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Progression and risk factors of pododermatitis in part-time group housed rabbit does in Switzerland


Ruchti, Sabrina; Kratzer, Gilles; Furrer, Reinhard; Hartnack, Sonja; Würbel, Hanno; Gebhardt-Henrich, Sabine G (2019). Progression and risk factors of pododermatitis in part-time group housed rabbit does in Switzerland. Preventive veterinary medicine, 166:56-64.

Abstract

In rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus L.), pododermatitis is a chronic multifactorial skin disease that appears mainly on the plantar surface of the hind legs. This presumably progressive disease can cause pain leading to poor welfare, yet the progression of this disease has not been thoroughly assessed on the level of individual animals. The aim of this longitudinal study thus was to investigate the possible risk factors and the progression of pododermatitis in group housed breeding does in Switzerland on litter and plastic slats.Three commercial rabbit farms with part-time group housing on litter and plastic slats were visited every four weeks throughout one year. During every visit, the same 201 adult female breeding rabbits (67 does per farm) were evaluated for the presence and severity of pododermatitis. Additionally, the does’ age, parity, body weight, reproductive state, hybrid, claw length, cleanliness and moisture of the paws and the temperature and humidity inside the barns were recorded as potential risk factors. The risk factors were analysed through general linear models and additive Bayesian network (ABN) modelling using a directed acyclic graph (DAG) for visualising associations between potential risk factors. The progression of pododermatitis was analysed with a transition matrix. Relative humidity inside the barns, body weight, number of kindlings, age, and claw length were the most important risk factors, all being positively associated with pododermatitis. In contrast to expectations, the cleanliness of the left hind paw was negatively associated with the occurrence of pododermatitis, but the effect was small. In young does, the severity of pododermatitis quickly increased and in some rabbits proceeded to ulcerated spots. It was shown that 60.00%, 14.17% and 3.33% of ulcerated lesions recovered to a state without ulceration within 4, 8 or >12 weeks, respectively.

Abstract

In rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus L.), pododermatitis is a chronic multifactorial skin disease that appears mainly on the plantar surface of the hind legs. This presumably progressive disease can cause pain leading to poor welfare, yet the progression of this disease has not been thoroughly assessed on the level of individual animals. The aim of this longitudinal study thus was to investigate the possible risk factors and the progression of pododermatitis in group housed breeding does in Switzerland on litter and plastic slats.Three commercial rabbit farms with part-time group housing on litter and plastic slats were visited every four weeks throughout one year. During every visit, the same 201 adult female breeding rabbits (67 does per farm) were evaluated for the presence and severity of pododermatitis. Additionally, the does’ age, parity, body weight, reproductive state, hybrid, claw length, cleanliness and moisture of the paws and the temperature and humidity inside the barns were recorded as potential risk factors. The risk factors were analysed through general linear models and additive Bayesian network (ABN) modelling using a directed acyclic graph (DAG) for visualising associations between potential risk factors. The progression of pododermatitis was analysed with a transition matrix. Relative humidity inside the barns, body weight, number of kindlings, age, and claw length were the most important risk factors, all being positively associated with pododermatitis. In contrast to expectations, the cleanliness of the left hind paw was negatively associated with the occurrence of pododermatitis, but the effect was small. In young does, the severity of pododermatitis quickly increased and in some rabbits proceeded to ulcerated spots. It was shown that 60.00%, 14.17% and 3.33% of ulcerated lesions recovered to a state without ulceration within 4, 8 or >12 weeks, respectively.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Mathematics
07 Faculty of Science > Institute for Computational Science
05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Chair in Veterinary Epidemiology
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
Uncontrolled Keywords:Food Animals, Animal Science and Zoology, Additive Bayesian network modelling; Group housing; Pododermatitis; Progression; Rabbit; Risk factors
Language:English
Date:1 May 2019
Deposited On:28 Apr 2019 14:47
Last Modified:28 Apr 2019 14:47
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0167-5877
OA Status:Green
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.prevetmed.2019.01.013
PubMed ID:30935506
Project Information:
  • : FunderSwiss Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office (FSVO)
  • : Grant ID2.13.08
  • : Project Title

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