Article Text

Short Communication
Treatment of nephroblastoma with polycythaemia by nephrectomy in a rabbit
  1. J. Hassan, DrMedVet1,
  2. N. Katic, DrMedVet2,
  3. A. Klang, DrMedVet5,
  4. I. Schwendenwein, DrMedVet, DipECVCP3,
  5. A. Böhler, DrMedVet1 and
  6. F. Künzel, DrMedVet, DipECZM (Small Mammal)4
  1. Clinic for Diagnostic Imaging, Clinical Department for Small Animals and Horses
  2. Clinic of Surgery and Ophthalmology, Clinical Department for Small Animals and Horses
  3. Institute of Immunology: Laboratory medicine, Clinical Department for Small Animals and Horses
  4. Clinic of Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases, Clinical Department for Small Animals and Horses
  5. Institute of Pathology and Forensic Medicine, Department of Pathobiology, University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, Veterinärplatz 1, 1210 Vienna, Austria
  1. Correspondence to F. Künzel, e-mail: frank.kuenzel{at}

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NEPHROBLASTOMA (Wilms' tumour) is an embryonal tumour that has been frequently described in children (Ali and others 2011). These tumours are relatively common in young animals, especially pigs and chickens (Nielsen and others 1976, Maxie 1993). In dogs, nephroblastomas have mainly been reported within the thoracolumbal spinal cord (Brewer and others 2011). In laboratory rabbits, this neoplasm is mostly an incidental finding on postmortem examination in the form of solitary, multiple unilateral or bilateral benign masses (Greene 1943, Weisbroth 1974). Rabbits with clinical signs related to nephroblastoma have infrequently been reported (Wardrop and others 1982, Lipman and others 1985). According to the English-language literature, only one case of successful nephrectomy in a rabbit with secondary polycythaemia has been reported (Wardrop and others 1982).

This short communication describes a case of nephroblastoma in a pet rabbit with severe secondary polycythaemia that was successfully treated by nephrectomy.

A three-year-old, neutered male lop rabbit with a bodyweight of 2.2 kg was presented due to lethargy and loss of appetite. The most prominent clinical sign was tachypnoea (respiratory rate of 240 breaths/min), the animal had a slightly reduced body condition and the mucous membranes were moderately hyperaemic. Additionally, a mass in the mid abdomen was palpable.

Haematology revealed an increased red blood cell (RBC) count of 10.9 × 1012 cells/l (reference range (RR) 4 to 7.2 × 1012 cells/l), haemoglobin of 221 g/l (RR 100 to 150 g/l) and a packed cell volume (PCV) of 0.8 l/l (RR 0.36 to 0.48 l/l). With the exception of moderate hypokalaemia and a minimal increase of urea concentration, the …

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