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sick bunny- pasteurella?

22 9:57:37


Hey There Dana,

    My self and my boyfriend have been the proud owner of our bunn Truffles since May.23rd/2010.  He is a netherland dwarf breed and we got him from a pet shop.  Ever since the first day we got him he has been sneezing, which we just thought to be cute in the beginning, however in the middle of June we started to notice his eyes and nose were running (clear, watery discharge) and his sneezing had become much more prevalent.  

    We brought him to the vet on June.28th and she said it was most likely pasteurella (without swabbing him)and prescribed him Baytril twice a day for 14 days in its liquid form.  1 week into the medication his symptoms went away and we were so happy! The medication stopped on July.11th and since then his symptoms have slowly creeped back and now he is the same as before the medication!!  I made another appointment with the vet for tomorrow but I am so worried this could be something bigger.

    We are having another issue with him that I believe may be related to his sickness.  He has a very large cage that he stays in while we are out of the house but other than that he has free reign of the house.  He uses his litter box in his cage very well but recently (2 weeks) he has been peeing and pooping in one corner of our kitchen and dribbling pee all over the house.  I find this very strange because he has never done this before.  Could this have something to do with him being sick? Or is this another issue altogether?  Any advice you have for me would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much for reading

Dear Melissa

I apologize for the delay.  Unexpectedly, a middle school ecology outreach program I was running went crazy at the end, and I'm just now getting my life back.  So sorry!  But I'm back now.

Chronic sneezing and runny nose are usually seen in older rabbits who have sinus blockages due to molar root intrusions.  But younger bunnies can have stubborn infections, too, especially if the causative pathogen is something like Pseudomonas (bacteria).  I would suggest you ask the vet about a deep nasal culture and sensitivity test:

though getting a reliable sample from a nose is tricky.  I hope at least the vet will gently swab around the nostrils with some sort of disinfectant flush, allow it to dry, and only then take the sample.  This will reduce the chance of contamination from "backyard variety" bacteria that are there all the time without causing problems.

Please also see:

Truffles looks young, so unless he has a urinary tract problem:

I would ascribe his sudden change in litterbox habits to the onset of puberty:  he's marking his territory, and has chosen that one corner as his main litterbox.  For that area, you might have to relent and put a litterbox there.  But neutering will help solve the other problems.

By the way, your handsome boy is not a Netherland Dwarf.  He is a Dutch bunny, and from what I can see of his ears, he is not a dwarf at all (they tend to have very short ears).  This is good news, as I've found Dutch bunnies to be very smart, funny, and usually very healthy.  So I hope once Truffles gets these problems under control, all will be well.

Hope this helps.