Germs and your dogs and cats
Poor Snowball !
© Audrey Laforest
Animal’s name: Snowball
Animal’s age: 2 years
Case history: Snowball is a very tranquil rabbit who likes to stay under the couch. One day, Snowball's owners decided to take a trip, and asked their neighbour, who had several rabbits himself, to take care of him. After all, if the neighbour had his own rabbits, it was reasonable to suppose he knew how to take care of them! Upon their return, their neighbour told them that Snowball had been very tense, and that he thought this was because the other rabbits were always trying to play with Snowball, who was used to being on his own at home. One week later, Snowball began to have a runny nose and teary eyes. Snowball’s owners took him to the veterinarian and described his symptoms and his stay at their neighbour's house. The veterinarian told them that Snowball probably had pasteurellosis, prescribed antibiotics, and told them to try to protect Snowball from any stressful situations.
Disease the animal is suffering from: Pasteurellosis
Name of the microorganism responsible for the disease: The bacteria Pasteurella multocida
Mode of transmission: Pasteurellosis is transmitted during mating, through direct contact or contact with wounds. The bacteria can be transmitted from mothers to offspring, and 60-70% of rabbits born naturally are carriers.
Symptoms of the disease: The most common symptoms are a runny nose and runny eyes. Other signs include sneezing, nasal congestion, noisy breathing (indicating pneumonia), excessive tearing, loss of appetite and fever. Abscesses and neurological and joint symptoms may also be present.
Treatment: Antibiotics, and surgical treatment of abscesses.
Prevention: An appropriate diet, a clean, stress-free environment, and constant access to clean water.
Specific safety measures: Humans and other animals (rodents, birds and farm animals), may catch this disease, but this is very rare.