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The challenges of Rabbit Anaesthesia

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Vol 5 - Issue 3
Written by Elisabetta Mancinelli DVM CertZooMed ECZM Dipl. (Small Mammal Medicine and Surgery) MRCVS European Veterinary Specialist in Zoological Medicine (Small Mammal Medicine and Surgery)
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The challenges of Rabbit Anaesthesia

As a prey species, rabbits are masters at disguising signs of disease and therefore often present at an advanced stage of illness. The reported overall peri-anaesthetic mortality rate of healthy pet rabbits is much higher than in dogs and cats and anaesthetising rabbits certainly poses several challenges. Careful pre-anaesthetic evaluation of the patient is essential and should include a detailed history and thorough physical examination. A minimum laboratory database is also important as it provides useful information on the general health status of the patient. Factors, such as the presence of underlying disease, clinician experience, drug dosages, analgesia and post-anaesthetic care, as well as the differences in anatomy and physiology to the more commonly encountered species, should also be considered to reduce risk and mortality rate. Elective anaesthesia must always be carefully planned. Patient monitoring during an anaesthetic is critical and an assistant must be available to monitor anaesthetic depth, response to painful stimuli, and vital parameters. The principles of anaesthetic monitoring are no different to those used in dogs and cats and the availability of more advanced equipment greatly enhances the chances of positive results.

Key words: Rabbit, Anaesthesia, Pre-anaesthetic evaluation, Intubation, Monitoring, Recovery.

All our Tutored Online CPD Courses are written and taught by an expert in the relevant field. The tutor for this course is:

Elisabetta Mancinelli DVM CertZooMed ECZM Dipl. (Small Mammal Medicine and Surgery) MRCVS European Veterinary Specialist in Zoological Medicine (Small Mammal Medicine and Surgery)