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Dr. Coldiron
Dr. Coldiron, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 178
Experience:  Dogs, Cats, Birds, Reptiles & Exotics. Seven years of private practice experience. Laser Surgeon.
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my 12 day baby rabbit has been unwell now for 20 hours. I am

Resolved Question:

my 12 day baby rabbit has been unwell now for 20 hours. I am hand rearing her. She is only taking small amounts of food and her breathing is laboured. Can you please help?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Coldiron replied 4 years ago.
Chat Conversation Started
Dr. Coldiron :

Hello...I'm Dr. Coldiron and I will attempt to help you with your veterinary question!

Customer :

Thankyou

Dr. Coldiron :

Because you are hand rearing this little one, one of my main concerns regarding the labored breathing would be aspiration pneumonia. Little rabbits are very delicate and any formula that accidentally goes down the trachea versus the esophagus can cause a problem. It's not necessarily your fault, its just that they have issues taking a bottle or syring at times. This is a fairly common problem and I see it often in baby rabbits.

Dr. Coldiron :

Is this a wild rabbit or a domesticated rabbit?

Dr. Coldiron :

Wild rabbits tend to have more issues than domesticated ones.

Customer :

Is there anything i can do for her. She is a domesticated rabbit

Dr. Coldiron :

The best thing you can do at this point is visit a local vet that deals with exotic pets. Have them listen to the lung fields and try to determine if aspiration pneumonia has occured. If so, they can get you some antibiotics to give to the bunny.

Dr. Coldiron :

Antibiotics are needed to prevent bacterial infection in the lungs.

Dr. Coldiron :

Baytril is a good choice, but there are other antibiotics that work well in rabbit too. An experienced vet should know what to recommend and be able to show you how to administer the medication.

Dr. Coldiron :

What type of feeding aparatus are you using? A bottle? Syringe? Other?

Customer :

a syringe

Dr. Coldiron :

You should try to find a bottle with an appropriate nipple on it that will allow the rabbit to suckle. It will prevent the rabbit from aspirating any more formula. Unfortunately, aspiration is common when using a syringe...so this is likely what is going on. I would switch to a bottle with a nipple and get this little rabbit on some antibiotics as well. You should also look into a probiotic to help prevent diarrhea due to the use of antibiotics.

Dr. Coldiron :

A good probiotic is Bene Bac. It is available in a paste or powder and if your vet doesn't have it, you should be able to find it at a reputable pet store such as Petco or Petsmart.

Customer :

She is on a probiotic and has no diararia

Dr. Coldiron :

Keep her on the probiotic, especially if you get her on an antibiotic...use the probiotic at least 5 days after finishing the antibiotic

Dr. Coldiron :

I would definitely switch to a bottle and get her on something to prevent a bacterial pneuonia due to the possibility of aspiration.

Dr. Coldiron :

Unfortunately, there are no good over-the-counter antibiotics. It will require that you get her to a vet in order to get the appropriate antibiotic and proper dosage amount.

Dr. Coldiron :

Continue to keep her warm, and make sure she stays hydrated. If she continues to refuse to eat, you can try small frequent amounts of Pedia-Lyte for hydration. Water works too, but all of these are best if given via a bottle!

Dr. Coldiron :

I hope this info helps you out! Best of luck!

Dr. Coldiron :

If you find this information helpful, please click on the accept button! I appreciate your support! Let me know if you need any more questions answered in the future! Dr. Coldiron

Customer :

The baby rabbit has stopped breathing. How can we revive it?

Dr. Coldiron :

Not much you can do at this point. Sorry to learn of your loss.

Dr. Coldiron, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 178
Experience: Dogs, Cats, Birds, Reptiles & Exotics. Seven years of private practice experience. Laser Surgeon.
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