What causes dry throat in rabbits

Rabbit cold in rabbits


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If a rabbit cold is suspected, the vet will listen to the rabbit's lungs. Photo: vetproduction

What is a rabbit cold?

Rabbit cold (rhinitis contagiosa cuniculi) is a relatively common infectious disease in rabbits. Similar to the human cold, rabbit cold is contagious. Affected rabbits secrete more secretions from their noses. They often show other symptoms such as sneezing, shortness of breath or even reddened eyes. Various germs can cause rabbit cold, most of which are bacteria.


What are the causes of a rabbit cold?

The causes of rabbit cold are infections of the rabbit with certain pathogens. Different types of bacteria (e.g. Pasteurella, Bordetella, staphylococci) or so-called mycoplasmas are typical triggers of rabbit cold. Infected rabbits transmit the pathogen through direct contact or spray mist - by sneezing - to other animals. There, the germs mainly attack the respiratory tract and trigger purulent inflammation. Colds, sneezes and other symptoms of rabbit cold are the result of the infection.

The following factors are possible causes of rabbit cold or promote infection:

  • Stress, e.g. from transport, unfamiliar surroundings: Stress reduces the rabbit's immune system and makes it susceptible to infections.
  • Winter: Rabbit flu occurs mainly in the cold season.
  • Rabbits that are kept too close: If the animals are kept close together, healthy rabbits are more likely to catch rabbits in their sick conspecifics.
  • Wrong feeding: If the rabbit lacks certain nutrients, vitamins or minerals, his immune system is usually weakened.
  • Poor hygiene: If you don't clear out the cage often enough, ammonia will collect in the air you breathe. This irritates the rabbit's airways and makes rabbit cold and other respiratory problems in the rabbit more likely.


How is rabbit cold expressed?

Rabbit cold shows up in rabbits through typical symptoms. In sick animals, the nose secretes more secretions. The runny nose can be transparent liquid to purulent and often sticks the fur to the nostril. Since the rabbit cleans itself more often than usual, the paws are also stuck together with secretion. When rabbits have a cold, the eyes are often reddened or inflamed with pus. Often the pet owner hears unfamiliar breathing noises in his rabbit due to the difficult nasal breathing or he notices that it is breathing through its mouth.

Other symptoms of rabbit cold are frequent sneezing of the rabbit. If the rabbit cold spreads to the lungs (pneumonia or abscess in the lungs), the rabbit will have difficulty breathing. The nose is usually red. In some cases, rabbit cold spreads to the ears and leads to otitis media and / or inner ear inflammation. The pet owner then typically notices that the rabbit appears apathetic, shows reluctance to eat and / or tilts its head.

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