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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16320
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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My pet miniature lop rabbit has had an eye infection looking

Customer Question

My pet miniature lop rabbit has had an eye infection looking goopy eye for about one month now. Could I use poly sporin eye drops? I'm not sure how to help him with his goopy eye. He is two years old, and otherwise in great shape and very active. Please help!
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 2 years ago.
Hello, my name is***** and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.I'm sorry to hear about Syd's goopy looking eye of a month's duration.This is probably related to a bacterial infection called pasteurella (snuffles). 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, or does can pass it to their kits. Inapparent carriers will look normal but carry the bacteria. Sometimes these bunnies never get sick or only get sick when stressed or they get old or they are stressed by something and and their 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: Unfortunately once a bunny has the bacteria it is almost impossible to get rid of it. We can send it into hiding sometimes with antibiotic therapy but it almost always comes back.Over the counter medications like Polysporin just don't work very well. Tobramycin, Ciprofloxacin, and Enrofloxacin eye drops are the most effective eye drops against this bacteria. Sometimes we also need to prescribe oral antibiotics. In rare cases we need to use injectable antibiotics. Ideally we don't prescribe oral or systemic antibiotics to bunnies, unless we absolutely have to, because their gastrointestinal system depends upon the right mix of bacteria to work correctly. Systemic antibiotics can kill "good" gut bacteria leading to serious complications. In short we need to be very careful treating bunnies. If systemic antibiotics are necessary we can give probiotics to attempt to keep gut bacteria balanced.Your bunny needs to see a veterinarian that is experienced with rabbits. In the meantime you can flush his eyes with sterile saline and use artificial tears to keep his eyes more comfortable. Use warm compresses to remove crusts from around his eyes and keep them clean.Best of luck with your fellow. Let me know if you have further questions.
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 2 years ago.
Please remember to rate my answer if you find it helpful, or reply with further questions if you have them, thank you, ***** *****
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 2 years ago.

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

Dr. Kara