There are two forms: intestinal and hepatic.
Cause: Protozoan parasite
Signs: Diarrhea, poor fur and flesh condition, secondary infections, weight loss or low weigh gain
Prognosis: Excellent as long as it is caught early and appropriate treatment is given.
Treatment: Sulfaquinoxaline solution-usually water soluble-follow label instructions
Cause: Protozoan parasite
Signs: Diarrhea, poor fur and flesh condition, white spots (large) on the liver
Prognosis: Excellent as long as it is caught early and appropriate treatment is given
Treatment: Same as above
Cause: Cheyletiella parasitivorax or Listrophorus gibbus mites
Signs: Fur loss on neck, face, and back
Treatment: Cat flea powder or shampoo-follow label instructions DON'T USE DOG POWDERS because dogs don't groom themselves like cats and rabbits do!
Cause: Ear canker, or ear infestation of the mite Psoroptes cuniculi
Signs: Scratching the ear often, shaking the head, scabby and crusted looking ears, large waxy buildup, secondary bacterial infection of the ear
Prognosis: Excellent with aggressive and early treatment
Treatment: Apply oil (cooking) in the ear once a day for 3 days, repeat at 10-day intervals. Mitacide will increase effectiveness. Also, cat ear mite medications can be used.
Signs: Jelly, mucous-like secretion in the stool, teeth grinding, pot belly
Prognosis: Very high death rate, most die within 24 hours
Treatment: High fiber diet immediately (hay and other roughage helps), broad-spectrum antibiotics can be put in the water to help prevent infection.
a.k.a. "weepy eye"
Cause: Inflammation of the conjunctiva, often caused by blockage of the tear duct, can be associated with upper-respiratory infections
Signs: Matted fur under the eye, excessive tearing
Prognosis: Early treatment=good chance of recovery
Treatment: Ophthalmic ointment 2-4 times a day for 3-4 days, as needed. If it is not caught and treated quickly the tear duct may need to be opened surgically.
Cause: Fast increase in temperature and humidity
Signs: Increase breathing speed, mouth open/drooling, the head may be held up, blue tinge to the ears and mouth.
Prognosis: If not cooled immediately death will occur
Treatment: Move to cool place, if necessary fill a bathtub with cool water (not freezing) about 1 inch deep and place the rabbit in it. If the rabbit is completely prostrate, emerge it totally in cool water. Don't place the rabbit in direct drafts. It can be prevented by keeping the rabbitry cool and keeping the air circulating
Cause: Mange mites
Signs: Scratching often
Treatment: Seek professional help for proper treatment
Cause: Can be genetic, the teeth do not grow properly as the bottom incisors overlap the top incisors (which is backwards).
Signs: Drooling, poor eating, weight loss, just look at the teeth to see if the bottom overlap the top!
Prognosis: Can't be treated, but the teeth can be filed down by a vet every so often
Treatment: None-except getting them filed
Cause: Buildup of fur in the stomach and intestines
Signs: Diarrhea, poor eating habits, weight loss, excessive molting
Prognosis: Good with early treatment
Treatment: 1/2 teaspoon of mineral oil for 3 days, repeated once/week. It can be prevented by weekly dose of Petromalt-a hairball de-blocker for cats.
Case: Myxoma virus, spread by mosquitoes, flies, gnats, or fleas, primarily a problem by the Western coast of the USA
Signs: Loss of appetite, inflammation of edema, conjunctivitis, respiratory infection
Prognosis: Not good
Treatment: Seek professional help, affected animals should be killed, burned, and buried and the herd placed under strict quarantine.
Cause: Incomplete metabolism
Signs: Red colored urine that does not contain blood flecks or clots
Prognosis: Good-as it is not a disease
Treatment: none. Most common when rabbits eat a lot of legume hay
Cause: A fungus
Signs: Hair loss in circular pattern with a sore in the middle, most often on the feet and legs
Prognosis: Fair with aggressive treatment
Treatment: Daily application of iodine to affected area, and professional consultation if needed
Cause: Pasteurella multocida alone or with Bordetella bronchiseptica
Signs: Sneezing, "blowing snott", nasal discharge that is thick and white, yellow, or greenish
Prognosis: Can be controlled, but is hard to totally cure and is often re-occurring
Treatment: Nothing specific that always works, but Vet RX and Rabbit-mycin helps. Also, broad-spectrum antibiotics aid in treatment and prevention (often 1/2-1 teaspoon per gallon water)
Cause: Slippery floor in the nestbox, can be genetic, abnormal growth of the legs/feet
Signs: Legs that splay out to the side instead of allowing the animal to stand up straight
Prognosis: Not curable, but they can live comfortable healthy lives
Treatment: While it isn't curable, a splint can be made to hold the legs in place-most effective at the most early stages of life. Go to http://www.bio.miami.edu/hare/splayleg.html to find out how to make the brace.
The most common is a broken spine
Cause: The rabbit probably threw itself, startled, against the cage
Signs: Not hopping, just laying refusing to get up, not excreting at all
Prognosis: Grave-will die painfully within a few days
Cause: Lack of fur on the footpad, a problem more so in the larger breeds
Signs: Sores on the back of the bottom of the rabbit's hind feet (called the hock)
Prognosis: Excellent if treated
Treatment: Put a solid board in the cage for the rabbit to rest on, apply Neosporin on it twice a day until healed.
Cause: Dragging the dewlap (large fold of skin on does below the chin) in the water bowl
Signs: A wet, matted dewlap
Prognosis: Excellent if treated right away or a secondary infection can occur
Treatment: Clip the wet fur and elevate the water bowl or use a water bottle
Cause: The parasite Passalurus ambiguus
Signs: Slow growth, poor condition (including fur)
Treatment: Seek professional help for a dewormer
Cause: A tapeworm from a dog or cat
Signs: Normally no signs are visible, as rabbits can be a carrier of the dog or cat tapeworm
Prognosis: Seen only if a necropsy is done
Treatment: None-just keep the rabbit's food in a sealed container
Signs: Poor fur condition, possibly increase diarrhea
Prognosis: Go to a veterinarian for help
Cause: Otitis media, which is an inflammation of the middle ear
Signs: Tilting of the head to one side, loss of balance, can accompany a respiratory infection
Prognosis: Not good
Treatment: Consult a veterinarian
Cause: Inflammation of the external genitalia
Signs: Red, scabby, inflamed genitalia, scabs around the nose/mouth area
Prognosis: Excellent if all animals are treated, as it is a STD
Treatment: Penicillin G ointment externally put on the genitalia for 3 days out of 6, repeated if necessary or intramuscular injections of Pen-G for three days at 20,000 to 40,000 IU per pound of body weight
Cause: Dirty, wet cages
Signs: Similar to those of vent disease: scalded, chapped external genitalia
Treatment: Clean the cage well and disinfect it, apply antibiotic ointment to affected areas will help
VHD: Viral Hemorrhagic Disease
Signs: Loss of appetite, lethargic, high fever, and spasms
Prognosis: Grave-rabbit will usually die within 48 hours of contact with a rabbit that has it