Very young rabbits suffering from snuffles...

Discussion in 'Health & Wellness' started by cuhurun, Jul 16, 2019.

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  1. Jul 16, 2019 #1

    cuhurun

    cuhurun

    cuhurun

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    Hello all.

    Could someone please give me some advise on treating a very young rabbit who's suffering from snuffles.
    I rescued this little thing which I've named 'Snuggles', along with a larger or slightly older bunny, Jessie, around a month ago, and very soon became aware of the little one's condition.
    Four days after getting it (not sure of it's gender yet) we visited the vet who confirmed the problem was snuffles. Due to the very young age of the rabbit the vet didn't want to give it antibiotics, and instead advised me to feed lots of dill to help the little thing's immune system to strengthen.
    Thankfully, the condition hasn't worsened, and if anything has thankfully slightly improved. Regardless of this it's heartbreaking to see the poor little bun is still having an unpleasant time dealing with the problem. Also, thankfully little Jessie hasn't shown any signs of the illness.
    I understand snuffles is very contagious, so I've quarantined these two little ones from my other seven house-buns, so all should hopefully be okay for them.

    Should I now ask the vet for a course of antibiotics or another form of treatment ? If so, I've been led to believe rabbits need a second type of medicine after antibiotics, to assist their natural stomach bacteria/enzymes in reestablishing.
    Some advice on this matter would be really very much appreciated.

    DSCF0090.JPG
    Jessie and Snuggles.
     
  2. Jul 16, 2019 #2

    Niomi

    Niomi

    Niomi

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    I took had a rabbit with snuffles before, and he died at the age of 5. I used a product called Vet Rx to help him breath better. You can buy it on Amazon. My vet told me that sometimes snuffles goes into remission, but that never happened with my rabbit. I hope your rabbit has better luck. Barbibrownsbunnies.com sells Miracle Powder, which is Moringa powder and is supposed to help build the immune system, but I don't know how well it works. They also sell Bene-bac, which is good to give rabbits that are on antibiotics or rabbits under stress.
     
  3. Jul 16, 2019 #3

    John Wick

    John Wick

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    How old are your rabbits? I ask because my rabbit started antibiotics for his URI (upper respiratory infection) around 10 weeks old. While this is only one case and your vet will have had much more experience, I wanted to mention that bit. I'm also curious how your vet confirmed it was snuffles, as opposed to a URI? To my understanding, snuffles is used to describe the chronic, life-long sneezing condition that people treat symptom-wise. A URI is something like a common cold, except unlike humans, you need antibiotics to permanently get rid of it in rabbits.

    Your mention of a secondary medicine -- you're probably referring to probiotics, which would encourage the stomach bacteria to grow when antibiotics may really funk up that gut biome. I did get probiotic powder (nondescript; never got a name for it) that I was told to put on a small piece of romaine to feed to my rabbit at least a couple hours after administration. It took 5 months of treatment to get rid of his URI (tried out 3 different medication regimens over that time), and by the end, I just stopped using the probiotic because it was a hassle, and I didn't notice a difference on or off. There is the idea that "It wouldn't hurt", but clinically, I believe there are not well-studied probiotic supplements for rabbits. There are those that exist for humans, horses, dogs, cats, etc., but I've been told that we know very little about what bacteria reside in the rabbit gut, and for our best guesses, the ability to get the bacteria to still be viable by the time they reach the stomach is unlikely. I believe one of the well-known ones is Benebac, but apparently the enzyme/bacteria most found in it does not actually exist in the rabbit gut, so it's not really doing the job. Again, it can't hurt, but there's not much solid evidence for rabbits specifically (though lots of anecdotal evidence exists!).

    If anyone was up to date information/research on this, I'd love to hear about it.
     
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  4. Jul 16, 2019 #4

    majorv

    majorv

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    To the OP, did your vet actually do a culture to confirm if your rabbit has pasteurella, commonly known as snuffles? If not, I encourage you to have that done. If it was, there is no cure and meds will only reduce the symptoms. Because there is no cure there is always a chance your others can get it from this one.
     
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  5. Jul 17, 2019 #5

    cuhurun

    cuhurun

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    Thank you all for your replies, all information which might help my Snuggles bun is greatly appreciated.

    Firstly, John. Thanks for the heads-up on the differences between snuffles and URI's, that's new info for me and a point I shall certainly be looking into.
    I should point out that I haven't been living in Latvia very long (I'm a Brit) and am in the very early stages of getting to grips with what is a notoriously difficult language to learn, and due to the local vet only speaking a spattering of English my comprehension of what's being said is somewhat strained.
    As for the age of my new buns, I'm not exactly sure how old they are as I was offered them from a woman who'd bought them for her children as presents at the beginning of the kids' summer holidays, and the children sadly rejected them more or less immediately because they wanted a cat. I did inquire as to the age of the buns but the woman was unsure, but it seemed clear to me at the time they were too young to have been taken away from their mother. I've now had them here at home with me for just on four weeks, so at a guess I'd say they're perhaps around 8 to 10 weeks old, but that really is only a blind guess.
    Also, thanks for the information on probiotics, that's very informative stuff and cleared a point up for me, all info is good info, thanks again.

    Majorv. Thank you for your reply, too. I am heading back to the vets this Friday with it in mind to get this situation pinned down and, following your advice, shall be requesting for a culture to be taken. The last thing I want is for this problem to spread to my other rabbits as they're all really healthy and totally free from all ills.
    It would be so sad to have to keep Snuggles in permanent isolation, and I certainly don't want the little thing to die, so I'd really like to know exactly what the problem is. Naturally I shall do whatever it takes to get to grips with this illness, regardless of time or cost.

    I shall keep this thread updated when I have more information to add.
    Thank you all again for your kind replies.
    Warmest regards.
     
  6. Jul 17, 2019 #6

    John Wick

    John Wick

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    I would recommend figuring out if the vet you're seeing is indeed rabbit experienced. Some vets are "dabblers", who claim to work with rabbits, but their knowledge is lacking and can cause issues down the line. They don't necessarily mean it in bad faith -- there can just be genuine ignorance about what they know and do not know.
     

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