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      Gastrointestinal Diseases of Rabbits

      , DVM, Diplomate ABVP (Avian), , BVetMed (Hons), CertZooMed, MRCVS

      Ferrets, Rabbits, and Rodents

      Dysbiosis, Enteritis, Fiber, Gastrointestinal stasis, Rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus, Liver lobe torsion

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          Abstract

          Gastrointestinal stasis syndrome is a very common presentation of an ill rabbit to the veterinarian. The causes involved in this syndrome are often multifactorial, and an inappropriate diet puts the rabbit at a greater risk of developing this syndrome. Complications of this disorder can lead to gastrointestinal obstruction, a life-threatening condition that necessitates aggressive medical and in some case surgical therapy. Rabbits may also be presented with signs of diarrhea. However, abnormal cecotrophs must be differentiated from true intestinal diarrhea. The common causes, diagnosis and management of diarrhea including dysbiosis and enteritis are discussed. Other important causes of gastrointestinal disease are infectious disease and liver lobe torsion. Rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus has a new variant that has been identified in mainland Europe, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Subclinical infection of intestinal coccidiosis is a common cause of weight loss in adult rabbits. Liver lobe torsion is a challenging condition to diagnose in rabbits; this chapter discusses the presenting signs, diagnostic techniques, and therapeutic options.

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          Most cited references 55

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          Taxonomy of the caliciviruses.

          The International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV) has recently approved several proposals submitted by the present Caliciviridae Study Group. These proposals include the division of the family into 4 new genera designated Lagovirus, Vesivirus, "Norwalk-like viruses (NLVs), and "Sapporo-like viruses (SLVs); the latter 2 genera were assigned temporary names until acceptable names can be determined by the scientific community. The genera have been further divided into the following species: Feline calicivirus and Vesicular exanthema of swine virus (genus Vesivirus), Rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus and European brown hare syndrome virus (genus Lagovirus), Norwalk virus (genus NLV), and Sapporo virus (genus SLV). In addition, the ICTV approved a proposal to remove the hepatitis E virus from the Caliciviridae into an "unassigned classification status.
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            Characterization of Lawsonia intracellularis gen. nov., sp. nov., the obligately intracellular bacterium of porcine proliferative enteropathy.

             S McOrist,  C Gebhart,  R Boid (1995)
            A novel obligately intracellular bacterium, ileal symbiont intracellularis, which was obtained from the intestines of pigs with proliferative enteropathy disease, was grown in pure cocultures with tissue cultures of rat cells. An examination of the 16S ribosomal DNA gene sequence revealed that the isolates which we obtained are members of the delta subdivision of the Proteobacteria and that the sequences of these organisms exhibit a level of similarly of 91% with the sequence of Desulfovibrio desulfuricans ATCC 27774. These isolates were homogeneous and differed in cellular morphology, acid fastness, phenotype, electrophoretic protein profile, and habitat from Desulfovibrio species. On the basis of the results of an integrated study of the phenotype and genotype of a consistent morphological entity found in particular porcine cells and associated with a well-defined clinical condition, we concluded that these bacteria belong to a previously undescribed genus and species, for which we propose the name Lawsonia intracellularis gen. nov., sp. nov. A species-specific recombinant DNA probe was cloned previously, and this probe was used to identify the bacterium in tissue culture cells and in the ileal epithelia of pigs with proliferative enteropathy disease. Coculture of the organism with a rat enterocyte cell line allowed us to designate strain NCTC 12656 the type strain and to describe the new genus and species. The organism which we cultured is pathogenic for pigs and causes proliferative enteropathy lesions in their ilea and colons, and Koch's postulates were fulfilled for this organism.
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              Clinical and pathological features of viral haemorrhagic disease of rabbits and the European brown hare syndrome.

              The authors review the clinical, macro- and microscopical features, and pathogenesis of viral haemorrhagic disease (VHD) of rabbits and the European brown hare syndrome (EBHS). The two diseases share similar clinical and pathological manifestations involving an acute syndrome, sometimes accompanied by nervous and respiratory symptoms and epistaxis, and in all cases by severe hepatic damage and multifocal haemorrhages leading to fatal shock. The hepatic lesions (necrosis and inflammation) result from direct cytolytic and indirect microthrombotic effects of the causal agent. Endothelial lesions and a primary or secondary defect of coagulation factors are possible causes of the haemorrhagic syndrome. Typical lesions consist of necrotic hepatitis and congestion, haemorrhaging and oedema of the lungs and trachea. The histological and ultrastructural alterations of the liver are similar to those found in certain cases of acute fatal hepatitis in man. The high correlation between histologically typical hepatic findings and immunohistochemistry and immunoelectron microscopy is of diagnostic value. Both microscopic lesions and pathogenesis favour the unifying definition of "infectious necrotic hepatitis of Leporids" for the two disease entities.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Ferrets, Rabbits, and Rodents
                Ferrets, Rabbits, and Rodents
                29 May 2020
                2020
                29 May 2020
                : 174-187
                Article
                B978-0-323-48435-0.00014-9
                10.1016/B978-0-323-48435-0.00014-9
                7258705
                Copyright © 2020 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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