Rabbit neutering in primary-care education: insights from a surgical clinic

Benato, L. and Hammond, J. (2018) Rabbit neutering in primary-care education: insights from a surgical clinic. Journal of Veterinary Medical Education, 45(1), pp. 91-98. (doi: 10.3138/jvme.0916-149r) (PMID:28813172)

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Involvement in canine and feline surgical neutering clinics is generally considered to be a key element of primary-care veterinary education, yet opportunities for veterinary students to develop their surgical skills with rabbit patients are uncommon. This is despite the fact that rabbits are currently estimated to be the third-most popular companion animal species and the fact that the British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA) recommends that all non-breeding rabbits be neutered soon after they attain sexual maturity. We describe a pilot rabbit-neutering clinic designed to provide high-quality care for rabbit patients while offering opportunities for undergraduate surgical and case-management skills development. We report on the clinical outcomes for patients. Rates of morbidity (n=18) and mortality (n=1) were low. Of complications reported, the majority (n=16) were considered minor. Challenges included ensuring that staff and students were trained in the specific features of rabbit anesthesia and recovery behavior. We conclude that rabbit surgical clinics offer excellent learning opportunities for undergraduate veterinary students. With prior training in handling and close individual supervision, it is possible to achieve good clinical outcomes and to have a positive impact on the welfare of companion animal populations.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Benato, Miss Livia and Hammond, Mrs Jennifer
Authors: Benato, L., and Hammond, J.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Biodiversity, One Health & Veterinary Medicine
Journal Name:Journal of Veterinary Medical Education
Publisher:University of Toronto Press
ISSN (Online):1943-7218
Published Online:16 August 2017
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2017 JVME
First Published:First published in Journal of Veterinary Medical Education 45(1): 91-98
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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