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Antemortem Diagnosis and Surgical Management of Splenitis Due to Yersinia Pseudotuberculosis Infection in a Pet Rabbit (Oryctolagus Cuniculus)

Chassang, Lucile, Zoller, Graham, Loos, Pauline, Gomes, Eymeric, Bismuth, Camille, Briend-Marchal, Alexandra, Nicolier, Alexandra, Huynh, Minh
Journal of exotic pet medicine 2019 v.29 pp. 182-187
Oryctolagus cuniculus, Yersinia pseudotuberculosis, analgesia, anemia, anorexia, antibiotics, bacterial culture, blood transfusion, cecum, clinical examination, diarrhea, enzymes, fluid therapy, hematologic tests, hepatitis, histopathology, intravenous injection, laparotomy, liver, mucosa, pets, postoperative care, rabbits, sealants, signs and symptoms (animals and humans), spleen, ultrasonography, weight loss, yersiniosis
A 6.5-year-old pet rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) was presented for severe weakness, dysorexia, and weight loss. The rabbit had been treated for diarrhea and anorexia 3 weeks before. Pale mucous membranes and a 2-cm abdominal mass cranial to the caecum were noted on clinical examination. Blood tests revealed a severe nonregenerative anemia with neutrophilia and thrombocytosis suggestive of an ongoing inflammatory process, and an elevation of liver enzymes. Abdominal ultrasonography showed an enlarged heterogenous spleen and mild abdominal effusion. Initial stabilization required intravenous fluid therapy and a blood transfusion, associated with broad spectrum antibiotics and analgesia. An exploratory laparotomy was performed and revealed whitish disseminated lesions in the splenic parenchyma. Splenectomy was performed during the exploratory laparotomy using a vessel sealing device and a second blood transfusion was administered. Bacterial culture, cytology, and histopathological examination were diagnostic of a yersiniosis due to Yersinia pseudotuberculosis, with a severe splenitis and a mild hepatitis. Postoperative care included supportive care, analgesia, and antibiotics. Clinical signs resolved after 6 days of hospitalization. The rabbit died 20 months later from an unrelated condition.