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What are Conjunctivitis?

This condition is common in pet rabbits and while there can be a cause for it, there is also the possibility of there being no cause. You may notice your rabbit begin to rub his eyes with his front feet, and he may have watery eyes. This condition can mimic many possible underlying conditions (such as dental issues) since the symptoms can be somewhat generalized. Treatment will very depending on the cause.

Conjunctivitis in your rabbit is also known as weepy eye and is quite common. It is believed up to 30% of pet rabbits develop conjunctivitis without there being a cause for it. Your rabbit may experience irritation, redness, discharge and more.

Conjunctivitis Average Cost

From 231 quotes ranging from $200 - $800

Average Cost

$500

Symptoms of Conjunctivitis in Rabbits

Symptoms will vary depending on the reason for your rabbit’s conjunctivitis.

  • Rubbing of eyes – Your rabbit may rub his eyes with his front paws
  • Water eyes – You may notice that your rabbit’s eyes appear to be watery and runny
  • Matted fur – Your rabbit may have matted fur around his eyes
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Causes of Conjunctivitis in Rabbits

There are several possible causes of your dog’s conjunctivitis concerns. Some of the causes are  possible allergies, infection or bacteria, other underlying conditions, tooth concerns and genetics.

Idiopathic

  • There may be no cause for your rabbit’s conjunctivitis
  • Up to 36% of rabbits who have conjunctivitis do not have an explanation

Allergies

  • May be caused by an irritation to hay dust
  • This can lead to an infection if left untreated

Infection and Bacteria 

  • Can result from untreated constant irritation from allergens
  • Often the conjunctivitis is the only symptom of an infection
  • Myxomatosis – An upper respiratory infection that has conjunctivitis as a symptom
  • Enterovirus 70 – This causes tearing, redness, swelling of your dog’s eyelids, and more possible symptoms

Other

 

  • Staphylococus
  • Micrococcus
  • Bacillus
  • Bordetella
  • Stomatococcus
  • Neisseria
  • Pasteurella
  • Corynebacterium
  • Streptococcus
  • Moraxella

Tooth concerns

  • Swollen roots – Rabbits have been known to have ongoing watery eyes due to their cheek teeth pressing on their tear duct when they are swollen
  • Dental disease
  • Root elongation of your rabbit’s incisors in a common cause of conjunctivitis
  • Dental abscesses

Genetic

  • Entropion – A condition in which your rabbit’s eyelid rolls in and his eyelashes constantly irritate his eye causing watery eyes
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Diagnosis of Conjunctivitis in Rabbits

If you notice your rabbit begin to experience any of the symptoms discussed above, it will be important to bring him to his veterinarian. You will want to discuss with your veterinarian any other possible changes you have noticed and when. It will be important to share if your rabbit appears to have encountered any other animals or rabbits that could have been sick.

Your veterinarian will want to test him for infections and bacterial causes of his symptoms. This can be done by taking blood or samples of the discharge from his eyes. These tests will help to rule out any other underlying causes of your rabbit’s symptoms.

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Treatment of Conjunctivitis in Rabbits

Treatment will be dependent on the cause of your rabbit’s symptoms. Your veterinarian will discuss with you what options there are for the different underlying causes of his symptoms. 

Idiopathic or Allergies

If there is no known cause, your veterinarian may suggest changing where his hay is kept to reduce the possibility of hay dust irritating his eyes. Hydrocortisone ointment and neomycin may be trialed and has had some success in treating conjunctivitis. 

Infection or Bacteria

If your rabbit is found to have an infection, your veterinarian will suggest an antibiotic to treat the infection and symptoms. There are some medications that may be used which are  chloramphenicol, ciprofloxacin, or gentamicin alongside broad spectrum antibiotics. A saline solution may be used to wash his eyes as well.

Tooth Concerns

These may have to be treated with surgery to remove any abscesses, infected teeth or roots that are causing the ongoing conjunctivitis symptoms. Your veterinarian will discuss the necessity of this with you.

Genetics

Depending on the nature of the problem, once again surgery may be necessary to correct any ongoing issues.

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Recovery of Conjunctivitis in Rabbits

Follow up appointments will probably not be necessary unless your rabbit goes through surgery. It will be discussed with you at the time of treatment if you will need to return for a follow up. Continuing to monitor your rabbit’s condition and symptoms will be important for ongoing care, as well as possibly making changes.

If there are no other causes for your rabbit’s symptoms, changes may need to be made to his environment in regards to how his hay is stored and his contact with it. Feeding changes may be necessary in the event any teeth are removed or he had dental surgery. Full recovery is likely if the underlying conditions are treated and if his symptoms are treated appropriately.

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Conjunctivitis Average Cost

From 231 quotes ranging from $200 - $800

Average Cost

$500

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Conjunctivitis Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

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Ask a Vet

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dog-breed-icon

White rabbit

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Eight Years

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Eye Inflamation

What I should do for the treatment of my rabbit ,I have been injecting ceftriaxone and tazobactum injection for 10 days and applying ciprofloxacin, metronidazole,terbinafine hydrochloride and clobetasol propionate ointment on his lesion and also moxifloxacin eye drops but he is not ok ,he is not recovering , please help me ,I love my rabbit and I can't see him like this so please recommend me which medicine can I use for him

July 31, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. With all of the medications that you have already tried not working, it seems that it would probably be a good idea to have a veterinarian look at your rabbit, as there may be something going on that is not treatable with medication, or that may need more specific therapy. Unfortunately, without seeing him, I can't recommend any other therapy. I hope that your rabbit feels better soon!

July 31, 2020

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dog-breed-icon

rabbit

dog-age-icon

Two Years

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Runny Eye , Pink/Redness Around Eye Rim, Itching The Eye , Tiredness, Diarrhea

My bunny has a very watery and runny eye and it looks pinkish and irritated. Not sure what would cause this or what to do?

July 19, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. Rabbits can get parasites and bacterial infections that can cause lesions like that to happen around the eye. If it is not getting better, it would be best to have your rabbit seen by a veterinarian. They can look at your rabbit, look at her eyes, and see what might be causing it and what treatment she might need. I hope that everything goes well for her.

July 19, 2020

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Toffee

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Mini lop

dog-age-icon

12 Weeks

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Mild severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Watery Eye

Toffee has a very watery eye, no other discharge just seems very wet. This has caused a wet patch between her nose and eye. Started up yesterday and is a bit red and she has it slightly closed, but seems fine and is eating as normal. What could the issue be? I have another rabbit, Caramel, kept in the same (indoor) enclosure, which I clean out thoroughly every 2-3 days, who is absolutely fine. They don't spent a lot of time in their enclosure, as they have free reign of the living room.

Aug. 17, 2018

Toffee's Owner

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recommendation-ribbon

3320 Recommendations

It is difficult to say what the specific cause is, there are many possible issues including infection, irritation, allergies, small foreign object, trauma (scratch etc…) among other issues; you should try to flush the eye out and look for any signs of injury, monitor during the weekend but if any discharge occurs or you notice any other symptoms visit a Veterinarian for an examination. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Aug. 17, 2018

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Cinnabun

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Flop

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6 Years

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Serious severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Thick, Yellow Pus Eye Discharge

Dear Dr. Callum Turner: Cinnabun started with a slight head tilt towards the eye that was infected on May 7. Was given penicillin, baytril, metacam, BNP and tobramycin. Taken off penicillin the next day because we realized it was an eye infection not head tilt. Kept her on the other meds until May 17 when we saw her eye wasn’t getting better and was now inflamed from the bottom and thick pus was coming out. Took her to our vet and was told to put our bun to sleep because she was probably in a lot of pain and surgery (removing pus) wouldn’t help much. She’d only have a 5-10% chance of survival. I took her the same day to another vet for a 2nd opinion and he gassed her, checked her teeth (they were fine) and extracted a very smelly pus. He raised the dose and strength of the metacam, gave Zithromax, removed the baytril and kept the BNP & tobramycin. He took a culture which I’ll know the result of hopefully by Monday 5/21. He said I’d see an improvement of her eye in 24 hours with the Zithromax. But I haven’t. The pus is a bit less but the inflammation under her eye is back (it went down when he expressed it). She bunches over and looks in pain. It’s killing me to keep her this way and wondering if the 1st vet was right about putting her down. I will do anything to get her better. I read a study that said penicillin cured bunny eye infections 95-100% of the time. Could changing the med be more effective? Should I give it another day to see improvement? She has been eating less but she still drinks a lot of water. She still will come to me for her treat. Have been feeding her critical care in the morning & at night. Her poops were good before she got gassed but have been irregular and off-size since then. I am thinking of getting her some sub-Q fluids. She’s an inside, free roam bunny and is paired with Bumble. I am keeping her separate from him for now so he doesn’t lick her eye. At night she gets cold ears so I put a little portable heater nearby and she comes close to it to warm up. The other bunny has warm ears and the house temp is about 70 degrees F so I don’t know why she gets so cold. Any help or suggestions is appreciated. Thank you. 🙏🏼❤️

May 19, 2018

Cinnabun's Owner

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3320 Recommendations

Without examining Cinnabun it is difficult to weigh in on a sensitive subject. It has only been two days since you visited the two Veterinarians for their opinion and the second Veterinarian draining pus etc… which is still early days in treatment and it may take a little time to see improvement; you should give it the weekend to determine if the prescribed treatment has been effective and then decide on whether to change medications later on since constant changing of antibiotics isn’t good practice. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

May 19, 2018

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Olly

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Rabbit - Unknown

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7 Years

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Mild severity

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pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Discharge
Runny Eye
Dental

My rabbit just got a dental done at the vet about 2 weeks ago. Not long after his eye starting running. He doesn’t seem to be in much discomfort, he’s a very picky, slow eater and always has been so not too concerned about him turning away from some food. His fur under his eye is all wet but I clean it was warm water every day. My other rabbit got a runny eye not long after he did, so I’m assuming he’s probably passed an infection on? Does it sound like conjunctivitis or does it sound tooth related? A little worried about my little man. :(

April 11, 2018

Olly's Owner

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3320 Recommendations

It may be a case of conjunctivitis, but without an examination I cannot say for certain; if there are no visible swellings or issues within the oral cavity I would be thinking more localised conjunctivitis. Speak with your Veterinarian and they may prescribe an ointment for them to help. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

April 12, 2018

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Lunar

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Lop

dog-age-icon

3 Months

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Fair severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Watery Eye

Ive noticed a few days ago my newly brought rabbit if 3months had a slight dry discharge out of one of her eyes, over the last few days the eye appears to look slightly pinker around the rim & now the fur between her eye & nose is wet & even a bit less fur it seems (assumably from her scratching) Shes eating/drinking well & is very sociable considering she gas only been with us for a week. Shes not been in contact with any other animals otherwise appears in good health. Im just wondering if this warrants a vet visit or can be treated at home. Many Thanks Vicky

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Iona

dog-breed-icon

New Zealand

dog-age-icon

1 Year

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Runny Eyes

I have a rabbit that has a runny and watery right eye. I have gone to a 1 week trip last June 7 and got back last june 13 so my rabbit stayed at my bf's house. When I got her back I noticed that her right eye was watery and the fur is wet too, so I brought her to the vet and was prescribed by Trobason, a tobramycin with steroid eye drops, the vet said, maybe she contacted something or irritated her eye somehow and she said that her eyes were not so infected and just a mild case only. I also said that her appetite is still the same, eats alot of hay and so hyperactive. She also checked her teeth and it's fine. Iona was under medication for 7 days, 1 drop per day, now it is the 7th day and her watery eye hasn't really stop, but it is lesser than before, what should I do? Should I go back to her vet? Or maybe observe some more?

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Kite

dog-breed-icon

Netherland Dwarf

dog-age-icon

10 Months

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Stated In Post

My pet bunny, Kite, who is almost a year old had a red, slightly inflamed eye today. The waterline was much more pinkish than usual and the fur under his eyes was slightly wet and matted. I suspected it was conjunctivitis. I've cleaned it with warm water before giving him human eyedrops, I truly hope it is alright with me doing so. He flinched a bit when I was cleaning it so it might have been a little painful but still bearable. I'm going overseas in a few days and possibly passing him to a trusted relative to take care of him. However, I'm afraid of the infected eye getting worse when I'm away. What do you suggest I do?

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Fish

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I dont know

dog-age-icon

3 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

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1 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Redness Around Eye
Redness Around E

I was gone for a day and came back to find a red spot on my bunny’s eye. It is at the very front of her left eye and is causing her waterline to become red. I haven’t seen her itch it not does she seem in pain. What should I do? Will it go away In time?

dog-name-icon

Mischief

dog-breed-icon

Dwarf

dog-age-icon

5 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

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1 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Runny Nose
Watery Eyes

My Bunny is having watery eyes and a runny nose. I just noticed it today and am very concerned. I looked at her teeth and they seem perfectly normal. I do not know what is wrong but the symptoms of conjunctivitis sounds the same, what do you think i should do?

Conjunctivitis Average Cost

From 231 quotes ranging from $200 - $800

Average Cost

$500

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