Rabbit Syphilis!?

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mybunsmybabies

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Hi, I'm Anna, and I've shown rabbits in 4H for 8 years now, but I've got a problem. Recently I decided to add a new breed of rabbit to my barn, Dwarf Hotots, and so far they've been nothing but trouble. My first dwarf hotot I bred to a doe someone else owned, and she had 3 babies. I took a doe and shortly after my first buck passed away suddenly, so I was left with his baby. She was normal for the most part, but sometimes her butt and genital area would become red and inflamed. I thought it was just bad hutch burn and consulted another rabbit breeder, who recommended a topical ointment marketed towards cows. He told me that it would clear up the inflammation, and that was it. The topical ointment worked and I thought my problem was over. I then bought a new buck from a very reputable breeder who screened all of her rabbits for any kind of disease, so I knew I was getting a healthy rabbit. I bred them and they produced 1 living kit, who was then fostered onto another doe. This was April i believe. Shortly before the fair where I show my rabbits, my buck started to develop a sore and inflamed bottom, so I left him home and took only my doe to the fair because the baby wasn't old enough to go. I put the same topical ointment on my buck as I did with my doe and his bottom started to look better. However, recently, a sore appeared on his face and I feared that this was vent disease, also known as rabbit syphilis. We took him to the vet and they confirmed that he had a strong positive for syphilis. They treated him with 4 injections of penicillin and now he is dong great, but I don't know what to do. The vet didn't recommend breeding him ever again (really sad about this, he was a $60 rabbit). Im assuming he contracted it from my doe, so I wont be breeding her again, but what about their baby? What am I going to do with him? I just really need some kind of advice! I'm thinking of just getting rid of all of them and starting over, but Im very attached to the baby and the doe, and I cant think of giving them away as pets with them being exposed to the disease. PLEASE HELP
 

SableSteel

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As far as I'm aware, rabbits can be bred after recovering from vent disease. You should look into testing or treating the baby as well, it's very likely that it caught the disease from the mother; as well as test/treat the mother with systemic antibiotics such as the penicillin to ensure that the bacteria is really gone, not just symptoms (which would be what a topical cream would likely treat).
 

JBun

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I would treat all affected rabbits, all rabbits that have had contact or that are offspring of affected rabbits with 3-6 pen g procaine/benzathine injections(never orally or topically) 5-7 days apart 42,000IU/kg, and they are good to go and should be completely cured of the disease. I've never heard of properly treated rabbits not being able to be bred after being treated correctly. I would also free feed a good quality grass hay(good horse quality, no mold or noxious weeds) to help promote good gut movement and minimize the chances of GI upset occurring from the antibiotic treatment.
http://www.medirabbit.com/EN/Skin_diseases/Bacterial/Syph_gen.html
 

mybunsmybabies

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Where can I find this treatment? Do I need to go through the vet or can I find it at Big R or Tractor Supply? Thanks for your help
 

majorv

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You can get the pen G from Tractor Supply or a feed store. You can also give probiotics like benebac or probios to help with any gut issues from the pen G
 

mybunsmybabies

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Thanks for the advice! The pen g is the one one marketed towards what seems to be most farm animals and not just cows correct?
 

majorv

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Procaine pen G is used on animals/livestock. The dosage is based on the rabbit’s weight.
 
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