Lapis ISSN 2398-2969

Gastrotomy

Contributor(s): Livia Benato, Virginia Garner-Richardson

Introduction

  • To access the stomach lumen.

Print off the Owner factsheetCaring for your rabbit before and after surgery    Caring for your rabbit before and after surgery    to give to your clients.

Uses

  • Gastric or pyloric foreign bodies.
  • Neoplasia.
  • Gastric biopsy.
  • Gastrotomy is also indicated for those animals that fail to show signs of improvement after a few days of intensive medical treatment.
  • Trichobezoars (hairballs)   Trichobezoars (hairballs)  if aggressive medical therapy has failed. A survey of the stomachs of 208 health slaughter rabbits revealed that 48 (23.1%) had trichobezoars weighing 1-24 g. The data suggested that gastric trichobezoars were common in rabbits and that few animals with these foreign bodies developed chronic anorexia.

Advantages

  • Gastrotomy allows direct access to the gastric content and better visualization of the gastric wall. It facilitates removal of gastric tumor, foreign bodies and dehydrated food in case of severe gastric stasis.

Disadvantages

  • Important surgical procedure.

Requirements

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Preparation

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Procedure

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Aftercare

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Outcomes

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Prognosis

  • Foreign bodies and tumors: generally good if the diagnosis is made at an early stage and the rabbit is considered stable.
  • Gastric dilation: guarded and poor due to the severity of the condition and if the rabbit has not been stabilized prior to surgery.
  • A study on gastrotomy in 14 rabbits showed that 12 rabbits recovered without complications and regained their pre-operative body weight within 4 weeks, while 2 rabbits died post-operatively from respiratory complications.

Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references fromPubMedandVetMedResource.
  • Leary S L, Manning P J & Anderson L C (1984)Experimental and naturally-occurring gastric foreign bodies in laboratory rabbits.Lab Anim Sci34(1), 58-61PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Ellison G W (2005)The Stomach.In:BSAVA Manual of Canine and Feline Abdominal Surgery. Eds: Williams J & Niles J. BSAVA. 
  • Jenkins J R (2004)Soft Tissue Surgery.In:Ferrets, Rabbits and Rodents Clinical Medicine and Surgery. 2nd edn. Eds: Quesenberry K E & Carpenters J W. Sauders.
  • Richardson V (2000)Rabbits, Health, Husbandry and Disease.Blackwell Scientific, Oxford, UK.
  • Jenkins J R & Brown S A (1993)A Practitioner's Guide to Rabbits and Ferrets.American Animal Hospital Association, Orlando, USA.


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