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Rodents and lagomorphs
Diagnostic challenges and surgical treatment of hydroureteronephrosis in a rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus)
  1. Stamatios Alan Tahas1,
  2. Juliet Pope2,
  3. Daniela Denk3 and
  4. Richard Saunders4
  1. 1 University of Zurich, Clinic for Zoo Animals, Exotic Pets and Wildlife, Zurich, Switzerland
  2. 2 Highcroft Veterinary Referrals, Bristol, UK
  3. 3 International Zoo Veterinary Group, IZVG Pathology, Yeadon, Leeds, UK
  4. 4 Bristol Zoo Gardens, Bristol, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Stamatios Alan Tahas; stahas{at}


A two-and-half-year-old male neutered rabbit was referred for investigation of intermittent urinary disease of 13 months in duration. Case work-up led to the diagnosis of unilateral hydroureteronephrosis following obstructive ureterolithiasis. The establishment of contralateral kidney function before ureteronephrectomy constituted a particular diagnostic challenge. This was assessed by a combination of imaging, serum biochemistry, urine protein to creatinine ratio and γ-glutamyltransferase index. Ureteronephrectomy was subsequently performed, with initial remission of all clinical signs. However, an adhesion of mesenteric adipose tissue to the caecum was identified and resected following frequent re-presentation. At the time of submission (800 days following initial surgery), the rabbit was still alive and healthy. The successful outcome may indicate a more favourable prognosis for rabbits with unilateral ureteronephrolithiasis and/or hydroureteronephrosis than is historically proposed.

  • Renal Disease
  • Surgical Complication
  • Ureterolithiasis
  • Renal Diagnostics
  • Hydroureteronephrosis
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  • Contributors SAT, JP and RS were involved in presentation, diagnostics, treatment and clinical management of the case. DD performed pathology of removed tissues. SAT and DD drafted the article. SAT is guarantor. All authors contributed to revisions and final writing of the article.

  • Competing interests No, there are no competing interests.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement No additional data are available.

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