Symptoms of pasteurellosis in rabbits, methods of treatment and methods of prevention

Symptoms of pasteurellosis in rabbits, methods of treatment and methods of prevention

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The course of pasteurellosis in rabbits is usually acute. When a single animal is infected, the infection spreads rapidly throughout the population. Pasteurellosis mainly develops as a result of non-compliance with the rules of care and is detected in rabbits of any age. The danger of this pathology lies in the fact that, in addition to its rapid development, the disease provokes serious complications, including death.

What is this disease and its causative agent

Pasteurellosis is an infectious pathology that develops as a result of infection with bacterial microflora. The disease is typical for domestic rabbits and wild hares. Pathology arises against the background of infection of animals with the bacterium Pasteurella multocida, which has a complex structure and often mutates. The latter determines the complexity of the treatment of the disease.

In case of infection in pets, the nasal cavities, throat and trachea are affected. The disease develops against the background of a weakening of the immune system in rabbits, caused by non-compliance with the conditions of detention (hypothermia, improper feeding, and so on). Pathology is dangerous because it causes death in 75% of cases.

Sources and routes of infection

Infection of the body with these bacteria occurs in the following ways:

  • airborne;
  • by direct contact;
  • through dishes and other objects;
  • at the time of birth.

Infection with bacterial microflora does not always lead to the development of pasteurellosis. The infection, penetrating the body, "settles" in the upper respiratory tract. The immunity of the animal suppresses the development of the bacterial colony.

The first symptoms of pasteurellosis appear after the weakening of the body's defenses, which occurs for the following reasons:

  • during pregnancy;
  • childbirth;
  • lactation period;
  • deficiency of trace elements in the body;
  • excessive weight;
  • stress.

The risk group for developing pasteurellosis includes rabbits with a genetic predisposition to this disease.

Symptoms of pasteurellosis in rabbits

After infection, pasteurellosis develops asymptomatically for several days. Moreover, the infected animal remains dangerous to the population. The first symptoms of infection appear after the development of the disease reaches the acute stage.

Acute form

The following symptoms are characteristic of the acute form:

  • general weakness, lethargy;
  • body temperature rises to 39 degrees and above;
  • lack of appetite;
  • depression.

The acute form is characterized by rapid development. After the temperature rises for several hours, the animal develops shortness of breath, runny nose and diarrhea. In females during this period, serous, mucous and other abnormal discharge from the genitals are noted. The acute form of pasteurellosis develops within five days, after which the animal usually dies.


The chronic form of pasteurellosis develops in animals that have survived the acute period of the development of the disease. In this case, the infected rabbits show the following symptoms:

  • runny nose;
  • dyspnea;
  • a sharp decrease in weight;
  • suppuration of the eyes;
  • tarnishing of the coat;
  • lack of activity.

A specialized examination also reveals pericarditis and bronchopneumonia. At the same time, an inflammatory process develops in the middle ear, manifested in the form of serous discharge from the shell. Also, the chronic form is characterized by abscesses localized near the larynx and self-opening within a few days. Females with pasteurellosis have decreased fertility.

How is the disease diagnosed?

The primary diagnosis is based on an assessment of the animal's condition and the characteristics of the symptoms. For confirmation, the veterinarian takes a smear from the mucous membrane or performs a blood test.

How to treat ailment in rabbits

Due to the fact that pasteurellosis is characterized by intensive development and often provokes the death of an animal, it is recommended to treat the pathology with specialized drugs.

Expert opinion

Zarechny Maxim Valerievich

Agronomist with 12 years of experience. Our best summer cottage expert.

Alternative methods for such a disease are used as an adjunct to the prescribed therapy.

Folk remedies

If signs of infection with pasteurellosis are found, it is necessary to water the rabbits more often. You also need to regularly treat the sinuses using saline solution in order to facilitate breathing and discharge of serous and other secretions. In case of lung damage, inhalations with essential oils are used.


Drug therapy for pasteurellosis involves intravenous administration of antibacterial drugs: "Biomycin", "Tetracycline" or "Terramycin". Simultaneously with this, the animal is given droppers with Hartmann's or Ringer's solutions.

In order to accelerate the recovery of infected rabbits, vitamin B12 is injected subcutaneously or intramuscularly. This remedy is generally recommended for infected young animals. As part of the prescribed therapy, vaccination against hemorrhagic septicemia is carried out.

Also recommended is the prophylactic treatment of conjunctivitis, which is carried out with eye drops "Ciprovet" or "Levomycetin".

During the course of the disease, regular disinfection is required, both of the farm (the place of residence of infected rabbits) and dishes with items of clothing. A similar procedure is recommended after the end of the epidemic.

The described scheme of therapy is not effective. However, there is no other treatment for pasteurellosis. Broad-spectrum antibiotics suppress the activity of bacterial microflora, but do not destroy all pathogens. These drugs prevent the development of complications of pasteurellosis.

Is it possible to eat the meat of sick animals

A person can also get pasteurellosis. Therefore, eating the meat of rabbits that have died from this disease is prohibited. In such cases, it is advisable to burn the insides of the infected animal to prevent the spread of the infection. If the rabbit has recovered from pasteurellosis, then the meat must be boiled for 1.5 hours before eating.

Disease prevention

In order to prevent infection with pasteurellosis, vaccination of the rabbit population is recommended. To do this, during the first week after birth, the animal is injected with a specialized drug of 0.5 milliliters on each side of the neck. For rabbits weighing less than a kilogram, the dosage is adjusted in accordance with the body weight. If the population is under threat of extinction, then the vaccine should be re-administered 2-3 weeks after the first.

In addition to this procedure, for the prevention of infection with pasteurellosis, it is necessary to provide suitable living conditions for rabbits (avoid temperature drops and maintain the humidity level). It is also recommended to regularly disinfect the rooms and cages in which animals are kept.

Watch the video: Diseases of Rabbits - Fever Cold Cough and Diarrhea


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