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Rabbits/Bunny is Lethargic


I've had pet bunnies since 1993 and think I am somewhat educated in many areas, but I am not 100% sure on what is happening to one of my bunnies, Moxy.  
I noticed this morning, he is very Lethargic and seems to be drinking more water, but not interested in eating.  I thought it might be because he started Molting, which I know can cause them to become Lethargic.  I have noticed his nose seems wet, but not sure if that's from drinking the water.  
I had heard years and years ago from a Vet, that once they get sick with a cold or Snuffles, it never gets cured. You can treat it but it will never go away.  Is this correct?
Any Feedback you may have, will be greatly appreciated!
Thank You

Hi Brenda
Sorry for the delay in reply. How is the bunny doing today?

Snuffles is an upper respiratory infection which needs vet investigation. The bacteria can always linger in the nasal tract but usually only flares up to cause visible (and audible) problems when the rabbit's immune system is low or they are stressed. It does need antibiotic medication. A good vet will do a deep nasal swab to identify the exact bacteria causing the problem to use the correct medication to treat it. Sometimes nasal problems can also be a sign of abscesses or dental problems impacting on the nasal tract.

Being lethargic is often an indication of pain and discomfort so does need immediate vet attention. Not eating properly for more than 8-12 hours will cause the gut to begin to shut down, causing stasis and a whole separate health problem than the one originally spotted!

Hope your bun is feeling better today, but I do recommend a vet visit.

Good luck!


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I can answer questions around the welfare of pet rabbits, basic health queries including gut stasis, diet worries and the proper welfare standards around housing rabbits (i.e. no wire floors, no small cages and they should be kept in properly bonded de-sexed pairs in very large enclosures). I cannot answer showing questions nor complex breeding issues as I do not agree with either, seeing the other end of the story in the world of rabbit rescue. If your rabbit is in distress, has any blood, isn't moving, has breathing issues or isn't eating, my answer will be, go to the vet!


I have two 10 year old rescue rabbits and have volunteered in rabbit rescue.

I belong to the RWAF (Rabbit Welfare Association & Fund) and have volunteered for a rabbit rescue.

I have no formal education on this subject, however read everything I can to keep up to date with current welfare standards and health problems. Both my rabbits have sensitive guts and constantly keep me on my toes.

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