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Rabbits/Convenia in Rabbits


My 8-year-old rabbit went to the vet today with a respiratory infection. It is nearly impossible to give her oral meds, so the vet suggested giving her an injection of Convenia. Since the bunny is not in acute distress (still eating, drinking, pooping, etc.), I decided to hold off until Monday and do some research over the weekend. I did a search on this site but didn't find anything more recent than 2009. I saw on another site (a rabbit forum) that it has been used successfully for respiratory infections and abscesses. Do you have updated information on the use of Convenia in rabbits? Or are there other injectable antibiotics that would be better to use?

The infection is presumed to be pasteurella but hasn't been cultured, and I read that nasal cultures aren't that reliable anyway(?). She really doesn't have much nasal discharge. Should I ask for a culture first? Or is it protocol to try an antibiotic first and see if it works? Her main symptom is noisy congested-sounding breathing when she gets excited (not all the time). There is NO sneezing, coughing, difficulty breathing, or lethargy. She does have decreased appetite and smaller poops, though, which is the main reason I took her in. She is eating a few pellets but mostly greens, which I wet down to keep her hydrated even though she is still drinking on her own. She has timothy hay 24/7 but doesn't eat much of it.

She also has a lump on the side/underside of her belly near her back leg. The vet said it felt like it could be a tumor but wanted to try her on the antibiotics and recheck it in a week.

Any advice would be very much appreciated!

Dear Kim

I have never used Convenia, though I have heard of some using it with success.  It is a cephalosporin, which isn't a first choice type of antibiotic for rabbits.  But if other things have failed, it might be worth trying.  

It is apparently not without the potential for adverse reactions, however (as it true with almost any antibiotic).  This from our old pal, Wikipedia:

Convenia is effective against Pasteurella, but you probably want to be sure the infection you're treating really is due to Pasteurella, and not another common rabbit pathogen.

I hope it works, and that your bun will recover completely.



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Dana Krempels, Ph.D.


I've lived with companion rabbits for more than 35 years, and consider them members of my family. I can answer any questions about the biology and health of rabbits, from the commonplace to the unusual. But please note:

RULE #1:

Find a rabbit vet at for immediate help, and don't risk your bunny's life by spending time asking questions online! If you can't get in touch with your vet, read these Emergency Sick Bunny Instructions.

If you have found a wild baby rabbit, please read these EMERGENCY INSTRUCTIONS FOR WILD BABY RABBITS and then use this link to FIND A LOCAL WILDLIFE REHABILITATOR who can give you the right advice.

RULE #2:
Help me help you! Please make your subject line informative if you have an urgent question. then LET ME KNOW IN THE SUBJECT LINE so I can give your question highest priority over non-urgent questions. If you don't do this, then I can't guarantee timely assistance!

For all the best, most accurate rabbit health, care and behavior information, visit The House Rabbit Society.


I have been rescuing and rehabilitating domestic and wild rabbits for about 30 years. I have written articles for many rabbit rescue publications, as well as for the veterinary journal, Exotic DVM. I own EtherBun, the internet's largest listserve dedicated to health, care, and behavior of domestic rabbits.

Houserabbit Adoption, Rescue, and Education, Inc. (H.A.R.E., Inc.) president National House Rabbit Society (Board member)

Exotic DVM
Warren Peace (Journal of the House Rabbit Society of Miami)
Various newsletters of the House Rabbit Society, nationwide

Ph.D - Biology
B.S. - Biology
B.A. - English

Awards and Honors
Lightspan Academic Excellence Award for web site on rabbit health and biology

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