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The subject of intentional breeding or meat rabbits is prohibited. The answers provided on this board are for general guideline purposes only. The information is not intended to diagnose or treat your pet.  It is your responsibility to assess the information being given and seek professional advice/second opinion from your veterinarian and/or qualified behaviorist.

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Forum HOUSE RABBIT Q & A Runny nose – normal or concerning?

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    • Salem Fluffle
      Participant
      22 posts Send Private Message

      Hi guys,

      I have two 9 1/2 year old buns and I adopted two babies last week (4 1/2 months and 7 months). I’m quarantining my new kids in my guest room which is in it’s own wing of my house. I live in Michigan and there is no reported RHDV2 here yet but we’ve been extremely cautious anyway, on top of bringing home new animals, so we sanitize/change our clothes between the two sets right now. I plan on quarantining the little ones for 14 days as HRS suggests for RHDV2 precautions.

      Anyway, last night I noticed my elder guy had a moment when he sounded like a little kid breathing through a snotty nose. I scooped him up and checked out his face. There was a little more nasal discharge than I normally see on him but it was the typical clear, thin discharge. I wiped it up (no crust) and his breathing was fine the rest of the night. I checked him a few hours later and his nose felt normal. I checked him out this morning before work and he looked good. My husband said he heard a snotty sound again tonight but only once. Still no overly wet nose, no crust, no runny eyes, no matting or stickiness on his front paws/legs, and no labored breathing. He’s bonded with his sister and they are always together so I checked her out and she’s got nothing. No wet nose, no crust, no weird breathing.

      The littles were tested for Pasteurella while at the shelter and we were told they were cleared. They shared their own room together away from the dogs and cats. Neither of the new kids have so much as sneezed in front of us in the 8 days we’ve had them.

      I reached out to two rabbit savvy vets in my area this morning. The first recommended I bring all four in for yearly exams, but the littles were just seen on 10/8/21 when they were both altered. The second vet I called (which is the highly reviewed one) suggested I just watch my elder guy for a few days and if he worsens, bring him in to be assessed. I highly doubt there’s a chance that he got something from the littles, but of course as his mom I am always wanting him to be healthy and safe. He’s had absolutely no contact with the littles (he doesn’t even realize he has new friends in the house) and like I said, we’ve been extremely careful to clean everything/ourselves after spending time with the littles.

      What do you guys think? Anything to worry about or watch for? I could try to get a photo of his nose should it become wetter again if that would be helpful.


    • Wick & Fable
      Moderator
      5127 posts Send Private Message

      Right now vigilant monitoring is a fine approach since frequency of discharge seems low. At the same time, if it is a URI (a common cause of nasal discharge, but not the only one), the sooner antibiotic treatment is started, typically the easier treatment is (since the infection has less time to multiply). Colored discharge (white, yellow, for example) is a clear sign of infection, though it is not always the first sign that pops up. Noisy breathing and consistent discharge are signs to watch for as well.

      It is possible that the two new family additions have nothing to do with this and it’s simply coincidence that your elder guy happened to contract/is showing signs at this time. Another potential is the stress from two new rabbits being present (it’s great that you’re taking many precautions, and also rabbits have very keen noses and ears, so who knows) made the elderly rabbit a bit more vulnerable to contracting a URI as well. There are many bacteria in the environment that can cause rabbits to contract ailments, but a healthy rabbit immune system actively fights it off. This is why we tend to see ringworm in younger rabbits (immune systems are not yet strong) and elderly rabbits (immune system is weaker). It could be that whatever is causing your elderly guy to show symptoms simply is not robust enough to contract anything in the sister.

      The answers provided in this discussion are for general guideline purposes only. The information is not intended to diagnose or treat your pet. Seek the advice of your veterinarian or a qualified behaviorist.

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Forum HOUSE RABBIT Q & A Runny nose – normal or concerning?