Surgical management of vertebral synovial cysts in a rabbit (oryctolagus cuniculus)

Joy A Delamaide Gasper, Helena Rylander, Christoph Mans, Kenneth R. Waller, Denise Imai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Case Description-An approximately 8-month-old female Miniature Lop rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) was evaluated because of an acute onset of progressive paraparesis. Clinical Findings-The rabbit was ambulatory paraparetic, and results of neurologic examination were consistent with a myelopathy localizing to the T3-L3 spinal cord segments. Evaluation with CT myelography revealed focal extradural spinal cord compression bilaterally at the level of the articular process joints of T12-L1. Treatment and Outcome-A Funkquist type A dorsal laminectomy was performed at T12- L1, and the vertebral column was stabilized with pins and polymethylmethacrylate-based cement. Multiple vertebral synovial cysts were confirmed on histologic evaluation of the surgically excised tissues. The rabbit was nonambulatory with severe paraparesis postoperatively and was ambulatory paraparetic at a recheck examination 7 weeks after surgery. Fourteen weeks after surgery, the rabbit appeared stronger; it walked and hopped slowly but still fell and dragged its hindquarters when moving faster. Thirty-seven weeks after surgery, the neurologic status was unchanged. Clinical Relevance-Although thoracolumbar myelopathy in rabbits is commonly secondary to vertebral fracture, vertebral synovial cysts should be considered a differential diagnosis for rabbits with slowly progressive paraparesis. Decompressive surgery and stabilization can result in a good outcome for rabbits with this condition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)830-834
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 1 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)
  • Medicine(all)


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