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Antibiotics and your rabbit
Antibiotics for you bunny must be used under very close supervision not only by a veterinarian, but by you as well. Though antibiotics are needed to combat certain infections, some antibiotics will cause additional problems with your furry friend. It is very important that you have antibiotics prescribed by a veterinarian trained in Exotic Pet Care as certain antibiotics normally used to treat dogs and cats can kill your rabbit.
Some of the more dangerous antibiotics such as Ampicillin, Amoxicillin, Clindamycin, and Penicillin can cause what is called Dysbiosis. Dysbiosis is the process by which the much needed bacteria (called the enteric bacterial flora) that is normally present in the cecum and intestines are also eliminated by the treatment. When the enteric bacterial flora is eliminated, unwanted bacteria such as Clostridium begin to grow in the digestive tract and could produce toxins that can kill your furry friend. This process can actually take up to 10 days after discontinuing antibiotic use to have deadly results. Signs that Dysbiosis is in process are reduced activity, loss of appetite, watery diarrhea, rapid dehydration, and ultimately death.
Baytril is one of the antibiotics approved for safe use in Rabbits. However, even with baytril, the good yeast may die off. Yogurt pellets or acidophilus should be given to your rabbit whenever your veterinarian prescribes any type of antibiotic. These items will help preserve the proper bacteria in the cecum and intestines. You must be very attentive to your rabbit and report any signs of diarrhea or loss of appetite to your veterinarian immediately.