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Haemorrhage

Occasionally a spur on the tooth can perforate a major blood vessels in the mouth and cause fatal haemorrhage. In this case the buccal artery had been perforated by a sharp spur on the tooth that had torn the mucosa (arrow). A large blood clot was occluding the pharynx.

Rabbit blood clots quickly so haemorrhage is an unusual cause of death. Causes iof primary haemorrhage nclude as trauma or surgery, although this is unusual. Fatal haemorrhage can be the result of dental disease if a sharp spur lacerates the lingual artery, as shown in the picture, the white arrow points to the wound caused by the spur. It is not known if clotting defects occur in rabbits but exposure to rodenticides can occur as they are palatable to rabbits that have access to them. RHD is the primary cause of inexpicable abdominal blood although, as in other species, trauma and ruptured blood vessels or organs can also occur, especially if there is another underlying disease, such as liver lobe torsion, hepatic lipidosis or neoplasia. An approach to cases of suspected RHD can be found here.