Lapis ISSN 2398-2969

Respiratory: stertor - stridor

Synonym(s): Snoring, sonorous respiration

Contributor(s): Alana Shrubsole-Cockwill, Livia Benato

Introduction

  • Rabbits are obligate nasal breathers. 
  • Physical abnormalities or infections and inflammation can result in low-pitched sound (stertor) or high-pitched sound (stridor) from the upper and lower respiratory tracts. 
  • Cause: respiratory infections, partial obstructions.
  • Signs: anorexia, depression/lethargy, respiratory problems.
  • Diagnosis: history, physical examination, auscultation, hematology, tracheal wash, nasal/ocular swab and bacteriology and sensitivity test, nasal biopsy, serology, cytology, endoscopy, radiography/ultrasonography/CT/MRI.
  • Treatment: antibiosis, fluid therapy, nutritional support, analgesia, nebulization with mucolytics.
  • Prognosis: varies with cause.

Presenting signs

  • Increased upper and/or lower respiratory sounds.
  • Anorexia.
  • Depression/lethargy.
  • Dull coat.
  • Stained front paws.
  • Nasal and/or ocular discharge.
  • Sneezing.
  • Inability to swallow.
  • Dental disease.
  • Nasal bleeding.
  • Nasal mass.
  • Increased respiratory effort.
  • Open-mouth breathing.
  • Dysfunction of the neuromuscular system.

Acute presentation

Age predisposition

  • Tumors and suppression of the immune system as causes of respiratory problems generally have a higher incidence in older rabbits.
  • Pulmonary metastasis due to uterine carcinoma has a higher incidence in female rabbits >4-5 years of age.

Sex predisposition

  • Pulmonary metastasis due to uterine carcinoma has a higher incidence in female rabbits >4-5 years of age.

Cost considerations

  • Varies with:
    • Causes.
    • Diagnostic tests used during the investigations.
    • Type of treatment. 
    • Days of hospitalization.
    • Re-check appointments.
    • Relapse of clinical signs.

Special risks, eg anesthetic

  • Immunosuppression secondary to stress and malnutrition.
  • Laryngeal edema or stenosis secondary to traumatic intubation.
  • Nasal, pharyngeal or laryngeal obstruction.
  • Irritation of mucous membrane of respiratory system due to isoflurane   Isoflurane  .
  • General anesthesia   Anesthesia: general  during investigations.
  • Immunosuppression if steroids used for long-term treatment.

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 fromPubMedpublished during the last 12 months.
  • Jaber S et al(2009)Effects of steroids on reintubation and post-extubation stridor in adults: meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. Crit Care13(2), 1-11PubMed.
  • Guzman Sanchez-Migallon D et al(2006)Radiation therapy for the treatment of thymoma in rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus). J Exotic Pet Med15(2), 138-144.
  • Robey T et al(2000)Use of internal bioabsorbable PLGA finger type stents in a rabbit tracheal reconstruction model. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg126, 985-991PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Oglesbee B (2006)The 5 Minute Veterinary Consult: Ferret and Rabbit. Wiley Blackwell. pp 356-357.
  • Deeb B (2002)Respiratory Disease and Pasteurellosis. In: Ferrets, Rabbits and Rodents Clinical Medicine and Surgery. Eds: Quesenberry K & Carpenter J. 2nd edn. Saunders. pp 172-182.


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