Wet noses throughout the barn

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Yupyup

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I got into raising rabbits last year, and I wanted top quality show stock to breed. I bought my first trio from the #1 breeder in the state. She told me if there were any runny noses to not call the vet and just call her...

Well less than a month in, the buck started sneezing and having a runny nose. She said it's bordetella and give him antibiotics. I did. His runny nose stopped but he wouldn't eat. I gave probiotics too. He barely ate. Even though I quarantined him it wasn't fast enough. A new buck I purchased and had kept in quarantine came in contact with the droppings and then he got sick too. The breeder I got him from is a friend and has no sick animals.

The new buck had snot but seemed fine in general. I was very attached and took him to the vet. 2+ weeks of baytril 2x a day and he was fine. However the first buck was wasting away and I culled the original buck.

I kept my new buck in quarantine for 2 months away from the rabbits (of which there were now 30 with moms and kits). He was in great condition, beautiful coat, good body, no sneezing for 2 months. I reintroduced him to the barn, and he sneezed the very first day he was in there. I removed him right away.

It's been about 3 weeks and almost the whole barn has sneezed - mostly 6-8 wk old kits. I treated everyone that sneezed with antibiotics for 10 days and only 1 kit is still sneezing, but in excellent condition, biggest kit of all the litters.

Today I saw one of the breeding does sneeze and she has newborn kits.

Here's my questions:

1. Does bordetella cause runny noses with no loss in weight/conditioning?

2. Do you think the breeder knowingly sold me a sick rabbit for top dollar? Turns out a friend got rabbits from this breeder too, and the buck had a runny nose the day she bought it...

I'm not sure if this is pasturella or bordetella or what, but I obviously can't sell kits that are sick with something and this is affecting my business because I'm having to turn down sales calls to my rabbitry that I've worked very hard to promote. Any advice besides burning the barn down would be appreciated. As mentioned the affected rabbits look and act great, just have a wet nose and sneeze.

Thank you!!
 

michaels4gardens

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Although there are many reasons for "runny noses", [pasturella is a very bad thing...]
So, other causes for runny noses.....
is your feed "dusty" [have "fines" , or mold in it]?
is your hay "dusty", have dust or mold in it?
Is there good ventilation in your "barn", so ammonia can't build up, and irritate the respiratory system ?
All of these factors cause irritation in the respiratory tract, and immune system depression.
Any of these things alone ,can cause "runny noses" ..
The big danger is,- they will get an infection, or activate a "dormant" infection,
from having a chronically irritated respiratory system,
IE: ,Pasteurella, bordetella b , etc..
If your rabbits had a "residual infection" when you bought them from the breeder,
you are fighting a uphill battle, as these "germs" have probably been "treated" many times,
so are likely somewhat antibiotic resistant.
Sometimes, it can be overcome, with close attention to the above mentioned contributory situations. .

The best defence, is a healthy rabbit with a good immune system.
 

ladysown

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the breeder said "call me about runny noses"... should have been a tip-off.

How ... not nice of her.

I'd be looking at culling the entire lot (wean those young rabbits at 17-21 days old) and get them away from momma and start with them. Bring them into your house and make sure you don't contaminate them from the other rabbits. Any kits that don't sneeze or snot isolate them as well, and simply start over again AFTER you do a thorough cleaning of cages and barn. I'd be steamcleaning them. then setting out in the sun for a good week.
 

hotzcatz

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I've had runny nose rabbits clear right up when they were fed oatmeal. Sometimes they catch a cold and get a runny nose and it's not pasturella or anything vile. Try adding a handful of dry rolled oats (Quaker oats work fine) to their meals and see if they get better.
 

Yupyup

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Thanks guys for input!
I will try adding oatmeal. I hope steel cut is alright.

The breeder I got my first trio from said "let me know if you see runny noses" AFTER I had driven 3 hours home... So I couldn't cancel the sale or anything by then.

Have you ever had rabbits with sneezes but no other issues? Are they supposed to have other ailments if it's snuffles? Everyone is so fat and happy. No white snot. No loss of appetite.

Are they supposed to degrade over time? I've read in several books they get accesses and die sometimes really quickly?

Sorry for all the questions. I feel like I can't ask my breeder friends because it's such a taboo subject everyone would deny ever having had a sick rabbit anyway.

The rabbitry had 4 open sides and no noticable ammonia smell. I also use horse fresh on the ground in small amounts. I feed Bluebonnet feed which is a quality feed. And one handful of fresh timothy per rabbit.

I'm adding a pic of my most offensive sneezer. She's 3 months old and huge. She was sneezing in succession today and I picked her up and looked up her nostrils but didn't see anything... No clear snot even.IMG_20200412_083707.jpg
 

sarai

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i am having troble with sneezing but havent checked for runny noses yet but i dont think they have them ;)
 

ladysown

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Sarai
What you want to look for is wet/dirty front legs from bunnies wiping their noses. :) OFten you can't see the snot...but you can see the remains of snot.
 

Yupyup

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Ladysown,

I've never seen snot on legs and definitely not crusty patches although I've seen them sneeze and then clean their face. Do I not have to worry about sneezes if they have clean front legs?
 

ladysown

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it's hard to say.

I cull hard for health.
Cause me any kind of trouble and you are out of my rabbitry.

I don't want to breed in weakness. So I don't care if it's allergies, a stupidity thing (had a doe who would choke on her pellets even when I troubleshot every reason I could think of beyond feeding her one pellet at t time), rabbits who couldn't figure out water bottles, nestbox eye, sore hocks, repeated sneezing with no direct cause, won't breed when everyone else is, and so forth.

I want to raise and breed trouble-free rabbits.
 

Jackrabbit

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I'm having the same problem right now! Yupyup what antibiotics did you use? Ive had wet noses and 2 coughers.
 

Mutt-Dad

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I wouldn't burn the barn down straight away. You have an opportunity to find kits in these litters that are resistant to whatever it is the parents have. When I started my rabbitry I bought two bucks and four does. One of the does presented (with what I believe was) pasturella after having her first litter (9). All but two of the kits got it bad, 3 of the kits died from it over the first 4 weeks and it spread to one of the other does. I culled the doe and all the kits with symptoms after she was finished weaning and kept one of the females to replace the mom. This new doe has been my best rabbit as far as healthy litters go. You want to lock in those healthy genes.

I think you should evaluate each cage rabbit by rabbit and cull for the characteristics YOU want. Don't get too attached to any one rabbit (easier said than done).

Here is how i would prioritize meat rabbits:
Health > Size > Temper > Coat

Vs pet rabbits:
Health > Temper > Coat > Size

Health includes everything from their teeth, to their tails, and also how hardy they are. My rabbits live outside and need to tolerate heat and cold (-20c / +30c ) without my intervention.
 

SoftPawsRabbitry

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I got into raising rabbits last year, and I wanted top quality show stock to breed. I bought my first trio from the #1 breeder in the state. She told me if there were any runny noses to not call the vet and just call her...

Well less than a month in, the buck started sneezing and having a runny nose. She said it's bordetella and give him antibiotics. I did. His runny nose stopped but he wouldn't eat. I gave probiotics too. He barely ate. Even though I quarantined him it wasn't fast enough. A new buck I purchased and had kept in quarantine came in contact with the droppings and then he got sick too. The breeder I got him from is a friend and has no sick animals.

The new buck had snot but seemed fine in general. I was very attached and took him to the vet. 2+ weeks of baytril 2x a day and he was fine. However the first buck was wasting away and I culled the original buck.

I kept my new buck in quarantine for 2 months away from the rabbits (of which there were now 30 with moms and kits). He was in great condition, beautiful coat, good body, no sneezing for 2 months. I reintroduced him to the barn, and he sneezed the very first day he was in there. I removed him right away.

It's been about 3 weeks and almost the whole barn has sneezed - mostly 6-8 wk old kits. I treated everyone that sneezed with antibiotics for 10 days and only 1 kit is still sneezing, but in excellent condition, biggest kit of all the litters.

Today I saw one of the breeding does sneeze and she has newborn kits.

Here's my questions:

1. Does bordetella cause runny noses with no loss in weight/conditioning?

2. Do you think the breeder knowingly sold me a sick rabbit for top dollar? Turns out a friend got rabbits from this breeder too, and the buck had a runny nose the day she bought it...

I'm not sure if this is pasturella or bordetella or what, but I obviously can't sell kits that are sick with something and this is affecting my business because I'm having to turn down sales calls to my rabbitry that I've worked very hard to promote. Any advice besides burning the barn down would be appreciated. As mentioned the affected rabbits look and act great, just have a wet nose and sneeze.

Thank you!!
If it's like snuffles, diffusing lavender essential oil a few times a day in the area can cure it! From personal experience with snuffles, I just put 2 or 3 drops on a folded piece of toilet paper every 5 square feet, but make sure it isnt too strong! My rabbitry has a lot of ventilation, hope that helps!!

(I dont know on the dying, maybe reaction to medicine or something else coincidental? but my first pet rabbits and one breeder I've had recently seriously just had summer allergies haha)
 

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