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My boyfriends mom recently got a dog and it has kennel cough. I do not live with them, but I spend a lot of time at their house. I have three rabbits at home and I am really worried about my rabbits developing snuffles or pnemonia from this dogs kennel cough. I have been trying my best to change clothes and wash hands anytime I need to feed my rabbits... but I still worry. I DID call my vet and he said the risk is low and he has never experienced it himself. I do worry he might have not understood I was referring to kennel cough, though (this is my paranoia) because he used a different term... not Bordatella. Then I did massive research and it appears that it IS possible to happen and has a history OF happening... so I got worried he was wrong. I also read online that rabbits naturally carry this in their respiratory tract?

I was wondering if anyone had experience with this where their rabbit did NOT catch kennel cough from an infected dog? How likely is it? Should I listen to my vet? Or follow my research?
 

JBun

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A rabbit could possibly contract it, but mainly seems more likely if they already had a preexisting respiratory illness or were immunocompromised. The bacteria will already most likely be present in a rabbits environment since they seem to commonly be asymptomatic carriers. But even if they weren't, it isn't likely to happen from indirect contact from transfer, as it's passed through direct contact and breathing it in.


If you want to continue to change clothes and wash hands after being at their home, I would think that would be plenty enough prevention, even though it may not be that necessary. But I would certainly wash hands at a minimum regardless. Because even though something isn't likely to happen doesn't mean it can't.
 
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Thank you so much. I had a stressful day yesterday. I got home from work and one of my buns eyes were red around the eye (the skin around the eye). I didn't see noticable discharge but the closer I looked the more I noticed and I couldn't tell if it was normal or not. I called the vet and the soonest they could see her is Thursday night, so I said okay... But in the meantime I freaked out and drove her an hour and a half to the emergency vet for the wait time to be 7 hours!!! I felt horrible for dragging her there and stressing her out. She didn't SEEM stressed (she was very alert and curious), so i took her back home. Today her eye didn't look AS red but I am watching her in my camera while I am at work and I keep freaking myself out thinking it's red again-- but I can't tell. I am just a mess. I am away this weekend and if she is prescribed medicine, I don't know how my mom will be able to do it, as I'm the rabbit savvy one... not her. Ugh. I really hope it's just irritated and not Bordetella/Snuffles. She is also 8 so I'm not sure if older rabbits begin to develop changes in their eyes or not. Do you happen to know about this?
 
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A rabbit could possibly contract it, but mainly seems more likely if they already had a preexisting respiratory illness or were immunocompromised. The bacteria will already most likely be present in a rabbits environment since they seem to commonly be asymptomatic carriers. But even if they weren't, it isn't likely to happen from indirect contact from transfer, as it's passed through direct contact and breathing it in.


If you want to continue to change clothes and wash hands after being at their home, I would think that would be plenty enough prevention, even though it may not be that necessary. But I would certainly wash hands at a minimum regardless. Because even though something isn't likely to happen doesn't mean it can't.
Thank you so much. I had a stressful day yesterday. I got home from work and one of my buns eyes were red around the eye (the skin around the eye). I didn't see noticeable discharge but the closer I looked the more I noticed and I couldn't tell if it was normal or not. I called the vet and the soonest they could see her is Thursday night, so I said okay... But in the meantime I freaked out and drove her an hour and a half to the emergency vet for the wait time to be 7 hours!!! I felt horrible for dragging her there and stressing her out. She didn't SEEM stressed (she was very alert and curious), so i took her back home. Today her eye didn't look AS red but I am watching her in my camera while I am at work and I keep freaking myself out thinking it's red again-- but I can't tell. I am just a mess. I am away this weekend and if she is prescribed medicine, I don't know how my mom will be able to do it, as I'm the rabbit savvy one... not her. Ugh. I really hope it's just irritated and not Bordetella/Snuffles. She is also 8 so I'm not sure if older rabbits begin to develop changes in their eyes or not. Do you happen to know about this?
 

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A red eye can happen for a variety of reasons, most commonly is simple debris/fur in the eye irritating it, which can easily be remedied. I will usually try flushing the eye out with a plain sterile ophthalmic saline eye drop(eg. natural tears). I've never used this, but some people recommend cool boiled tea, as some teas can have natural antibacterial and anti inflammatory properties. Just making sure the tea is cooled and not at all hot, and any particles are strained out.

It's when you start seeing either white sticky discharge or white clouding on the cornea, that it indicates a more serious eye problem(eg. conjunctivitis, eye infection, corneal abrasion). So if you aren't seeing either of those, I wouldn't stress and would try flushing the eye out to see if that helps. If not, it could be an eye lash rubbing, or she may have scratched her eye. If the irritation continues after having flushed the eye out, then definitely book an appointment to have her checked.

Medirabbit: causes of runny eyes(pictures of conjunctivitis)

Medirabbit: corneal abrasion and ulcer

 
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A red eye can happen for a variety of reasons, most commonly is simple debris/fur in the eye irritating it, which can easily be remedied. I will usually try flushing the eye out with a plain sterile ophthalmic saline eye drop(eg. natural tears). I've never used this, but some people recommend cool boiled tea, as some teas can have natural antibacterial and anti inflammatory properties. Just making sure the tea is cooled and not at all hot, and any particles are strained out.

It's when you start seeing either white sticky discharge or white clouding on the cornea, that it indicates a more serious eye problem(eg. conjunctivitis, eye infection, corneal abrasion). So if you aren't seeing either of those, I wouldn't stress and would try flushing the eye out to see if that helps. If not, it could be an eye lash rubbing, or she may have scratched her eye. If the irritation continues after having flushed the eye out, then definitely book an appointment to have her checked.

Medirabbit: causes of runny eyes(pictures of conjunctivitis)

Medirabbit: corneal abrasion and ulcer

Thank you again so much. I really appreciate your responses. I do have an appt for her on Thursday night so I am going to try and monitor it the best I can and hope it doesn’t get worse. I hope it’s just allergies and NOT the kennel cough. I’ll insert photos of what her eye looked like last night….. this morning it wasn’t as red but there still looked like a slight discharge but idk if I’m being overly concerned over nothing… like… seeing something that actually isn’t there/is normal.
 

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JBun

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Are you talking about the eyelid looking more red than normal? There's no tearing and no inflammation that I can see, so around the eye looks pretty normal to me.
 
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Are you talking about the eyelid looking more red than normal? There's no tearing and no inflammation that I can see, so around the eye looks pretty normal to me.
Yes that's exactly where I am referring to. It's hard to describe that area, lol. But anyway.... yes her eyelid has been looking a lot more pink than normal. Also if you look closely... it looks like her eyelashes are "wet" and I worry if by her tear duct is "weepy" or not. This morning it wasn't this red, but still slightly red. I also can't tell if the wetness I notice around the eye is normal or not. She acts the same (at least as far as this morning when I was home-- she was fine). She is still curious and moving. Like I said... she is 8.... so over the last year or so I HAVE noticed a difference slightly in her face.. like she just looks sleepier... and I guess it's because she's my old lady now... But I am mostly just concerned about her having some type of snuffles related bacteria from my boyfriends moms dog who has kennel cough. I am avoiding him like the plague and it hurts but I care for my rabbits so much... but at the same time I don't want it to ruin my relationship. :-(
 

JBun

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Honestly it doesn't look at all bad or that anything is even off. If there is a little redness to the eyelid, it's nothing that I would initially be overly too concerned about, but would just keep a close watch on it to make sure more concerning signs don't occur.

And with the dog, like I mentioned, I would change clothes and wash hands, but other than that it's not something that I would be too stressed about. I would be much more concerned if it was other rabbits with pasteurella, as that is highly contagious, and a problem with rabbits contracting it.
 
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