Rabbits diseases and treatment pdf
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- Common rabbit diseases
- Rabbit health, illnesses and diseases; symptoms, causes and treatment
- Bacterial and Mycotic Diseases of Rabbits
- Infectious Diseases of Domestic Rabbits
There are some common diseases and problems seen in rabbits that can be prevented by ensuring you have an understanding of what a healthy rabbit requires and the subtle signs that can tell you your rabbit is unwell. We encourage close observations of your pet rabbit, a correct diet, up to date vaccinations and regular health checks to ensure you pick up the early signs of problems, and prevent diseases developing. This causes pain that makes them reluctant or unable to eat.
Home Diseases A-Z. Rabbit Diseases A-Z. Abnormality of Incisor Teeth in Rabbits.
Common rabbit diseases
Pasteurellosis is common in domestic rabbits. It is highly contagious and transmitted primarily by direct contact, although aerosol transmission may also occur. The etiologic agent is Pasteurella multocida , a gram-negative, nonmotile coccobacillus. This is important to consider when nasal cultures are collected, because not every positive result indicates a pathologic condition.
To get a true representative culture of the nasal bacterial fauna, the rabbit needs to be heavily sedated or anesthetized and a deep nasal culture obtained by introducing the culture tip relatively far into the nasal opening. Several barrier colonies of laboratory rabbits have been established as Pasteurella -free. Pasteurellosis presents with a variety of clinical symptoms, including rhinitis, pneumonia, abscesses, reproductive tract infections, torticollis, and septicemia.
Rabbits may develop Pasteurella septicemia and die acutely without any clinical signs. Septicemia necropsy findings may reveal only congestion and petechial hemorrhages in multiple organs.
Rhinitis snuffles or nasal catarrh is an acute, subacute, or chronic inflammation of the mucous membranes of the air passages and lungs, induced primarily by Pasteurella , but Pseudomonas , Bordetella bronchiseptica , Staphylococcus , and Streptococcus have also been isolated. The fur on the inside of the front legs just above the paws may be matted and caked with dried exudate, or this area may be clean with thinned fur as a result of pawing at the nose.
Infected rabbits usually sneeze and cough. In general, snuffles occurs when the resistance of the rabbit is low. Recovered rabbits are likely carriers. Pneumonia can ensue. Pneumonia is common in domestic rabbits. Frequently, it is a secondary and complicating factor in the enteritis complex. The cause is typically Pasteurella multocida , but other bacteria such as Klebsiella pneumoniae , Bordetella bronchiseptica , Staphylococcus aureus , and pneumococci may be involved.
Upper respiratory disease snuffles, see above is often a precursor of pneumonia. Inadequate ventilation, sanitation, and nesting material are predisposing factors. The number of cases of pneumonia is directly proportional to the level of ammonia in the cage, hutch, or rabbitry. Ventilation is of utmost importance to provide good air quality. Affected rabbits are anorectic, listless, dyspneic, and might have a fever.
Treatment should include systemic antibiotics, optimally based on a culture and sensitivity, because of possible resistance to common pathogens. The rabbits are usually dehydrated, and supportive care with hydration and syringe feeding is often necessary as well. Topically administered ophthalmologic antibiotic products instilled into the nostril can also be beneficial.
Necropsy reveals bronchopneumonia, pleuritis, pyothorax, or pericardial petechiae. However, not all rabbits with middle ear infections show torticollis. Longterm antibiotic treatment is required for drug penetration into the affected area. Antibiotic therapy may only prevent worsening of clinical signs, and the prognosis is guarded with medical therapy alone. Total ear canal ablation and bulla osteotomy are often indicated when medical management of otitis media and interna fails.
Proper imaging of the ear lesions is indicated before surgery. Conjunctivitis and dacryocystitis weepy eye is a common problem in rabbits. Predisposing factors include mechanical irritation, eyelid diseases, and dental disease. Conjunctivitis in rabbits may be associated with other disease processes, especially dacryocystitis. The most incriminated cause of conjunctivitis is P multocida ; however, this may be only a secondary infection. Primary infections are less common than opportunistic infections.
Transmission is by direct contact or fomites. Affected rabbits rub their eyes with their front feet. Bacterial conjunctivitis can be treated with topical chloramphenicol , ciprofloxacin , or gentamicin combined with systemic broad-spectrum antibiotic therapy if topical treatment alone is ineffective. Dacryocystitis and acquired nasal duct obstruction may arise from chronic rhinitis that travels up the nasolacrimal duct to the eye or occasionally from dental disease such as tooth root inflammation or abscessation.
Treatment includes gentle flushing with saline of the duct through the nasolacrimal punctum, but care is warranted to not damage the nasolacrimal duct during flushing. Dacryocystorhinography or injection of contrast material into the lacrimal punctum will provide good radiographic detail of the duct throughout its course and show the site of obstruction.
In long-standing cases of dacryocystitis and conjunctivitis, the punctum and segments of the nasolacrimal duct may progressively narrow and be replaced with scar tissue until they are irreversibly obstructed. This results in permanent epiphora, and owners should be advised accordingly. To relieve discomfort and inflammation associated with these conditions, the use of topical nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory ophthalmic preparations such as flurbiprofen can be considered. Conjunctivitis also accompanies rabbitpox see Rabbitpox and myxomatosis see Myxomatosis.
Subcutaneous and visceral abscesses caused by Pasteurella may be clinically silent for long periods and spontaneously rupture. When bucks penned together fight, their wounds frequently develop abscesses. Abscesses in rabbits are treated differently than abscesses in cats; rupture or drainage via Penrose is not the recommended course. Thick-walled abscesses should be surgically excised en bloc if possible.
Open wounds should be debrided or curetted, marsupialized, and left to heal by second intention. Facial abscesses are often related to dental disease see Dental Disease.
Drainage of the abscess accompanied by systemic antibiotic therapy based on culture and sensitivity tests has been successful, although recurrence can be common. Pasteurella can cause genital infections , but several other organisms also may be involved.
The spirochete Treponema paraluis-cuniculi is the causative agent of rabbit syphilis. Genital infections are manifest by an acute or subacute inflammation of the reproductive tract and most frequently are found in adults, more often in does than bucks. In the case of Treponoma , a severe conjunctivitis or dermatosis between the toes can also be a key clinical sign. If both horns of the uterus are affected, the does often become sterile; if only one horn is involved, a normal litter may develop in the other.
The only sign of pyometra may be a thick, yellowish gray vaginal discharge. If bloody discharge from the vulva is observed and a large uterine horn can be palpated, uterine adenocarcinoma should be included in the differential diagnosis. Bucks may discharge pus from the urethra or have an enlarged testicle.
Chronic infection of the prostate and seminal vesicles is likely, and because venereal transmission may ensue, it is best to cull the animal in a production rabbitry colony. Surgical removal of the infected reproductive organs in conjunction with antibiotic therapy is indicated for pet rabbits. The contaminated hutch and its equipment should be thoroughly disinfected.
Carriers can be identified by an indirect fluorescent antibody test on nasal swabs. A technique that uses small, saline-moistened, pediatric nasopharyngeal swabs has proved superior to the standard, larger nasal swab. The swab is directed medially through the external nares past the turbinates and onto the dorsal surface of the soft palate; sedation is recommended. The swab is then retracted and can be used in the fluorescent antibody test or plated onto a culture medium.
PCR can discriminate between different isolates, but it is not commercially available. It is important to remember that Pasteurella can be sampled from a large percentage of clinically normal rabbits, and culture results must be interpreted carefully and in combination with the clinical signs and the antibiogram from sensitivity testing.
Not every strain of Pasteurella is pathogenic. Treatment is difficult and will most likely not eradicate the organism. Antibiotics seem to provide only temporary remission, and the next stress eg, kindling may cause relapse. Prolonged treatment for 6—8 wk is often needed. Many of the newer antibiotics are already ineffective because of an increase in resistant strains. Before treatment, a culture and sensitivity should be done to determine the best antibiotic to use.
Very often, systemic antibiotic therapy can be augmented by local antibiotic therapy. Gentamicin ophthalmologic drugs instilled into the nostrils can be a significant aid to treat upper respiratory tract problems with systemic antibiotics. Fluoroquinolones are usually good drugs if no resistance has built up. Oral medication is usually well tolerated and without adverse effects. In case of unsatisfactory results, doxycycline can be added, because both drugs appear to have a synergistic effect.
Sometimes, amikacin or azithromycin must be used based on culture results. Although medication in the drinking water is not recommended because of the tainting of the flavor and potential underdosing, this is sometimes the only possible route to treat animals on a larger scale.
An effective intranasal vaccine is in development but not commercially available; therefore, the best method of control in large rabbitries is strict culling. Two methods to free a production colony of Pasteurella have been reported.
The first involves culture and culling of positive animals; once the colony is Pasteurella -free, it must be maintained in isolation. In the second method, pregnant does past kindling are treated with enrofloxacin. While does remain Pasteurella -culture positive, the kits remain Pasteurella -culture negative. Listeriosis, a sporadic septicemic disease characterized by sudden deaths or abortions, is most common in does in advanced pregnancy.
Poor husbandry and stress may be important in initiating the disease. Clinical signs are variable and nonspecific and include anorexia, depression, and weight loss. In contrast to the disease in cattle and sheep, listeriosis seldom affects the CNS in rabbits. The causal agent, Listeria monocytogenes , spreads via the blood to the liver, spleen, and gravid uterus. At necropsy, the liver consistently contains multiple, pinpoint, gray-white foci. Because diagnosis is rarely made premortem, treatment is seldom attempted.
L monocytogenes can infect many animals, including people. It is difficult to isolate with normal methods, and special techniques are often required. Intestinal disease is a major cause of death in young rabbits.
Rabbit health, illnesses and diseases; symptoms, causes and treatment
In a well-managed rabbit unit, diseases should be infrequent. To avoid feed contamination, hutch floors should be made of wire-netting so that the urine and the droppings do not accumulate inside. Most affects the young rabbits. Symptoms include diarrhoea which sometimes may be white in colour or blood stained, loss of appetite, dehydration and death if the animals are not treated. When pregnant does are affected, there is a risk of passing this disease to the unborn kids, and this usually leads to liver coccidiosis in which there are white sports on the liver. It is controlled by use of coccidiostats in feed and drinking water and by isolating all affected stock.
Bacterial and Mycotic Diseases of Rabbits
Rabbits have been used extensively in a variety of biomedical research disciplines. The need for consistent research subjects has led to understanding of the basic biology and special needs of rabbits. This chapter will provide a summary of care, management, and diseases of the laboratory rabbit. It is ironic that while effort is given to promote the health of domestic rabbits, feral populations have the ability to explode to plague proportions in areas of the world where natural predators and diseases are limited.
Infectious Diseases of Domestic Rabbits
If you buy an item via links on this page, we may earn a commission. Our editorial content is not influenced by commissions. Read the full disclosure. Rabbits are one of the smallest yet steady meat sources you can have on a homestead. They also are a very healthy meat source as they are all white meat. The first time I came across ear mites I panicked.
Viruses are not important causes of clinical disease of rabbits in the USA but include the infectious fibromas, papillomatosis, rabbitpox, myxomatosis, and a herpesvirus infection virus 3. Rotaviral enteritis also has been diagnosed in the USA and seems to contribute to the overall problem of intestinal disease in rabbits. Viral hemorrhagic disease is found in almost every country that raises rabbits except the USA. Rapid response and cooperation between federal and state agencies contained this outbreak and eliminated the source of infection. The USA is currently considered free of rabbit hemorrhagic disease. Myxomatosis is a fatal disease of all breeds of domesticated rabbits caused by myxoma virus, a member of the poxvirus group. Wild rabbits such as the cottontail Sylvilagus and jackrabbits Lepus are quite resistant.
RABBIT DISEASES. Disease. Cause. Symptoms. Prevention. Treatment. Abscesses. Bacterial infection. Enlargements under skin near jaw. Can occur on other.
Pasteurellosis is common in domestic rabbits. It is highly contagious and transmitted primarily by direct contact, although aerosol transmission may also occur. The etiologic agent is Pasteurella multocida , a gram-negative, nonmotile coccobacillus. This is important to consider when nasal cultures are collected, because not every positive result indicates a pathologic condition. To get a true representative culture of the nasal bacterial fauna, the rabbit needs to be heavily sedated or anesthetized and a deep nasal culture obtained by introducing the culture tip relatively far into the nasal opening. Several barrier colonies of laboratory rabbits have been established as Pasteurella -free.
Pasteurellosis is common in domestic rabbits. It is highly contagious and transmitted primarily by direct contact, although aerosol transmission may also occur. The etiologic agent is Pasteurella multocida , a gram-negative, nonmotile coccobacillus. This is important to consider when nasal cultures are collected, because not every positive result indicates a pathologic condition. To get a true representative culture of the nasal bacterial fauna, the rabbit needs to be heavily sedated or anesthetized and a deep nasal culture obtained by introducing the culture tip relatively far into the nasal opening. Several barrier colonies of laboratory rabbits have been established as Pasteurella -free. Pasteurellosis presents with a variety of clinical symptoms, including rhinitis, pneumonia, abscesses, reproductive tract infections, torticollis, and septicemia.
This section contains general rabbit health information and overviews of the most common rabbit health problems; their symptoms, causes and treatments, along with information on spotting signs of illness, pre and post operative care, syringe feeding, nail clipping, grooming and more. Rabbits are prey creatures and therefore tend to hide signs of illness meaning diagnosis can be tricky. Their health can also deteriorate very quickly and when in doubt you should always consult a rabbit-savvy vet. General information on rabbits; the key facts about rabbits, children and rabbits, history of rabbits, adoption, bereavement, holiday care, rehoming, allergies Information on what is the correct rabbit diet, types of hay and commercial dry rabbit food, safe vegetables and fruit, poisonous plants, supplements and feeding problems. Information on common rabbit behaviour, body language and noises, daily routine, companionship, hierarchy, personality, destructive behaviour, aggression, bonding and bereavement, handling, training and exercise.