My rabbit seems to have a cold. Are there any home remedies we can use?
Type of Animal: Rex rabbit
Name of Animal: Speckles
Hello, I'm sorry to hear about Spreckles and I'd like to help.
If he has an eye has a discharge that comes and goes and leaves wetness or crusting around the eye and sneezing then a bacterial infection called pasteurella (snuffles) is most likely the cause. It can cause upper respiratory, and eye infections too, as well as abscesses under the skin and in the respiratory tract in some rabbits. Pasteurella is very contagious and once it is introduced into a rabbitry it is almost impossible to get rid of. An infected bunny can sneeze and pass it on via droplets in the air to other rabbits in the colony. You can have inapparent carriers that look normal but carry the bacteria. Sometimes these bunnies never get sick or only get sick when stressed or they get old and the immune system weakens.
If you are interested here is a link to an article which will give you more information about pasteurella or "snuffles" in rabbits: http://www.rabbitnetwork.org/articles/past.shtml
Unfortunately once a bunny has the bacteria it is almost impossible to get rid of it. We can send it into hiding sometimes with antbiotic therapy but it almost always comes back.
Over the counter medications just don't work very well. Tobramycin, Ciprofloxacin, and Enrofloxacin eye drops are the most effective eye drops against this bacteria if it is isolated to the eye. Sometimes we also need to prescribe oral antibiotics if it is a more generalized infection.
Your bunny needs to see a veterinarian that is experienced with rabbits. Here is a link to help you find one in your area if you don't already have one: http://www.rabbit.org/vets/vets.html
In the meantime you can flush his eyes and nose with sterile saline and use artificial tears to keep his eyes more comfortable. Use warm compresses to remove crusts from around his eyes and nose and keep them clean.
If he seems to have a clear discharge only and is only sneezing, but eating drinking and eliminating normally it is possible that he has sensitivity to the hay or litter in his litter box. You can try using a different bedding (like just newspapers or a shredded paper pulp bedding like that made by Carefresh) as well as a pelleted litter rather that a clay type. Make sure all products are nonscented as rabbits have very sensitive noses.Best of luck with your fellow. Let me know if you have further questions.
She does not have any discharge, only sounds rattlie. Is it possible it could be something else?
I'm sorry that you feel my response only helped a little.If her respirations sound different then an infection is very likely, pasteurella or snuffles being the most common and it can affect any system in the body, including her lungs.
I understand that you wanted a home remedy, and I usually try and give one if I can but honestly if this is a bacterial infection there isn't anything that you can do at home to help. I wouldn't want to mislead you with incorrect information.
If she had only sneezing then nasal irritants are possible but given that this is deeper in her respiratory tract that is highly unlikely. I do suspect an infection.If you have further questions please let me know with a response.
19 years of experience treating cats, dogs, guinea pigs, hamsters, rats, mice, and iguanas