Objective: To document the clinical presentation, diagnostics, treatment, and clinical
outcome of rabbits with dacryocystitis.
Materials and methods: This retrospective study included 28 rabbits diagnosed with
dacryocystitis. Available records of clinical and ophthalmological examinations,
bacteriological samplings, diagnostic imaging, and treatment were reviewed. A
telephone survey of the owners was conducted to evaluate recovery and recurrences.
Results: The mean age of the 28 rabbits presenting with ocular discharge from the
nasolacrimal duct was 4.4 years. In 25 rabbits (89%), dacryocystitis was a unilateral
finding. No underlying cause could be determined in 10 animals (35%). Dental
malocclusion was observed in 14 rabbits (50%) and rhinitis in two animals (7%), with
one animal showing both symptoms (4%). One rabbit (4%) presented with
panophthalmitis. Most animals (96%) received topical antibiotic treatment. If
necessary, additional topical (acetylcysteine, vitamin A ointment, nonsteroidals) or
systemic treatment (antibiotics, nonsteroidals, paramunity inducer, and
glucocorticoids) was provided. The mean duration of therapy was 5.8 weeks. The
nasolacrimal duct was flushed in 27 of 31 affected eyes (87%). Dentistry was
performed in 80% of the animals suffering from malocclusion. Regarding the clinical
outcome, 12 animals (43%) showed complete recovery, eight rabbits (28%) were
euthanized, three (11%) died due to unrelated causes, and three (11%) were lost to
follow-up. Two rabbits (7%) continue to display signs of dacryocystitis and are being
treated symptomatically by the owners.
Conclusions: This study reports the clinical presentation, treatment, and outcome of
dacryocystitis in rabbits and outlines the importance of examination of the oral cavity,
diagnostic imaging, and bacteriologic sampling.