separating rabbits while sick, pasturella, sorry it's a tad long :(

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Pigglebread

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Ok so I've been struggling to kill a infection in my female, abbey and she's bonded to my male. claudio. She was sneezing snot a lot and was on antibiotics twice because the first round didn't do the trick, I'm still on my toes if it will return in her which I have high fears it will. This started a month and a half ago, Abbey was on antibiotics for 2 weeks, 1 week passes by seemingly better after first treatment but starts again the 7th day. We just finished the second treatment round of a 17 days long 1 week ago.

I was told it wasn't necessary to separate claudio from her or it may stress her out more during her stressful period and after a month and a half I thought it was ok. 3 days ago I noticed him sniffling a tad and clearing his nasal airways in what I can only describe as "nasal" sighs. I know my rabbits well and it was just unlike him to make any sort of sniffling like sounds, I brought him to the vet yesterday knowing he probably was going to tell me he looked good but I figure better to be safe then sorry.

Now it's the next day and he's actually sneezing with white nasal discharge under the nostrils with a tad whistle breathing. I've separated him in another room in fear of Abbey being prone to catching it AGAIN. I can't see the vet till Monday but he will be ok till then ( if it of course got seriously worse quicker till then I'd find a place to take him in ).

This is extremely stressful for me and for both of them I know, my question right now is am I right to separate him from her while he clearly shows being sick? Is she more prone to catching it again if he's sneezing like this? Exactly how does this whole thing work? I know things like pasturella is assumed most to all rabbits have it in their system but something happens to them causing the outbreak ( is that what you call it?), like a lowered immune system or something. Does one rabbit with another who is showing sick symptoms cause the other most likely to catch an outbreak as well?

Should I keep them separated till both are symptom free?


I'm sorry this is long, I've just been battling this stupid respiratory infection for a long time now. They have not had a culture yet, we tried baytril and it seemed to help Abbey kill it off so far it seems, so since it was seeming to work the vet felt I wasn't in need of a culture.
 

Pigglebread

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Just to add Abbey is also sniffling now and then again but it's nothing bad enough yet that requires medication, for her I assume I iwll know in the next few days if it returns its ugly head or not, nothing has changed in my room or their cage to cause this problem.
 

tonyshuman

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Usually it is not helpful to separate rabbits while sick. If the antibiotic seemed to help but didn't take care of it in 17 days, you may need a different med or a combination. It is possible some bacteria present are resistant to Baytril and others present are susceptible to it. Zithromax is a good choice for treating URIs in rabbits, although a culture and sensitivity would probably be helpful at this point. If that doesn't provide answers, you may need to look into other causes of nasal discharge.
http://www.medirabbit.com/EN/Respiratory/Bacterial/URI.htm
 

Pigglebread

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Usually it is not helpful to separate rabbits while sick. If the antibiotic seemed to help but didn't take care of it in 17 days, you may need a different med or a combination. It is possible some bacteria present are resistant to Baytril and others present are susceptible to it. Zithromax is a good choice for treating URIs in rabbits, although a culture and sensitivity would probably be helpful at this point. If that doesn't provide answers, you may need to look into other causes of nasal discharge.
http://www.medirabbit.com/EN/Respiratory/Bacterial/URI.htm
Thanks, I'll read through the link and ask about those medications if we make another vet trip which I feel we will possibly but I'm just playing the waiting game now.

I put Claudio back into the cage with Abbey since after 48 hours his sneezing stopped and he hasn't had discharge anymore since that one night. I'm monitoring them still and if the sneezing starts again I will put them back out of my room and see if it goes away. I just thoroughly cleaned my room and I'll be pretty confused if moving them out stops the sneezing again because I have no idea what in the room would be causing it.

So does putting him back in the cage with her even if he's sick doesn't make her more prone for another outbreak?
 

Maureen Las

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I had a bonded rabbit with a URI who was treated with oral baytril several times only to have it return in an even more virulent form. Her bonded mate never contracted it and they remained together.

It was not until I learned about the use of injectable bicillin for treatment in rabbits that I had a positive response. I started injections for a lengthy period and the infection never returned.

I also treated an older rabbit for an inner ear infection with a combo of injectable bicillin and oral baytril with 100% success; he is 10 yrs old and sitting by me as I type.
I agree with Tonyshuman.... Whether or not they are together is not really an issue. Getting a strong effective antibiotic ( or more than one) to treat both rabbits for an extended period of time is the way to go.
Make sure that you find a vet who is really knowledgeable and up to date with treatment protocols for rabbits. In the past many vets have been so frightened of disrupting a rabbits GI tract that they have under prescribed and relied too heavily on baytril. Bacteria is becoming increasingly stronger and each dose of an ineffective antibiotic just adds to increasing virulence in bacteria
There is a list of member recommended vets right here in the Infirmary, however, it is best to call and ask a lot of questions.
 

Pigglebread

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I think that's the main thing the vets keep stressing on me is they are scared to upset the gi tract with different medications. He's sneezing on an off now but not bad like abbey did, I'm incredibly stressed he's got something now too while she seems all better. Clausio goes 8 plus hours with out sneezing and seeming ok unlike her attacks we she had it, is that cause he's younger perhaps with a stronger immune system fighting it?

The vets are rabbit savy and listed under HRS, If need be I can try a vet in David that once saw Claudio though. I'm unsure if now is the time to call the vet back about claudio saying the sneezing picked up or call a new vet, because I don't want to be given baytril again even though he hasn't had it yet, or worse be told he looks fine even though I WATCH him and know what's going on, I can't make my rabbit sneeze and look sick on demand. I know you guys say it doesn't raise risk on abbey catching it again I just still freak out it will sort of but I've kept them together.

I'll probably phone te vet again to call back with concern and see what he suggests or says and if nothing I will phone up the vet in Davis California... I need good vibes for me and the bunnies.
 

Pigglebread

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They may give baytril again though cause abbey has gone over a week now without her last treatment dose and been fine. * knock on wood*
 

ladysown

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both of your rabbits have it, no point in separating them. The time for that is long since past.

Pasturella is not easily curable, but it can be beaten into submission most of the time. it does cause long term damage in rabbits affecting major organs, bones and more. So in essence, with an active, nasty infection you are fighting a losing battle.

BUT offer support and care and see how it goes.
 

Maureen Las

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The vet I have now is younger and has knowledge of the use of bicillin as do many other exotic animal specialists.
This is the ground-breaking article discussing the use of bicillin for jaw abscesses ( and other infections.)

http://people.umass.edu/~jwmoore/bicillin/bicillin.htm

When I asked a previous vet to try Zithromax on a rabbit I literally had to be ( politely) relentless in attempting to get what my rabbit needed. Some vets will do extra research if a client seems knowledgeable and is persuasive. Might want to print this article and show your vet.
It is so MUCH easier if you have a vet that is up to date but this isn't always possible.
 

missyscove

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Was a culture and sensitivity run on both rabbits? Rabbits with "snuffles" symptoms are often assumed to have pasteurella, but that's not always the case. I have a pair of bonded rabbits. Cricket started sneezing with no improvement after 2 weeks on baytril. After her culture and sensitivity came back (no pasteurella), we switched her to doxycycline. Watson started sneezing too and he also had a culture and sensitivity (again, no pasteurella) and after a month on doxy he was symptom free. Cricket is still on doxy and still sneezing but with no other real symptoms so we're working out what to try next.

I'd recommend a culture and sensitivity to choose the right antibiotics as in my case there was resistance to the baytril and I'd definitely keep them together.
 

Pigglebread

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Was a culture and sensitivity run on both rabbits? Rabbits with "snuffles" symptoms are often assumed to have pasteurella, but that's not always the case. I have a pair of bonded rabbits. Cricket started sneezing with no improvement after 2 weeks on baytril. After her culture and sensitivity came back (no pasteurella), we switched her to doxycycline. Watson started sneezing too and he also had a culture and sensitivity (again, no pasteurella) and after a month on doxy he was symptom free. Cricket is still on doxy and still sneezing but with no other real symptoms so we're working out what to try next.

I'd recommend a culture and sensitivity to choose the right antibiotics as in my case there was resistance to the baytril and I'd definitely keep them together.
There wasn't a culture done but awkwardly Claudio only had a runny nose for 2 days and then it stopped, both rabbits seem to be all healthy and good now with no sneezing but the occasional sneeze here and there. I guess the baytril did the job with Abbey and I have no idea why Claudio had a runny nose for a bit.

I'm happy they both seem finally back to good health :>
 
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