AEMV-Lafeber Case Report: Budd-Chiari-Like Syndrome in a Domestic Rabbit

Key Points

  • This case report was the 3rd place winner of the 2018 AEMV Lafeber Company Student Case Report Contest.
  • An 11-year old male neutered rex rabbit presented with lethargy and inappetence of 2 days duration and an acute episode of vestibular ataxia.
  • Anemia and elevations in plasma alkaline phosphatase and alanine aminotransferase were evident. Abdominal ultrasound revealed questionable, diffuse hepatomegaly. Computed tomography revealed hepatic venous congestion, severe dilation of the pre-hepatic caudal vena cava, and bicavitary effusion, consistent with Budd-Chiari-like syndrome. Turbulent blood flow within the dilated segment of the caudal vena cava was present on spectral Doppler evaluation. Fine needle aspirate and cytology of the liver revealed necrosis with no evidence of infectious organisms.
  • Histopathology after spontaneous death revealed acute severe centrilobular hepatocellular necrosis without evidence of hepatic inflammation or fibrosis. No masses or thrombi were definitively identified as the cause of hepatic venous obstruction.
  • This is the first report of idiopathic Budd-Chiari-like syndrome in a rabbit.

An eleven year old male neutered rex rabbit presented with lethargy and inappetence of two days duration, and an acute episode of vestibular ataxia. Anemia and elevations in plasma alkaline phosphatase and alanine aminotransferase were evident. Abdominal ultrasound revealed questionable, diffuse hepatomegaly. Computed tomography revealed hepatic venous congestion, severe dilation of the pre-hepatic caudal vena cava, and bicavitary effusion, consistent with Budd-Chiari-like syndrome. Turbulent blood flow within the dilated segment of the caudal vena cava was present on spectral Doppler evaluation. Fine needle aspirate and cytology of the liver revealed necrosis with no evidence of infectious organisms . . .


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