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Thread: Allergies - Causes and Treatment?

  1. #1

    Default Allergies - Causes and Treatment?

    Hello, has anyone good advice to give regarding allergies in rabbits? How do they manage this and do you use Piriton? So much conflicting information out there. I would love to hear from someone going through this.
    Scampy is 10 months now, always been sneezy. Has had 3 different courses of antibiotics, to no effect. Discharge is always clear, indicating lack of infection.
    Also prone to stasis when the sneezing increases or becomes more congested.
    Have removed straw from litter box as it could be a possible irritant. Only has dust free hay in there now. Diet is dust free good quality hay, dried and fresh herbs, forage. Fibre pellets. Can't tolerate veg/fruit.
    Room is airy. Minimum dust. Clean as a whistle.
    Can't work it out?
    Can you give antihistamines long term?

  2. #2
    Wise Old Thumper
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sandi-C View Post
    Hello, has anyone good advice to give regarding allergies in rabbits? How do they manage this and do you use Piriton? So much conflicting information out there. I would love to hear from someone going through this.
    Scampy is 10 months now, always been sneezy. Has had 3 different courses of antibiotics, to no effect. Discharge is always clear, indicating lack of infection.
    Also prone to stasis when the sneezing increases or becomes more congested.
    Have removed straw from litter box as it could be a possible irritant. Only has dust free hay in there now. Diet is dust free good quality hay, dried and fresh herbs, forage. Fibre pellets. Can't tolerate veg/fruit.
    Room is airy. Minimum dust. Clean as a whistle.
    Can't work it out?
    Can you give antihistamines long term?
    Yes, under Veterinary supervision.

    What diagnostics has your Vet run to try to ascertain the cause of the sneezing ?

  3. #3
    Mama Doe roxyroller88's Avatar
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    My boy sneezed a lot when he was a baby and the discharge was always clear. 18 months later he had a very severe inner ear infection which our vet believes is linked to Pasteurella.
    If dust isn't an issue then you need to be looking at what else could be causing the problem instead so I agree that some diagnostic work needs to be done by a rabbit savvy vet.
    Also, what do you use under the hay for litter? X

  4. #4
    Mama Doe tlcwrites's Avatar
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    I had a rabbit who sneezed from before she even made it home. She was adopted from a well-known petshop's adoption centre. The vet told me it was allergies as she was presenting no real discharge. 2 months later, she had a very severe chest infection which ultimately cost her her life. She had become resistant to even some of the strongest abx.

    I'm sorry Scampy is so sneezy and that it makes him prone to stasis. If it were me, I would consult my vet to check the discharge is truly free of bacterium, and ensure that it isn't bacterium that has become resistant. If it's not that and - as you've eliminated many possible allergens - I would then consult my vet regarding prescribing antihistamines (even if you end up buying them OTC.)
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  5. #5
    Warren Veteran daphnephoebe's Avatar
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    I'd also consider an xray.
    It's possible there is inflammation and scarring to the lungs which could be causing the symptoms.

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  6. #6

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    Lunar (originally from P@H) had awful sneezing fits when we got her. We took her to the vet (where we found out she'd previously been treated for a repiratory infection by P@H before being put up for sale - I later saw other rabbits in the store with white nasal discharge). She had white discharge at the time. The vet did a swab and found bordetella bronchiseptica bacteria and she was put on antibiotics. After her infection had cleared up she was still sneezing and she was ultimately diagnosed as having allergies, the vet assumed to anything dusty. He advised childrens benadryl initally but when we lookied into it and posted on here we found out that the UK benadryl contains something that isn't safe for rabbits (the book he'd looked it up in was a US book and the US benadryl has different ingredients) - he then advised liquid piriton which we gave her for a while but we found that it seemed to drug her out and make her sleepy, and I'm not sure it if was really helping her so ultimately we stopped giving it to her. We tried to give her a dust free environment and just tried to manage her, but she still has some bad sneezing fits. They were bad enough to interfere with her life. She's one of the more hyperactive bunnies and she'd be stopped from running or playing by sneezing fits. Months later she had a bad weepy eye which turned out to be a blocked tear duct. After it had been flushed (had to be done twice poor girl) however the sneezing fits also stopped. My vet thinks her nose is a bit narrow and prone to irritation but she doesn't appear to have allergies after all. A little more sensitive than other rabbits perhaps, but she no longer suffers from sneezing fits and she doesn't really sneeze any more than the others these days.
    How confident are you in your vets knowledge of rabbits? What tests have been done? Have they taken a swab from his nose and tested it? You mentioned dust free hay but what litter do you use? You don't use woodshavings at all?
    I would consider getting a second opinion to see if he does actually have allergies or if it's something else.
    The fact that it's causing stasis too sounds truly horrible
    My bunnies:
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    Maple - Standard Rex (f) - Sleep in peace sweetheart. I'm so sorry.
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    Pixel - Netherland Dwarf (m)
    Cody - Dwarf Lop (m)
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