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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 23827
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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I have a wonderful vet. My 7 year old rabbit was sneezing a

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I have a wonderful vet. My 7 year old rabbit was sneezing a lot and he went on antibiotics, no more sneezing but was making a snoring or wiffling sound - another course of broader antibiotics to make sure there was no infection. It continued, so an allergy shot. still continued and we xrayed him - came up clean. He is still making a snoring sound - sometimes loud, other times you can barely hear it. He eats, drinks and basically acts like himself. he lives indoors. Any ideas?

Aloha! You're speaking with Dr. Michael Salkin
Yes, I do. If Nacho's X-rays revealed no lower respiratory involvement (no evidence of pneumonia), then Nacho's stertor - those sounds you're hearing - are likely to be originating from Nacho's nasal and sinus cavities. It's difficult to clear the many bacterial agents responsible for infection in those areas.

Pasteurella multocida is often implicated as a cause of respiratory disease but we also find Bordetella bronchiceptica, Pseudomonas species, and Staphylococcus species. Pasteurella is commonly associated with rhinitis and sinusitis in rabbits and, unfortunately, high rates of recurrence are seen after discontinuation of drug therapy. Here are some guidelines for you derived from scholarly studies:

1) Infection was eliminated in 7 of 8 rabbits treated with enrofloxacin (5mg/kg SC every 12 hours for 14 days). (SC = subcutaneous injections)
2) Enrofloxacin given in the drinking water (50-100mg/L) before and continuing for 48 hours after inoculation with a virulent strain of P. multocida protected rabbits against bacteremia provided that daily intake of the drug was greater than 5mg/kg.
3) Ciprofloxacin (20mg/kg PO every 24 hours) for 5 days eliminated P. multocida infection in a group of diseased rabbits. (PO = by mouth)
4) One researcher reported success in control of chronic cases of confirmed pasteurellosis using enrofloxacin (5-10mg/kg PO every 12 hours) or chloramphenicol (50mg/kg PO every 12 hours) for up to 2-3 months.

Please note that oral antibiotic therapy may be unrewarding in some cases of respiratory disease in rabbits. Treatment failure can be a result of misidentification of the underlying etiology or bacterial disease in the form of nasal cavity or pulmonary granuloma or abscesses, where oral medications are often only partially to poorly effective. In some cases, treatment is enhanced with the addition of antibiotic therapy in the form of nebulization. The addition of mucolytic agents can be helpful as well. Flushing of the nasolacrimal ducts and instillation of antibiotics into the ducts is also useful.

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Thank you for your kind accept. I appreciate it. I'll speak to you soon.

I'm going to check back with you in a week for an update. Feel free to return to our conversation - even after rating - prior to my contacting you if you wish.

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