Allergies in rabbits?

My bunny is around 3 months old and has been sneezing a lot lately. He was under antibiotics when the sneezing started because he just recovered from wet tail. I assumed it was because of the bedding so I removed it and the sneezing became less but it was still present.

I consulted my vet (experienced in exotic animals and treated my previous bunnies) before showing him my new bunny. Telling him the symptoms, etc. The vet only asked me one thing: "Is he still eating?" and I said "Yes, in fact he eats a lot." I told him that the nose was moist, there were furs clumped together but no thick stuff coming out of the nostrils when he's breathing.

He further told me that it was most likely allergies because the eyes were dry and the other bunny wasn't sneezing and that it's natural for the nose to be moist (just a little). I can't really tell because the bunnies drink in a cup. I think the sneezing is getting worse. The vet recommends that I get the bunnies out for a few minutes everyday so they can breathe fresh air and soak in some sunshine and the symptom should get better.

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May 24, 2020
Bald spot on bunny
by: Kaelyn

We have a 3 month (ish) bunny with a complete bald spot on back of his neck. Took to vet (not familiar with this vet but only bunny vet we could find during pandemic) who said he’s probably just scratching himself, may be allergies and sent us home. It’s not getting better after couple weeks. He eats well and is very active - he doesn’t scratch much. Skin doesn’t have scratches. Any ideas?

***** Karen Sez *****
Hmmm, a bald spot at the base of the neck sounds remarkably like fur mites. Click the link to learn more.

Additionally, Rabbit Raising Problem Solver has an extensive section on rabbit diseases, such as fur mites.

Dec 20, 2017
by: Buick

My friend's bunny starts sneezing every time it drinks tap water, which is city water. It's fine when drinking bottled-spring water. Any insight?

***** Karen Sez *****
Suggest that your friend go to the city water folks and obtain a copy of their latest water-testing results, to see what kind of contaminants are in the water. From the behavior of the rabbit, I'd think your friend should be wondering if he/she should be drinking only bottled water.

Short term option: Use a Britta filter to filter ALL the cooking and drinking water, both human and animal, at your friend's house.

To answer your direct question: If the problem is contaminants, then I would lay the blame on the contaminants - pesticides, industrial chemicals, heavy metals, or other poisons -
rather than allergies.

Mar 27, 2015
Allergies in rabbits?
by: Magzhollands

My rabbit has allergies in the spring. He usually
will itch the ear and get a wet nose. If you think your rabbit has allergies I would take him outside every day to get some fresh air. If your rabbit has itchy ears I would put Vinegar and water on the spot.

Dec 15, 2011
Aspergillosis in a rabbit
by: Anonymous

Hi its me again, it turns out that it was actually aspergillosis :(

The vet conducted a culture, and gave him the right dose of itraconazole diluted in water.

It was very difficult and somehow costly. The fungus was eating through his nose. We had to strictly monitor and moderate the itraconazole and make sure the dosage was just right because it will damage his liver and lungs.

Vet said it was rare. Only 1 in 8 rabbits get it so there was really something wrong with his immune system.

Despite the cost and everything, seeing him recover, binky a lot and become so energetic makes it all worthwhile. But the fungus hasn't cleared up yet I think. We're still going back.

Aug 21, 2011
About allergies in rabbits
by: Moderator

Wow. I have a couple strong opinions, but I'll preface these comments by saying, "I'm not a vet."

1) Wet tail? You mean, diarrhea?? In a bunny? Who prescribed antibiotics?? Next time withhold feed entirely for 24-48 hours, allowing only grass hay and water during that time. In our experience, the bunny will experience a remarkable improvement and return to normal health.

2) It is not at all normal for a rabbit to have any dampness at all around the nose, except during hot spells when rabbits tend to breathe more rapidly. This might produce a tiny spot of dampness along the crease of the bunny's upper lip, but nothing more (unless distressed by the heat).

3) Unfortunately, you are describing what is more probably either bordetella in rabbits and/or pasteurellosis (snuffles). We know others talk about allergies; we feel this is more of a guess or a hope - allergies in rabbits has never been definitively demonstrated, that we know of.

We hope you'll follow your vet's directions to a 'tee,' and then let us know how it goes, okay?

If 2-4 weeks of lovely sunshine do not improve the symptoms, we will fear the worst. You may need to brace yourself for the eventuality of discovering your rabbit is actually very sick. If another round of antibiotics does not completely 'cure' your rabbit, then euthanization may be the last resort, unless you wish to go round and round with multiple round$$ of antibiotic$ without an effective cure.

One last piece of advice: Find a reputable breeder of rabbits, and obtain your next rabbits from this breeder. Our experience has been that 90% of shelter rabbits (or more) are actually sick. These are animals that should have been euthanized in the first place, and NOT adopted out.

Good luck!

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