Shope Fibroma Virus Average Cost

From 592 quotes ranging from $100 - 500

Average Cost

$150

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What are Shope Fibroma Virus?

Discovered in 1931 by Shope, this fibroma virus regularly affects wild rabbits, and occasionally domestic ones too. While these fibromas are generally harmless, there are cases where they can lead to more serious issues. In young rabbits, the virus can progress into general and severe disease, including cancerous spreading tumors that can lead to death. In adults, tumors can progress into malignant tumors, or they can grow too large, invading the surrounding tissues and causing damage to muscles. Removal of fibromas can be effective in some cases.

The Shope fibroma virus in rabbits is often confused with the oral papillomavirus or the Shope papillomavirus, also called cottontail rabbit papilloma. However, the Shope fibroma virus is a distinct virus which stems from the pox virus family, while papillomas are papovaviruses.

The Shope fibroma virus that infects rabbits is a pox family virus, in the leporipoxvirus group. Once a rabbit is infected, fibrous tumors called fibromas begin to form in the skin. Often appearing on the legs, feet, ears and face of adult rabbits, these benign tumors naturally regress after a period of months, leaving the rabbit clinically normal. Affected rabbits show no other symptoms, and generally treatment is not given.

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Symptoms of Shope Fibroma Virus in Rabbits

  • Thickening of skin
  • Swelling of skin
  • Skin tumors on legs, feet, muzzle, ears, face, and eyelids
  • Tumors that are firm and flattened, pinkish red, ovoid or spherical, and are covered with a thick crust
  • Hair loss near tumors
  • Skin ulceration near tumors

Young rabbits that are affected by this virus can have more severe symptoms that include: 

  • Generalized disease
  • Tumors in organs
  • Inflamed and degenerative lesions resembling myxomatosis
  • Malignant tumors that are widespread
  • Death

Causes of Shope Fibroma Virus in Rabbits

Discovered in 1931 by Shope, this fibroma virus regularly affects wild rabbits, and occasionally domestic ones too. While these fibromas are generally harmless, there are cases where they can lead to more serious issues. In young rabbits, the virus can progress into general and severe disease, including cancerous spreading tumors that can lead to death. In adults, tumors can progress into malignant tumors, or they can grow too large, invading the surrounding tissues and causing damage to muscles. Removal of fibromas can be effective in some cases.

The Shope fibroma virus in rabbits is often confused with the oral papillomavirus or the Shope papillomavirus, also called cottontail rabbit papilloma. However, the Shope fibroma virus is a distinct virus which stems from the pox virus family, while papillomas are papovaviruses.

Diagnosis of Shope Fibroma Virus in Rabbits

Diagnosis of the Shope fibroma virus in your rabbit begins with the presence of a fibroma, and any other accompanying symptoms. The fibroma is examined, and often a biopsy sample is taken for testing. It is important to differentiate this condition from myxomatosis and papillomatosis. This is done by assessing the characteristics of the fibroma, virus isolation, serologic tests that use a fibroma antibody, and a PCR test.

If the fibroma has progressed to a malignant state, other tests may be performed to assess if it has spread to other parts of the body. Such tests can include X-rays, ultrasounds, CT scans, and MRIs.

Treatment of Shope Fibroma Virus in Rabbits

The fibromas usually regress completely after 6 to 14 months, leaving the affected rabbit healthy, and immune to further infections of the same virus. Because of this, and the fact that affected rabbits generally have no other symptoms, the Shope fibroma virus is not treated. Since this condition allows complete self-recovery, there are currently no control measures in effect.  

However, there are cases that may require surgical removal. If the fibroma has grown to a large enough size that it disturbs your rabbit’s daily activities, or if it begins to compress, damage or invade muscles and tendons, removal may be recommended. If the fibroma has become malignant, or has spread in the body, treatment will follow the standard protocol for a condition of cancer. This includes surgical removal of the growth, and supplementary care as needed.

An associated virus, malignant rabbit fibroma virus, is believed to be the result of a combination of the fibroma virus and the myxoma virus, and is currently under study.

Recovery of Shope Fibroma Virus in Rabbits

The recovery of the benign fibromas that result from most cases of the Shope fibroma virus in rabbits is good, as the fibromas recede on their own over a period of several months. If a malignancy was found and removed, recovery is dependent on how far the tumors have spread. Your veterinarian will discuss your rabbit’s recovery, and any care your rabbit may need once you return home. This can range from antibiotics, to changing dressings, to supplementary care.

Prevent your rabbit from contracting the Shope fibroma virus by keeping him away from tick and mosquito ridden areas, or use insect control.