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Cardiopulmonary resuscitation in hospitalized Rabbits: 15 cases

Buckley, G.J., DeCubellis, J., Sharp, C.R.ORCID: 0000-0002-1797-9783 and Rozanski, E.A. (2011) Cardiopulmonary resuscitation in hospitalized Rabbits: 15 cases. Journal of Exotic Pet Medicine, 20 (1). pp. 46-50.

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Cardiopulmonary arrest is relatively common in hospitalized rabbits. The purpose of this study was to assess whether cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) was effective in rabbits with cardiopulmonary arrest. Rabbit patients were evaluated on patient characteristics, treatment, and outcome after CPR. Only rabbits with complete medical records were included in this retrospective study. The complete files were obtained after a thorough search of the hospital medical records system and anesthesia morbidity and mortality records for rabbits undergoing CPR. Fifteen complete records were identified that matched the criteria of the study, which included 5 intact does, 4 spayed does, 1 intact buck, and 5 neutered bucks. Ages ranged from 6 months to 10 years (median age, 39 months). Fourteen of the 15 cardiac arrest patients in the study were witnessed. Five arrests occurred during anesthesia, 5 within 24 hours of anesthesia, and 5 were unassociated with anesthesia. Two rabbits were intubated before CPR, 3 during CPR, facemasks were used in 7 animals, tracheostomy in 1, and the method of ventilation was unknown in 2 rabbits. Treatments included epinephrine 0.006-0.26 mg/kg (median, 0.09 mg/kg), atropine 0.015-0.18 mg/kg (median, 0.04 mg/kg), and glycopyrrolate 0.002-0.045 mg/kg (median, 0.01 mg/kg). Other treatments included vasopressin, dextrose, yohimbine, naloxone, fluids, and oxyglobin. Return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) occurred in 7 animals (2 with intubation, 5 with facemask ventilation). Two of the rabbit patients experienced only transient ROSC, 5 had longer survival, 1 was later euthanized, and 3 died. One rabbit that experienced 3 cardiac arrests in rapid succession made a full recovery and was discharged. Three out of the 5 rabbits that experienced long- or medium-term survival after ROSC experienced an anesthesia-related arrest. The prognosis associated with CPR in rabbits is similar to that reported in other species. Tight-fitting facemasks can provide effective respiratory support in rabbits during CPR. Conventional CPR techniques for other species appear effective in rabbits.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Elsevier
Copyright: © 2011 Elsevier Inc.
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