Lapis ISSN 2398-2969

Caesarean section

Contributor(s): Sarah Pellett, David Perpinan

Introduction

  • Surgical management of dystocia Dystocia.
  • Dystocia is unusual in rabbits and the need to perform a caesarean is rare.
Print off the Owner Factsheet on Caesarean section to give to your clients.

Uses

Maternal factors

  • Uterine inertia which is unresponsive to medical management.
  • Obstruction of the birth canal such as stricture, hyperplasia, aplasia, intraluminal or extraluminal vaginal mass.
  • Small pelvic canal.
  • Uterine anomaly such as uterine torsion or uterine developmental abnormalities where parts of the reproductive tract were found to be absent.
  • Obesity of the doe can contribute to dystocia.

Fetal factors

  • Relative or absolute fetal oversize:
    • Prolonged gestation due to one or two large kits, is not uncommon to see in Dwarf breeds.
    • It is not unusual for these kits to become very large and die at 33-34 days’ gestation.
    • The gestation period of a rabbit averages 31-32 days.
  • Malpresentation of the fetus.
  • Fetal death.
  • Fetal deformity.
  • Signs of fetal distress in prolonged parturition.

Elective

  • In other species elective procedures may be carried out if there is a history of previous dystocia, or if the animal is of a particular breed type associated with dystocia.
  • As dystocia is unusual in rabbits, elective caesarean sections are not performed in this species.

Advantages

  • To increase the change of the doe surviving if dystocia can't be managed medically.

Disadvantages

  • Anesthesia and surgical risks to the doe.
  • Care required to prevent fetal hypoxia.
  • Cost.

Requirements

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Preparation

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Procedure

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Aftercare

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Thode H P 3rd & Johnston M S (2009) Probable congenital uterine developmental abnormalities in two domestic rabbits. Vet Rec 164 (8), 242-244 PubMed.
  • Steinleitner A, Lambert H, Kazensky C et al (1990) Pentoxifylline, a methylxanthine derivative, prevents postsurgical adhesion reformation in rabbits. Obstetrics and Gynaecology 75 (6), 926-928 PubMed.
  • Steinleitner A, Kazensky C & Lambert H (1989) Calcium channel blockade prevents postsurgical reformation of adnexal adhesions in rabbits. Obstetrics and Gynaecology 74 (5), 796-798 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Leach M (online) Rabbit Grimace Scale (RbtGS). Newcastle University, UK. Website: www.nc3rs.org.uk (pdf download). Last accessed 21st August 2019.
  • Bourne D (online) Caesarean Section in Rabbits (Disease Investigation Management - Treatment and Care). Wildpro, UK. Website: http://wildpro.twycrosszoo.org. Last accessed 21st August 2019.
  • Elliott S & Lord B (2014) Reproduction. In: British Small Animal Veterinary Association Manual of Rabbit Medicine. Eds: Meredith A & Lord B. BSAVA, UK. pp 36-44.
  • Grint N (2013) Anaesthesia. In: British Small Animal Veterinary Association Manual of Rabbit Surgery, Dentistry and imaging. Eds: Harcourt-Brown F & Chitty J. BSAVA, UK. pp 1-25.
  • Harcourt-Brown F (2013) Neutering. In: British Small Animal Veterinary Association Manual of Rabbit Surgery, Dentistry and imaging. Eds: Harcourt-Brown F & Chitty J. BSAVA, UK. pp 138-156.
  • Johnson-Delaney CA & Harcourt-Brown F (2013) Analgesia and Postoperative Care. In: British Small Animal Veterinary Association Manual of Rabbit Surgery, Dentistry and imaging. Eds: Harcourt-Brown F & Chitty J. BSAVA, UK. pp 26-38.
  • Mancinelli E & Lord B (2014) Urogenital System and Reproductive Disease. In: British Small Animal Veterinary Association Manual of Rabbit Medicine. Eds: Meredith A & Lord B. BSAVA, UK. pp 191-204.
  • Swindle M & Shealy PM (1996) Common Surgical Procedures in Rodents and Rabbits. In: Handbook of Rodent and Rabbit Medicine. Eds: Laber-Laird K, Swindle M M & Flecknell P. Elsevier Science Ltd, UK. pp 239-254.
  • Varga M (2013) Basic Principles of Soft Tissue Surgery. In: British Small Animal Veterinary Association Manual of Rabbit Surgery, Dentistry and imaging. Eds: Harcourt-Brown F & Chitty J. BSAVA, UK. pp 123-137.


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