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  • Please Note - Medical Advice

    Please keep in mind that posts on this forum are from members of the public sharing personal opinions. It is not a replacement for qualified medical advice from a veterinarian. Many illnesses share similar symptoms but require different treatments. A medical exam is necessary for an accurate diagnosis, without which appropriate treatment cannot be given.

    You should always consult your vet before following any suggestions for medication or treatment you have read about. The wrong treatment could make your rabbit worse or mean your vet is unable to give the correct treatment because of drug interactions. Even non prescription drugs can do harm if given inappropriately.

    We are very grateful to members who take time to answer other members questions, but please do be clear in your replies that you are sharing personal experience and not giving instructions on what must be done.

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Old Useful Topics - Health

Would it help if I posted an individual thread with a rabbit mouth breathing? As it seems to be something which lots of people don't know (thankfully). It is in the cardiac video but may be more helpful to have an individual thread with a clear title?

You could either do that or you could amend the original thread title to include 'with mouth breathing video' or something similar as there's already a helpful note in the first post of your cardiac thread, directing people to the appropriate post.

Whichever you decide is fine with me and I will amend the first post on this thread to show the link to the mouth breathing video as well. Thank you. :love:
:love: I'll pop it in this thread for now Judy, thanks; if we get a collection of rare disease threads then it might be worth splitting them into a new thread at a later date. :)
Hi KarenM, I've made that thread about mouth breathing here. I decided to put it into a seperate thread as there are other causes of mouth breathing other than heart issues and I didn't want people to miss it because they weren't looking at heart threads. :)
:love: Thank you so much for taking the time to do this; I've popped it into the first post. :D
Just a little bump - if anybody knows of any useful health-related threads that might be useful for other members to refer to then please let me know. It doesn't have to be just the topics I've already listed, there are probably numerous other health problems I've missed. :wave:
:wave: Hi Karen. I may have some ideas to improve the control of Snuffles - presumed P. multicida - because of the combination of snuffles with 2 abscesses when Benjie arrived.
We've had success avoiding ABx for 5 months. I'd like to see if we can get through a full year before I go public.
Nothing we don't know about - just keeping stress low, dust control, & facilitating drainage with saline nebuliser & bursts of bisolvon as an ongoing treatment.
Thanks for sharing these links, it's quite very useful for me because i have a rabbit some time i feel he is in pain while jumping or walking but never understand the reason now perhaps i can cure this, i consulted this thing with my aged home doctor but she is not an animal specialist so can't suggest me any prescription for this, now i can do a better care of my pet.
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Thanks for sharing these links, it's quite very useful for me because i have a rabbit some time i feel he is in pain while jumping or walking but never understand the reason now perhaps i can cure this, i consulted this thing with my aged home doctor but she is not an animal specialist so can't suggest me any prescription for this, now i can do a better care of my pet.

Thank you for your post Nichole.
I think I can now summerise Benjie after 18months of treating his snuffles.

He was prepubertal when found - an unclaimed stray trying to cross a major road in rush hour.
He came to me 2 weeks later when there were no enquiries for him having been well cared for for 2 weeks but the carer didn't know about rabbits.
White eye discharge was immediately apparent, next day sneezing, a few days later I found a burst abscess on his thigh & at the vets we noticed a recently healed abscess on a non weight bearing area of his foot.

Clinically this combination of white discharge & abscesses was so typical of a pasteurella infection which had spread through the blood stream that no c&s has been done.
He had an initial course of baytril + salt bathes for the abscess on his thigh which had virually healed itself & continued to do so.

Benjie's prognosis was very poor. We had to hold antibiotics in reserve as much as possible (expecting many abscesses & rapid deterioration in snuffles as the normal course of his condition at this stage of the illness.)
My vet (very good with "small mammals" in interested in rabbits is not exotics trained)
She felt that because of his young age we should also hold off metacam as long as possible.
On our side, he obviously had a good immune system to overcome his abscesses with very little medication.

My personal opinion is that dust makes the infected nasal secretions even more solid, & even harder to expel. Bacteria can breed in these thick, gelatinous secretions where they are are inaccessible to ABx.
Therefore the whole key to treating snuffles is to get these secretions runny & out of the upper airways ASAP, & to keep the immune system in top form to prevent bacterial invasion into the surrounding tissues, with subsequent scarring which prevents the secretions from draining properly.

Also I tried to minimise any form of stress the which could impair his immune system.
Many of the factors are the same as those which cause gut stasis.
Benjie is a very nervous bunny (not surprising after his initial ordeal). To help him, I made him 3 hidey holes incorporating the furniture, designed so he could run from 1 to the other like a rabbit warren. He subsequently made an even better burrow complex under my bed where I store boxes of his forage.:lol: [Stress relief by allowing him to feel safe in a rabbit way]

The thick secretions were incredibly distressing to him, requiring many sneezes to get them out of his nose. (Rabbits can only breath through their nose so any block probably feels like being suffocated)
Bisolvon was used to make secretions more runny & also to protect the lungs & hopefully passages to the middle ear. When sprinkled on his food it just trickled to the bottom of the bowl - ineffective cos he wasn't eating it! Wrapped up in a basil leaf he took it eagerly - no stress. After only 36 hours he could clear his nose in 1 "sneeze" - more like blowing his nose without any distress.
By now he only sneezed 2-3 x a day with very little discharge. Discharge from the eyes was a pin head size, but progress stopped.

I started to use a nebuliser using saline. This could be done on my lap because it's completely safe for humans. The eye discharge reduced to just every 2-3 days & sneezing was down to x1 a day.:lol:

In terms of general care, I hoovered our room more regularly than usual. He was a "dust seeking rabbit"!:roll: but actually only trying to find places like a burrow where he could feel safe.
Hay was a big problem. I tried every method of dust extraction but never cracked it. Because I live next to fields I transferred the fibre component of his diet to grass & hawthorn leaves "on the twig" which he also eats!
[Lea ann sussed it by putting the hay in tubes so they have to scrabble it out in a thin layer & don't stick their noses in any dust.:thumb:;)]

In Autumn 2012 there was a minimal deterioration - not severe enough to need meds. From time to time he was very slightly off his food again not worryingly so. I added echinacea to his "meds" & found that the easiest way for him was to cut open a capsule & add a small pinch of the powder to his bisolvon/basil parcel.

In Dec 2013 building opposite caused my house to shake slightly but Benjie was getting "spooked" at night, sometimes thumping for no apparent reason & starting at the smallest house creak. Emotionally he was like a tightly coiled spring - started periscoping alot, would only eat if I was with him, & spent all other time in his "warrens" although he had free run of the house. He started face washing more frequently & eventually I saw a significant discharge from his nose needing ABx.

This time we went for it all guns blazing.
ABx -Septrin (for 6 weeks), metacam, continue Bisolvon, echinacea & saline by nebuliser.
The discharge cleared after less than a week of septrin but thankfully my vet agreed that we should give the whole 6 week course.
After about a fortnight he had his 1st. sneezing paroxysm since we'd started bisolvon & passed a finger nail amount of nasal discharge like frogspawn without the black bits. The next day he did the same for the other nostril. All discharge from eyes & nose stopped after that.

In the last 6 months, I'd be surprised if he's "blown his nose" as much 6 times. I rarely see him cleaning his face, there's the occasional tiny bit of "sleep" in the corner of his eye, he's grown fur well into his nose (No pink winking when he sniffs the air) He's much more lively with more binkys. It's quite funny to watch a 4 kilo bunny try to binky & do bunny 500's.

I didn't understand his high anxiety issues until a couple of moths ago. This slightly off his food from time to time continued, as did his need for me to be on watch when he ate & his reclusiveness.
A fox had made its earth under the garden shed:shock:, & it was well concealed. no wonder Benjie had been so stressed & "spooked", eventually to the point his snuffles had flared up.
I got the fox to move home simply by using animal language = "clear off this is my patch" which allowed her to take any cubs to another earth. I could also see by tracks that foxes were drinking from my pond. With a stream 30 yards away I prevented them from drinking by dropping the water level.
Benjie is gaining confidence quickly now & there's been nothing to indicate a snuffles infection since we went for it all guns blazing.

My personal opinion? Yes, there are times when the nasal discharge is obvious, that ABx are needed from the beginning, but we cannot expect such good results from ABx alone, they need help.
Metacam is needed both to reduce swelling to help the thick muck to come out and for pain relief. In humans an infected upper airway is extremely painful.
Bisolvon and or nebuliser are essential to get the infected stuff out, until we do that it will keep flaring up.
Some rabbits are very layed back & don't needed consideration about the rabbit viewpoint of safety. Mine was a bag of nerve & did!
Many rabbits have more advanced illness & need more help with ABx

Benjie isn't cured. It could flare up at any time. TBH I haven't got the nerve to stop either his bisolvon or echinacea & that's all he has now. Obviously I continue with the low dust & reducing stress measures.
I also think that we've been very lucky & "got onto it" fast before there was spread of the infection into the nasal tissues, & extensive scarring.
My big surprise was that after almost a year of softening the secretions, it wasn't until he had metacam that he could finally get rid of that thick stuff in his sinuses. It wasn't until that came out, that he progressed from good control with minimal symptoms to no symptoms.
How old do buns need to be to have vaccinations?

When we got buns from breeder she told me they had to be at least six months before they had their vaccinations but they are now 7 months old so any advice greatly revived!
When we got buns from breeder she told me they had to be at least six months before they had their vaccinations but they are now 7 months old so any advice greatly revived!

I believe they can be vaccinated at 5 weeks! At 7 months the are more than old enough... In fact they are old enough to be spayed or neutered let alone vacced!