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Blood gas analysis is a well-recognized method to monitor pulmonary function, blood oxygenation, ventilation and acid–base status during general anaesthesia. The aim of this study was to report blood gas analysis results in pet rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) obtained during general anaesthesia using a portable clinical analyser.Thirty-two rabbits were premedicated with 0·2 mL/kg fentanyl and fluanisone. Anaesthesia was induced with 0·2 mg/kg midazolam and maintained with 2% isoflurane in oxygen via endotracheal tube. Arterial blood samples were taken from the central ear artery 10 minutes after induction of anaesthesia.Respiratory acidaemia was observed during anaesthesia. Mean ±sd (range) arterial blood pH was 7·33 ±0·08 (7·15 to 7·48). PaCO2 and PaO2 were, respectively, 55·02 ±10·5 (37·7 to 92·1) mmHg and 370·0 ±120·5 (67 to 561) mmHg. Base excess was 2·8 ±3·6 (−3 to 11) mmol/L, HCO3 was 28·73 ±3·07 (23·7 to 35·4) mmol/L and TCO2 was 30·4 ±3·2 (25 to 37) mmol/L. None of the rabbits developed haematoma during arterial blood collection or ischaemia of the pinna during the hospitalization period.Arterial blood gas analysis is a safe and easy to perform diagnostic technique that can contribute to improved safety of rabbit anaesthesia, by providing information on the respiratory and metabolic status of the patient.