Welcome to PetForums

Join thousands of other pet owners and pet lovers on the UK's most popular and friendly pet community and discussion forum.

Sign Up

Adopted Rabbit with pasteurella

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by SerenaGrace, Oct 6, 2013.


  1. SerenaGrace

    SerenaGrace PetForums Junior

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2013
    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hey
    Basically I work in the UKs largest pet store chain (I cant disclose but its pretty easy to guess and I would like to state that I am very proud of how well I and my team members take care of our animals, there are no limits to vet costs)

    So about 6-7 months ago we got this rabbit that developed sniffles, and after months of treatment was diagnosed with pasteurella. We had further treatment for several months until we got it under control
    At his worse his symptoms included:
    Runny poo, lack of appetite, snotty nose, sneezing and wheezing

    For around a month now he has had a clean nose, isn't wheezy, is very active and LOVES his food, is THE MOST charismatic bunny i have ever had the pleasure of working with, affectionate and very occasionally sneezy with small amounts of clear discharge on a bad day

    Because we knew it cannot be cured, we knew was the healthiest we could get him, I would say he is pretty healthy overall. We have put him up for adoption, and as you might have noticed above, I am head over heels in love with him and am adopting him tomorrow.

    I have bought an outdoor hutch so that he can get more ventilation and will using as dust free bedding. He is no longer on medication and hasnt been for several weeks and has been really well, the vet said he was great

    I was basically wondering (after reading a ton of scary articles) what I should be doing? Does he only need to have a course of medication if it flares up? or constantly forever? I have 2 cats, a dog and a guinea pig, should I worry about their health? is he safe to undergo being nuetered?

    He is called Sunny by the way
     
  2. Lopside

    Lopside PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2012
    Messages:
    1,941
    Likes Received:
    106
    I've never experienced a rabbit with snuffles but I know others on here have, I'm sure they will be able to advise. Good luck, he sounds fab!
     
  3. Summersky

    Summersky PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2012
    Messages:
    8,288
    Likes Received:
    1,010
    Hello and welcome!!

    He could easily have a good life, but will always be vulnerable.

    Many, or in fact the majority of rabbits carry the disease with no signs or ill effects. It cna be opportunist, so look for reason why it flared up in this rabbit (anything else underlying, poor living conditions, stress, perhaps?).

    Your rabbit may need long term antibiotics, either now or at some point in the future. What has the vet prescribed so far?

    The disease may affect other parts of the body, not just show as "snuffles". You may see abscesses - again long term antibiotics may be necessary.

    No shavings or sawdust - but I think you have that under control.

    Provide the best diet possible - mostly high quality hay, with a few high quality pellets (not Burgess or P@H pellets I'm afraid). But make a gradual transition. Go for Scence Selective or Allen and Page. Make sure hay is dust free.

    When he is at optimum health talk to a rabbit savvy vet about neutering. Should be OK, although every anaesthetic carries a risk.

    If he is living outside, he will need to a companion, but you will need to choose carefully. Talk to a reputable rescue (perhaps someone like Caroline at the Rabbit Residence), to find a friend with the same issue. Having the right firend will reduce stress/improve health.

    Accommodation needs to be very well weatherproofed/draft free. Get a Snugglesafe.

    Be prepared to bring him in as a house rabbit if he deteriorates, or as he gets older. He will be more vulnerable.

    Re accommodation, he will need a large hutch/run, or a shed/run combo. Absolute minimum 36square foot for average size rabbit, but preferably much more (45/50 sq ft say). provide warm places ot snuggle. Sadly most shop hutches sold are far too small (although P@H are slowly improving what they offer). A hutch needs ot be 6ft by 2ft for a pair of average size buns.

    Also , be prepared for higher vet bills over the years, and start putting money aside.
     
    #3 Summersky, Oct 7, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2013
  4. katie25

    katie25 PetForums Junior

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2013
    Messages:
    61
    Likes Received:
    0
    you could look in to boosting the immune system through natural remedies such as herbs etc... I had a rescue bunny once with snuffles, had been living in a very unsuitable hutch - small ( were talking 2x2ft so very small and outside with no bedroom area :eek: & quite dirty too plus there were lots of rabbits were he came from it was very overcrowded and she fed straw instead of hay and a muesli mix, we got him on a good diet good housing and natural remedies for boosting the immune system and he never showed another symptom for as long as he lived.
     
  5. katie25

    katie25 PetForums Junior

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2013
    Messages:
    61
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  6. StormyThai

    StormyThai Moderator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2013
    Messages:
    9,284
    Likes Received:
    21,355
    Once a rabbit has expressed Pasturella symptoms then that is it, they will be susceptible to another attack when the immune system drops for whatever reason.

    Over half of all rabbits carry Pasteurella bacteria in their bodies, but most do not express symptoms. A healthy immune system either eliminates the bugs from the system, or keeps their numbers and location tightly controlled. However, some rabbits are not able to destroy the Pasteurella that has colonized their bodies and develop pasteurellosis.

    Most cases are treated with antibiotics. They sometimes need to be given for weeks or months. The majority of cases brought for treatment are chronic in nature. In these situations the bacteria has had time to become well entrenched, and there is no guarantee that antibiotics will work. If they do work the problem can recur when the antibiotics are stopped. This emphasizes the need for routine exams in general (every 6-12 months), and a physical exam any time the above symptoms are noted.

    Other medications are used if your pet is showing central nervous system or ocular symptoms. Pets that are circling or are wry necked might respond to oral medication to make them more comfortable. Plugged tear ducts are flushed and conjunctivitis is treated with antibiotic drops.

    Abscesses are treated surgically. Rabbits have a very thick and tenacious discharge when they form an abscess, and require more care than the abscesses of most other animals. Surgical removal can be difficult, especially in the chronic cases, because the abscessed area can become extensive in nature. Multiple surgeries might be needed, and wound care at home is necessary.

    So to sum up, all you can do is manage until the time comes.
     
  7. Summersky

    Summersky PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2012
    Messages:
    8,288
    Likes Received:
    1,010
    Another thought - you might like to check out Galen's Garden website - they sell Echinacia pellets, which might help boost his immune system.
     
  8. katie25

    katie25 PetForums Junior

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2013
    Messages:
    61
    Likes Received:
    0
    Galen's Garden is an excellent site!
     
  9. Funky

    Funky PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2012
    Messages:
    1,398
    Likes Received:
    16
    It is very nice of you to take this bunny and give her home.
    We have had bunny with pasturella in rspca and she has been put down to sleep-I didn't know she will be pts! It does upset me as this is manageable -it needs time, bit of money and patience plus good eye to notice any chanes in bunny behaviour.
    Good luck and please take some pictures of Sunny!
     
  10. SerenaGrace

    SerenaGrace PetForums Junior

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2013
    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks guys

    I have bought him a large 2 tier brand new hutch that has plastic lined bases for better cleaning and I am going to use a wood litter pellets which is dust free, very absorbent and used a lot for small animals that are sick.

    I have bought a hutch hugger too, and I have a conservatory to move the hutch into during really cold weather.

    I have researched into immune boosters (yet to settle on one to buy yet though) such as comfrey and Echinacea.

    He has been off medication for over a month now and doing very well, I believe it took us so long to get him stable as we had a little out break of bunnies coming into us with this illness (we had our supplies investigated) so 4 of them were kept in our isolation uni (which is quite small) so i think it didnt help having other ill bunnies so close

    He was treated with several courses of Septrin, and 2 courses of Zithromax- the Zithromax really did clear him up amazingly.
    He has had no signs of abcesesses, inner ear problems, eye infections, head tilt

    My main concern is, does anyone know if this can pass to or affect other animals? I have a guinea pig, 2 indoor cats and a dog and have read a lot of mixed messages about whether it can be transmitted, most places seem to think its only really from direct contact, although it doesnt state anywhere if it can be passed from a rabbit to another species.

    It is just a worry as while he will be outdoors, I do want to be bringing him in for cuddles and run arounds (my cats and dog are super docile)

    I have worked with him for the past 7 months, and while I have always worn gloves and an apron, I am still in my uniform which i come home in and pet all my animals and there has been no effects. Thanks again.
     
  11. SerenaGrace

    SerenaGrace PetForums Junior

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2013
    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    0
    Which product would you recommend for boosting his immune system? I was looking at the Animmune Powder?
     
  12. StormyThai

    StormyThai Moderator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2013
    Messages:
    9,284
    Likes Received:
    21,355
    My answers are in red.
     
  13. katie25

    katie25 PetForums Junior

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2013
    Messages:
    61
    Likes Received:
    0
    I believe it can pass between species however is very rare and would take something like a bite from an infected animal, lots of peoples pet rabbits carry pasteurella without symptoms and they have other pets around so I wouldn't worry too much, I do know Guineas are susceptible to respiratory problems but as you wont be keeping them together I wouldn't worry to much, I may be wrong though Lol (sorry not helpful) but this is what I believe to be true.
     
  14. Summersky

    Summersky PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2012
    Messages:
    8,288
    Likes Received:
    1,010
    Like Stormy has already said, it's the bordatella that you need to worry about, so you need to keep the piggies and rabbit at a distance.

    Yes, in theory, pasteurella could pass to another species, including us, but it is easy to get over anxious about this.

    Let's face it, if a rabbit bit us, we'd clean the wound wouldn't we? And many of us have been bitten by our rabbits and are still here to tell the tale. ;) If someone were immuno compromised, you would need to be a bit more careful. And all those healthy looking carriers are just as likely to pass it on too.
     
  15. katie25

    katie25 PetForums Junior

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2013
    Messages:
    61
    Likes Received:
    0
    I kind of posted at the same time so didn't see what had already been put but yes like I said it is possible but it is also rare so don't worry too much about it.
     
  16. emzybabe

    emzybabe PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2009
    Messages:
    5,786
    Likes Received:
    90
    I would really recommend the back to nature paper pellets you sell over pine ones as pine is naturally an irritant to skin let alone when tiny bits are breathed in.

    Have you had a look at the RWAF leaflets?
    Rabbit Welfare Association & Fund

    http://www.rabbitwelfare.co.uk/resources/content/info-sheets/RWAF Pasteurella multocida.pdf

    I'm sure in the correct environment wih plenty of space and a buddy or 2 he'll hae many happy years with you.

    You will need a secure run at least 6ftx6ft permenantly attached to the hutch as rabbits are most active at dusk and dawn when were not around.

    I also think you would be kindest to keep him indoors this winter. A conservatory is not the best place to keep bunnies as on a sunny winters day they can get quiet warm inside but then very cold again at night.

    Looking forward to seeing photos of bunny
     
  17. SerenaGrace

    SerenaGrace PetForums Junior

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2013
    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yay I am super chuffed about your above answers. I was beginning to calm myself down as I currently have taken in a rabbit named Spinach that I took home from work (he was 650g, all bones and the vet said he would probably die, so I took him home and hand fed him and medicated him for 2 weeks- I have had him over a month now- I am animal mad constantly taking on the injured, sick or homeless ha ha) and while he hasn't been tested, we think he has pasteurella. My cats have interacted with him loads and had no issues.

    Spinach is going back for a vet check and back into store on thursday, and is currently kept far far away from Sunny and I have taken loads of aprons and gloves home so I don't contaminate either of them.

    But yeah I let him out this evening after he had settled and he was doing mad laps and binkying. It was super adorable

    He is in his temporary cage till thursday. Ive done some reading on putting rabbits outdoors and I am going to introduce him to the hutch gradually over the coming weeks so that he is adapted to the outdoors, and I am also insulating the hutch with bubble wrap then a hutch hugger. I am having house work done to my kitchen (which is basically IN my convervatory) which hopefully will be done by december, when I will move him indoors. Obviously I will make exceptions and have him in his cage if this winter is horrendous, its just I want him to have better ventilation and also be away from the dust when work starts.

    Heres a picture


    [​IMG]
     
  18. Lopside

    Lopside PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2012
    Messages:
    1,941
    Likes Received:
    106
    Pfffft.......washing a bite is for jessies!!!! Give it a lick and soldier on!! Haha :D who wants to see my scars? Lol
     
  19. Summersky

    Summersky PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2012
    Messages:
    8,288
    Likes Received:
    1,010
    You sound like one of us already!

    Might Spinach and Sunny be bondable?

    If Spinach does go back to the store, as he has had issues already, whatever they are, he may be more vulnerable and need a special home.
     
  20. Funky

    Funky PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2012
    Messages:
    1,398
    Likes Received:
    16
    So adorable-love white bunnies!!!
    I have scars all over -most vulnerable place is my neck and my arms haha before wedding I told my future husband to handle some of bunnies as if I do that I will look like I harm myself (on wedding day):rolleyes:
     
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice