HELP! Pasteurella infection in kits

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by AndreaR, Nov 22, 2003.

  1. AndreaR

    AndreaR Well-Known Member

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    I just determined that one of my does and her 1 week old kits have the nutrient deficiency bacterial Pasteurella...the mother has cannibalized her first litter due to what I thought was a protein deficiency. Now it appears that this bacteria, although normally present in rabbits can be aggravated by stress including kindling, and will affect the kits. The kit have white pimples or pus pockets all over, mostly on their necks and belly, and feel a bit warmer as in a temperature. And it is contagious. :eek: The deficiency has been sometimes treated with antibiotics long term, and vitamin supplements of Vits A,C,D & E to the mother which will then pass on to the kits through her milk.
    My question...has anyone had success with treating this, or should I cull? How could I prevent this from happening again? The mother is a commercial NZ doe.
    Thanks...Andrea
     
  2. dlwelch

    dlwelch Well-Known Member

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    nutrient deficiency bacterial Pasteurella.

    Andrea:

    I am intrigued by this! Could you provide a reference so I can read more
    about it?

    Thanks!

    Linda
    Texas
     

  3. AndreaR

    AndreaR Well-Known Member

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    The book by Ann Kanable titled "Raising Rabbits", provided the info on the nutrient deficiency disease germ called PASTEURELLA. Plus I checked Merck's vet reference guide. I hope this helps.

    To date, three of the six babies died today, and the other three I put down as they were at death's gate. The pus pockets burst and there were raw patches of skin all over their bodies, and they did not look good. The mother was also culled as she had developed snuffles again. I hope I never have to go through this heartwrenching decision again. :waa: Andrea
     
  4. Tracy

    Tracy Well-Known Member

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    Andrea,

    Sorry you went through this but take it as a lesson learned. The one thing that hit me is that you said the doe was culled as she developed snuffles AGAIN. Snuffles is also pasturela. I dont care what any one says but snuffles is not treatable! It might go into remission but it will be back. You are also risking your entire herd. ALWAYS quarantine new rabbits minimum 3o days. Do not breed rabbits with snuffles.

    I have known breeders that have lost entire herds because they did not quarantine. Buy the best stock you can. Breed only healthy rabbits and cull heavy. In the long run you will have a good herd. Poor stock will cost you much more money in the long run. I do not advacate antibiotic use in rabbits period. If you need to be treating with antibiotics you do not have good stock to begin with.
     
  5. croston

    croston Member

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    I had this infection in my rabbits some years ago. I tried everything but found no cure other than culling the does that had the infected litters.The wooden nest boxes I used for those does were burnt and the wire cages washed, disinfected and then sterilised with a blow lamp.It took a lot of my best does.The government vet diagnosed it as a bacterial infection.
     
  6. poultryprincess

    poultryprincess Well-Known Member

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    How horrible, I dread things like that. It makes me afraid to keep my rabbits, incase something like that happens........so I have to ask a Newbie question please. When you refer to "snuffles" & Pasturella, it is is obviously really bad. I am on my 1st batch of rabbits, & 1 doe sneezes alot. The other 2 does came from a place where the rabbits were also sneezing. Is this "snuffles" ? :no: My buck is in a separate pen with the silkies, & I have never heard him sneeze. He has never shared space with the does, so he would be safe, right? OK, LAST 2 Newbie question (for today)....if you tell me that sneezing is snuffles, does this mean the meat is not safe to eat? My cages came from the same place as the does, I washed them with bleach, should I just get rid of them? I await your divine wisdom, or opinions :worship:
     
  7. Tracy

    Tracy Well-Known Member

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    This is from Mereks vet manuel:


    Pasteurellosis

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Pasteurellosis is common in domestic rabbits. It is highly contagious, transmitted either by direct or indirect contact. The etiologic agent is Pasteurella multocida , a gram-negative, nonsporeforming, nonmotile coccobacillus. Rabbits develop little effective immunity after infection. In conventional colonies, 30-90% of apparently healthy rabbits may be asymptomatic carriers.

    Carriers can be identified by an indirect fluorescent antibody test on nasal swabs. A technique that uses small, saline-moistened, pediatric nasopharyngeal swabs has proved superior to the standard, larger nasal swab. The swab is directed medially through the external nares past the turbinates and onto the dorsal surface of the soft palate. The swab is then retracted and can be used in the fluorescent antibody test or plated onto a culture medium. An ELISA test for detecting antibodies against P multocida may also prove beneficial in detecting carriers. Infections vary in severity and may be manifest as any of the following: rhinitis (snuffles), pneumonia, otitis media, conjunctivitis, abscesses, mastitis, genital infections, or septicemia.

    Diagnosis is based on clinical signs and isolation of P multocida . Treatment is difficult and may not eradicate the organism. Antibiotics seem to provide only temporary remission, and the next stress (eg, kindling) may cause relapse. However, in pet rabbits, enrofloxacin (2.5-5 mg/kg, b.i.d. for 20-30 days) has alleviated signs in clinical cases of pasteurellosis, and synergism of fluoroquinolones and aminoglycosides or slow-release penicillin has been seen. An effective vaccine has not been developed; therefore, the best method of control in large rabbitries is strict culling. Barrier colonies of Pasteurella -free laboratory rabbits are becoming more common.

    Rhinitis ( snuffles or nasal catarrh) is an acute, subacute, or chronic inflammation of the mucous membranes of the air passages and lungs, induced primarily by Pasteurella , but Pseudomonas , Staphylococcus , and Streptococcus have also been isolated. The initial sign is a thin, serous exudate from the nose and eyes that later becomes purulent. The fur on the inside of the front legs just above the paws is matted and caked with dried exudate as a result of pawing at the nose. Infected rabbits usually sneeze and cough. In general, snuffles occurs when the resistance of the rabbit is low. Rabbits that seem to recover may remain carriers. Pneumonia can ensue.


    I do not believe [correct me if I am wrong] that the meat is affedted BUT why would you want to carry on a herd that is unthifty?? If it was me I would cull, start with a couple does, quaranitine them for at least a month and start from there. Also if you have used your buck for breeding he HAS been exposed and could not be showing outward signs.
     
  8. dlwelch

    dlwelch Well-Known Member

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    BUT why would you want to carry on a herd that is unthifty??

    ==============================================
    IMO, this is an excellent point, Tracy!

    I do not treat for "snuffles". The animal is removed from the herd.
    When I first puchased the initial foundation stock, I saw quite a
    bit of snuffles and pneumonia. Now? With over 100 does and bucks,
    I SELDOM see a case. And then it seems to arise from stress----
    kindling, drastic weather changes (such as we have in Texas).
    Since I can't eliminate all the stress, it's much better to remove
    the animal unable to handle it.

    "Hoppy" Thanksgiving, everyone! :)

    Linda Welch
    http://texasrabbitconnection.com/
    Not just for Texans!

    "No more turkey, but I'd like another helping of that
    bread he ate."
    - Anonymous, quoted in Joy of Cooking
     
  9. AndreaR

    AndreaR Well-Known Member

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    Well I've been busy sanitizing the hutch cage that the "snuffling" doe and her sick babies were in. What amazed me is how quickly the babies succumbed to the Pasteurella infection..they looked horrible! I am however surprised that I received as many responses as I did once the infection showed up in the babies. Not to be critical at all, but I had posted a snuffles question back in Sept when I bought the does, and hardly got a response! At the time I didn't know snuffles was caused by this bacteria. :( I now wish I had the knowledge at the time to cull that doe instead of letting the babies suffer. Now I see another doe is snuffling, and she has ten 2wk old babies. I have her on antibiotics. Should I isolate both her and her babies, together or separated? Or destroy them all? And should I quarantine the other 2 does and bucks till they seem free of snuffles?
    What would you do? Andrea
     
  10. dlwelch

    dlwelch Well-Known Member

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    Andrea:

    One thing that I have found to be very important in preventing
    snuffles is excellent ventilation. Are your rabbits in a well
    ventilated area?

    At this point, I would suspect that isolation is not going to help
    your problem. Since I don't attempt to treat snuffles and pneumonias,
    I'm really not well prepared to assist you there.

    Also, the abcesses on the kits can be caused by a staph infection
    and not just pasteurella. Without a culture being performed, I think
    it would be difficult to simply say that a rabbit has "pasteurella".

    I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the antibiotics will help.

    I'm sorry we failed to give you any assistance earlier.

    Linda
     
  11. Tracy

    Tracy Well-Known Member

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    Andrea,

    Now that the weather here is getting colder I have been inside more and thus the reason for answering your posts. Normally summer and fall are very busy and I apologize for not answering your other posts.

    Where are you located? Maybe we can help you find some healthy stock. Refresh my memory, what breeds and what purpose are you raisng rabbits for?

    I agree with Linda. I do not treat either and would cull. Bleach and water is a good way to sanitize your cages and then rinse thoughly. Idealy let dry outside in the sun. Also, when you say "hutch cage" is this made of wood? If so get rid of it and get some wire cages. Much more sanitary then a wooden cage. Wood can harbor disease.

    If you do decide to try with the doe and litter being that they are only 2 weeks I would isolate them together. If you bring any new stock in I would have them totally seperate from all the stock, even the ones that "appear" fine.

    Dont feel to bad, most people learn the hard way when it comes to snuffles. Take this experience and learn from it. You now know what you are looking for and I bet if you went to someones barn again to purchase rabbits and they were sneezing you would not buy any stock from them.

    Keep us updated. We are hear to help.

    .
     
  12. poultryprincess

    poultryprincess Well-Known Member

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    :eek: Newbie reply ... when I asked about the meat of the rabbit, what I meant was when culled , can the meat of the That rabbit be consumed. I have 3 rabbits housed together,one that sneezes, the other 2 from a friend whose rabbits were sneezing. So are they Safe to eat, or should I just ditch them? ( "camp" wants $5.00 each, plus it is an hours drive to get up there....would be nice if I could get a meal out of it!) The cages I borrowed are mesh, but come from the same sneezing farm. :) Lastly my buck has not experienced copulation yet, so I think he would be safe. I guess he will have to wait til I get a new batch of does to get lucky. I would keep him as a pet anyway, as he does get along with the silkies. Thanxxx again.
     
  13. Tracy

    Tracy Well-Known Member

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    I do not believe snuffles affects the meat so yes, you can have a meal. Be sure to check the liver to make sure there is no other signs of disease. If a rabbit has white spots on the liver then I pitch it.
     
  14. AndreaR

    AndreaR Well-Known Member

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    Good news!! My doe and her ten babies have not shown any signs of the Pasteurella infection since isolation and antibiotics. I though the doe was showing signs of snuffles earlier but hopefully I was wrong :rolleyes: ...the kits are lively and doing well. I still will keep an eye on all my rabbits for this infection and cull when neccessary. Thanks for all the info everyone...this newbie appreciates it! Andrea
     
  15. RNRQ

    RNRQ Member

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    What you are describing is NOT pasteurella as I have ever seen it described; rather, it fits to a "T" a massive Staphylococcus aureus infection in the kits. Does with this indication in the kits often have Staph mastitis as well, and you need to remember, there ain't no rule ANYWHERE that says that a rabbit can only have ONE bug! :haha:

    The kits I had were due to a very aggressive Staph strain in my soil--to eliminate the problem, NOTHING could touch the ground and then be used. Not feed buckets, hands, kits...I even wiped down kits that went 'plop' and as for chilled ones--I just put them down because it was inevitable.

    I sent some with this syndrome to UC Davis' Food Animal Diagnostic Laboratory and it came back as a very nasty, but quite susceptible, S aureus strain.

    Treating the rabbits long and hard in the recommended manner (it varies with strain so I'm not going to put it here--get yours cultured next time and you'll find your own with the aid of the lab) and becoming utterly paranoid about ground contact did the trick. I've seen very little since then, and hope I never EVER do again.

    Don't overlook the importance of disinfecting EVERYTHING!!

    PA