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A five-year-old, castrated, male chinchilla rabbit was presented for evaluation of recurrent bilateral exophthalmos. Besides a transient and stress-related exophthalmos with protrusion of both third eyelids, the ophthalmological examination was unremarkable. Plain radiography of the thorax revealed a large precardial mass of soft tissue density. Cytological preparations from the thoracic mass were dominated by small, mature lymphocytes with approximately 10 to 20 per cent lymphoblasts. Computed tomography of the head showed a symmetrical laterodorsal deviation of both eyes without evidence of retrobulbar masses. On necropsy a large cystic mass was present in the cranial thorax associated with severe hydrothorax, hydropericardium and ascites. Histology identified the precardial mass as thymic carcinoma with metastases in the kidneys. This case illustrates the difficulty of diagnosing thymic tumours based on cytological or histological features of the primary tumour alone. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first case of recurrent bilateral exophthalmos associated with a metastatic thymic carcinoma in a pet rabbit.