine and surgery. Eds: Quesenberry K E & Carpenter J W. Saunders, Philadelphia. pp 183-193.
  • Harcourt-Brown F (2002) Skin Diseases. In: Textbook of Rabbit Medicine. Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford. pp 224-248.
  • Harcourt-Brown F (2002) Urogenital Diseases. In: Textbook of Rabbit Medicine. Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford. pp 335-351.
  • Reavill D R & Schmidt R E (2000) Rabbit Surgical Pathology. In: Laboratory Medicine: Avian and Exotic Pets. Eds: Fudge A M. W B Saunders, Philadelphia. pp 353-357.
  • Redrobe S (2000) Urogenital System and Diseases. In: BSAVA Manual of Rabbit Medicine and Surgery. Ed: Flecknell P. BSAVA, Cheltenham. pp 47-55. 
  • Meredith A (2000) General Biology and Husbandry. In: BSAVA Manual of Rabbit Medicine and Surgery. Ed: Flecknell P. BSAVA, Cheltenham. pp 13-23.


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