ISSN 2398-2969      

Enteritis / enteropathy

Clapis

Introduction

  • Infectious causes of enteritis are rare in the adult rabbit (with viral and parasitic causes being more rare than bacterial causes).
  • Cause: the majority of cases of enteritis are secondary to cecal dysbiosis. Clostridium spiroforme and Escherichia coli Escherichia coli are present in low numbers in the cecum of every healthy rabbit, but if these bacteria get an opportunity to multiply then enteritis can occur. The most severe form of enteritis is associated with the multiplication of Clostridia and the subsequent production of iotatoxins, which leads to diarrhea, dehydration and death (see Enterotoxemia Enterotoxemia (Clostridiosis)). In young rabbits, the most common cause of enteritis are coccidia.
  • Signs: weight loss, diarrhea, staining of the perineum and abdomen, dehydration, bloating.
  • Diagnosis: history, clinical signs, fecal analysis, post-mortem examination.
  • Treatment: nursing, fluid therapy, motility drugs if gastrointestinal stasis is present, analgesia, assisted feeding.
  • Prognosis: guarded to poor; depends on disease severity.
  • Rabbits that are fed on a high-fiber, low-carbohydrate and low-protein diet rarely suffer from enteritis. A high-fiber diet encourages normal peristalsis and maintains the pH of the cecum between 5.9-6.8. At this pH Clostridia and E. coli remain at very low levels in the cecum.

Print off the Owner Factsheets on Mucoid enteropathyEmergencies and Health insurance for your rabbit to give to your client.

Pathogenesis

This article is available in full to registered subscribers

Sign up now to obtain ten tokens to view any ten Vetlexicon articles, images, sounds or videos, or Login

Diagnosis

This article is available in full to registered subscribers

Sign up now to obtain ten tokens to view any ten Vetlexicon articles, images, sounds or videos, or Login

Treatment

This article is available in full to registered subscribers

Sign up now to obtain ten tokens to view any ten Vetlexicon articles, images, sounds or videos, or Login

Prevention

This article is available in full to registered subscribers

Sign up now to obtain ten tokens to view any ten Vetlexicon articles, images, sounds or videos, or Login

Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Shi T, Yan X, Sun H et al (2021) An investigation of the relationship between Cyniclomyces guttulatus and rabbit diarrhoea. Pathogens 10 (7), 880 PubMed.
  • Basiaga M, Levytska V, Kowal J et al (2020) Coccidiosis - a problem in backyard rabbitries. Ann Parasitol 66 (1), 97-99 PubMed.
  • Jin D X, Zou H W, Liu S Q et al (2018) The underlying microbial mechanism of epizootic rabbit enteropathy triggered by a low fiber diet. Sci Rep (1), 12489 Nature.
  • Lord B (2012) Gastrointestinal disease in rabbits 2. Intestinal diseases. In Pract 34 (3), 156-162 VetMedResource.
  • Cooper D M & Gebhart C J (1998) Comparative aspects of proliferative enteritis. JAVMA 212 (9), 1446-1451 PubMed.
  • Whitwell K & Needham J (1996) Mucoid enteropathy in UK rabbits - dysautonomia confirmed. Vet Rec 139 (13), 323-333 PubMed.
  • Hillyer E V (1994) Pet rabbits. Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract 24 (1), 25-65 PubMed.
  • Clipsham R C (1989) Medical care of the pet rabbit. Calif Vet 43 (5), 12-16.

Other sources of information

  • Quessenberry K E, Orcutt C J, Mans C & Carpenter J W (2021) Ferrets, Rabbits and Rodents. Clinical Medicine and Surgery. 4th edn. Elsevier, USA.
  • Richardson V (2000) Rabbits, Health, Husbandry and Disease. Blackwell Science Ltd, UK.
  • Harkness J E & Wagner J E (1989) The Biology and Medicine of Rabbits and Rodents. Lea and Febiger, USA.

Can’t find what you’re looking for?

We have an ever growing content library on Vetlexicon so if you ever find we haven't covered something that you need please fill in the form below and let us know!

 
 
 
 

To show you are not a Bot please can you enter the number showing adjacent to this field

 Security code