Rabbits Attacked By Cancer In Different Forms Rabbits Attacked By Cancer In Different Forms Rabbits Attacked By Cancer In Different Forms Rabbits Attacked By Cancer In Different Forms
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Rabbits Attacked By Cancer In Different Forms

The deadly disease ‘cancer’ has not even spared our little bunny rabbits and unfortunately, there are several types of cancer that can be seen in these animals.


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.

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