Echinacea dose for Runny nose

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AnnieNMolly

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Hi all, I have two 5 month old girls that have been battling a runny nose. When I first noticed it I took them straight to the vet. She gave them 14 days of Baytril(twice a day) along with a probiotic twice a day. We went back to the vet for a follow up on day 14 and nothing had changed. She then prescribed 10 days of Sulfamethoxazole & Trimethoprim (also twice a day) and still on a probiotic. She also did a culture which she said came back with normal respiratory flora and very rare gram positive cocci which she said could be rare since they are on the antibiotic and it is probably going away. I also cultured it at work and it grew a rare Staph Aureus which is probably the cocci they found. We are set to go back in 3 days for a follow up. Throughout the whole time they have eaten fine, played the same, still drinking. Nothing seems to be any different than before they had runny noses except I have heard them sneeze just a couple times.

My questions are:

1. Can a rabbit have a viral infection since it doesn't seem to be bacterial?

2. Can this be caused by something else in their living environment?

3. Does anyone have experience with Echinacea and how much to give? I have read this can be very effective for runny noses. They each weigh about 1 pound.


Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I'm at a loss
 

missyscove

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What sort of runny nose are we talking about here? What color is the discharge? Are the insides of their front legs crusted with mucous as well?

If it's a light clear discharge it could be something like an allergy.
What sort of environment are they in? Indoor or outdoor? Bedding? Hay? How often is their litter box changed?
 

AnnieNMolly

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Thank you for responding missyscove!

They are indoor. They have a large 6x6 playpen that connects to a playhouse. When I am home they roam the house. I change their litter box once a day and I use aspen wood shavings. They eat Timothy hay unlimited and get a small amount of pellets in the morning and some geeens for dinner. Their paws are not crusted, I have read about that and make sure to check them often. As far as color it's hard to tell because they both have brown fur around their nose. It like clear-yellowish, sometimes when it dries it's a dark color.

The vet said it could be an allergy, I will discuss it with her when we return. I have also read dusty hay can do it, but the reason I assumed it was an infection is because they both got it at the exact same time and it has not gone away. They were fine with the hay/bedding for 2 months and then this came suddenly. They seem to be good otherwise though.
 

missyscove

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I know from personal experience that respiratory disease in buns can be very frustrating! If the discharge is anything but clear I'd definitely be worried about an ongoing infection. When you did your own culture, how far up did you culture? Many rabbits need to be sedated to get an adequate nasal culture, typically we use one of the very thin culturettes and it will I'd say at least 4cm in.

I've had two of my own rabbits that became chronic sneezers/snorers despite multiple courses of antibiotics. In my current pair, Cricket started sneezing one month after I adopted her. I got her started on antibiotics and cultured her, Watson started sneezing a month or so in. Watson only needed about a month of antibiotics before his signs resolved. After months on culture-appropriate antibiotics, Cricket's discharge stopped but to this day she snores when she's sleeping which she didn't originally do. I suspect she has some scar tissue from her chronic inflammation. My next step for her would probably be a CT but she has great quality of life despite her occasional snoring.
 

missyscove

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Forgot to add, I have no experience with echinacea. Consider other potential irritants you may have in your home as well (scented candles, clensars, etc.). I've found that a humidifier can help and you can also consider nebulization (either just saline or adding in an antibiotic).
 

AnnieNMolly

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Thank you

When I did the culture I just swabbed the discharge on the outside, since I don't have experience with that I was scared to hurt her. That's why I wanted the vet to do one also, and she went into the nostril and also had her sneeze a few times on the swab.

I'm thinking it may be allergies, at least I hope. I'd rather it be that than an infection! Thank you for your help, we will be going to the vet Monday!
 

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