Image of rabbits and a vet. The caption reads "snuffles in rabbits."

Snuffles is a respiratory infection in rabbits that if left untreated can be a life-threatening condition for your rabbit. Consistent sneezing and wet nose are common symptoms. If you suspect that your rabbit may be suffering from snuffles you must contact your vet immediately since snuffles can be life threatening.

Snuffles in Rabbits

Snuffles in rabbits is an upper respiratory infection. Snuffles is actually quite common in rabbits and when treated early on is usually easily curable. As long as you know what signs to look for, you can get your rabbit to a vet and treated early on to ensure they can get on the road to healing as soon as possible.

What is snuffles?

Snuffles is an upper respiratory infection in rabbits that affects their eyes and nose and in severe case or if left untreated can also affect their lungs, skin and even their ears. Snuffles, also known as paranasal sinusitis, is usually caused by Pasteurella multocids which is a bacteria that most rabbits have within them.

How do I know if my rabbit has snuffles?

Typical signs of snuffles in your rabbit are nasal discharge, head tilting, a runny nose, sneezing, coughing and possibly skin sores. If you notice one or more of these symptoms you should get your rabbit to a veterinarian as soon as possible. Once at the vet, they will be able to determine a snuffles diagnosis upon a physical examination which they will then confirm with a lung x-ray and bloodwork.

How do you cure snuffles in a rabbit?

Treatment for snuffles varies based on what stage of the infection your rabbit is currently presenting with, but antibiotics are often prescribed because it is a bacterial disease. You will want to be sure you are seeing a veterinarian who specializes in rabbits as their digestive system is very delicate, especially when they are ill. They are extremely sensitive to antibiotics and you want to be sure they are prescribed something their body can handle.

For these reasons, please make sure the veterinarian you visit is familiar with antibiotics that are safe for use in rabbits. If your rabbit is having trouble breathing or their blood work shows sign of septicemia then the vet may require them to stay overnight in office to receive IV antibiotics and oxygen support if necessary.

How do rabbits get snuffles?

Most rabbits have Pasteurella multocids already inside them, this bacteria can cause them a bout with snuffles if they become stressed. To prevent your rabbit from becoming stressed we recommend a healthy diet, stress free environment, and a lot of exercise. Your rabbits’ diet should consist primarily of hay, such as oat or timothy, but not alfalfa which has too much protein, calcium and fat. A hay diet will make sure normal tooth wear and good gut health in your bun. Remember to regulate your rabbit’s temperature, because if they get too hot or too cold, they will become easily stressed out.

Related Post: The Best Diet For Rabbits

Snuffles is very contagious among rabbits, and infected rabbits should not be allowed to come into contact with healthy rabbits. Any cage or bedding that has been in contact with any infected rabbits should be heavily disinfected with a mild disinfectant before using the cage for any healthy rabbits. Humans that handle infected rabbits should also wash their hands and clothes before handling healthy rabbits.

About the Author

My name is Vanessa and I love my buns. My current house rabbit is Mr. Bunny, he is a black and white Dutch that just turned 9 years old.

I believe that rabbits are a magnificent animal that make great pets for SOME people. My mission is to share what I have learned about rabbits over the past 20 years to improve the relationship between our pets and us. Please contact me or comment if you have any questions or comments.