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Rabbit with crackly breathing - unresponsive to antibiotics

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Hi there, I have a 1.5 year old female mini lop rabbit who has a crackle noise when breathing. I took her to a vet around a month ago and was given a weeks worth of antibiotics just as a precaution (vet thought it may have been snuffles). However the vet wasn't worried about it and said she was fine. It's been a few months since then and my rabbit still has crackly breathing. She also has a slightly weepy eye. Her fur also seems a bit scruffy than usual. All her other functions and eating habits are fine. She is an indoor rabbit who is has regular playtime outside during the day. She has yearly vaccinations for Calicivirus. I am very worried that she has some kind of respiratory problem, do you have any advice for me? Is there anything I can give her to get rid of the crackly breathing? I really don't want to loose my bunny. Thankyou in advance!

Dr. Joey :

Hello I am Dr. Joey. Thanks for trusting me to help you and your pet today. I am a licensed veterinarian with over 15 years of experience. I look forward to working with you.

Dr. Joey :

The course of antibiotics was good, but disappointing there was not improvement. When there is not improvement then I worry that this may not be due to pasteurella, and could be due to something else like dental disease especially overgrown roots or an abscessed tooth (were her teeth checked) or another primary lung problem or infection. So, a next step is a good mouth exam and some xrays (of teeth and lungs). If your vet continues to be focused on Pasteurella as the cause, then consider doing a culture or titer level to diagnose this problem.

Dr. Joey :

It is also good to evaluate if the dose of antibiotic was appropriate. I have seen far too many cases on second opinion that have not be adequately treated. However, the consesus is that in many cases an antibiotic may help for a short period of time but often will not clear the problem. For example if this is Pastuerella infection then this often occurs secondary to stress and housing issues and stress needs to be evaluated as well as therapy. It is also highly contagious between rabbits. But the botXXXXX XXXXXne is we need to be sure this is not due to dental disease.

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi Dr Joey. Thankyou for responding to my question.


In response, no her teeth were not checked. The veterinarian only gave her a general checkup, checked her temperature, and told me that she was fine and healthy. But as I'm worried, I will follow your advice and I'll ring my vet in the morning to book an appointment to have her teeth and lungs checked.


Thankyou so much for your advice, you have been very reassuring and helpful!


Kind regards,


This sounds like the best plan. Rabbit teeth are tough to examine and this may require anesthesia but she will need some level of sedation for dental xrays. So, it can all be accomplished together.

Please keep me posted. Let me know if you have future questions. You can always send me an update by replying to this question.

Dr. Joey
Hi Natasha,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Rose. How is everything going?