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Determining the Best Treatment for Naturally Occurring Gastric Outflow Obstruction in Rabbits

black and white rabbit in field of daisies

Obstruction of the rabbit GI tract is a devastating disease of pet rabbits and currently there is limited data to guide veterinarians towards the best treatment option for each case. The goal of this study is to build and strengthen our database on naturally occurring cases of gastrointestinal obstruction in pet rabbits in order to improve survival rates. By accumulating a larger amount of data on these cases we aim to better define the disease in our patients and determine if certain patients are better served with surgery, medical management, or a combination of the two.

ELIGIBILITY:  Rabbits that present to the Cornell University Hospital for Animals will be examined and a presumptive diagnosis of gastric outflow obstruction will be made based on the history, physical examination and X-rays.

COMPENSATION: Rabbits that qualify will receive certain diagnostic tests at no charge in order to establish a ‘minimum data base’ for this study. These test include up to an abdominal ultrasound, blood work, endoscopy, and intensive monitoring.

OWNER RESPONSIBILITY: Rabbits will then go to surgery or have medical management of their obstruction based on the results of these tests and discussion with the owners. Other expenses related to the patient’s care such as the examination, x-rays, hospitalization, surgery, anesthesia, post-operative care, and medical management are the responsibility of the owner. No additional follow-up information is required.

Principal Investigator: James Morrisey, DVM, AVBP (Avian)

CONTACT/SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT: For questions or more information contact Dr. James Morrisey at 607.253.3060 or email

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