Rabbit snuffles is one of the most common diseases that is known to affect both wild and domesticated rabbits.
Snuffles is a general term that is used to describe a group of upper respiratory infection signs. One of the most common rabbit snuffles causes is an infection by the Pasteurella multocida bacteria.
Rabbit snuffles is a highly contagious devastating disease that may also affect the ears, eyes and other organs of the rabbit. If rabbit snuffles are detected at an early stage then it may be possible to successfully treat this disease else if left untreated it is known to be fatal.
Rabbit snuffles symptoms are known to be restricted to mainly the upper respiratory tract but may also be observed in other parts of the rabbit’s body. A rabbit infected with snuffles will first develop a watery discharge from the nose which then gets aggravated into a whitish thick to yellowish nasal discharge. A rabbit infected with snuffles has mucous and fluids in its respiratory tract due to which it makes a snoring or snuffling sound while breathing. Rabbits are known to groom themselves regularly using their front paws. Hence an infected rabbit will develop mats on the inner part of its forepaws and will also have some nasal discharge on them. Additionally the infection may also spread to the eyes of the rabbit thereby causing conjunctivitis and a consequent discharge. In some cases rabbit snuffles is also known to infect the ear and cause ear infections or torticollis which displays symptoms like scratching, shaking the head excessively, disorientation or even inability to stand. In some extreme cases the rabbit snuffles may also lead to pneumonia or formation of abscesses in joints, under the skin etc.
Some of the initial rabbit snuffles treatments include the veterinarian administering anti biotics to the infected rabbit for a period of 14 -30 days. Since snuffles are a very difficult disease to treat preventive action is the best solution. The bacteria associated with this disease may be present in the nasal tract of the rabbit but may be dormant. If the rabbit is exposed to any sort of stress, then even a rabbit that otherwise appears to be healthy will start showing the symptoms of snuffles. Snuffles is a very contagious disease , hence all rabbit owners need to watch out for the signs of the diseases and then keep the infected rabbits quarantined from the healthy ones and also ensure that they have acceptable levels of cleanliness and sanitation in their environment.