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Bunny coughing while drinking water?

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Auggie+Snowball+Belle

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Hey everyone. Just a second ago I was sitting here and Tux was drinking water (from a dish) and he coughed. I noticed that he’s kinda weird about water, he’ll take his head out and almost put it up a little. I don’t really know how to describe it. It doesn’t happen all the time but it happens about once a day. He’s acting normal now, he drank more water after. But does anyone know what caused this? Is he having breathing problems or did his water just go down the wrong pipe (if that happens with bunnies)? He doesn’t normally cough although he might’ve done it once a a few days ago but I couldn’t really hear or tell what it was since it was so noisy at the time. Oh, and Tux is around 3 months and doesn’t have any medical issues that we know of. Any advise is appreciated 😃
 

Auggie+Snowball+Belle

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And also, he spits his pellets out sometimes and then eats them after. Sometimes, he’ll also lift his paws up while drinking water and used to when eating pellets.
 

JBun

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He could very possibly have dental issues. Sharp points on his molars, sores in his mouth, might affect how he swallows, or it could be pain in a tooth that is sensitive to the cold water causing the reaction. And it could easily explain dropping food from his mouth, and the paw lifting could be his response to pain in his mouth that he is trying to figure out how to get to and stop. So these behaviors can definitely point to dental issues, or at least to something causing some sort of discomfort in his jaw, mouth or throat. I would suggest a thorough dental exam by an experienced rabbit vet.

Medirabbit (dental problems in rabbits)

Medirabbit (contains photos that show good shots of infection in the molars)

MediRabbit (more photos of possible dental issues)

 

JBun

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if nothing definitive is found in a visual inspection of the mouth, the vet may need to do head xrays, so just be prepared for that additional cost.
 

JBun

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3 months old is pretty young to have dental issues with the back molars, so there's a chance there isn't anything wrong with them. It would be more common for a young rabbit like that to have issues with the incisors. If you're comfortable doing so, you could take a look at his front teeth(the incisors) to see if they look normal. But if they're fine, hopefully it's something simple like something stuck in his teeth at the back of the mouth, causing the discomfort he's feeling.
 

Auggie+Snowball+Belle

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A little update and not a good one 😢 So we thought about taking him to the vet and he was getting better. My parents hate bringing animals to the vet unless it’s an emergency (although most of the time we end up taking them if I think it’s something). But since he was getting better and wasn’t doing it we just thought well it was probably nothing. Well I don’t think it is nothing anymore. On Christmas Eve I noticed he was preferring only eating the softer (leafy I think) part of the hay. And the pellets were dropping from his mouth again. But he was still eating and acting normal and it was Christmas Eve so we decided to see how he was. Christmas, he was the same. But today he won’t eat his pellets. He normally goes crazy for them but he’s not. And it’s not like I just fed him, the last time was at 9:30 last night. Normally by now he wants all the pellets I’m willing to give him. But today he’s just sniffing them like he wants to eat them but then hops away. I’m pretty sure it’s not GI stasis (yet) because he’s running moving around quite a bit but I know it will become that soon if this continues. So we’re gonna take him to the vet today. Get his teeth checked and what not.
Edit: my mom says she had him out (not sure why as she never does) and fed him a bunch of pellets and filled his dish. So I think he just wasn’t hungry. And he decided that he’d eat as soon as I left the room 🤦‍♀️. So he’s fine. Sorry for the false alarm 😅.
 
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Mariam+Theo

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I still highly suggest taking him to the vet to get his teeth checked out! It sounds like he does have a tooth problem even if he is eating some. You do not want the problem to get worse, and him go into stasis from the pain.
 

Auggie+Snowball+Belle

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Well I think my first instinct was right. It looks like he ate some but not as much as normal, he still has pellets left (normally gone in two seconds)and it doesn’t look like he ate much hay. I should’ve checked on him earlier but too late now 🤦‍♀️. Tomorrow we will call and get an appointment. I don’t think our vet is open tomorrow but I think they will do an emergency appointment so we will see.
 

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