Most frequent types of tumours found in rabbits comprise
of the interstitial cell tumour of the testes.
Lymphosarcoma (juvenile and young) in rabbits more
often is genetically transmitted and is of autosomal recessive
nature. Lymphosarcoma can form in any tissue, with
the most common ones being the lymph nodes, skin,
kidneys, liver and spleen.
Next comes Mammary tumours, that generally make
a sudden assault and are chiefly carcinomas. The
Myxoma virus infection in rabbits causes skin tumours
which are mainly fibrous, while the Nephroma (juvenile)
develops in the embryo of the rabbit.
Another type of neoplasia in rabbits is Papilloma
which is caused by the papilloma viruses and attacks
the skin (Shope papilloma) or the mouth. If it occurs
in the skin, the infection lasts long and then becomes
carcinomas. However, if it happens in the mouth,
the tumours are small and look like grey-white nodules
which develop under the tongue and on the gums as
well. Squamous cell carcinoma is also common in rabbits
along with Uterine adenocarcinoma. Uterine adenocarcinoma
is seen generally in Dutch, Havana, French Silver
and Tan rabbits.
However, it is quite rare in the Belgian and Rex
lot. This type attacks rabbits over 3 years of age
with above 50% of rabbits being susceptible to such
an infection because of their breed. These rabbits
may also be hormone dose-dependent (oestrogen). As
the first signs of the Uterine adenocarcinoma, symptoms
of reproductive failure may surface, for instance
abortion, failure to conceive, resorption, stillbirths,
small litter size or retained foetuses. Also, a link
between the occurrence of uterine hyperplasia or
pregnancy toxaemia and the development of cancer
cannot be overruled. After staying on for over 9
months, metastatic spread - (local or hematological)
is quite common.
Most types of cancer in rabbits are curable through
surgery if detected on time. The Hysterectomy operation
is able to protect rabbits from the formation of
uterine adenocarcinoma. Moreover, procedures like
chemotherapy and radiation have also been proved
safe and successful for rabbits. Localized bone cancer
in a limb of a rabbit can be cured by amputation.