Posted: December 27, 2009, 5 a.m. EST
Q: My rabbit has snuffles, confirmed by a veterinarian. He said to kill her. No way! What is the treatment?
A: Snuffles is a term used to describe respiratory problems in rabbits. These could be infections in the nasal cavity, the sinus, other areas of the upper respiratory tract and the lungs and trachea.
Snuffles is a serious disease that can lead to debilitation and even death in rabbits. Usually, we suspect bacterial organisms for causing this, and we treat with antibiotics to kill the bacteria and improve the environment, if necessary.
If your veterinarian recommended euthanizing your rabbit for respiratory disease, the best thing you can do is to get a second opinion. If a veterinarian’s rabbit experience is limited to lab animal facilities where rabbits with severe snuffles are not kept in the colony, that may be his or her only experience with the disease. Some rabbits with respiratory disease can be very contagious to other rabbits, so some veterinarians who only work with colonies might suggest euthanasia.
Euthanasia is not what most veterinarians would tell a pet rabbit owner unless the rabbit was suffering and nothing could be done to alleviate the suffering. So, get a second opinion as soon as possible.
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