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Rabbits/Tubing rabbits VS masking rabbits

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Question
V-Gel Airway Device
V-Gel Airway Device  
Hi Dr Krempels,
My veterinarian has been very successful in masking rabbits for spays and neuters. She tried to tube one of my rescue rabbits tonight using the new V-Gel Rabbit airway device. After 3 attempts my rabbit died. Is it really better to try to tube them? She successfully has spayed and neutered about 100 rabbits for me by masking and all have survived.
Thank you very much for your input.
Janet

Answer
Dear Janet,

I'm so sorry about your loss.  I've not heard of this happening with a V-Gel, as they are pretty non-invasive.  

While it is better to have an intubated patient in case of problems during surgery, many vet still avoid intubating rabbits because they are soooooo very difficult to intubate.  

One of the problems with traditional intubation is the risk of overstimulating the vagus nerve, which can cause cardiac arrest.  I was under the impression that the V-Gel eliminated this risk, but I could be wrong.  It's usually a risk only if an animal struggles while being intubated.

Did your vet determine a cause of death via necropsy?  It might not have had anything to do with the V-Gel.  Just a thought.

Dana

Rabbits

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Dana Krempels, Ph.D.

Expertise

I've lived with companion rabbits for more than 35 years, and consider them members of my family. I can answer any questions about the biology and health of rabbits, from the commonplace to the unusual. But please note:

RULE #1:
THE INTERNET IS NOT THE PLACE TO SEEK HELP IN AN EMERGENCY.

...it is an EMERGENCY.

Find a rabbit vet at www.rabbit.org/vet for immediate help, and don't risk your bunny's life by spending time asking questions online! If you can't get in touch with your vet, read these Emergency Sick Bunny Instructions.

If you have found a wild baby rabbit, please read these EMERGENCY INSTRUCTIONS FOR WILD BABY RABBITS and then use this link to FIND A LOCAL WILDLIFE REHABILITATOR who can give you the right advice.


RULE #2:
Help me help you! Please make your subject line informative if you have an urgent question. then LET ME KNOW IN THE SUBJECT LINE so I can give your question highest priority over non-urgent questions. If you don't do this, then I can't guarantee timely assistance!

For all the best, most accurate rabbit health, care and behavior information, visit The House Rabbit Society.

Experience

I have been rescuing and rehabilitating domestic and wild rabbits for about 30 years. I have written articles for many rabbit rescue publications, as well as for the veterinary journal, Exotic DVM. I own EtherBun, the internet's largest listserve dedicated to health, care, and behavior of domestic rabbits.

Organizations
Houserabbit Adoption, Rescue, and Education, Inc. (H.A.R.E., Inc.) president National House Rabbit Society (Board member)

Publications
Exotic DVM
Warren Peace (Journal of the House Rabbit Society of Miami)
Various newsletters of the House Rabbit Society, nationwide

Education/Credentials
Ph.D - Biology
B.S. - Biology
B.A. - English

Awards and Honors
Lightspan Academic Excellence Award for web site on rabbit health and biology
(http://www.bio.miami.edu/hare)

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