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Thread: Enrofloxacin Side effect?

  1. #1

    Default Enrofloxacin Side effect?

    Hey all,

    First time on this forum. Me & my partner are first time rabbit owners! We got both our rabbits from Pets at Home. One is female, 7 months old and very unique!
    We recently got her a male friend to bond with but have had to put that on hold because from the day we got him he's been very sneezy and had white discharge from his nose. We got him seen at Companion Care Vets and the vet said he had an Upper Respiratory Tract Infection. She recommended Septrin (Co-trimoxazole) for one week which unfortunately did not work. We then tried another week of this plus an anti-inflammatory (Metacam) but again no luck. Tommy (our little rabbit) has been with us now just under 3 weeks and has been well in himself in this time. He has settled into the home really well, is eating plenty and drinking water and going to the toilet. He runs about and is really playful. Obviously we have had to keep him separate from our female rabbit (Lilly) as we're worried about cross-contamination.

    For reference Tommy lives indoors and we have also removed sawdust from his bedding on advice from the vets.

    We have been in contact with Pets at Home as it all started the day we got him so clearly was something he picked up before we bought him. They have agreed to cover his vets fees and medicine costs at the moment. They explained it is most likely Pasteurella and could take up to 8 weeks (and a trial of different antibiotics) to work. Some internet resources say that it can be a lifelong infection in some rabbits.

    The vet recommended that since the Septrin has not improved his symptoms (nor has he got worse) that we should try Baytril (Enrofloxacin) but warned that along with its foul taste it can cause cartilage damage to growing rabbits which can lead to arthritis. I wondered if anyone had any experience of using this medicine in a growing rabbit or knew anything about this potential side effect?
    I've tried researching but there's not much out there so assume it's not a common side effect but rather one that has come up in trials that they are obliged to warn you about. I also wondered if anyone has rabbits with arthritis and what this means for them? How much pain they are in? How it affects mobility etc?

    The vets have also suggested doing a full examination under general anaesthetic including X-Rays and swab to identify if there's any tooth root involvement which would make the case more complex. However this is going to cost us £500+ and we aren't in a position to fork that out up front so we're going to talk with pets at home to see whether they will cover this.

    Sorry for the long post! If anyone has any questions that would be muchly appreciated or any other advice would be most welcome!

    Thanks so much for your time

  2. #2
    Wise Old Thumper joey&boo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2015


    Hi, welcome to RU.

    This is interesting - I've never heard of the risk to cartiledge using Baytril on young bunnies (though it has to be said I'm no expert on bunny health & I've never owned young rabbits). If this is a risk I would avoid it personally, I have a bunny who struggles with arthritis & its pretty heartbreaking.

    You do hear lots of bunnies struggle with URTI's & often anti biotics simply don't work. The swab could of course be useful in finding out what bacteria is responsible & therefore the best antibiotic but often they don't throw much up.

    I've had 2 bunnies struggling with pasturella. I think its the case that it'll be present in the body but become problematic at times of physical / emotional stress. You here this so often with bunnies got from P@H sadly. I hope they agree to help with further explorations if you go down that route. BTW your vets sound very expensive, an xray GA & swab really needn't cost that much. Obviously its really important you vet is knowledgable & experienced with rabbits - mine is & I'd guess similar diagnostics would be about £200

  3. #3


    Baytril can cause cartilage damage in growing Rabbits, but it is a case of balancing risks versus benefits. If the Rabbit has an infection caused by a bacteria sensitive to Baytril but not to other antibiotics then it is a risk that needs to be taken. Choice of antibiotic is usually best based on culture and sensitivity testing from deep nasal swabs. But this would require a GA which would be more of a risk for a Rabbit with an RTI. I have had a few baby Rabbits who had to have Baytril and none went on to develop any arthritic problems.

    Getting good sinus drainage can be beneficial when treating URTIs. Nebulising with sterile saline and giving a mucolytic such as Bisolvon to thin out the mucus making it easier to drain.

    I used to be ‘Jack’s-Jane’ but I have been logged out of that account and I can’t get back in !

    Block the building of a Rabbit Meat Farm in Cornwall



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