View Full Version : Upper resiratory infection - Now in bunny heaven

05-04-2010, 06:12 PM

I have a four year old Netherland dwarf girl. She’s been having trouble with her respiratory passages for some time. We’ve been to the vet’s for it twice, once in May 2009 and again in February this year. The vet said it’s an upper respiratory infection and that they can be hard to fight off. She got antibiotics for it both in May and February. In May she had 1 ml of Bactrim, two times daily for 10 days and she also got Chloromycetin for the eye infection she had in her left eye. She got better after this and hasn’t had problems with her eye again, but the respiratory problems came back.

In February the vet checked her front teeth, which were ok. He also checked her mouth for sores or pus and it looked good. They did an x-ray of her head too, to see if she had any trouble with her teeth. The vet had trouble reading the x-rays though. Since they didn't want to sedate her more than they did, because of her breathing, she wasn't keeping still enough when the x-rays were taken. The vet was afraid that one of the roots of her teeth had grown into her nasal cavity and was causing trouble. But he couldn't say from the x-rays if this was the case. He put her on Bactrim again, this time for 14 days and she also got Metacam for seven days. She got better for a while but now the problem is back again…

She is eating very well and seems alert, but she is having trouble breathing now and then and also has a lot of snot coming out of her nose…

I’m going to call the vet again tomorrow and set up a new appointment, but is there anything in particular I should ask or say when we get there?

I’m a bit worried that the vet is going to say that nothing can be done for her… Last time we were there the vet said that if the antibiotics didn’t work there wasn’t much that could be done. I don’t know if he meant that “then it is best to put her to sleep” or “then she’ll have to be on antibiotics now and then for the rest of her life”.

I think it’s so hard to say if she’s suffering, I don’t know if she’s in pain… But it must be a pain not to be able to breath freely, mustn’t it? She seems to enjoy life though and eating and loves a cuddle so I would feel bad having to put her to sleep…

Any advice, or people with similar experiences?


Ps. Sorry for the long post…

05-04-2010, 06:29 PM
It may well be that it is her tooth roots that are the primary cause of her problems. Nethies have a skull shape that renders them to be very prone to 'tooth root issues'.

There are other antibiotics that the Vet could consider. I have had Buns respond well to Depocillin INJECTIONS. Some people have seen a good response to a long acting Tetracycline-eg Engemycin LA

Nebulising the Rabbit can also be of benefit.


A mucolytic such as Bisolvon can help thin out the mucus secretions.

If the nasolacrimal ducts are not blocked then administering an antibiotic eye drop should have the benifit of draining into the nasal passages thus accessing the 'core' of the infection.

If the Vet could get your Bun well enough to withstand a GA then the skull Radiographs could be repeated and if the tooth roots are elongated then burring the crowns of the teeth down to gum level will take the pressure off the roots.

Hope some of this helps :)

06-04-2010, 01:04 PM
Thank you for your answer! I'm happy there is some hope for her yet. I called the Vet and have an appointment tomorrow morning. I'll keep in mind what you wrote.

I've got a question though; is "the nasolacrimal ducts" the same as the "tear ducts" or is it something diffrent? (Excuse my ignorance, I only speak english as a second language ;) )

Thanks again!

06-04-2010, 01:33 PM
Hiya, yes the nasolacrimal duct is the tear duct :)

Your English is great !!

Good luck at the Vets

06-04-2010, 02:00 PM
Thanks, I'll let you know how it goes!

07-04-2010, 11:19 AM
We've been to the Vet's now and they wanted to keep her overnight. The Vet said they we're going to try a new kind of antibiotics and they wanted her to breath it in, (I guess that's what you meant by nebulising?) so that's why they wanted to keep her untill tomorrow. They were also going to get her a drip (if that's the right word...), I guess for fluids and maybe also antibiotics. Both me and the Bun get a bit stressed whenever we go to the Vet so forgot to ask, but I'll ask tomorrow when we pick her up.

The Vet said that it would be good if we could get her well enough for a CT, so I'm hoping for it to work.


07-04-2010, 11:48 AM
It sounds as though your Vet is being very thorough.

I hope the new antibiotics help and please keep us updated xx

08-04-2010, 05:03 PM
Got a call from the Vet while at work today and they want to keep her there for another night. They want to continue with the same treatment (i.e. nebulising and drip). They have also been support feeding her (excuse the direct translation from Swedish there…), but she’s eating on her own as well. She has lost a lot of weight the last few months, probably due to the infection, so I guess that’s why.

The Vet said she was better today than yesterday, but that she’s still very noisy when she breathes and it was still to risky with the general anaesthetic so they couldn’t do the CT yet.

I feel sorry for Jane (the rabbit in question) because she’s quite easily stressed and doesn’t like to be held very much and now she has to be held down to wear a mask and doesn’t even know where she is… But I guess that’s the way everybody feels when their pet is at the Vet’s :? I just hope that it helps her. At least I know she’s well cared for.

10-04-2010, 05:37 PM
Jane is now in bunny heaven :cry:

The Vet called yesterday morning and said that she was not better with her breathing and still struggling to get air. The bone around her nose and in several places in her skull was affected by the infection and so was the middle ear. Where there were suppose to be air pockets in her nasal cavity, there where just a lot of pus and all bunged up…

The Vet said that we could continue treating it with antibiotics and she would probably get better for a while, but it would come back again. She get’s quite stressed by being picked up and handled when it’s not on her terms so going to the Vet is stressful for her. And considering that it was the third time she’s had this problem in less than a year and that the last time was less than two month ago, I didn’t think it was fair to put her through it again and again. The Vet also mentioned a few days ago that you could try to drain the infection by pulling a tooth for example, but again it didn’t feel right to put her through that now. The Vet agreed with me as well. So yesterday afternoon she was put to sleep :cry:

I kind of feel like a very mean person, since she was actually fighting till the end. Eating well, despite her breathing problems and loosing weight. Even the Vet was impressed. But feels good anyway that she didn’t have to go through lots of pain and not being able to eat etc.

I hope she’s happy where she is now, with lots of grass, treats, and friends. And lots of nose rubs/head washes, which she loved.

10-04-2010, 06:18 PM
I am really sorry, poor little Bunny :cry:


10-04-2010, 06:20 PM
Oh hun I'm so sorry for your loss...R.I.P. Jane x :cry:

bunny babe
10-04-2010, 06:22 PM
:cry:I am very sorry Jane never made it, she sounded like she was a very brave bunny.