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Rabbit disease pasteurellosis

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Pasteurellosis - A common disease that affects rabbits. This is an extremely contagious disease that can adversely affect the eyes, ears and other organs of the animal. The incubation period is 5-10 hours. Infection occurs through the respiratory system. In the acute course of the disease, the rabbit dies within 1-3 days. If treatment is started at the very beginning of the disease, then it is likely that the rabbit will recover.

Pasteurellosis is a general term that describes a group of diseases of the upper respiratory tract caused by bacteria. Pasteurella multocida. Most often, it is transmitted from infected females to offspring and between mating females and males. There are acute, subacute and chronic forms of the disease. Usually pasteurella settle in the nose, lungs, and eye membranes, but can also affect other parts of the body.

Most often, respiratory diseases develop, including pneumonia, sinus infections, and sinusitis. In sick rabbits, watery discharge from the nose appears, accompanied by sneezing, later these discharge become more thick whitish or yellowish, body temperature rises. Infected rabbits make loud sniffling or snoring sounds (due to a stuffy nose), refuse to feed.

The disease can affect the eyes (causing conjunctivitis) or the ears (causing infectious diseases of the ears). Infectious diseases of the ears can cause torticollis in rabbits, head vibrations, taunting, disorientation, whirling in one place, or inability to stand. In severe cases, the rabbit may develop pneumonia or bacteremia. Sometimes abscesses (abscesses) form under the skin or in the internal organs of the animal.

To fight the infection, the rabbit's body mobilizes a huge amount of white blood cells. Due to the accumulation of dead white blood cells and tissue cells in the area of ​​infection, pus is formed. If you start a disease, it can become incurable. However, with timely antibiotic treatment, the prognosis is usually favorable. Pasteurellosis is treated with antibiotics (terramycin, enrofloxacin, biomycin) within 14-30 days. Treatment is prescribed by a veterinarian.

In most cases, the symptoms of the disease may disappear, but pasteurella remains in the rabbit's body. If the infection with pasteurellosis is moderate and the rabbit has good immunity, then the animal recovers without treatment. However, if the disease is neglected or the rabbit has a weakened immune system, then the disease is quite difficult. Some animals, even with early treatment, develop chronic diseases that require long-term treatment.

Unfortunately, studies have shown that Pasteurella bacteria are often found inside pus that accumulates in hard to reach places (for example, in the nasal passages) and therefore antibiotic treatment does not always give the expected therapeutic effect, relapses often occur. Pasteurellosis is a highly contagious and difficult to treat disease. Breeders and owners of rabbits should take all precautions to rule out rabbit disease, including ongoing cell cleaning and quarantine for new animals.

Pasteurellosis is a constant problem in many rabbit farms, which is very difficult to eradicate.

When buying a rabbit, make sure it has no signs of illness (be sure to check for any discharge from the nose). When choosing a young rabbit, his mother and siblings should be absolutely healthy.

Usually, the disease occurs where poor animal welfare, poor nutrition, poor hygiene, temperature problems and lack of ventilation. Proper care, a varied diet, a relaxed atmosphere - the key to the health of your rabbit. Do not allow your rabbit to come into contact with other rabbits. Since pasteurellosis can be transmitted through your hands and clothes, wash your hands and change clothes after talking with other animals. Diagnosis is also aggravated by the fact that the disease can develop in areas of the body that are inaccessible for seeding (tests).

Credit: Portal Zooclub
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External signs of pastelosis

Pasteurellosis in rabbits

Pasteurella lives on the mucosa of the upper respiratory tract of rabbits. After the animal enters the body, the activity of the bacillus begins after 5-10 hours. At the very beginning, outwardly the disease manifests itself weakly, only a very attentive host can not miss the first phase of the disease until it has passed into an acute or chronic form.

Even an experienced rabbit breeder, who noticed that everything is not okay with rabbits, will not always be able to make a diagnosis - the initial symptoms of pasteurellosis are very typical of many other diseases, and inadequate treatment aimed at fighting not with Pasteurella, but with another pathogen, will not be effective .

The signs of pasteurellosis are as follows:

  • diarrhea or bloating,
  • panting, often with wheezing,
  • the presence of mucus from the nose and eyes,
  • loss of appetite,
  • lethargy, indifference,
  • temperature increase to 41-42 degrees.

How does pasteurellosis infection occur

A pathogenic shelf can enter the rabbit's body through drinking, eating, contact with other domestic animals, even through the dirty hands of the person who cares for them. Like any respiratory tract infection, pasteurellosis is also transmitted by air.

Interestingly, babies who have not reached the age of forty days continue to be protected by maternal immunity and do not get sick. As soon as this age limit is passed, the rabbits immediately become vulnerable to pasteurella, regardless of the weather and season, usually during their absence from their mother, in another room.

Forms of Pasteurellosis

Sick rabbit in a cage

The acute form develops rapidly, after 1-5 days from the moment of infection, death can begin, most often this process occurs on the second or third day. Mortality reaches very high rates and can reach 75% of the number of rabbits.

Not all rabbits become ill, some remain carriers of a dangerous disease for a sufficiently long time, but at the slightest discomfort or deterioration in living conditions, they are immediately affected by pasteurella and also die.

The chronic form of the disease does not save animals from death. They cannot breathe normally due to puffiness of the respiratory tract, and the gastrointestinal tract affected by pasteurella does not function normally, so the animals gradually wither, weaken and die.

How to treat rabbit pasteurellosis

After the death of the first rabbit, immediately bring his body to a veterinary laboratory for an autopsy to clarify the diagnosis.

Relatively recently, sick individuals need to treat rabbits for pasteurellosis with the following drugs of their choice:

  • sulfonamides in tablets, usually for 3-4 days, when calculated 0.2-0.3 g in adult rabbits and 0.1-0.2 g in young animals,
  • tetracycline or biomycin intramuscularly at the rate of 25 thousand units per 1 kg of weight, inject twice a day for 3-4 days.

There are treatment methods in which enrofloxacin, biomycin terramycin is used, for 14-30 days. It is better not to engage in self-medication, the veterinarian should prescribe, based on the specific situation, adequate and complete treatment in the optimal amount.

Good results are obtained by combining sulfanilamides and antibiotics, this is how chronic pasteurellosis is treated, giving 3 days sulfanilamides, three days intramuscularly antibiotics, again 3 days sulfonamides. Thus, after 9 days, animal chronicles are considered completely healthy.

Pasteurellosis Prevention and Vaccination

There is no sense in treating rabbits with obvious signs of a severe infection, they need to be killed and disposed of, they are usually burned to prevent the spread of infection.

Rabbit habitats are disinfected with solution:

  • 1% formalin solution
  • 3% lysol solution
  • 3% carbolic solution,
  • 2% caustic soda solution.

These ingredients are poured into a single container and the resulting antiseptic is treated by spraying the room and cells.

Feeders, drinking bowls, scrapers for manure and other equipment should be treated with steep boiling water (the pathogen dies at a temperature of at least +75 degrees). The manure also contains live Pasteurella, so it needs to be buried.

Rabbits need preventive vaccinations. The rabbit pasteurellosis vaccine is started at the age of 1 month. Adult animals have to be vaccinated twice a year. There are many types of vaccines developed, the preventive vaccination schemes are very different, so you should carefully read the recommendations for use. Pasorin-Ol, Pestorin Mormix, and Formol vaccine have proven themselves to be quite good.

Tips from professionals

Experienced rabbit breeders recommend treating rabbits for pasteurellosis with "Serum for cattle blood", which is designed for other animals, but rabbits on this serum recover very well, treatment should be carried out in accordance with the instructions for this drug.

Also, those who have been caring for rabbits for many years claim that with good, reasonable care, pasteurellosis can be avoided if you constantly: clean the cells, periodically disinfect the cells and equipment, wash your hands before working with rabbits, and avoid contact with other pets , birds and strangers, and young to plant in separate rooms.

Continuous vaccination and revaccination against the background of careful care will provide protection against pasteurellosis.

Description of the disease and pathogen

The causative agent of the disease is Pasteurella multoc>

For a long time, the disease was not considered infectious, but in 1878, Louis Pasteur identified the pathogen - an ovoid bacillus. By the name of the great bacteriologist, she got the name.

Animals at any age can become infected, but the infection most quickly defeats weakened, young animals. First of all, the respiratory tract is affected, then the mucous membranes of the digestive tract. Pathology is accompanied by pneumonia, otitis media, diarrhea, abscesses.

This is a very serious disease, a real scourge of the animal world. Predators and horses are least susceptible to it. It is extremely rare that a person can become infected, most often as a result of a bite by a sick dog or cat.

Pasteurellosis microorganisms grow rapidly in any culture medium and are bipolar. In the environment, they are unstable, quickly destroyed at high temperatures and the use of disinfectants. Up to three to four days are stored in the soil.

Microbiologists distinguish four groups of pasteurellas - A, B, D, E, which produce exotoxins.

External signs of pasteurellosis, symptoms

At the very beginning of the disease, pasteurellosis is very difficult to diagnose by external symptoms even to experienced rabbit breeders. Most often, they are no different from colds:

  • sneezing, coughing,
  • outflow from the nose
  • a small fever
  • wheezing breath
  • decreased appetite
  • small diarrhea
  • lethargy, lethargy.

But such, at first glance, non-hazardous conditions during pasteurellosis literally in a few days end in the death of the animal.

With repeated outbreaks of infection in the livestock, characteristic external signs appear - inflammation of the eyelids and eye membranes, purulent rashes in the nose and mouth.

Mr. Tail warns: how infection occurs

The source of infection for the rabbit is most often an asymptomatic carrier, and this is not necessarily another crawl. Can be a carrier dog, poultry, other livestock. Pasteurella is transmitted from one individual to another with discharge from the nose when sneezing (airborne droplets), through feces and urine.

Another way of infection is through poor-quality, infected feed, water. Especially quickly rabbits get sick in case of an unbalanced diet, with a lack of vitamins, micro and macro elements.

Personnel caring for rabbits can also carry pathogens on their hands, clothing, shoes, tools, equipment, drinkers and feeders.

Low immunity animals are the first to be affected. But babies up to 40 days of life, those who are breast-fed usually do not get sick, they are protected by the mother’s immunity, her milk. When weaned from the rabbit and transferred to the stock of young animals, this barrier quickly falls, and rabbits become susceptible to infection.

When an animal enters the body, pasteurella instantly affects the circulatory and lymphatic systems, damaging the walls of blood vessels, making them permeable to plasma. As a result, the patient develops hemorrhagic diathesis.

Depending on the severity of the form of the disease, deaths range from 15 to 75%. In this case, it is necessary to immediately burn the corpses of dead rabbits, and destroy the ashes, it is forbidden to use it for agricultural purposes.

Diagnosis and treatment

Veterinarians usually detect pasteurellosis by bacteriological culture or (more efficiently) by a general diagnostic method - by bacteriological pathological studies of organ fragments of dead animals. This helps in identifying the exact cause of death and prescribing effective therapy for the livestock.

Killing animals are prohibited from slaughter in order to obtain meat. Yes, and to identify a healthy individual is difficult even in the case of one sick.

When examining the internal organs of a dead rabbit, traces of numerous hemorrhages in the airways are observed. A clear difference between pasteurellosis and HBV in tape, but not point marks, of lesions. Hemorrhages are noted on the lymph nodes, in the lungs.

If the disease was acute or chronic, clusters of pus or fibrin filaments are found in the lungs, the walls are lined with small rashes. Changed liver, purulent abscesses under the skin.

When diagnosing the first dead rabbit, it is very important to quickly and accurately determine the infection, identify the pathogen, since even a single disease can be the beginning of a regional epidemic.

If pasteurella is revealed at autopsy, the entire farm population is examined, sick rabbits are isolated, the bodies of the dead are burned, burial in the ground is prohibited.

For the treatment of rabbits, apply:

  • Sulfadimezin,
  • Tetracycline
  • Oxytetracycline,
  • Levomycin,
  • Biomycin,
  • Neomycin,
  • Terramycin,
  • other antibacterial drugs
  • instillation of solutions of Ringer, Hartman,
  • injection of B12,
  • vaccination against hemorrhagic septicemia.

The course of treatment of acute forms is at least five days. Drugs are administered by intramuscular injection twice a day.

In chronic pasteurellosis, the treatment regimen is different:

  • injections of sulfonamides - three days,
  • antibiotics - the next three days,
  • re three days sulfonamides.

Then, if there is no improvement, the animal is killed.

It is forbidden to independently or using folk remedies for the treatment of this epidemiologically dangerous disease. If the first symptoms are detected, a veterinarian should be called to the farm immediately.

It is recommended to drink sick rabbits abundantly, regularly disinfect cages, equipment, staff clothing and treat the nose and muzzle of animals with salt solutions.

To facilitate breathing, you can try inhalation with essential eucalyptus oils.Helps strengthen immunity the inclusion in its composition of branch feed coniferous bark, raspberry leaves.

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