Pilot study on serum C-reactive protein in pet rabbits: clinical usefulness

13 Sep 2019

Oohashi, E., Kimura, Y., Matsumoto, K.

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The present study was performed to evaluate the usefulness of serum C-reactive protein (CRP) as an acute phase reactive protein in pet rabbits in clinical practice.


The CRP level using a rabbit CRP ELISA and white blood cell (WBC) count in pet rabbits (30 healthy controls and 62 with various diseases) were measured in the clinical practice setting. The CRP level and WBC count were measured before and after ovariohysterectomy of a healthy rabbit and a rabbit with uterine adenocarcinoma. The association between the CRP level and mortality in rabbits with various diseases was assessed.


The CRP level in healthy controls was 0.52±0.82 mg/dl (mean±SD). No age and sex-related differences in neither the CRP level nor WBC count were observed in the healthy control rabbits. The CRP levels in rabbits with gastrointestinal disease (n=22, 11.74±22.89 mg/dl), reproductive and urinary system disease (n=20, 21.19±49.68 mg/dl), dental disease (n=6, 4.87±5.47 mg/dl) and musculoskeletal disease (n=4, 85.66±107.28 mg/dl) were significantly higher than those in healthy controls. The CRP levels in rabbits with neurological disease (n=7, 2.55±1.79 mg/dl) and dermatological disease (n=3, 8.84±7.71 mg/dl) were higher than those in healthy controls, but no significant difference was observed. The WBC counts were not significantly different between rabbits with diseases and healthy controls. Serum samples were collected from two rabbits before and after ovariohysterectomy. In both rabbits, the CRP peaked on postoperative day 1, but no obvious WBC peak was observed. The mortality rate increased as the CRP level increased; the mortality rate was significantly higher in rabbits with a CRP level of ≥100 mg/dl than of <10 mg/dl.


This study indicates that the serum CRP level is useful to determine the disease status, monitor the treatment course and evaluate the prognosis in pet rabbits in clinical practice.