Etiology: Shope papilloma virus is a DNA virus and a member of the papovavirus group.
Incidence: Incidence of disease is rare in laboratory rabbits. This disease is seen most frequently in cottontail rabbits of the Midwest with outbreaks in domestic rabbits.
Transmission: Biting arthropod vector transmission of the natural disease has been demonstrated.
Clinical Signs: Red, raised cutaneous foci develop into verrucous growths of the ears and eyelids.
Pathology: The tumor has the typical appearance of a papilloma with elongated rete pegs of the epithelium surrounding central cores of connective tissue. A mild inflammatory cell infiltrate is normally found in the dermal layers underlying the tumor. Failure of the lesion to resolve may lead to development of squamous cell carcinoma.
Diagnosis: Clinical signs and histological examination are the basis for diagnosis.