Inconclusive results from post-mortem examination

Not all causes of sudden death can be diagnosed from a quick post-mortem examination with histopathology. A more detailed deconstructive examination may or may not diagnose brain pathology. 

Examples of conditions with inconclusive results include:

  • Head trauma
  • Predator attack- especially if the rabbit has been grabbed by the throat causing vagal stimulation or hypoxia
  • Brain disease
  • Hypoxia (e.g. from suffocation)
  • Septic shock- from bite wounds or some peracute bacterial infections
  • Acute renal failure
  • Intestinal obstruction- although this should be evident from gross post-mortem finding
  • Enterotoxaemia- this may be evident from gross post-mortem examination but rapid decomposition of the intestines can make diagnosis difficult.
  • Hypothermia
  • Hyperthermia
  • Cardiac dysrhythmias
  • Electrocution
  • Acute toxicity (cyanide gas, Yew poisoning)