Are respiratory issues common among dwarf rabbits?

Help Support RabbitsOnline:

L I Z

Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2020
Messages
11
Reaction score
0
Location
NM
This is the second time my Nederland dwarf rabbit has developed respiratory issues. Although she is still able to eat, drink, and defecate, she hiccups rapidly and wheezes when she breathes. It looks so uncomfortable, even with antibiotics!

Is this common among dwarf rabbits? I worry that this will become a chronic condition and that she'll develop immunity to the medication. If anyone is able to relate or give advice, it would be much appreciated.
 

Hermelin

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 9, 2017
Messages
1,964
Reaction score
1,653
Location
Sweden
It’s not a more common thing for dwarf bunnies to get respitory problems as a group. But I have heard that some netherland dwarf and holland lop can have trouble breathing because of the selective breeding. Making them have shorter and a more flat head. Myself notice that my own netherland dwarf is really sensitive to dust and when he sneeze he will let out a low squeak sound like something obstructing his nasal cavity and he easily start to wheeze if he get a snuffle.

Don’t need to be anything seriously but his nose easily get obstructed compared with my holland lop that is suspected to have chronic snuffle.

I hope the antibiotics will help your girl, my own holland lop is still investigating his troubles. His breathing have a low wheezing sound from the nostril and having discharges.
 

SableSteel

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 2, 2018
Messages
558
Reaction score
405
Location
Southwest USA
No. It's not more common among dwarf breeds. I've bred netherland dwarfs, holland lops, britannia petites and a couple other dwarf breeds and didn't notice more respiratory issues than my other breeds. (In fact, if any breed had respiratory issues, it was belgian hares...)

This does not sound normal though. Is there any discharge? How often does she do this? Does she do it after getting exposed to dust or something (like, after playing in dirt or messing with hay/pellet dust) - that could indicate allergies. And how long has this been going on?
 

L I Z

Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2020
Messages
11
Reaction score
0
Location
NM
It’s not a more common thing for dwarf bunnies to get respitory problems as a group. But I have heard that some netherland dwarf and holland lop can have trouble breathing because of the selective breeding. Making them have shorter and a more flat head. Myself notice that my own netherland dwarf is really sensitive to dust and when he sneeze he will let out a low squeak sound like something obstructing his nasal cavity and he easily start to wheeze if he get a snuffle.

Don’t need to be anything seriously but his nose easily get obstructed compared with my holland lop that is suspected to have chronic snuffle.

I hope the antibiotics will help your girl, my own holland lop is still investigating his troubles. His breathing have a low wheezing sound from the nostril and having discharges.
Thanks for your input. I'm sorry to hear your bunnies struggle with similar symptoms, especially your Holland lop, but I greatly appreciate your advice.

When your Netherland dwarf reacts to dust, how long does he continue sneezing and squeaking?
 

L I Z

Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2020
Messages
11
Reaction score
0
Location
NM
No. It's not more common among dwarf breeds. I've bred netherland dwarfs, holland lops, britannia petites and a couple other dwarf breeds and didn't notice more respiratory issues than my other breeds. (In fact, if any breed had respiratory issues, it was belgian hares...)

This does not sound normal though. Is there any discharge? How often does she do this? Does she do it after getting exposed to dust or something (like, after playing in dirt or messing with hay/pellet dust) - that could indicate allergies. And how long has this been going on?
Thanks for sharing your expertise. Luckily there is no discharge, and she's still able to function as usual despite her symptoms. The vet isn't sure what's wrong. However, this occurred back in February as well, so it's only been a few months since the last episode. I worry that this will happen again.

What would differentiate allergies from respiratory illness? I haven't noticed any difference in the way she messes around with her hay and pellets, but perhaps it is allergies. After all, there is no discharge or change in appetite, etc. If you would feel comfortable sending me an email at lizturnereat@gmail.com (and it's perfectly fine if you don't), I will share a video of her symptoms so you can see for yourself. Unfortunately the file size is too big for the attachment, otherwise I would post it.
 
Top