Esther van Praag Ph.D.
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Warning: this file contains pictures that may
be distressing for people
reddish excrescences sometimes protrude from the anus of rabbits. Their
origin is not well-understood; they are not associated to the papilloma
viruses causing oral or cutaneous papilloma (Shope papilloma virus).
The cauliflower-like tumors arise
at the mucocutaneous junction of the rectum and the anus. The tumors are well
differentiated and benign. They bleed profusely when damaged.
Clinical signs and
presence of rectal or anal papilloma is a cause of discomfort. They can,
furthermore, lead to persistent, ineffectual spasms of the rectum with
inability to defecate (fecal tenesmus). This can lead to misdiagnosis of
stasis or inflammation of the intestine (colitis).
regression of the anorectal papilloma is possible. Surgical removal of the
tumor remains, however, the treatment of choice as anal papilloma tumors are
the result of pre-malignant transformations of squamous columnar cells of the
anal or rectal mucosa. Ablative methods include classical surgical excision
or destruction by laser, electrodissecation or liquid nitrogen. If the growth
is located in the rectum, it can be accessed by everting the rectum through
the anus (”pull-out technique”). It is important to remove the papilloma
fully, including the basis to avoid recurrence. The tumor can be sent to a
specialized laboratory for hystopathologic analysis.
If the tumor is invasive or presents cancerous characteristics, it
should be excised with the widest margin possible.
care includes the administration of NSAID’s analgesics to reduce the
inflammation of tissues and to control pain, and a diet rich in fiber.
Prognosis is good.
are due to Akira Yamanouchi, for
the permission to use the papilloma pictures from VEIN (Veterinary Exotic Information Network).
Bourne D. Organisation Wildlife Information Network.
Harcourt-Brown, F. Textbook of
Rabbit Medicine. Publisher Reed Educational and Professional Publishing Ltd,
Oxford, UK. 2002
Manning, P.J., Ringler, D.H. &
Newcomer, C.E. The Biology of the Laboratory Rabbit - Second Edition.
Publisher Academic Press Limited, 24-28 Oval Rd, London, UK. 1994
Quesenberry, K.E. & Carpenter J.W.
Ferrets, Rabbits and Rodents - Clinical Medicine and Surgery. 2nd Edition. Publisher WB Saunders, Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania, USA. 2004