From time to time, you may notice that your rabbits sneeze frequently. While it may only be caused by dust, it’s essential to be aware of why as they may be concerning in the long run. This article will help you understand ‘Why is my rabbit sneezing?’.
Snuffles, also known as Pasteurellosis, is the most common upper respiratory tract infection in rabbits. It can be caused by several bacteria like Pasteurella multocida, Staphylococcus aureus, and Bordetella bronchiseptica.
Some bacteria like Pasteurella multocida are always present in a rabbit’s body. Still, sometimes, they are too dormant to cause anything to your rabbit.
One of the best ways to figure out if your rabbit has snuffles is by checking their symptoms. If frequent sneezing is accompanied by watery eyes or a snotty nose, do not fret and immediately call your local vet.
Two or more signs combined can be too worrying for any type of rabbit. But once your rabbit has a snotty nose, even without any other symptoms, you need to immediately bring them to the vet since it can be dangerous for your rabbit’s health.
Treating snuffles can be time-consuming for some people since your veterinarian will have a Culture and Sensitivity test scheduled for your rabbit.
This test is done to find out the pathogen of the bacteria that has infected your rabbit so that they can treat it with the right antibiotics.
Treating infections with antibiotics will take weeks, months, even for severe cases. It’s essential to follow all of your vet’s instructions to gradually improve your rabbit’s health.
What Causes a Rabbit to Sneeze?
After knowing what snuffles are and how important it is to have them treated right away, it’s now time to find out about the different reasons why rabbits sneeze. Knowing these will help you avoid having a sneezing rabbit.
- Strong Scents: Rabbits have sensitive noses that can smell things from a distance. For this reason, it’s best to keep items with solid scents away from rabbits, such as fragrant lotion, perfumes, colognes, or intense cleaning products. A single whiff of any strong smell can cause frequent sneezing for rabbits.
- Dust: One of the main reasons rabbits sneeze frequently is the dust build-up around their cage. It’s essential to keep their surroundings clean to prevent sneezing. Dust can be everywhere around your rabbit, even with their hay, so make sure to double check everything around them, including their bed and litter.
- Smoke: If your rabbit is exposed to secondhand smoke, their noses may get irritated, causing them to sneeze frequently. Make sure that someone who likes smoking does it away from the rabbit. This will help rabbits to avoid the smell of smoke and prevent sneezes.
- Allergies: Like us humans, rabbits are also prone to allergies that can cause frequent sneezing. The first thing to do in this scenario is to figure out the cause of the allergies. Once it’s all figured out, you can quickly help your rabbit avoid the reason and prevent sneezes. The other one is the material used for their beddings. Some materials may produce phenol which can irritate a rabbit’s nose.
- Infections: The most concerning cause of rabbit sneezes is an infection. Respiratory infections such as Snuffles or lower respiratory problems will cause sneezing in rabbits. You should bring your rabbit to the vet so that they can figure out the condition and have it treated right away.
When Is It Concerning?
As stated above, some reasons for a rabbit’s sneezing can be common environmental problems. However, there are times when a rabbit sneezing can be concerning, and this section will tell you everything you need to know about it.
Snots and frequent sneezing
Rabbits are known as nasal breathers, so it is difficult to breathe if they have a snotty nose. From the first sign of a snotty nose, you should be alert and ready to bring them to a vet since it can be hazardous if left untreated.
If you notice that your rabbit sneezes frequently, it may be a point of concern for you now. Sneezing is quite usual for rabbits because of dust build-up in their surroundings, but if it’s become frequent for some time, you should call up your local vet and have a check-up scheduled.
Less energetic rabbit
One of the most common signs that your rabbit is sick is if they have less energy than it used to have. Some rabbits may have lower power, but if you notice your rabbit having more bass energy than before, it’s essential to note it since it can be a sign that your rabbit is sick.
It’s also important to take note of your rabbit’s appetite. If they suddenly lose interest in food, there is definitely a problem that you need to address.
No matter what it is, a rabbit that lacks appetite should immediately be brought to a vet for a check-up and to figure out the root cause of their food aversion.
A snoring rabbit can be something to be concerned about. Some rabbits do snore, but a rabbit that snores when it did not before may indicate a respiratory problem.
If that’s the case, bring them to your vet as soon as possible. However, if your rabbit has been snoring ever since, then there’s no need for too much panic.
If your rabbit is wheezing or coughing, it’s a red alert that they are having difficulties with breathing. Try to contact your local vet and ask for advice when this happens.
How to Stop Your Rabbit from Sneezing
At some point, sneezes can become concerning that all you want is to get rid of them. Luckily for you, there are ways to stop or prevent a sneezing rabbit. If you want to know more, check the video below.
- Determine the Cause: The first step in stopping your rabbit from sneezing frequently is determining the cause. Rabbits have sensitive noses, so check for environmental factors that could be causing their sneezes. You also need to consider some allergies. If you’re having a hard time figuring it all out on your own, you may consult your vet and ask for some tests.
- Give them medicine (if necessary): If a vet finds something wrong with your rabbit, you would most likely be prescribed medicine for your rabbit. Make sure that you follow the proper dosage and time intervals in which you will give treatment to your rabbit so that it will work. Keep your rabbits relaxed by wrapping them in a clean towel to administer the medicine.
- Clean the Cage: One of the most important things that you should always do is keep your rabbit’s cage clean at all times. Regular bedding change should be done, and clean the litter every 4 to 6 hours to ensure it stays clean. Bacteria build-up can be critical for your rabbit’s health.
- Keep their Nose Clean: Most of the time, rabbits will still sneeze after the medicine is administered since it won’t totally work immediately. For this case, make sure that your rabbit’s nose is kept clean so that they won’t have breathing problems. You can use a damp towel, cloth, or tissue and gently wipe your rabbit’s nose from time to time.
- Give them a Proper Diet: You must give your rabbit a proper diet that consists mainly of hay. You can mix in other greens and nutritious food good for your rabbit’s health.
- Monitor them regularly: Lastly, make sure to monitor them from time to time. This will help you check your rabbit’s health and if they need immediate action.
When to Consult a Veterinarian
Naturally, you should only bring your rabbit to the vet if there is a severe problem with them. This includes wheezing, coughing, or a snotty nose accompanying the sneezing.
Do not be too alert and bring your rabbit to the vet if they sneeze once or twice in an hour. It can be caused by dust in their surroundings or food that irritates their nose.
Cleaning can do the trick most of the time for occasional sneezes. Still, it can continue even though you’ve checked everything.
If you are worried about a few sneezes in an hour, you may want to play it safe and contact your local vet. You can ask for some advice on preventing sneezes and what you should do. This will help avoid a physical visit and save your time.
You should immediately bring your rabbit to a vet if there are a combination of alarming symptoms. This will help make things easier for you and your rabbit and ensure that the infection is treated well.
Some of the signs to look out for are mentioned above but be super alert for snotty noses since they can be dangerous for rabbits in less than a day.
“Why is my rabbit sneezing?” is an excellent question, even if you think it’s just because of some minor reasons. Being aware of your rabbit’s current state of health should help you understand how to take better care of them to prolong their life and keep them healthy.