Is it normal for rabbits to sneeze? Sneezing in rabbits is rather the same as in humans and is usually accompanied by nasal discharge. Nasal discharge refers to the mucus (thick and slimy), serosity (thin and watery), or the blood-tinged colour released with the sneeze.
What does it mean if my bunny sneezes a lot? It would be more sensible to understand the condition rather than panic and do something hasty. Sneezing in rabbits can be caused by various reasons. Your furry friend may be allergic to something or may have infections.
Regardless of age, rabbits are at risk of sneezing depending on their immune system.
- Baby bunnies have developing immune systems.
- Older rabbits’ immune systems have the tendency to be weakened by age.
Observe your rabbit
Sneezing in rabbits can be caused by underlying health conditions. However, before you visit the vet, you need to note some manifestations.
Examine your rabbit to see obvious signs of illness or infection.
- Inspect the bunny’s nose and eyes and note if they have become ‘runny’ or filled with mucus.
- Examine if there is a discharge of mucus accompanied by sneezing.
- Notice if there are changes to the food intake of your bunny.
If there are no other manifestations, the sneezing may only be a simple allergic reaction. However, bring your rabbit to the vet as soon as it shows other symptoms.
Further, we have outlined possible causes why your furry friend would sneeze.
Carefully examine your rabbit as soon as it sneezes. If the sneeze is accompanied by particular substances such as hay, pellet dust, or pollen, it may just be an allergic reaction. Here are other products that can trigger an allergic reaction:
- House dust
- Cigarette smoke
- Fabric softeners
- Room fresheners
- Products used on its litter or bedding
Is your rabbit sneezing with no discharge? It is likely that your bunny bunny is allergic to something.
What to do
- Figure out which substance triggers such allergic reaction. The bunny’s area should be free of the allergen.
- Change your bunny’s bedding regularly. At times, sneezing is caused by the ammonia build-up from its bedding. Avoid using pine or cedar shavings on its bedding.
As with most animals, domesticated pets are curious. They are expected to breathe in any objects accessible to their nose. Such objects can be seeds, bits of grass, and other debris that can cause irritation. Moreover, if the said foreign substance is inhaled, it can become stuck in the nose or dental area. Such reaction results in a sneezing fit with or without discharge and inflammation.
What to do
For such cases, immediate treatment should be executed because affected areas can become infected over time. Surgical operations can be performed when necessary.
Furthermore, it is important to keep its environment clean to prevent or lessen the risk of breathing in small particles.
Nasal duct blockage
A blockage on its nasolacrimal duct may also be an underlying condition of illnesses including abscesses, infections, dental issues, rhinitis, and in rare cases, cancer. Symptoms include:
- Excessive tearing
- Wet areas around the eyes and face
- Fur loss
- Bacterial infection on skin
- Nasal discharge
- Constant sneezing
What to do
Upon finding the symptoms, an immediate appointment with your vet should be done to perform a complete examination. Treatment varies on which illness is the main cause of the blockage.
The common cause of constant sneezing is bacterium pasteurellosis found as an infection that manifests as an illness called snuffles. Symptoms may mimic other medical conditions such as dental complications, respiratory diseases, or a poorly ventilated environment. The following are things to keep an eye on:
- Head tilting (caused by neurological damage)
- Matted fur
- Runny eyes
- Runny nose
- Skin sores
What to do
There are certain antibiotics that are used to fight off the bacterial infection. However, professionals should be the one to administer safe medications to ensure safety.
Tips for prevention
One way to counter illnesses is to follow preventive measures. Here are points to remember to keep your rabbits in excellent shape:
- Prepare a healthy diet. Rabbits in the wild obtain nourishment from eating grass, hay, and bark which are very high in fibre. In such a way, they rarely acquire dental problems. That being said, the same diet should be provided to your bunny with only small amounts of commercialised rabbit food.
- Do not feed your little bunny with too many pellets or commercially prepared food. Such an unhealthy diet can progress to obesity. Know that obesity contributes to several health problems.
- Provide enough exercise. It is best to give your bunny enough space and time to exercise in your home or backyard. Healthy diet and exercise are the best ways to keep your rabbit healthy.
Do you still need tips on how to take care of a rabbit? Click here. Don’t forget to share it with your pet owner friends!
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