The Scoop On Pasturella
Pasteurella is a very,very scary bacterium that you never want to have an outbreak of in your herd. Once your rabbit falls ill, it will never be 100% cured, and continue to shed it for as long as it is alive. Unfortunately, I have known breeders to purchase animals off another breeder, without knowing they were using anti-biotics on their whole herd, and caused an outbreak at the new breeders barn after the anti-biotics wore off and they will have to cull their herd accordingly to those that succumb to that strain from excessive exposure. (The one showing clear symptoms and snotting on its neighbors)
There is no cure for this illness.
Usually anti-biotics hide it until the animal is placed under stress like playing,birthing, traveling,etc
Do not be that breeder that sells sick animals.
What can a breeder do?
Please, do not keep them alive if you plan to have a healthy herd. Breeders require practical herd mentality. They are forever a biohazard and their offspring will also fall ill immediately, over time, or be a silent carrier.
My first pet rabbit, after all the money I put at the vet and medication, it eventually grew stronger than what I could do for him. In a year, he sounded like he had bronchitis (He was coughing mucus) and his bonded companion also succumbed. I finally made that call that I put off. They were suffering.
If you were raised with a more rural background, the meat is ok to eat, but must be cooked throughly (although this is a case I probably wouldn't)
If you are more urbanized, than taking your rabbit(s) to the vet is a good option.
People try to get around culling the rabbit by breeding sometimes, but I've always seen the worst outcomes. If they aren't a few days old with snot, they seem to have a full blow out by weaning time. Strong immune systems must be culled for. It's probably not a wonder why that rabbits are becoming such a successful urban livestock breed, they need minimal/no antibiotics.
Luckily, even though I had a growing herd at the time, I would bathe and get into new clothes in-between playing with them, but I had put a huge risk of it destroying the entire herd!
If you are a pet owner, the choice is up to you if you can afford all veterinary care and medicine. It's an expensive endeavor, but if it's the only rabbit you are going to have and aren't friends with other people with rabbits (Yes, you can spread it!) then go for it. Just don't take out a second mortgage on your home for it.
How do you know if your rabbit has pasteurella?
Always check their eyes,mouth,nose, and body for any abbesses. Also, check the inside of paws for crust & mats. It can sometimes enter the bloodstream and settle in odd places of the body, but you can always get a teir/swab done by a vet to confirm if it's pasteurella. If your vet (like mine) says it's a cold or allergies, it's not.
RABBITS DO NOT GET COLDS.
I may forgive a weepy eye, espeically when a lot of things are blooming, and I'll clean, treat, and monitor the eye for a few more days/weeks. If fine bits of food, hay, and shavings fly, then I might wipe a wet, clear nose. (You want to watch for white,green, or yellow mucus for infection) but just be carefully about jumping the gun. When in doubt,ask an experienced breeder.A good portion of vets generally see rescues, so they only know that they have a "cold" and you'll keep coming back to spend a fortune on routine shots. Sometimes, you might find an ARBA associated vet, and if you can, ask them!
Try to become knowledgeable about the signs. Practice good husbandry and strict culling practices for a strong herd. Pasteurella outbreaks are linked to poor venteliation. So if your house or barn gets pretty stuffy, install a few fans and open a door or window.
QUARANTINE,QUARINTINE,QUARITINE. (2 Weeks-2 Months)
It's important to have spare cages away from the main rabbitry so you can get an outbreak, if it occurs, under control.
Thanks for reading!
Side Note: Bob Glass and his team has designed a PREVENTATIVE to pasturella. This is for those that wish to vaccinate, but the animal should NOT be showing active signs of pasteurella.
Personally, I do not want to see rabbits go in the direction like cows and their antibiotic problems. While the vaccine has its perks, I haven't had a need consider it. We do have friends that transport often, so they have had outbreaks sometimes mid-transport from a seller sending a seemingly healthy rabbit and they couldn't risk bringing anything home. A reasonable reason to give the herd a vaccination.
It has it's pros and cons, but hopefully, everyone will use it for the right reasons and not as a cover up!