Papillomatosis is a disorder characterized by the development of small, wart-like growths (papillomas). There are two papilloma viruses that can affect rabbits: Shope papilloma virus and oral papilloma virus.
Shope papilloma virus
Shope pappiloma virus, also known as cottontail rabbit papilloma virus or cottontail cutaneous papilloma virus, causes a benign disease in cottontails but may cause malignant tumors resembling squamous cell carcinomas in the European rabbit.:467 The disease occurs in the wild population of cottontails in the eastern USA and in domestic rabbits in some American commercial units.:467
Rabbits with Shope papilloma virus will have raised, red, and rough lesions (usually circular) in the upper half on the body including neck and shoulders, but especially on eyelids and ears. The lesions may occasionally be found on rabbit feet as well.
Surgical removal should be considered as they may eventually become carcinomas.
- MediRabbit.com, Do horned rabbits really exist ? - Papillomatosis (Graphic)
- Vetstream, Papillomatosis
- PetMD, Head Tumors and Cancer in Rabbits
- Wildpro, Shope Papilloma Virus Infection in Rabbits
Oral papilloma virus
Oral papillomatosis is manifested by wart-like growths on the back of the tongue and on other parts of the oral mucosa. The virus is transmitted in oral secretions containing sloughed cells from the warts, and the papillomas grow slowly over a period of 6 to 9 months.:467
Young rabbits are most susceptible.:467 The animals become immune, at which point the base of the papilloma becomes inflamed, causing sloughing of the tumour, ulcer formation and finally re-epithelialization. :467 Oral papillomas of rabbits are not known to undergo carcinomatous transformation.:467
- Vetstream, Oral papillomatosis
- Robert J. Parsons & John G. Kidd, Otal Papillomatosis of Rabbits: A Virus Disease. (1943).
- Wildpro, Oral Papillomatosis in Rabbits
- Varga, M. (2013). Textbook of rabbit medicine. (2nd ed.).
- PetMD. (n.d.). Head Tumors and Cancer in Rabbits. Retrieved 1 April 2016 from http://www.petmd.com/rabbit/conditions/viral/c_rb_shope_papilloma_virus
- Jepson, L. (2009). Exotic animal medicine: A quick reference guide. (1st ed.).