Diagnosis and surgical treatment of a malignant trichoepithelioma of the ear canal in a pet rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus)

Casey Budgeon, Christoph Mans, Tamara Chamberlin, John Stein, Randi Drees, Cecilia Robat, Marie Pinkerton, Denise M. Imai, Jonathan McAnulty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Case Description-A 10-year-old spayed female Holland Lop-mix pet rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) was evaluated because of purulent-hemorrhagic discharge from the right ear canal and a suspected mass within that ear canal. Clinical Findings-Results of contrast-enhanced CT, video otoscopy, and histologic examination of endoscopic tissue biopsy samples indicated severe otitis media and externa and a benign trichoepithelioma of the right ear canal. Treatment and Outcome-Total ear canal ablation and lateral bulla osteotomy were performed. Histologic examination of a surgical biopsy sample of the mass indicated malignant trichoepithelioma. Tumor recurrence was detected 22 weeks after surgery. The rabbit was euthanized 33 weeks after surgery because of the large size of the recurrent tumor and declining quality of life. Necropsy findings indicated a malignant trichoepithelioma with local and lymphatic invasion into the right mandibular lymph node. Clinical Relevance-This was the first report of the clinical diagnosis, surgical treatment, and outcome for a domestic rabbit with a diagnosis of a malignant trichoepithelioma of the ear canal and associated otitis media and externa. Neoplasia should be included as a differential diagnosis for pet rabbits with otitis externa and media. Although such tumors are typically benign, trichoepitheliomas in rabbits can be malignant. Computed tomography and histologic examination of tissue samples were useful diagnostic techniques, but histologic examination of an endoscopic biopsy sample did not allow identification of malignant characteristics of the trichoepithelioma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)227-231
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 15 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)
  • Medicine(all)


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