Presenting problem: Dyspnea in Rabbits

It is critical to approach the dyspneic rabbit quietly, carefully, and gently. Many rabbits with respiratory disease are unstable upon presentation, given the stress of their condition compounded by the stress of transport and the strange smells, sights and sounds of the veterinary clinic. In many cases, it is prudent to delay handling the patient. Transfer the rabbit to . . .

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Brown YK. Pathology in practice. J Am Vet Med Assoc 237(11):1257-1259 , 2010. 2008.

Clippinger TL, Bennett RA, Alleman AR, et al. Removal of a thymoma via median sternotomy in a rabbit with recurrent appendicular neurfibrosarcoma. J Am Vet Med Assoc 213(8):1140-1143, 1998.

Cloyd GG, Johnson GR. Lymphosarcoma with lymphoblastic leukemia in a New Zealand white rabbit. Lab Anim Sci 28(1):66-69, 1978.

Deeb BJ. Respiratory disease and pasteurellosis. In: Quesenberry KE, Carpenter JW (eds). Ferrets, Rabbits, and Rodents: Clinical Medicine and Surgery, 2nd ed. Philadelphia; WB Saunders; 2003. Pp. 172-182.

Dirven MJ, Cornelissen JM, Van den Ingh TS, Van der Luer RJ. Case report: Malignant thymoma and uterine carcinoma in a rabbit. Tijdschr Diergeneeskd 134(4):146-150, 2009.

Geertsema RS, LaFranco-Scheuch L, Jenné KJ, Richter PH. Sneezing, nasal discharge, dyspnea and sudden death in rabbits. What’s your diagnosis? Lab Anim 37(1):17, 2008.

Grint NJ, Sayers IR, Cecchi R, et al. Postanaesthetic tracheal strictures in three rabbits. Lab Anim 40(3):301-308, 2006.

Lord B, Devine C, Smith S. Congestive heart failure in two pet rabbits. J Small Anim Pract 52(1):46-50, 2011.

Macintire DK, Drobatz KJ, Haskins SC, Saxon WD. Respiratory emergencies. In: Macintire DK, Drobatz KJ, Haskins SC, Saxon WD (eds). Manual of Small Animal Emergency and Critical Care Medicine. Ames; Blackwell Publishing; 2006. Pp. 115-118.

Meredith A. Respiratory disorders. In: Meredith A, Flecknell P (eds). BSAVA Manual of Rabbit Medicine and Surgery, 2nd ed. Gloucester; British Small Animal Veterinary Association; 2006. Pp. 67.

Sanchez-Migallon Mayer J, Gould J, Azuma C. Radiation therapy for the treatment of thymoma in rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus). J Exotic Pet Med 15(2):138-144, 2006.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service [USDA APHIS]. Rabbit hemorrhagic disease, Indiana June 15, 2005 Impact Worksheet. Available at the Center for Emergency Issues. Accessed on August 14, 2011.

Woodhouse SJ. What is your diagnosis? J Am Vet Med Assoc 238(3):289-290, 2011.


Further reading

Deeb BJ, DiGiacomo RF. Respiratory disease of rabbits. Vet Clin North Am: Exotic Anim Pract 3():465-480, 2000.

Jasani S. Saunders Solutions in Veterinary Practice: Small Animal Emergency. Churchill Livingston Elsevier; New York; 2011. Pp. 96-101.

Ludwig E, Reischl U, Janik D, Hermanns W. Granulomatous pneumonia caused by Mycobacterium genavense in a dwarf rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus). Vet Pathol 46(5):1000-1002, 2009.

Weber HW, Van der Walt JJ. Cardiomyopathy in crowded rabbits. Recent Advances in Studies on Cardiac Structure and Metabolism 6:471-477, 1975.


To cite this page:

Pollock C. Presenting problem: Dyspnea in rabbits. April 25, 2012. LafeberVet Web site. Available at