If your dog is diagnosed with kennel cough or your rabbit comes in contact with an infected dog, you may wonder if your rabbit also gets infected.
Any animal who develops kennel cough has respiratory distress induced by being around numerous animals of the same species, such as dogs or puppy mills. But the question is can rabbits get kennel cough? Is it contagious to other animals? How to treat and prevent it? Let’s find it out in this article.
Rabbits can get kennel cough from infected dogs or other animals, as it’s highly contagious but rarely affects rabbits. However, an infected rabbit can transmit the virus into the environment, potentially infecting other species. So, separate the carrier rabbit from others and provide antibiotics.
This article will briefly discuss kennel cough in rabbits, how and from where it transmits to rabbits, its symptoms, and whether it is severe for rabbits. So, let’s find it out.
Can my rabbit get kennel cough?
Rabbits can get kennel cough as it is an infection of dogs that can be transmitted to other small animals.
Bordetella bronchiseptica, known as kennel cough, is a contagious disease affecting dogs and other small species like rabbits, guinea pigs and even humans.
In addition, although it is rare, humans can catch kennel cough(Bordetella bronchiseptica) from their pets.
It is more likely to affect people with weak immune systems with severe health issues like HIV or lung cancer.
Viruses like canine or canine distemper influenza and Bordetella frequently work together to cause kennel cough.
These viruses can damage the respiratory tract cells of your pet and weaken its immune system.
Rabbits can get kennel cough from an infected dog, environment or other infected species.
In addition, for rabbits, kennel cough can act or look like snuffles.
Bordetella bronchiseptica bacteria can present in the rabbit’s trachea and throat.
They prefer to attack the cells in the airways that produce the little cilia, which are hairs that move and assist in pushing gunk, germs, dust, and fluids upward and out of their lungs and airways.
If there is a time of year when Bordetella infections in rabbits are more prone to occur, it could be during autumn when the temperatures begin to fall.
In addition, there have been reports of seasonality in various animals, including rabbits, dogs, and guinea pigs.
Also read: Why Is My Rabbit Itching So Much?
Why does my rabbit keep coughing?
A rabbit could snuffle or cough due to more than one type of bacteria, which includes the most frequent is Pasteurella multocida.
However, Bordatella, known as kennel cough and Pseudomonas, are common diseases in rabbits.
If your rabbit becomes infected, you should take them to a veterinarian who treats them immediately because this is a severe disease.
In addition, this disease can be easily transmitted to other animals and is considered contagious, so be cautious if you have other rabbits.
Small rabbits are more prone to infection with Bordetella bronchiseptica (kennel cough)than adults, while adult rabbits can easily be infected with Snuffles (pasteurellosis).
In addition, it indicates that you might think about giving a small rabbit who is sneezing antibiotics, even if they have mild symptoms.
Also, you should know that Bordetella may make small rabbits more susceptible to snuffles (pasteurellosis) as it develops.
So, taking your rabbit immediately to the vet is vital if you find any symptoms of this infection.
Also read: My Rabbit Died Suddenly.
What are the symptoms of kennel cough in rabbits?
The most frequent respiratory bacterial disease in rabbits is called bordetella bronchiseptica.
It is typical for infected rabbits to have no symptoms of sickness.
These bunnies are carriers who constantly spread infections to everything they encounter, including their owners. Despite being extremely widespread among rabbits, Bordetella rarely makes rabbits ill.
Although frequently present in rabbits’ respiratory systems, Bordetella bronchiseptica only occasionally causes respiratory infections.
Snuffles (Pasteurellosis) are the most common infection that causes respiratory issues, whereas another type of bacteria that might make rabbits sneeze is Bordetella.
So, the symptoms of kennel cough (Bordetella bronchiseptica) are similar to snuffles(Pasteurellosis) which are listed below:
- Loss of appetite
- Runny nose
- Noisy breathing
- Weepy eyes
- Discharge from nasal
Also read: Why Is My Rabbit Not Eating?
Is kennel cough contagious to rabbits?
Kennel cough is highly contagious among rabbits, so keeping the infected rabbit away from other rabbits or small animals is essential.
Any bedding or enclosure that has come into touch with infectious rabbits should be carefully cleaned with a mild bleach solution before providing it to the healthy rabbit.
According to the veterinarian, the respiratory tracts of rabbits typically contain the bacteria bordetella, which rarely affects them ill.
Nevertheless, she adds, “carrier rabbits can shed kennel cough (Bordetella) into the environment, potentially placing other animals at risk of getting sick.
In addition, it means that even healthy rabbits who show no disease symptoms can infect a guinea pig companion with the deadly Bordetella virus.
The ability to hide in a protective layer allows Bordetella bronchiseptica to escape or avoid the rabbit’s immune system.
By weakening the lung cilia so that gunk and bacteria accumulate in the respiratory tract, Bordetella in rabbits might facilitate the spread of other illnesses.
Bordetella is frequently carried asymptomatically by rabbits, and due to this, two species shouldn’t be kept together as an infected rabbit can silently shed the germs and spread it to other rabbits and species like guinea pigs.
So, observing all household pets for a few weeks is essential when introducing a new pet.
The new pet might be a disease carrier or infected even though it seems to be in good health.
In addition, before introducing the new pet to other pets, it is vital to quarantine the new pet in a separate room.
If an animal has recently been exposed to a disease but has not yet displayed symptoms, look for signs of infection.
Also read: Why Is My Rabbit Losing Hair?
How to treat kennel cough in rabbits?
The upper and lower respiratory systems among many rabbits contain the symbiotic bacteria or potential pathogen, which is known as Bordetella bronchiseptica.
Your rabbit’s diagnosis will change depending on its symptoms and how effectively it can fight the infection.
Unfortunately, some do not survive despite medication because of the severe respiratory illnesses in rabbits.
Some rabbits can recover within a few days and get back to normal, while others require weeks to get better.
Antibiotic treatment is used in conjunction with supportive care to treat bordetella infections.
In addition, your veterinarian will guide you on the supportive care required to promote and speed up a full recovery.
Systemic antibiotics are frequently used to treat Bordetella bronchiseptica.
Antibiotics, vitamin C supplements, non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, and subcutaneous fluid treatment may be used to treat mild symptoms.
However, Antibiotics may also need to be used to describe mild to severe instances in addition to oral administration.
If a rabbit has Bordetella, treatment will probably make it “well,” as the clinical symptoms will likely improve, but the rabbit may continue to be a long-term carrier and shedder of the germ.
In social environments, the likelihood of carrying the organism rises with age.
Adult rabbits are less likely than young rabbits under the age of 4–12 weeks old to show clinical symptoms of infection.
In addition, due to Bordetella’s capacity to interfere with lung cilia activity, carrier rabbits may become more vulnerable to Pasteurella.
However, according to other veterinarians, if a rabbit’s immune system is strong enough, it could be able to clear the infection entirely over time.
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How to prevent kennel cough in rabbits?
Avoiding contact with other animals like dogs, hedgehogs, and guinea pigs, who could typically carry the virus, is the greatest approach to protect rabbits from contracting Bordetella.
In addition, it is already fairly common to discover Bordetella in rabbits.
Due to their weakened immune systems, sick rabbits typically have Bordetella (kennel cough) and another infection.
Also, if you have an infected dog in your house, then you should provide vaccination against Bordetella.
In addition, it can lessen the possibility that your dog will become infected and infect other pets in the house.
Keep dogs away from small mammals once they’ve received a Bordetella vaccine to be safe and prevent infection from spreading to small species like rabbits or other animals.
Common disinfectants can quickly rid the environment of Bordetella.
Scrubbing the food feeders, cages, and water bowls or bottles and applying a bleach solution is best to prevent the infection.
You should use safe handling techniques if you have more than one pet.
One of the best practices you can adopt to stop the transmission of contagious diseases is keeping your pets apart and cleaning your hands and clothes after handling them.
Also, cleaning the cages, removing faeces or urine regularly and thoroughly, and constantly changing soiled bedding are crucial.
Also read: 10 Signs Your Rabbit Is Getting Old?
- Rabbits can get kennel cough as it is an infection of dogs that can be transmitted to other small animals.
- It is more likely to affect people with weak immune systems with severe health issues like HIV or lung cancer.
- If your rabbit becomes infected, you should take them to a veterinarian who treats them immediately because this is a severe disease.
- Kennel cough is highly contagious among rabbits, so keeping the infected rabbit away from other rabbits or small animals is essential.
- Due to their weakened immune systems, sick rabbits typically have Bordetella (kennel cough) and another infection.