Pain in rabbits: a review for veterinary nurses [Part 1-3]
Malik, A. (2021) Pain in rabbits: a review for veterinary nurses, part one: assessment of pain. Veterinary Nursing Journal, 36 (3), pp. 105-112
Malik, A. (2021) Pain in rabbits: a review for veterinary nurses, part two: management of pain in hospital. Veterinary Nursing Journal, 36 (4), pp. 132-138
Malik, A. (2021) Pain in rabbits: a review for veterinary nurses, part three: management of chronic pain at home. Veterinary Nursing Journal, 36 (5), pp. 162-168
This three-part review article looks at the recognition and management of pain in rabbits.
Part one focuses on the assessment and recognition of pain, discussing the physiological and behavioural signs that indicate pain in rabbits. The importance of awareness of what normal behaviour in a rabbit consists of is emphasised, as well as the need for ‘whole patient’ pain assessment where tools such as the Rabbit Grimace Scale are used alongside other parameters and not as a standalone method of pain assessment.
In part two, the different methods of managing pain in a hospitalised rabbit are considered, including the analgesic options for the different pain pathways. Multi-modal approaches are described, and local anaesthesia and analgesia techniques discussed. Drug dose ranges are provided in the supplementary materials.
Part three looks at options for managing chronic pain in rabbits in the home, including the benefits of physical rehabilitation in conjunction with multi-modal analgesia. The review concludes with a detailed case study demonstrating the importance of continued monitoring of the patient, as additional interventions or treatments may be needed when the chronic pain condition deteriorates.
Throughout the article, the text is supported by references to the latest published research and clear images.
This review article provides detailed practical information that will be useful to all members of the veterinary team in practices that treat rabbits.
Other relevant resources
The Rabbit Grimmace Scale [NC3Rs] [online] Available from: https://www.nc3rs.org.uk/rabbit-grimace-scale [Accessed 18 June 2021]
Image copyright attribute: Judith Dzierzawa