Located at Rhine Creek Farm in Northwest Indiana
There are many infectious and non-infectious causes of upper respiratory tract infection in rabbits. Pasteurella Multocida, or Pasteurella, is the organism that most people associate with upper respiratory infections. Pasteurella is a common bacterial inhabitant of most rabbits (and many other animal species), but can cause mild to severe disease in already ill or stressed rabbits. Common causes of rabbit stress that can lead to disease include improper diet and/or housing, travel, and change of environment, such as when showing or moving to a new home.
Pasteurella can be transmitted by
After exposure to the illness, how long does it take for a rabbit to show symptoms? Incubation time is typically 7-14 days.
Pasteurella can cause several different disease processes, some are mild and some are more severe. These can include some or all of the following:
It is possible for rabbits to simply have a cold. Colds can be indicated by clear, watery mucous or fur on the inside of the legs that appears to have been wet and then dried. If the rabbit only has a cold, the symptoms should be gone within 7 days. Rabbits should be quarantined until the owner knows whether or not the symptoms will clear. If symptoms do not clear completely within 7 days or there is any white or colored mucous, it is highly unlikely that the rabbit does not have a Pasteurella infection.
Diagnosis is by culturing the affected area during active illness. (Cultures can produce false negative results)
Pasteurella can be treated, but most rabbits will not clear the infection and may become chronically infected. These rabbits may need periodic antibiotics for life and may be infectious to other rabbits.
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