& Management / Disease
Investigation & Management / Techniques:
- An assistant restrains the rabbit properly - on a non-slip surface,
with the lumbar spine supported by the handler's forearms and the
handler's hands supporting the thorax.
- Choose an appropriate site: at the base of the ears, or on the back
- Part the fur with the fingers of one hand to expose the skin.
- Insert a fine (25 to 27 gauge) needle at a shallow angle into the
- A 29 Birmingham wire gauge (0.4 mm) needle is recommended. (J15.29.w2)
- Insert the point of the needle at right angles into the skin so
it just penetrates into, but not through, the skin. (J15.29.w2)
- Lower the syringe gradually until the needle is parallel to the
surface of the skin. (J15.29.w2)
- Advance the needle until the bevel is completely within the
- Inject carefully.
- If the needle is correctly placed, a "bleb" will become
visible in the skin.
Alternative method for vaccination: (B600.3.w3)
- Use a 23-25 gauge needle.
- Inject into the scruff of the neck
- Give 0.9mL of the 1 ml dose subcutaneously.
- Orient the needle bevel up and slowly advance the needle up into the overlying dermis.
- Inject the final 0.1 mL into the dermis from underneath.
- A bleb of vaccine should be felt forming in the
dermis by pinching the skin that is over the end of
the needle between the forefinger and thumb.
|Appropriate Use (?)
- Usually for injection of a tenth of the dose of the vaccine against
- The remainder of the vaccine is injected subcutaneously at
another site. (J15.29.w2)
|| Techniques used in wild lagomorphs
- While most veterinary procedures described for use in domestic
rabbits can also be used in wild lagomorphs, it is much more likely
that sedation or anaesthesia will be required to carry out such
procedures in these animals.
|Complications/ Limitations / Risk
- The needle can easily go through the skin so that the injection is
made subcutaneously instead of intradermally; this can be detected
because no "bleb" will form in the skin. (B601.2.w2)
|Equipment / Chemicals required and Suppliers
|Expertise level / Ease of Use
- This procedure should only be
carried out by an individual with appropriate clinical training and practical
- Inexpensive; no special equipment required. (B601.2.w2)
|Legal and Ethical Considerations
In some countries there may be
legislation restricting the use of this type of technique to licensed veterinarians. For
example in the UK: "The Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966 (Section 19) provides,
subject to a number of exceptions, that only registered members of the Royal College of
Veterinary Surgeons may practice veterinary surgery." (See: LCofC1
- RCVS Guide to Professional Conduct 2000 - Treatment of
Animals by Non-Veterinary Surgeons).
Use of Drugs
- Many drugs are not registered for use in lagomorphs and care should
be taken in their use, with proper regard for possible toxic effects. Consideration should
be give to relevant legislation regarding the use of drugs.
- In any country, drugs are unlikely to be specifically licensed for use
in non-domestic mammals.
- In Europe the prescription cascade must be followed, and the
client's informed consent should be obtained, whenever a drug is
used which is not licensed for use in a given species. (B284.5.w5)
- In the UK, guidelines regarding the use of drugs are set out in the Royal College
of Veterinary Surgeons Guide to Professional Conduct 2000: (see: LCofC1
- RCVS Guide to Professional Conduct 2000 - Choice of Medicinal Products).
||Debra Bourne MA VetMB PhD
|| Tiffany Blackett BVetMed MRCVS (V.w44)