The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies

Rare giant rabbits at risk of unusual fractures, cases suggest

Giant breed rabbits appear susceptible to an unusual, but recoverable, type of leg break, recent case studies show.

Male, neutered Continental Giant rabbits appear to be predisposed to a rare type of leg fracture – but these can be treated successfully in most cases, although with common complications, vets have found.

The fracture affects the end of the thigh bone where it forms the knee joint with the lower leg.

The underlying reason that predisposes the breed to this type of injury is unclear, experts say.

Giant Continental rabbits

Lack of injury

Vets at the Dick Vet treated four Continental Giant rabbits for fractures of this type. Three recovered limb function with no reported lameness.

Each of the rabbits had developed the injury without trauma to the affected leg having been witnessed.

Results suggest there may be inherent weakness in the bones, or that fractures are caused by stress, making them more susceptible to the injury.

The study was published in Journal of Small Animal Practice.

This is a very uncommon fracture, yet we saw it only in a less common breed of rabbit. It is important that vets and owners are aware of the apparent increased risk of fractures of this sort in Continental Giant breed rabbits.

Professor Dylan ClementsProfessor of Small Animal Orthopaedics, Head of Small Animal Surgery

Related links

Scientific publication

Dick Vet Rabbit and Exotic Practice

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