Liver Lobe Torsion in Rabbits


A 3-year-old female rabbit presented for vague signs (decreased appetite and stool, less active), and physical examination findings (mild abdominal discomfort upon palpation) consistent with Rabbit Gastrointestinal Syndrome (RGIS). What is your next diagnostic or treatment step? Many underlying disease conditions can cause this clinical presentation, some mild, and some potentially catastrophic, e.g. GI foreign body obstruction.

For this reason, rabbits presenting with RGIS should ideally undergo a diagnostic work up, including abdominal radiographs and a biochemistry panel. Dr Jennifer Graham’s excellent article (below) found that the overwhelming majority of rabbits with liver lobe torsion had a similar presentation, but showed an elevation in liver enzymes; in each case, diagnosis was confirmed by use of hepatic ultrasound with Doppler assessment. Rapid surgical intervention and liver lobectomy was curative.

Read more here.

Journal of Exotic Pet Medicine 23(3); 2014.                                                                              

Liver Lobe Torsion in Rabbits: 16 Cases (2007 to 2012)                                                                

Jennifer E. Graham,DVM, Dip. ABVP (Avian; Exotic Companion Mammal), Dip. ACZM; Connie J. Orcutt,DVM, Dip. ABVP (Avian; Exotic Companion Mammal); Sue A. Casale,DVM, Dip. ACVS; Patty J. Ewing,DVM, MS, Dip. ACVP; Jessica Basseches,DVM, Dip. ACVR