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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 28525
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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I would like some advice regarding my rabbits, I have

Customer Question

Hi. I would like some advice regarding my rabbits, I have been two and fro from the vets with them since November. They are sneezing a lot & are having white discharge from there noses. I've had 3 courses of antibiotics 2x baytril & another different type. Neither has cleared it. I had one rabbit swabbed but no infection showed on the results. They have given me anti inflammatory medicine for them but they are still not improving. What could this be?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
I'm sorry to hear of this with your rabbits. Unfortunately, it's possible that you may never be able to clear them completely of bacterial infection. Please review my synopsis of respiratory infection in rabbits and feel free to share it with your vet. It sounds as if the proper antibiotics have been prescribed but perhaps dosing needs to be altered. 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. 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, Deeb 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. I hope by fine-tuning how they've been treated you'll have better results than you've seen so far. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Surely though these would show up on the cultures I had sent off?
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
Not necessarily. These infections - particularly if chronic - will colonize the sinuses and middle ears which are difficult to culture and even more difficult in which to achieve adequate antibiotic tissue levels. In addition, if cultures are taken while my patient is still being administered antibiotics, culture results may be falsely negative. This is a good sign that the appropriate antibiotic is being administered but not that infection has been eradicated from all areas of the rabbit. Please continue our conversation if you wish.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
So it is likely that the rabbits will never recover from this?
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
Unfortunately, yes, but I would make sure that one of the protocols I posted above were followed before giving up on them.
Dr. Michael Salkin and other Vet Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok. Thankyou for your help
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
You're quite welcome. Thank you for your kind accept. I appreciate it.
I can't set a follow-up in this venue so please return to our conversation - even after rating - with an update at your convenience.