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Rabbit Health:
Respiratory Problems


Pasteurellosis as a primary infection in companion rabbits is uncommon. When it does occur as primary, it is in the newly acquired rabbit that has been bought from a breeder or a pet shop. Otherwise, it is found most often as a secondary infection and respiratory disease is the most common manifestation. In the adult rabbit, chronic, recurrent infections, rhinitis, conjunctivitis, bronchopneumonia, and tear gland infections are possible symptoms. High environmental ammonia levels, poor ventilation, poor air quality, and proximity to other infected rabbits are factors in acquiring the infection.

Treatment in the acute phase is by administration of antibiotics and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs). In chronic conditions there is an increase in pus production that makes it a difficult condition to cure. In addition to antibiotic therapies, surgical attempts may be made to drain the pus.

Rhinitis or "snuffles"

A condition characterized by repetitive sneezing, snorting, and upper respiratory tract noise such as wheezing. It may be caused by pasturella or other organisms, foreign bodies, or tooth abscesses. Your vet will treat rhinitis by increasing your rabbit's fluid intake, by using steam therapy to loosen secretions, and by bring relief, and prescribing antibiotics, if appropriate.

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