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Short communication
Retrospective cohort study of gastrointestinal stasis in pet rabbits
  1. M. Huynh1,
  2. S. Vilmouth1,
  3. M. S. Gonzalez2,
  4. D. Calvo Carrasco2,
  5. N. Di Girolamo3 and
  6. N. A. Forbes2
  1. 1Exotic Medicine Service, Centre Hospitalier Vétérinaire Frégis, 43 Avenue Aristide Briand, Arcueil 94110, France
  2. 2Great Western Exotics, Vets Now Referrals Swindon, Unit 10 Berkshire House, County Business Park Shrivenham Road, Swindon SN1 2NR, UK
  3. 3Clinica per Animale Exotici, Centro Veterinario Specialistico, Via Sandor Giovanni 53, Rome 00137, Italy
  1. E-mail for correspondence: timmean{at}

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GASTROINTESTINAL stasis is a common syndrome in pet rabbits characterised by decreased or absent faecal output, decreased appetite, abdominal discomfort and lethargy (Harcourt-Brown 2002, 2007a, b, Oglesebee and Jenkins 2012, Varga 2014). Pathophysiological factors such as anorexia, pain, stress, dehydration, improper diet and trichobezoars can slow or inhibit gastrointestinal motility (Campbell-Ward 2012, Oglesebee and Jenkins 2012, Varga 2014). Clinical findings such as anorexia and lack of faecal production, in combination with radiographic findings of gaseous dilatation of the stomach, intestines and caecum, are well documented for diagnosing gastrointestinal stasis (Lichtenberger and Lennox 2010). However, there are very few data available in the literature about epidemiology of gastrointestinal stasis in pet rabbits.

This short communication describes a retrospective study about cases of gastrointestinal stasis diagnosed in pet rabbits presented to an exotic animal referral practice in England over a five-year period. Animals that were subsequently diagnosed with other diseases not directly related with the gastrointestinal tract were excluded from the study. Rabbits that underwent surgery within the month previous to the gastrointestinal episode were also excluded. The results were compared with a reference population that was constituted of all the rabbits presented for consultation over the same five-year period. Relative risk (RR) with 95% CIs was calculated and χ2 test were performed using a statistical software package (SPSS V.20.0, IBM).

Breeds, sex, age, date of occurrence and dental status at admission were systematically recorded. To examine the effect of phenotypic selection, the rabbits were classified …

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  • Provenance: not commissioned; externally peer reviewed

  • Correction notice This article has been corrected since it was published Online First. The author surnames have been corrected as follows: D. Calvo Carrasco instead of D.C. Carrasco, and N. Di Girolamo instead of N.D. Girolamo. In the fourth paragraph, the sentence ‘During the same period, 382 other rabbits were seen at the practice’. was corrected to ‘During the same period, a total of 382 rabbits were seen at the practice’.

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