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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 23811
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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My bunny escaped the other night and we took him to the vet

Customer Question

My bunny escaped the other night and we took him to the vet yesterday as he was not himself the dr just said that he has a cold or bacteria because his chest is rattleing and it's clear he is having trouble breathing I just checked him and it seems like
He has gotten worse his nose it running and it looks like he has been drooling I need help I don't want to loose him
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 months ago.

I'm sorry to hear of this with Boo, Kaylee. If his chest is rattling, we need to be very concerned.

Numerous infectious diseases are associated with disease of the upper respiratory tract in rabbits; they're due mainly to bacterial agents, but in rare cases, viral, fungal, or parasitic pathogens may be involved as well. These agents also produce lower respiratory disease with classic clinical signs and presentation of pneumonia (his "rattling!?). The most significant pathogen is Pasteurella multocida and we also find Bordetella, Pseudomonas, and staphylococcus species.

Treatment of Pasteurella should be our focus. Various treatment options are reported in the literature. Infection was eliminated in 7 of 8 rabbits treated with enrofloxacin (Baytril) at 5mg/kg subcutaneously every 12 hours for 14 days. Enrofloxacin given in the drinking water (50-100mg/L) for two weeks was similarly effective if our rabbits drank enough so that the daily intake of the drug was greater than 5mg/kg. Ciprofloxacin (20mg/kg) by mouth daily for 5 days eliminated infection in groups of rabbits in studies. Finally, one researcher reported success in control of chronic cases of confirmed pasteurellosis using enrofloxacin (5-10mg/kg orally every 12 hours) or chloramphenicol (50mg/kg orally every 12 hours) for up to 2-3 months.

These antibiotics are available from your vet who can also show you how to administer enrofloxacin by injection - my therapy of choice. Can you tell me which drug is in that liquid medicine, please?

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