If you are fond of petting rabbits and want to buy a new domestic rabbit, you must talk to the pet owner about the rabbit’s health history. Additionally, examine the rabbit thoroughly. If you found rabbit paws and facial fur wet due to runny eyes or nasal discharge, make sure that the rabbit is suffering from snuffles. So, you should look for another pet because snuffles in rabbits is a dangerous disease.
Can Snuffles in Rabbits be Cured? Snuffles is difficult to cure, it may need several months to improve the condition. It can also be a life-long problem. During treatment, the infection clears up in the nose but persists in the ears. If snuffles are left untreated, it may lead to blindness, abscesses, or pneumonia that can be fatal for the rabbit. In some situations, abscesses are formed in joints, internal organs, or under the skin.
Snuffles in rabbits is a common disease and it may find more than 10% of rabbits look normal in appearance. It affects the nose, eyes, and in some cases also skin, lungs, and reproductive organs of the rabbits.
The snuffles in rabbits are caused by bacteria which are known as Pasteurella multidisc. In some cases, another bacteria Bordetella also causes this infection. These bacteria invade the upper respiratory tract of the rabbit and make it infected. Snuffles is a highly contagious disease.
Can snuffles in rabbits be cured?
If the invasion of Pasteurella is mild and the immune system of the rabbit is strong, he can recover without any treatment. However, if Pasteurella is aggressive and strong enough but the immune system of the rabbit is weak, the disease can be chronic which will take time for weeks or months. Sometimes it becomes severe or even fatal.
Causes of snuffles in rabbits
This contagious disease can spread due to the following reasons:
- Bacterium pasteurellosis, the main cause of this infection
- Contaminated food
- Poor sanitation
- Poor ventilated hutches
- Trauma like an attack by any predator
- Contact with infected rabbits and having the weak immune system
Symptoms of snuffles in rabbits
Symptoms of snuffles can be varied according to the condition. We have compiled a list of the most common symptoms here:
- Difficulty breathing
- Eyes discharge
- Nasal discharge
- Head tilting
- Head shaking
- Twisting of the neck
- Skin sores or infection
- Poor appetite
- Inability to stand
- Attempting mouth breathing
- Weight loss
The signs of snuffles appear on the eyes and lead to conjunctivitis and discharge from the eyes. This can also start from the ears and cause inner or middle ear infections. A thin or thick discharge starts from the eyes and nose.
You can listen to the voice like snoring when a rabbit breathes because of mucus in his nose. Often the paws of front legs remain wet as the rabbit clears the discharge with his paws.
This infection can spread quickly in the bloodstream called septicemia. This can cause the death of the rabbit within two days.
Diagnosis of snuffles
If you feel any symptoms of snuffles in your rabbits, immediately contact your veterinarian. Share with him all the symptoms and signs you have noticed in your rabbit. The veterinarian can ask you whether your rabbit lives among the infected rabbits or not.
He would like to perform a physical test to know the actual reason for snuffles. To examine the eye problem, the veterinarian does a culture and sensitivity test. In which bacteria are taken through swabbing. Additionally, he can perform tests of blood or any other discharge. The test result will expose the actual position.
How to treat snuffles in rabbits?
- snuffles can be treated with antibiotics to kill the bacteria. These medicines must be administered for a few months or more according to the condition. Some antibiotics are not suitable for rabbits. Make sure to see a veterinarian who is familiar with antibiotics that are safe for the rabbits. Antibiotics can also be given by mouth through a syringe.
- If the tear ducts of the rabbit are clogged, the veterinarian will flush the tear ducts and tell you how to do the same at home. He may also give you antibiotics in the form of eye drops or an ointment to use directly in eyes of the rabbit.
- If there is an abscess within the body because of infection, that can be removed through surgery.
- The veterinarian also treats neurological problems due to this infection because rabbits are very sensitive animals.
- If the veterinarian finds a problem with the teeth of the rabbit, he files or clipped them by giving him anesthesia.
- If the rabbit feels difficulty in breathing, the vet cleans his nostrils and provides him oxygen therapy. He can also nebulize rabbits to moisten the secretion and deliver medicine.
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Things to do by you
- Your bunny requires good care and a hygienic environment to fight infection.
- Give your rabbit a healthy and balanced diet.
- Separate the infected rabbits from the healthier ones. If you are a handler, you must also be very careful.
- Wear gloves, gowns, and shoes while going to the area where infected animals are kept.
- Keep the dishes of rabbits separate, also wash them separately.
- The disinfectant must be used to clean the surface and to prevent further infection. A veterinarian can recommend to you which is the best disinfectant.
How to prevent snuffles
- Keep away healthy rabbits, expected females, and the young ones from the infected rabbits.
- Make sure the culture test before purchasing a rabbit.
- Clean the rabbit cage with antiepic cleaner to prevent the spread of bacteria.
- Also, keep the surrounding environment of the rabbit neat and clean.
- Keep your rabbit stress-free as stress weakens the immune system which causes severe conditions.
Snuffles is a contagious and dangerous disease of rabbits. It impacts his respiratory tract as well as eyes, ears, nose lungs, and reproductive organs. If you are having a rabbit or you are going to purchase a new one, you must be very careful.
Snuffles in rabbits can be cured but it is difficult enough if the infection spreads and it affects most of the parts of the rabbit’s body. So, the need is to take care of your rabbit to prevent him from such a disease.