Emergency Care of Rabbits & Rodents
Rabbits and rodents are becoming increasingly common pets in today’s society.
These patients have a profound, innate ability to mask signs of disease. The consequence of this is that they frequently present in a critical condition and require emergency care. This ability to hide clinical illness, combined with their small size and susceptibility to significant stress, can make them challenging creatures to treat.
This course aims to introduce the veterinary clinician to the principles of assessment, triage and stabilisation of rabbit and rodent emergencies. The first module outlines physical exam and diagnostic testing in critical patients. The second module discusses clinical consequences encountered in critical patients and their appropriate management.
The ultimate goal of this course is to improve the knowledge and confidence of veterinarians when faced with rabbit and rodent emergencies and empower them to provide a higher level of care to these species.
After successful completion of this course, you will:
Module 1: Triage and initial assessment of rabbit and rodent emergencies
- Understand how rabbits and rodents mask clinical signs of disease and how this influences the way they present in times of illness
- Be able to triage and perform a physical exam in critical rabbits and rodents and be alert to physiological parameters that are abnormal
- Understand ways to minimise and manage stress in hospital for these patients
- Be familiar with the hallmarks of shock in rabbits and rodents
- Understand the importance of gastrointestinal function in herbivorous small mammals
- Select appropriate diagnostic tests to facilitate diagnosis and direct targeted treatment according to the abnormalities found on examination and the reason/s for presentation
- Understand the limitations of performing certain diagnostics in rabbits and rodents and when chemical restraint may be required
Module 2: Stabilisation and critical care of rabbits and rodents
- Know the common clinical consequences that may need addressing in rabbit and rodent emergencies
- Be able to provide appropriate emergency treatment to rabbit and rodent patients depending on their individual needs
- Know the fluid therapy access sites for rabbits and rodents and be able to formulate a fluid therapy plan according to the patient’s requirements
- Be able to select and provide appropriate analgesic options for rabbits and rodents suffering painful conditions
- Know the appropriate supplementary nutrition options for rabbits and rodents
- Understand how to manage ileus in herbivorous species