Can Staph cause white snot?

by mrsgroovus

I have a friend with rabbits, I was keeping for them.. one of their show bunnies got white snot. I asked them to cull. Instead they put it in quarantine. After about a week of not seeing anything they put him on antibiotics and told me it was a staph infection that can cause white snot as well..

Not sure if I'm buying that at all, but not sure what to do. The bun is still quarantined. No signs of anything since that one white snot incident....

***** Karen Sez *****

Is the rabbit still on the antibiotics? That would explain the current lack of symptoms. Definitely beware new and worsening symptoms once the antibiotics end.

According to Rabbit Production (Cheeke et al), "mucopurulent nasal discharges...are almost invariably caused by P. multocida (Pasteurella) in conjunction with another bacterium called Bordetella bronchisepticum."

According to Dana Krempels, associated with the House Rabbit Society, "More recent information suggests that many different species of bacteria can cause "snuffles." Some of the bacteria most commonly cultured from rabbit nasal discharge include Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Bordetella bronchiseptica, and Staphylococcus aureus...." (

In my experience, these other pathogens (germs) take second fiddle to Pasteurella, which is still "almost invariably" the reason for white or clear snot and sneezing (snuffles) in rabbits.

Ms. Krempels explains that only a culture and sensitivity can identify the causative germs. What she doesn't mention is that it is very tricky to obtain and maintain a live culture of P. multocida. Many rabbits have tested a false negative when they did indeed have pasteurella, as it became evident later in the course of the disease. Were these other germs present in conjunction with pasteurella, in these 'recent' studies? In the case of a false negative, it would be tempting to believe that some other germ that happened to grow in the culture and sensitivity test was the germ causing the symptoms, when in fact it is simply an opportunistic germ.

In the several years since this website has been live, there have been a few reports of rabbits that were "cured" of pasteurellosis by antibiotics, apparently permanently. I'm very happy to hear this. But, a vastly greater number have told us the stories of their rabbits suffering and dying of snuffles or pneumonia.

If this rabbit you're referring to goes off the antibiotics and never sneezes again, that will be wonderful. It's possible, of course. Whether the cause was Staph or not I cannot say. But statistically the chances are still "almost invariably" that the rabbit has Pasteurellosis and may get sick again before long.

I'd keep a close eye on the poor bun and not move him out of quarantine for a good long time.

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May 09, 2013
My thoughts exactly
by: Anonymous

I personally believe it is Pasturella. Any research I have done about the white snot refers back to that. Even in cases of staff causing it, invariably it is a pasturella strain of staff. I don't know if the bun is still on antibiotics however it is NOT coming back into the bunny yard. No matter how many "legs" and championships it may have. The problem is getting others on board.

Thank You for the responses. Even though I felt this way, I wanted expert opinions on the matter before I caused a riff.

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