This study examined medical records of 898 pet rabbits from a referral exotic animal hospital in Japan to determine breed; date of birth and death; sex and neuter status; date of neutering; cause of death; and primary gross, histopathologic, or cytopathologic findings.
Median age at death was 7 years; 18% of rabbits lived >9 years, with survival recorded up to 15 years. The most common causes of death were neoplasia (24.8%), GI disease (15%), bacterial abscess (10%), urinary disease (9.5%), trauma (4.9%), and cardiac disease (3%). GI disease was the most common cause in rabbits ≤4 years of age, and neoplasia was the most common cause in rabbits ≥5 years of age.
Previous studies from England and The Netherlands reported average age at death as 4.2 to 5.6 years.1-3 The difference between this range and findings of the current study may reflect differences in housing conditions (outdoor or indoor) or veterinary clinic type (primary or referral) rather than geographic location.