Sneezing and rumbling sounds

Discussion in 'Rabbit Knowledge Library' started by Jenny Durling, Jan 2, 2019.

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  1. Jan 2, 2019 #1

    Jenny Durling

    Jenny Durling

    Jenny Durling

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    I'm looking for natural methods of helping my bun with head congestion. He's been to the vet multiple times and my vet has actually given up! Rocky has dental issues and has to be knocked out to get molar spurs trimmed every 3-4 months now. We've tried just about everything to get rid of the sneezing and while it may go away for a bit, it has always come back. We can't get a culture as there is no discharge so anything they could get by sticking something up his nose would still not necessarily be the problem. The congestion is apparently higher up in his sinuses and the vet has no way to access it.

    Rocky has been on Batryl multiple times (6 weeks at one point!) and it's honestly not effective for him at all. We've try chloramphenico and Ciproflaxen as well as one other broad spectrum antibiotic that I can't remember at the moment.

    We honestly thought the sinus problems were related to dental issues, though head xrays don't show any root intrusion. He'd had an infected tooth pulled and signs were pointing to the issue being an abscess. Rocky is on his THIRD month of injectible bicillin every other day. The bicillin actually seemed to work initially. We got about 10 days sneeze-free before he started up again. After his last dental exam a couple of weeks ago, his sneezing got worse again and the head rumbling started up. Per my request, the vet added Azythromcyin orally 25mg once daily. (Rocky is only 3 lbs.)

    There is more sneezing and head rumbling since we added the Azythromycin. I was hoping that perhaps that meant the drug is doing something and loosening things up. Am I just dreaming here? Is that even possible? Rocky seems to have chronic rhinitis with no identifiable cause. He's happy and normal in every other respect- plays, eats and interacts with us and his wifey.

    I've tried nebulizing with saline and that didn't seem to help at all. It's like he needs something to thin the gunk out and I have no idea if there is a rabbit-safe medication for that. I give him dandelion greens and echinacea and will try adding some coltsfoot to see if that does anything at all. If anyone has any suggestions on what else to try, I'm listening. It's so frustrating and my stomach goes into knots every time he has another sneezing fit.
     
  2. Jan 2, 2019 #2

    Happy Bunno

    Happy Bunno

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    I am so sorry to hear that. Sadly I don't have that much experience with rabbit illnesses. My bunny is still recovering from snuffles (I think that's how you write it) himself. I know that this isn't going to help you and it might be pointless but I hope that someone (who actually knows something about bunnies) is going to help you (in any way possible). I wish you luck and stay positive (btw...I understand the frustration...).
     
  3. Jan 2, 2019 #3

    JBun

    JBun

    JBun

    Jenny - Health & Wellness Mod Staff Member Administrator Moderator

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    I've read of some rabbit owners giving their rabbits echinacea drops(no alcohol) or the cut herb, to help with respiratory illnesses, but it's not something I've done myself, but certainly worth discussing with your vet. There might be some other forage plants that were mentioned like greater/ribwort plantain or bramble leaves, but it's been a while since I read it and can't recall.

    Medication wise, I know in the UK they will prescribe bisolvon which is a mucolytic, to help thin the mucous and make it easier to be expelled, but not sure what the equivalent for rabbits here in the US would be.
     
  4. Jan 10, 2019 #4

    Jenny Durling

    Jenny Durling

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    I believe in herbs. I've been giving my buns echinacea for quite a while and I added colts foot since that is supposed to also help. Interestingly, there is no more sneezing nor rumbling! I talked to the vet and he actually agreed that the loosening sounds could be the medication working to drain his sinuses. I'm shocked that he has improved - it's almost weird for Rocky to be silent! We decided to give him a second course of the Azithromycin since today would have been his last day on it and it too so long to see results. Let's hope this sticks. The last sneeze-free period he had only lasted for 6 days and that was a couple of months ago.
     
  5. Jan 10, 2019 #5

    Nancy McNaul

    Nancy McNaul

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    My bun was diagnosed with Pasteurella 2 yrs. ago. It's incurable but is definitely worth trying to treat if your bun's health is generally good. It does require antibiotics like those you mentioned. My bunny sneezed constantly, but instead of thick mucus liked Rocky's, mine had runny watery mucus. I tried antihistamines to dry it up. Sometimes they worked for a few weeks then would quit.
    Consider asking your vet about a child's dose of Mucinex for Rocky. It is being used now in dogs and cats. He could calculate the correct dose using your rabbit's weight. Mucinex is amazingly effective in thinning mucus that is thick and sticky and cannot drain.
    To keep Rocky hydrated, consider giving him sm amts of water by syringe in the side of his mouth.
    Good luck. I totally understand how upsetting it is to hear your bun be so congested.
     
  6. Jan 10, 2019 #6

    Nancy McNaul

    Nancy McNaul

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    Just an afterthought..... occasionally I also used an infant syringe to very lightly suction my bun's nose. It was a syringe specifically for sm babies with a smooth rounded tip, nothing pointy. Sometimes it helped. It aggravated my bunny so it has to be a really fast manuever. If you don't get anything back right away, then stop. Try again next day.
     
  7. Jan 10, 2019 #7

    Jenny Durling

    Jenny Durling

    Jenny Durling

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    Thanks. I had wondered if something like mucunex would help. The medication seems to be mire for chest congestion. They do have a version for sinuses with different ingredients. I will mention it to my vet though he didn’t think human antihistamines would do anything for a rabbit.

    Rocky started sneezing again last night. All of 2 1/2 days of quiet. It’s very frustrating.
     
  8. Jan 11, 2019 #8

    Prudence

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    Hi, you need to bring him to the vet for Xray and blood test. My rabbit was down with sneezing fits. The first vet suspect pneumonia, did a flushing , prescribe baytril, anti inflammatory med, ear drops and eye drops. Antibiotics for nebulising. And review after 3weeks later. On the 2nd week I went to another vet for 2nd opinion, she did an xray and blood test. X rays shows 2 hard growth inside rabbit nasal cavity and that is the reason he has been having snuffles.
     
  9. Jan 11, 2019 #9

    Jenny Durling

    Jenny Durling

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    He has been to the vet multiple times. We’ve had blood tests and two sets of xrays already. He gets his teeth trimmed every 3-4 months so he’s at the vet a lot. My vet has tried a ton of medications and really can’t figure out the problem. I outlined a lot of this in another thread about Bicillin and anscesses
     
  10. Jan 12, 2019 #10

    cwebster

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    Our rabbit had sneezing and noisy breathing. Culture showed pseudomonas and bordetella. Seems ok after a month of baytril. Hope your bunny is ok soon. Do they know what the hard growths are?
     
  11. Mar 17, 2019 #11

    Evelyn K

    Evelyn K

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    How would a house bunny be exposed to pseudomonas or bordatella? Is it possible that hay could be contaminated? Our 9-year -old bun Bailey has had sneezing episodes and some rapid breathing from time to time.It is the rapid, deep breathing that scares me the most. There is not rumbling sound, however.
    I took her to the vet in the past when she had a similar episode. The first trip was to the pet ER when the vet on call just happened to be a small animal vet. He prescribed Albon liquid. I took Bailey again to the regular vet several months later as her water intake decreased suddenly, but with no sneezing episodes. (Municiple water line had work, and probably made our water taste bad (I could taste a difference too!) I got her mouth and teeth checked, also the vet said her vital signs were good and heart/lungs were strong. We diluted our water with bottled water for a bit til the municiple water line returned to normal.
    When her intake was low, I did offer her some alfalfa hay. She seems to love the taste (I know it's not to be given regularly to an adult). The alfalfa was pretty flakey ground up at the bottom of the bag, so I really haven't given it since. Now, a couple of months after that, she is sneezing again. Her her hay intake has decreased; she still takes her pellets and parsley leaves. She will be in trouble with she molts if not taking hay! I have a bit of the Albon antibiotic left, and am considering asking our regular vet if I should try a dose or half-dose to help.
     
  12. Mar 17, 2019 #12

    Jenny Durling

    Jenny Durling

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    These issues can be so very frustrating. I think sometimes whatever ails them can be resistant to what the vets initially try. This is why I did a bunch of research and asked our vet to try different medications for Rocky. Finally we hit on a combination that worked for him and he completely stopped sneezing. We still think it was some sort of dental abscess but a combination of injectible bicillin and Azithromycin took care of it. He was on injectable for 3 months. It wasn't until we added the additional oral medication that he improved. He actually got much worse the first week but we kept with it for a month and he completely cleared up. All I can say is to work with your vet and if one medication doesn't work, try something else. We absolutely would have gone with a culture to make the best choice but Rocky had nothing to culture since there was no runny nose/mucus and the infection was way up inside his sinus cavity where it couldn't be reached. Don't give diluted doses or super-short term courses or you risk your bunny's particular 'bugs' building up a tolerance to the medication.
     
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  13. Mar 17, 2019 #13

    JBun

    JBun

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    Have her teeth been checked again recently? Sneezing and selective eating(stops eating hay or one type of food, but will still eat other foods) can sometimes be signs of a dental problem. Or there could be another underlying health condition.

    A new batch of hay that tastes different to a rabbit or hay going moldy, can also be a cause of changes in their hay consumption.

    I'll also echo not giving antibiotics for a few days or at a lower ineffective dose. It creates antibiotic resistant bacteria, same as with people and why our doctors always tell us to take the complete course of antibiotic prescribed to us.
     
  14. Mar 18, 2019 #14

    Evelyn K

    Evelyn K

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    Thanks for the sound advice. I will call the veterinary clinic in the morning.
     
  15. Mar 18, 2019 #15

    Poopy Poo

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    When two of my bunnies were sneezing I gave them chamomile tea and dried thyme and they were all good next day, that was not the same time, first time it was with my rescued rabbit he was already sneezing when I got him, second time it was a girl from my avatar, she was very weak after she had a false pregnancy and was sneezing as well.
    And made them warm too.
    Not using antibiotics myself for a long time more than 10 years, thyme is actually very good for bronchitis that I know because using it myself.
    I know rabbits are very fragile creatures and I don't have enough experience with them to suggest just saying.
     

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