Lapis ISSN 2398-2969

Surgical techniques: overview

Contributor(s): Michelle Ward, Michelle Campbell-Ward, David Perpinan, Aidan Raftery

Introduction

  • The basic principles of veterinary surgery described for other domestic species are applicable to rabbits.
  • Surgical techniques and considerations, however, may need to be modified to account for the unique anatomy, physiology and behavior of rabbits. 
  • Rabbits can be challenging surgical patients but the chance of a successful outcome can be maximized by ensuring:
    • Good knowledge of regional anatomy.
    • Adequate patient preparation   Anesthesia: preparation  . 
    • Suitable instrumentation. 
    • Steps are taken to minimize pain, fear and stress experienced by the patient.

Pre-surgical assessment and preparation

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Surgical facilities, instruments and equipment

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Surgical considerations

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Common procedures

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Monitoring and aftercare

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Ward M L (2006) Diagnosis and management of a retrobulbar abscess of periapical origin in a domestic rabbit. Vet Clin North Am Exot Anim Pract (3), 657-665 PubMed.
  • Pollock C (2002) Postoperative management of the exotic animal patient. Vet Clin North Am Exot Anim Pract (1), 183-212 PubMed.
  • Rich G A (2002) Rabbit orthopedic surgery. Vet Clin North Am Exot Anim Pract (1), 157-168 PubMed.
  • Bennett R A (2000) Preparation and equipment useful for surgery in small exotic pets. Vet Clin North Am Exot Anim Pract (3), 563-585 PubMed
  • Heard D (2000) Perioperative supportive care and monitoring. Vet Clin North Am Exot Anim Pract (3), 587-615 PubMed.
  • Jenkins J R (2000) Surgical sterilization in small mammals. Spay and castration. Vet Clin North Am Exot Anim Pract (3), 617-627 PubMed.
  • Mullen H S (2000) Nonreproductive surgery in small mammals. Vet Clin North Am Exot Anim Pract (3), 629-645 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Harcourt-Brown F & Chitty J (2013) Eds BSAVA Manual of Rabbit Surgery, Dentistry and Imaging.
  • Keeble E J & Meredith A L (2006) Self-Assessment Colour Review of Rabbit Medicine and Surgery. Manson Publishing, London. 
  • Mehler S J (2006) Common Surgical Procedures. In: BSAVA Manual of Rabbit Medicine & Surgery. 2nd edn. Eds: Meredith A L & Flecknell P. British Small Animal Veterinary Association, Gloucester. pp 166-183.
  • Capello V (2005) Surgical techniques for Neutering the Female Pet Rabbit. Exotic DVM (5), 15-21.
  • Capello V (2005) Surgical techniques for Orchiectomy of the Pet Rabbit. Exotic DVM (5), 23-32.
  • Capello V (2004) Extraction of Cheek Teeth and Surgical Treatment of Periodontal Abscessations in Pet Rabbits with Acquired Dental Disease. Exotic DVM (4), 31-38. 
  • Capello V (2004) Surgical Treatment of Otitis Externa and Media in Pet Rabbits. Exotic DVM (3), 15-21.
  • Harcourt-Brown N (2004) Approach to Selected Orthopedic Disorders in Rabbits. Exotic DVM (2), 33-36.
  • Jenkins J R (2004) Soft Tissue Surgery. In: Ferrets, Rabbit & Rodents: Clinical Medicine & Surgery. 2nd edn. Eds: Quesenberry K E & Carpenter J W. Saunders, St. Louis. pp 221-230.
  • Odberg E (2003) Review of Gastrotomy for Foreign Body Removal in a Rabbit. Exotic DVM (1), 19-22.
  • Harcourt-Brown F (2002) Intestinal Obstruction in Rabbits. Exotic DVM 4 (3), 51-53.
  • Toombs J P & Crowe Jr D T (1985) Operative techniques. In: Textbook of Small Animal Surgery. Ed: Slatter D H. W B Saunders, Philadelphia. pp 310-333.


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