Rabbits/Sick Rabbit


I hospitalized my rabbit tonight, he was having heavy breathing, and wasn't getting enough oxygen. They put him on oxygen and are keeping him over night. I'd feel a bit reassured to know what could possibly be wrong with him? Heavy breathing, not much exercise or movement, and runny nose. I'm worried sick, he tried eating later tonight and couldn't. This happened all over night, do you think it's possible he got sick because the night before he was sitting in front of a fan blowing cool air?

Hi there,

I am so sorry to hear about your sick rabbit. To me it sounds like he has pneumonia, more than likely caused by pasteurella or bordetella. No, i do not believe that the draft caused this illness, although if it were cold it may have weakened his immune system and allowed it to spread deeper into his lungs.

Hopefully the vets will be able to do a culture on the mucus and let you know what exact bacteria is the underlying cause of his snuffles.

They will probably put him on some very strong antibiotics, most likely baytril. Make sure he takes probiotics as well, and make sure he is well segregated from any other rabbits once he comes home.

Good luck!!


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Shawn Evans


I can answer questions regarding ARBA, showing rabbits, genetic diseases and faults, medical care, raising meat rabbits, questions regarding different breeds, questions regarding diet, questions regarding color and color hereditary traits (breeding for color and pattern) and general questions about rabbits.


I am currently a breeder and exhibitor of English Lops and Tans in ARBA and have raised several breeds. I have both indoor rabbits and an outdoor rabbitry. I have raised rabbits for meat, and I have raised rabbits for top show competitions. I am especially well versed in color genetics and have written several articles regarding color and hereditary traits.

American Rabbit Breeders Association American Tan Association Lop Rabbit Club of America North Carolina Rabbit Breeders Association


Bachelor of Animal Sciences/Husbandry with a strong focus in genetics.

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