Perforated gastric ulcers

Hepatic lipidosis is the end point of untreated gut stasis. Fat is broken down as an energy source and is broken down by beta-oxidation in the liver. A metabolic bottleneck occurs and ketoacidosis is the result. Affected rabbits die from liver and/or kidney failure. Disseminated intravascular coagulopathy may occur. Gastric ulceration is another feature of untreated gut stasis. This image shows the appearance of the liver and stomach of a rabbit that died from hepatic lipidosis: the liver is very pale and the dark areas on the stomach are ulcers. The primary problem was a dental spur.

Gastric ulceration is a common post-mortem finding in rabbits and in some cases they have perforated by the time post-mortem examination takes place. It can be difficult to be certain that it was the cause of death unless the body is very fresh. Clinical signs before death are non -specific. The rabbit is usually presented collapsed and dying.