Bacterial Infections in Angora Rabbits
Your Angora and Bacterial Infections
Always consult a Veterinarian for medical questions about your bunny!
Not every rabbit sneeze or snotty nose is Pasteurella!!!!! Here are two other bacterias that can cause similar symptoms and they ARE treatable!
We encountered two different bacteria in a single rabbit that was brought to us from a transport friend. A breeder dropped this rabbit off at a transporter’s home to be transported on her next run and left quickly. Once the transporter had time to evaluate, she noticed the rabbit was sneezing and then saw white mucus discharge in and around the nasal cavity.
With this being a huge no-no, we all know, snotty noses are contagious, the transporter needed help and quick. She was not on a run yet so she brought the rabbit to me to care for while she was gone. I isolated it completely away from my entire herd (different buildings as well).
Our observation of this rabbit was, he was eating well, drinking and pottying just fine. However, he sneezed a LOT!
Weeks went by and there was no change. I finally administered a BunnyVac injection, thinking it might be Pasteurella.
Then, 30 days later, the second dose of the BunnyVac injection was given. There was still no noticeable change in the rabbit. I reached out to Bob Glass at Pan American Vet Labs (creator of the BunnyVac). He asked me to culture the rabbit and send it directly to him. I did this and within a few days of mailing the culturette, we had the results.
The rabbit was found to have Bordetella Brochioseptica as well as a second bacteria called Pseudomonas Aeruginosa. Results were screenshot posted below. I was a bit alarmed that it stated they were hard to treat. However, these are not bacteria that are incurable!
If you have followed anything on our website, you will know that we do not hard cull easily.
Over two months had passed by at this point and I worried I wouldn’t be able to effectively treat and cure the bunny quickly. I just couldn’t justify spending more money by taking this rabbit to the vet. After much research, I decided to treat with Gentamicin, which I just happened to have on hand. I had a brand new bottle of this prescription med that was for a cavy that passed away before the vet could send in the script. I had already paid for it, so thankfully, it was here.
I had read that the correct dosage for a nebulizer in this same situation was 1 full cc of gentamicin mixed with 5 cc of saline. Easy enough since we have a nebulizer. I had actually done this for a friend whose dog caught kennel cough years ago. I didn’t measure out the saline every time the same. I adjusted the saline to where it would last for 30 minutes. I nebulized the rabbit twice a day for 30 minutes each time with this medicine and saline mixture. On about day 5. I didn’t hear sneezing at all.
On day 7 of this nebulizing treatment, the rabbit went off feed and his urine changed from yellow to red/orange. I stopped treatments immediately. Sneezing and nasal discharge had both stopped now too. I pushed hay and treats and the bunny got his appetite back. Within a few days, his urine was cleared up and a normal color again. My guess was he had more than he needed and the toxins caused the urine to change color. I have seen lots of rabbits pee a blood red to orange color but this was not normal for this rabbit.
After nearly three months, the bunny was healthy and was able to join the next transport trip to his new home. Here is a picture of the culture results from Pan American Vet Labs.
We share our experience but always recommend you consult with a veterinarian for all medical advice and care for your English Angora Rabbits and bunnies. We only document how we treat our problems in our rabbitry and are NOT veterinarians.