Trick’s Fight w/ URI

Discussion in 'Health & Wellness' started by MinDearie, Jun 22, 2017.

  1. Jun 22, 2017 #1

    MinDearie

    MinDearie

    MinDearie

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    Hello All,

    I’m hoping to document my bun’s fight with an upper respiratory infection here. Feel free to move the thread if this isn’t the appropriate place. Sorry, I’m new!

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    I have two buns, Trick (black bun) and Treat (orange bun)! Having brought them home at about 8 weeks of age, Trick started having sneezing fits right away. I took the pair to the vet the next day. Treat got a clean bill of health, but I’ve been monitoring him closely in case he starts up with any discharge or sneezing (all clear so far!). Trick sounded a bit raspy upon a closer listen by the vet, and had matted paws and white nasal discharge. He was prescribed Trimethoprim Sulfa (cherry flavored, mmm!). 0.2ml twice daily for 10 days orally via syringe.

    I noticed a sliiiight improvement with the sneezing fits halfway through treatment (maybe just wishful thinking though), but by the end of the 10 days he was back to square one. Trick was brought back to the vet, and it looks like this is still a URI. I’m so happy pneumonia hasn’t set in! Now he’s on Azithromycin (200mg/5ml and yuck flavored!). 0.08ml once daily for 10 days orally via syringe. It’s too early for me to tell if it’s working as today is only day 3. It smells so gross though, I feel bad giving it to him!

    To rule out allergies, our vet suggested I change their carefresh bedding to fleece. I was worried that this would mess up their litter training, but we’re doing what we have to! Trick’s sneezing doesn’t seem to be affected by this change though, so I think we can rule bedding allergies out. I’ll keep moving forward with the fleece though. Just in case!

    Being a worried bunny momma, I’ve been adding “Bene-Bac probiotic powder” to their pellets, so the antibiotics don’t completely destroy Trick’s gut flora. I’ve also been smudging some “VetRx Rabbit Remedy” (a gentle premixed combo of essential oils to alleviate [not cure] snuffle symptoms) around his nostrils twice daily (and after particularly long sneezing fits). I’m not sure if the VetRx is actually doing much, but the oily substance does seem to combat further matting of his fur, making it much easier to clean with a wet cloth. The scent of the VetRx reminds me of Vicks VapoRub. He does have a small rock-hard patch of matted fur outside each nostril though. Not sure how I’m going to get that off! I'm afraid to soak them too long as he doesn't want to sit still for that.
    Any suggestions for softening these?

    I’m keeping an eye on his appetite, as it sounds like Azithromycin sometimes messes with that… So far he’s eating and drinking just fine (not one to share the leafy greens with his brother)! I even bought a cheap WiFi camera so I can check on if he’s eating during the day while I’m at work (has been caught in the act!).

    Apart from being sick, Trick seems pretty happy. He spreads out to lounge and naps quite often, and I’ve even caught him happily clicking his teeth while he lounges (not grinding). He tries to keep up with this mega-hyper brother’s binkies, but has to rest more often.

    Fingers crossed that this antibiotic resolves the issue! I was hoping to have both Trick and Treat neutered at the same time. My vet suggests doing this as early as 12 weeks (for healthy buns). But I’m thinking we may have to push this out if Trick doesn’t get better soon.

    Well, that’s all I have to report! I’ll try to keep this thread updated as we go along. If anyone has any further suggestions on what I can be doing to help Trick feel better, please let me know!
     
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  2. Jun 22, 2017 #2

    Kinai

    Kinai

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    Min
    Does Trick let you touch his face in the nose area for an amount of time during petting or holding him close snuggles that you could wipe the spots on the nostrils or gently "pick/scrape" them off with bare fingers?

    AJ my 3-4 year old bun I've had 3 months now lets me do just about anything to him but on his terms (and as long as snuggles are to follow! :) )
     
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  3. Jun 23, 2017 #3

    MinDearie

    MinDearie

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    Thanks Kinai!

    Just had a wipe-down session with him. He's does ok if I gently grip his chest, let his front paws drape over that hand, and rest his bum against my chest, keeping my other hand free. That's how I hold him to give antibiotics. I soaked a cloth with warm water and a bit of kitten shampoo, and wiped down his front paws and face today as best I could. He doesn't really like it if I touch his nose with my fingers, but he accepts the washcloth. I did manage to pick a dried booger off him though.

    His poor little whiskers are all crinkly from him wiping his face so much. :'(
     
  4. Jun 27, 2017 #4

    MinDearie

    MinDearie

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    We brought Trick to the vet again. Technically, I wasn't supposed to schedule another appointment until AFTER the 10 days of Azithromycin, but I panicked yesterday and scheduled a visit for him this morning (day 8 of treatment). Sunday was a very sneezy/snotty day for him, and he got pretty exhausted. He didn't want to eat yesterday morning, so I got worried... then immediately after I scheduled the appointment, the little stinker went around eating a good portion of pellets, veggies, and hay. -_- Oh well, at least I know he's feeling ok.

    Today he finally had a sneezing fit for the vet, and the vet took a nasal swab to do a culture. It has to get sent out to Ohio, so we'll hear back on the results in a week. We'll finish his current round of antibiotics, and just note changes afterwards until the results are in and we finally know what we're dealing with.

    I'm going to stop putting VetRx around his nose. He's groomed himself so much that he now has a bald patch above his nose, and I don't want to put more on him that he feels a greater need to overly groom. I've also been asked to wipe him down LESS because of the grooming... I don't know how I feel about that one... He gets so crusty... :'(

    Well, that's where we're at for the time being!
     
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  5. Jul 6, 2017 #5

    MinDearie

    MinDearie

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    Another update! We finished the round of of Azithromycin last Thursday, and have been waiting for the results from the nasal swab. Trick's sneezing has been terrible the last few days, and he often naps. He has a great appetite though. Starting to look kinda chubby, lol. Treat is still healthy, and extremely active (which keeps him from looking chubby like his brother).

    I got a call from the vet today that went to voicemail, and it sounds like we have a game plan now! I'll have to get better details tomorrow (I didn't get a chance to call back until after the vet was closed), but whatever they found is a nasty slow-growing "bug" that is resistant to the antibiotics we have been giving (figures). Unfortunately the vet does not have the needed antibiotic on-hand (also figures), so that's being shipped from Arizona as we speak. Again, I don't have further details on this at the moment as the name of what was found in the culture, as well as the name of the antibiotic coming in, were both left out of the voicemail.

    I hope it comes in quickly! The sneezing fits over the last two days sound pretty rough, and Trick's bald patch has grown A LOT from him wiping his face so much.

    When I call the vet tomorrow, I'm going to ask if we should give Treat these antibiotics too, even though he seems fine. Or is that crazy talk? My reasoning is, if this is an infection that develops slowly, then how can we know if Treat is truly fighting it off, or if it's slowly building and will snowball later? Though if it's going to be an antibiotic that's super harsh, I might want to avoid giving it to the healthy bun. Anyway, I'm going to pet my buns, and try to stay calm!
     
  6. Jul 7, 2017 #6

    MinDearie

    MinDearie

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    Ok, I have the results. The culture shows heavy growth of both acinetobacter and enterobacter bacteria. So Trick has been prescribed marbofloxacin (0.1ml once daily for 30 days, tutti-frutti flavored yum!). Fingers crossed that this is the ticket!
     
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  7. Jul 15, 2017 #7

    RavenousDragon

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    I would wait to give antibiotics to your other one until he's showing symptoms (if he ever does). That could give the bacteria resistance to the antibiotics that actually work! Hopefully he's less susceptible to those nasty bugs and doesn't have an issue at all! (Of course, always talk to your vet before taking advice on the internet. He/she knows you guys and and as seen them).
     
  8. Aug 15, 2017 #8

    MinDearie

    MinDearie

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    Sorry for not posting in awhile! Not much new to report. Still keeping on with the marbofloxacin for Trick's infection. At first, he didn't take the meds well, and his sneezing got much worse. But all the sudden he started lapping it up, and that's when he started getting better and better. We made it to the end of the 30 days, but to be on the safe side (as there's still a few sneezes here and there) we're going to dose for 30 more days.

    The vet says Trick's breathing sounds healthy, and if he hadn't just had that little relapse I mentioned, he would have been given a clean bill of health.

    Trick is enjoying a little alone time, as I went ahead and got Treat neutered (he's healing a cool quiet room as I just brought him home this afternoon... more on that in another thread). He was humping Trick like nuts and starting to spray on top of him, so it was time to get that scheduled before a fight broke out, and the vet didn't want Trick to go through that process until he was done with his meds anyway.

    I'll keep ya posted, but looks like we're on the home stretch!
     
  9. Aug 30, 2017 #9

    MinDearie

    MinDearie

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    Bad news... Relapse. T_T

    A week ago, I noticed that Trick sounded stuffy/congested when he would sniff, sneezing was slowly starting to increase day-by-day, and I've caught a few glimpses of discharge (though it's not enough to noticeably coat his paws). So I scheduled a follow up for today. I hoped that this was just me over analyzing, but no... The vet agrees that the infection is fighting back.

    Luckily, it seems the infection is only located in the nasal cavity now. The vet feels that the reason we're seeing a relapse is because the remaining bacteria colonizing the nose has most likely formed abscesses. Therefore, the oral suspension of marbofloxacin that was making progress only wiped out the baddies that could be reached via the blood stream. It cannot reach the bacteria living in these thick walled abscesses.

    So we're going to try one more easier and less stressful approach before having to consider the big guns requiring anesthesia. I am to stop administering the oral suspension (which suuuuucks as I JUST got a refill not long ago, lol), and administer nasal drops. Ofloxacin Opthamalic Solution (0.3%), one drop in each nostril twice daily for one week.

    The vet and his assistant showed me how to give the nose drops... Trick hates it so much, and has been sulking ever since I brought him home today. Tomorrow morning will be my first crack at it (with hubby's help). With puberty already making him a grump, I'm pretty sure Trick will not want anything to do with us after this is all said-and-done, lol.

    Speaking of puberty... Trick and Treat had a fight this morning. Everyone's OK and separated for the moment... It's just the icing on the cake at this point. -_- I was going help them work on their bonding this afternoon (I know, I know... it's going to be tough as Trick can't be neutered yet), but I came out of the vet appointment all worried... So I just don't have the energy right now.

    If these drops don't work, sounds like my next option will either be to work out a plan with the vet where we somehow live with but don't eradicate the infection, OR the vet does an endoscopy to remove any abscesses as well as gather a new bacterial culture from within them (to reevaluate antibiotic approach). If an endoscopy is needed, there are a few options to try keeping costs down, but this will directly affect the accuracy in finding the abscesses (cheap + sorta inaccurate way = xray, expensive + very accurate way = CAT scan)... I guess we'll see how things pan out for now.

    Anybody else out there have to give their bunny nasal drops or put their bun through nasal surgery?
     
  10. Aug 30, 2017 #10

    Aki

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    So sorry about the relapse. I hope the nose drops do the trick (litterally ^^). Animals are never happy when you are healing them - I had to put drops on my dog's eye ever 2 hours for a week this summer and he was running away everytime he saw the bottle, I then had to give one of my bunny meds every 6 hours for stasis and well... all the animals were fleeing when I entered a room which is always a nice feeling - -'.

    I really really advise you not to put your rabbits in contact at all. First, as you mention, you have an intact rabbit. Two males is a hard combination, with a male who is sick and intact it's an accident waiting to happen and you are not helping the bonding you'll have to do once the rabbits will be neutered and healed by making them create a habit of fighting when they see each other. It's stressful for the rabbits too, which is not beneficial at all for a rabbit who is already fighting an infection and has to endure treatment and vet visits. I really would refrain from any attempt at bonding before everything is settled - it won't help any for the future and it's making the situation harder on yourself and them.
     
  11. Sep 13, 2017 #11

    MinDearie

    MinDearie

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    Just a quick update, we ended up applying the nasal drops for a total of 2 weeks, twice a day. I'm very happy with the results so far as symptoms have been beaten back down considerably, but I sorta wish the vet would have let us keep on for a bit longer, but he wants us to stop and wait to see what happens.
     

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