Infectious diseases in the European brown hare (Lepus europaeus) in the Netherlands An analysis of past and present study, a contribution to future studies
Costa, R.M. da
MetadataShow full item record
The European brown hare (Lepus europaeus, Pallas 1778) is an important game animal in the Netherlands and Europe. A decline in its population has been seen in Europe for several decades, and has also been noticed in the Netherlands. Diseases have been linked to this decline, but it is unknown to which extent. Therefore, the aim of this study was to increase the number of submissions, to make an analysis of infectious diseases, to investigate the role of reproductive life cycle in susceptibility to diseases, and to create a hare specific examination protocol. In order to do so, a pilot was used. Hare reports from 2008-2011 were analyzed, during present and retrospective study, and a literature study was performed. In total, 56 hares were submitted, of which 54 hares could be used for analysis. The most morphological diagnoses were identified in the respiratory system, with pneumonia most commonly found. Etiological diagnoses could be made of diseases in different systems, which could be found in 59% of the hares. Pasteurellosis was identified in 11%, Staphylococcus spp. in 9% and yersiniosis in 2%. Only 1 out of 54 hares was suspected of having a virus, the European Brown Hare Syndrome virus. Ticks and Eimeria spp. were the ecto- and endoparasites most found. Amyloidosis was found in 8 out of 54 hares. Two separate protocols were created, designed to serve as an instruction and reminder. The scale of this study was limited, even though the pilot led to more cases. The analysis of infectious diseases was incomplete due to the lack of etiological diagnoses. A relation was found between the reproductive life cycle and diseases, but previous studies also showed that weather conditions can contribute to this relationship. The necropsy and sampling protocol and the other results from this study can contribute to future studies on infectious diseases in the European brown hare in the Netherlands.