Renal pathology in wild European rabbits.
BACKGROUND: There is a relative paucity of data examining the prevalence of renal pathology in wild rabbits. METHODS: Sixty-two wild rabbits that had been shot for population control in Cambridgeshire, UK, underwent postmortem examination, including macroscopic and microscopic renal assessment. RESULTS: The majority (82%) of the animals had macroscopically and microscopically normal kidneys. One animal (1.6%) had severe perirenal abscessation. Pasteurella spp. was isolated from this lesion. Ten rabbits (16%) had microscopic renal pathology comprising minimal to mild renal inflammation or fibrosis. No Encephalitozoon cuniculi organisms were detected histologically. LIMITATIONS: The sample population was composed of shot rabbits, so the probability of detecting moribund individuals was reduced. Extrapolation of these data to the wider UK wild rabbit population may be limited as rabbits were shot at two sites within a 3 km radius of each other. CONCLUSION: Renal pathology is rare in the population examined.