Rabbit cold: symptoms, causes, treatment

Rabbit cold is a common infectious disease in the long ears. It is contagious and fatal if not treated. Learn more about the causes, symptoms, and treatment of rabbit disease here. Rabbit colds are particularly common in the cold season - shutterstock / Sofiya Stoyakina

Every rabbit owner is familiar with the rabbit cold and often triggers great fears. In fact, the contagious disease is not to be trifled with. On the other hand, the animals affected, when properly treated, often live long and symptom-free.

What are the symptoms of a rabbit cold?

A rabbit runny nose manifests itself in rabbits with symptoms typical of the disease. These include:

● The nose of the sick animals secretes more secretions. This can vary externally from transparent and liquid to purulent. It often sticks to the skin at the nostril.
● The rabbit's paws are glued with secretion, as the rabbit is cleaning itself more.
● The eyes are often red or purulent inflamed.
● Frequent sneezing, like a reddened nose, is a well-known symptom.
● In many cases there are unusual breathing noises that indicate difficult nasal breathing. Alternatively, the animal breathes completely through its mouth.
● If the rabbit runny nose has passed to the lungs and pneumonia or an abscess has developed in the lungs, the animal has severe shortness of breath.
● When it is extended to the ears, the middle ear and / or inner ear become inflamed. Symptoms such as apathetic behavior, reluctance to eat and a tilted head are typical.

The contagious rabbit cold and a cold in the course of a normal cold must be differentiated. The former, also called "pasteurellosis", is a disease caused by bacterial pathogens. The main pathogens include Bordetella bronchiseptica and Pasteurella multocida. In many cases, secondary germs such as Pseudomonas can also be detected. The disease is always chronic, contagious and difficult to fully cure. The good news: Your long ears can often lead a long and happy life even with the disease.

With a "normal cold", the pathogens can be completely killed and the rabbit is then healed. Laypeople cannot distinguish whether it is a comparatively harmless runny nose or an infectious disease. A visit to the veterinarian is mandatory for diagnosis and treatment. This can, for example, use a rinsing sample from the nose to prove whether it is a rabbit runny nose or a cold virus.

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What are the causes behind the rabbit cold?

Different types of bacteria or so-called mycoplasma typically trigger rabbit colds. The germs mainly affect the respiratory tract and lead to purulent inflammation. The disease is transmitted through direct contact or through the spray released when sneezing. The animals can also become infected indirectly, for example by passing on the bacteria to humans after visiting a sick animal.

Common environmental and disease germs, which occur in humans as well as dogs and cats, can also be considered as causes of runny nose in rabbits. For example, if you have a cold or other infections yourself, you should avoid contact with rabbits. Disinfect your hands when cutting food and may wear a face mask. Even if it is difficult: Take a break from cuddling and cuddling.

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