Respiratory infection- HELP

Discussion in 'Health & Wellness' started by Penny's Mom, Nov 12, 2019.

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  1. Nov 12, 2019 #1

    Penny's Mom

    Penny's Mom

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    Hello fellow rabbit parents,

    let me start from the beginning:

    yesterday morning: my rabbit appears completely normal (hops over to greet me, gives kisses, does a trick when prompted, does a little bunny 500 victory lap).

    yesterday afternoon: I come home and she’s having the hardest time breathing. She keeps tilting her head back and has a hard time moving around in general.

    yesterday evening: we take her to the vet (would have taken her sooner but there is literally 1 vet in this part of the country), and she gets diagnosed with a fever of 104 and a respiratory infection. She gets put on antibiotics.

    this morning: she appears better, fever is gone, she’s eating and pooping (having accidents outside of her litter box), still has a hard time breathing and moving around. We give the vet an update and he says that she needs more medicine, so we bring her back for more antibiotics.

    this evening: still having a hard time breathing and moving (to the point where she is having difficulty cleaning her face), she is having a hard time eating her hay pellets but is eating herbs and lettuce ravenously. Having to hand-feed her water from a shallow dish, she’s having a hard time.

    has anyone ever experienced this before? Any tips or tricks would be greatly appreciated.

    Some more background: I live in Djibouti Africa, I adopted her from a previous owner and no one (including our vet) can tell how old she is, what breed she is, or anything like that. Our medical options are limited here, so there’s no labs being done or x-rays. When I first adopted her six months ago, I brought her to the vet and she was cleared to travel and he told me that she was healthy.
     
  2. Nov 12, 2019 #2

    Augustus&HazelGrace

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    Have they checked her back teeth? This wouldn't cause a respiratory illness but can make her not want to eat pellets and hay. Is she mouth breathing or regular breathing? Could she of inhaled anything? Has she choked on any pellets recently?
     
  3. Nov 12, 2019 #3

    Penny's Mom

    Penny's Mom

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    hey,

    we haven’t checked her back teeth. Now I am worried about her mobility, she tries to hop and turn but ends up stumbling. I will likely have to take her to the vet tomorrow and I can have him look at her back teeth. Wish me luck and pray for my sweet girl.
     
  4. Nov 12, 2019 #4

    John Wick

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    Did you share with the vet the very sudden change? I don't recall respiratory infections causing difficulty within such a short time window. Thinking about how respiratory infections typically work, the "bad" bacteria multiple over time and we see symptoms as the rabbit's body is trying to fight back. Considering this typical course, the progression you described is really rapid, making me suspect something else (such as teeth or a different sort of infection; neurological?) may be involved instead or in supplement.

    Mobility typically isn't effected by a respiratory infection either. If possible, I would also try and collect as much objective information as possible between you and the vet and potentially contact other vets for informal second opinions. Perhaps other vets may have suggestions on what could be tried.

    Best wishes to you and your bunfriend.
     
  5. Nov 12, 2019 #5

    Penny's Mom

    Penny's Mom

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    Hey john wick,

    she would have the occasional sneezing fit (no weird mucus) but nothing that caused concern, because she was always affectionate and social, hopping and jumping around.

    I wish I could get the opinion of another vet (as much as I appreciate the vet that is available to me), but I have one vet available in this part of the country. All of the other vets are on military bases and they refuse to see any non-service animals.

    I will post an update tomorrow, thank you for the well wishes.
     
  6. Nov 13, 2019 #6

    Lynsey harry

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    Hi have a rabbit with snuffles . He’s on baytril and metacam I also nebuliser him to help him breathe better . It’s been tough I’ve syringed him food and water and fed him baby food to get him eating and we are coming through it. I also had another one which I lost to upper respiratory who was mouth breathing who I lost as I tried to feed her and she got stressed . Keep with it you will get there . My boy is getting there I’m so glad I didn’t give up which I wanted to through all the tears and hard work but so worth it .good luck with yours keep me posted
     
  7. Nov 13, 2019 #7

    rabbit_friend

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    This really sounds like some kind of toxin, as suddenly as it came on and how it's affecting her. Is there anything she could have inhaled or eaten that is toxic? Any sudden mold exposure? New pellets or hay? Mycotoxins in feed can cause these issues.
     
  8. Nov 13, 2019 #8

    Penny's Mom

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    Hi everyone,

    Regarding toxins, that could be a cause. The vet said that there are a lot of bacteria in the air conditioning units that are used here in this country.

    I took Penny to the vet today and he said she looks a lot better today than she did yesterday (he said that he was scared that she was going to die last night). He gave her two more doses of antibiotics and told me to bring her back tomorrow. He said that often times rabbits have a hard time moving when they get too nervous, which she definitely is nervous with everything going on.

    She seems to be moving easier, albeit wobbly and prone to stumbling. Her fever is mostly gone, she feels fine to the touch. She’s having a hard time eating and drinking unless the food is right at her mouth level. She’s still pooping and peeing, and giving bunny kisses still. I think she still has the will to live, my husband is telling me to prepare for the worst and he says it looks like she will die tonight. I am trying to be optimistic, she is my little girl and I love her to pieces. Pray for her, I will post updates tomorrow.
     
  9. Nov 13, 2019 #9

    Lynsey harry

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    I think all u can do is keep her warm fed and quiet and see how u go good luck ❤️
     
  10. Nov 13, 2019 #10

    shad2000

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    I’m no expert but maybe she ate something or inhaled something that’s not good for her. Maybe check around the house to see if you see anything she could have gotten into? Is you house bunny proofed? I hope she gets well quickly I don’t like seeing buns sick. Keep us updated
     
  11. Nov 13, 2019 #11

    rabbit_friend

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    If she isn't drinking well, the wobbliness and stumbling could very well be due to dehydration. That may be why she's been gobbling greens too. Did the vet give her any subcutaneous fluids? I would definitely ask about that, since several antibiotics that are used in rabbits can do damage if the rabbit is dehydrated (and it's often hard to tell that they are, since the "skin test" doesn't work well with them). Subq fluids also keep any mucous in the nose liquid and moving out, so it doesn't get sticky and clog up their nose. They can't breathe through their mouth like we can.

    In the meantime, try soaking her pellets in water and mixing them with some chopped herbs that are aromatic and tempting, or even a little grated apple. Sometimes when rabbits have a respiratory or sinus infection, they can't smell their food, or it hurts to chew hard stuff because the pressue in the sinuses affects the teeth. It is really important to get food and water into her right now, since she has probably been losing weight. I hope she gets better.
     
  12. Nov 14, 2019 #12

    Penny's Mom

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    Good evening everyone,

    I took Penny to the vet again today, he said that she looks better, switched her to a new antibiotic and I am to bring her back for another check up on Saturday. He also stated that she will likely gain mobility back when she is no longer too nervous, which will likely be when she is no longer sick. Her lungs sound better too.

    I gave her a bath since she hasn’t been able to go to the bathroom in her litter box. This seemed to awaken something in Penny, because she started grooming her chest and hind legs (which she hasn’t done all week). She’s getting around more easily on her own, still wobbly but not as bad. She’s starting chewing on cardboard boxes (one of her favorite things to do), for the first time all week, and has been very affectionate.

    Thank you everyone who has replied so far. I am a new bunny parent at my first overseas post, I appreciate everyone’s insights and wisdom. I will post another update after I see the vet on Saturday.
     
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  13. Nov 14, 2019 #13

    Augustus&HazelGrace

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    Please tell me it was JUST a butt bath and not a full body bath! Full body baths are very dangerous and could very well make her respiratory illness worse. Full body baths have been known to cause heart attacks, hypothermia, and GI Statis due to stress from the bath. And did you use any soap? Animals and humans have different PH levels in their skins and they also differ between dogs and rabbits so human and dog shampoo is dangerous too. If you used any of this it may be causing her skin to feel itchy and that may be why she started grooming herself. If you ever give a butt bath it should only be used with water or a rabbit shampoo.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2019
  14. Nov 29, 2019 #14

    Penny's Mom

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    Hey fellow rabbit parents,

    I apologize for the radio silence. We’ve recently been experiencing catastrophic flooding in the country I live in, so bad that roads are falling in to the ocean and people have died.

    Here’s the update, any pointers or insight would be appreciated:

    1. I did give her a butt bath with water only on November 14. I didn’t have rabbit soap at the time.

    2. I took her to the vet the next day and he did a check up, said she is recovering well and asked me to call him if anything changes.

    3. For about a week, she seems fine. A little less energy, a little uncoordinated but I chalk that up to her healing. She’s able to eat and drink unassisted and is having less accidents outside of her litter box.

    4. Just before last weekend, I notice that she’s starting to tilt her head towards her right side. Then, catastrophic flooding happens in the country I live in. There’s no taking her to the vet, as we were on mandatory shelter in place orders.

    5. This beginning of the week, I email the vet and ask him if he has any availability to see her. No answer.

    6. Three days ago: she has what I think is either a seizure or a stroke. She curls up on her side and does almost like an alligator roll, and her left eye scanned the ceiling in a circular motion. She comes out of it maybe 20-30 minutes and seems confused at first. But she is hopping around a little wobbly, goes to the litter box, eats her fresh greens like nothing happened.

    7. Two days ago: I call the vet and make a same day appointment. I take her in, he thinks she has screw neck disease but doesn’t know what caused it. He gives her antibiotic injections, a vitamin B injection, corticosteroids and ear drops. He doesn’t see anything in her ears when he checks. He says that the prognosis is not good for screw neck disease and asks me to call him with any changes. He also says that she may look better in the evening.

    About two hours after the injections, she’s much more mobile. Her energy is up, she’s moving faster and is able to bend her neck normally to look around. She almost looks like she did before she got sick.

    8. Yesterday: she seems fine, eating/moving/litter box activities are normal, she still has her spirits up.

    9. Today: she still seems fine in the morning. I text the vet and tell him how good she’s been doing, he seems delighted, we make an appointment for tomorrow.

    This afternoon she gets another episode (seizure, stroke?) just like the one from a few days ago. This one lasts longer, maybe 40 minutes of her either trying to do an alligator roll or laying on her side. But it could have just been prolonged because I held her for part of it and she hates being held. I ask my husband to stop by the vet and the vet isn’t there (Friday’s are the equivalent of Sunday’s in this country). She comes out of it and seems fine again for a couple of hours, then has another episode that was relatively short, maybe 30 minutes. She came out of it again and was hopping around, eating, drinking, using the litter box, giving kisses.

    I am so worried about her that I’ve hardly left her side all day today.

    Side note: before anyone suggests that I go to another vet, please note that there is no other option in this country. I’m not saying that for effect, it’s the truth. There’s no small or exotic pet option for us here. Our vet runs the only wildlife refuge in this country and his own house and office were devastated in the floods.
     
  15. Nov 29, 2019 #15

    Lynsey harry

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    Sorry to hear bout ur bunny . Mine had a similar thing a few years ago but my vet said it was ecuniculi which is a parasite to the brain , if this could be the case with yours she will needs treating with panacur everyday for 28 days . Eventually my girl got so bad with the seizures and rolling I had to pts . Good luck it’s hard caring for sick bunnies. When she starts rolling cover her eyes it’s meant to help her come out of it
     
  16. Nov 30, 2019 #16

    Marcella-Jaine

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  17. Nov 30, 2019 #17

    Penny's Mom

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    upload_2019-11-30_10-37-47.jpeg
    That’s Penny before she got sick.
     
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  18. Nov 30, 2019 #18

    Marcella-Jaine

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    Hallo, Penny....get better...we’re worried about you!!!! ♥️
     
  19. Nov 30, 2019 #19

    Penny's Mom

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    Hey rabbit parents,

    As I put Penny in her kennel this morning (to take her to the vet), she had another seizure.

    I mentioned e. Cuniculi to the vet and he found a medicine to give her to treat it (he didn’t tell me the type) It’s a one time injection. He also gave her two corticosteroid injections, antibiotics, a vitamin B shot. There was a total of six shots but I don’t remember what the sixth injection was or if he told me at all.

    He told me to call with any updates, he didn’t seem optimistic.

    Her seizure lasted all the way through our five minute drive to the vets, our twenty minute appointment, five minute drive back and lasted about twenty minutes once we got home.

    It stopped temporarily for about an hour before it started again.

    So now we are on to seizure number three of the day.

    I left the house for a few hours and according to my husband, her episode didn’t stop at all during my time away.

    I got home, comforted her and fed her some fresh herbs. I put her on her feet, got her steady and she’s been hopping around.

    She’s eating, drinking a lot of water (more than normal), using the litter box, seeking pettings and she’s was like this for a few hours. She’s a little uncoordinated and slow.

    As I typed this, she gets her fourth seizure of the day.

    It’s amazing, even when she is having seizures, she still gives me kisses. She doesn’t lose consciousness when she seizes.

    I ordered panacur for rabbits from amazon last night (thank you Lynsey Harry for the tip) and it should arrive between December 11 - 24. I’m worried about her not making it that long, or permanent damage to her organs.

    Any tips or tricks, anyone?

    Picture is Penny today before seizure number 4.
     

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  20. Nov 30, 2019 #20

    Lynsey harry

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    Looking at your pic is how my bunny looked when she was poorly . When I had her I was advised to keep her area where she was padded for the rolling to keep her more safe . They can recover from ecuniculi she might just have permanent head tilt
     

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