Question about sneezing

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Onai

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Hello there, I have an English Lop who I recently rescued last month. When I took him in, he had a bit of a respiratory infection and was a little under weight. Since then the vet put him on baytril/enro for the usual course of 14 days. After the 14 days was up I noticed he was still going into sneezing fits. I continued the medication until it was gone as I have dealt with URI in other small animals before and that usually did the trick. After the medications were done, I still noticed he was still having issues with the sneezing. I contacted the vet again and she recommended putting him on a different medication for another 14 days. We're just coming up on day 14 now and he still seems to be sneezing more often than he should. I suppose what I am getting at here, is it more common for this breed to be sneezy? There is no discharge from what I can see. I'm thinking about calling a different vet and getting a second opinion on what could possibly be going on.
 

John Wick

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Trial and error for medications is not uncommon for treating upper respiratory infections. It's very possible that the particular infection your rabbit has (if it is indeed a URI) is not susceptible to baytril, but may be to something else! I think trying different medications is not a bad idea. Personally, when one of my rabbits was suffering from a URI, it took 3 medication adjustments to find the right one that showed symptom alleviation and eventually cured him.

In terms of lack of discharge, it could be that something else for some reason is causing your rabbit to sneeze. I have heard of dental problems irritating the sinuses, as well as obstructions in the nose area triggering sneezing. How often are the sneezes?
 

Onai

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So far he has been on the Baytril/Enro for the 14+ days, and this new one that she prescribed him which is a compound, Doxy. again, every 12 hrs for 14 days. He isn't sneezing as much as when I first brought him in to the vet. It seems to have lessened but it's still present. If I am sitting with him and spending time with him he will give a handful of sneezes over the course of a few minutes. He was transported to me and his previous owner mentioned nothing about him being sick. When I took him out of the carrier I could feel right away just how boney he was so I made a wellness visit appointment right away, which, if I am taking in an animal I do that right away regardless. I had a lot going on that day so I wasn't able to full evaluate him til later that night when I noticed how labored his breathing was and you could audibly hear the congestion along with the sneezing and coughing. I called the vet back and told them my concerns and they got me in right away instead of waiting the rest of the week for the original appointment. Due to covid I couldn't be in the office and she claimed that she did a full examination and she never reported any dental issues, just that yes he did indeed need to gain a couple lbs and he was very congested. She had also mentioned if this medication doesn't work either that they would want to do xrays of his head and chest areas to rule out any other causes for concerns. Finances are tight so I was hoping not to have to spend more than I have to, but still of course willing to do everything within my power to help him feel better. Ultimately I wasn't sure if it was common for the breed and I was making a big deal out of something that could potentially be no real cause for concern.
 

John Wick

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Well, in terms of finances, it is cheaper to try another medication than get a chest and head x-ray. That being said, if it is a non-URI issue, x-rays will be the most informative assessment tool. In terms of dental, the type of issues that would irritate the sinuses are beneath the gum (ex. overgrown teeth roots) and those would not be noticeable with a regular exam-- only x-ray.

Are you still hearing your rabbit cough? Coughing is not a common symptom.
 

Onai

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I haven't noticed him coughing, just the sneezing. Someone else suggested that it could also be allergies. He lives in a large x pen in my bedroom, fresh food and water daily along with unlimited hay. I don't use any weird fragrances in there or anything that could irritate him. The flooring of his pen is hard floor and a carpet (puppy pads underneath just in case of accidents. Though he is 98% effective at going in his litter box.) which is vacuumed about every other day, swept daily. I keep everything as clean as I can. As far as litter in the box it's wood pellets with his hay, which he throws all over the place so rarely does he come into contact with the pellets. Not to rule out allergies, I'm just not sure if that was the case, what would cause it. The dental issues is something definitely worth taking a look into. I never would have thought of that being a possibility to effect the sinuses. It's hard not being able to go into the office with them at the moment. Usually I am on top of things when it comes to asking questions about health concerns when it comes to the animals. When I call them on Monday I will ask about trying a different medication and also the xrays to see what we can arrange and work out.
 

JBun

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It could be your bun doesn't have a URI but an environmental sensitivity. It could be hay that's too dusty, sensitivity to the litter you're using, sensitive to a chemical cleaner or scent in your home, sensitive to laundry products used on your rabbits blankets, etc. I would examine if there is anything used around your rabbit or in your rabbits environment that could possibly be the cause and change or remove it. It might also be worth asking your vet about a trial of benedryl(diphenhydramine) to see if it helps.



Though with sounds of congestion and noisy breathing, a URI does seem it could very likely be the cause. If it is a URI, you could try having a culture and sensitivity test done, though sometimes those aren't accurate. But also know that if an antibiotic is proving effective and you see a reduction of symptoms, courses much longer than 2 weeks are needed. Usually 4-6 weeks, and sometimes even longer. One antibiotic I've had really good success with is azithromycin. Though do be aware that some rabbits can have stomach cramping and severe digestive upset with it's use.

Medirabbit: respiratory issues in rabbits

 

Onai

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Thank you for all that! Will definitely look into all of that and address it with the vet Monday morning.
 

Onai

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Woke up this morning around 5 to Forest having a sneezing and coughing fit that left him choking/gagging. I had already made a vet appointment for this Tuesday, but after the symptoms this morning we were able to get him in today. After an initial exam, we went ahead with the x-rays. His teeth looked really good, so thankfully, it is not a dental issue. The next x-ray showed his lungs. He had a lot of cloudiness which would indicate he still has some sort of infection that is just progressing instead of getting better. She also noticed some bronchus (donuts) as well. She said she didn't believe it was pneumonia. The infection at this point could be either bacterial or viral. She prescribed him two more antibiotics that he needs to take everyday to see if there are any improvements and we will be going from there. Fingers crossed that something gives and he starts to feel much better. It's horrible seeing him feeling so miserable and not knowing how to help 😞
 

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