Antibiotics safe for use in rabbits

 

Kim Chilson

Georgie showing the red irritated skin in his neck (arrow), caused by long-term injections of penicillin.

 

 

Skin irritation or formation of sterile abscesses after subcutaneous injection of antibiotics like penicillin or enrofloxacin (Baytril) is possible. When the antibiotic is dissolved in a water-based solution, e.g., enrofloxacin, the formation of sterile abscesses can be avoided by diluting the amount to be given by the same amount of a sterile saline solution. Beside sterile abscesses, the use of Baytril over longer periods of time may lead to muscle necrosis.

Fluoroquinilone antibiotics can moreover lead to cartilage damage of the cartilage and damage of joints (arthropathy) when used over a longer period in young rabbits.

 

 

Ivana Milošević

Sterile abscess in a rabbit, after injection of enrofloxacin

 

Name of antibiotics

Remarks

Dosage
Way
Frequency

 

Amikacin

Nephrotoxic in dehydrated rabbits.

5-10 mg/kg

SC, IM, IV

sid, bid, tid

8-16 mg/kg

SC, IM, IV

sid, bid, tid

Amoxicillin

   (see: Remarks)

*ONLY* as injection, never orally.

Has recently been successfully used in rabbits, to treat infections due to bacteria, whose sensitivity tests indicate that amoxillin is the only effective antibiotic.

No adverse reaction has been noted with injected treatment. *Never* give orally; this has fatal consequences.

Is used sometimes to treat treponematosis.

15 mg/kg (?)

SC, IM

q second day

Azithromycin

Recommended for difficult to treat URI.

May lead to a reduction of appetite.

30 - 50mg/kg

PO

sid

Bicillin in Units

(penicillin G procaine and penicillin G benzathine)

   (see: Remarks)

*ONLY* as injection.

for treatment of bacterial infections. In rare cases, penicillin treatment leads to:

- a decreased appetite,

- the formation of sterile abscesses.

47.000 - 84.000 IU/kg

SC

q 2nd/3rd day

Bicillin in mg/kg

(penicillin G procaine and penicillin G benzathine)

   (see: Remarks)

*ONLY* as injection.

for treatment of bacterial infections. In rare cases, penicillin treatment leads to:

- a decreased appetite,

- the formation of sterile abscesses.

20 mg/kg (procaine)

+

 15 mg/kg  (benzathine)

SC

q 2nd/3rd day

Cephalexin

   (see: Remarks)

*ONLY* as injection.

Normally no cross reaction with Penicillin, in some cases of renal failure > nephrotoxic

10-15 mg/kg

SC

bid, tid

20 mg/kg

SC

sid

Chloramphenicol

Exceptionally leads to a decreased appetite

30-50 mg/kg

PO, SC, IM

bid

15 mg/kg

PO

bid

Chlortetracycline

.

50 mg/kg

PO

bid

Ciprofloxacin

Hindered absorption, when concurrent administration of antacids.

5 – 20 mg/kg

PO

sid, bid

Clopidol

.

200 mg/kg food

.

.

Danofloxacine

.

1 - 5 mg/kg  (?)

5 mg/kg   (?)

IM

SC

.

Difloxacine

.

5 - 10 mg/kg  (?)

2,5 - 5 mg/kg

PO

SC,  IM

.

Dimetridazole

.

0.2 mg/ml water

PO

q 12 h.

Doxycycline

.

2.5 mg/kg

PO

bid

4 mg/kg

PO

sid

Enrofloxacin

   (see: Remarks)

High dosage treatment (20 mg/kg) over a longer period of time may lead to seizure.

Cartilage damage in juveniles.

In rare cases, enrofloxacin treatment leads to:

- a decreased appetite,

- the formation of sterile abscesses, if injected. This can be avoided by diluting the solution with a sterile saline solution, 50:50.

5 - 15 mg/kg

PO, SC, IM

bid-sid

Fusidic acid

In eye ointment

1 drop/eye

.

.

Gentamycin

   (see: Remarks)

Best avoided for use in rabbits

Depending on dosage: Ototoxicity

Nephrotoxic, neuromuscular block

5 – 8 mg/kg

SC, IM, IV

q 8-12 h.

1-2 drops/eye

.

tid

Marbofloxacine

Cartilage damage in juveniles

2 – 5 mg/kg

PO

sid

Metronidazole

3 to 5 days

20 mg/kg

PO

bid

Neomycin

Depending on dosage: ototoxicity

Nephrotoxic, neuromuscular block

30 mg/kg

PO

bid

Oxytetracycline

.

15 mg/kg

SC, IM

sid, tid

50 mg/kg

PO

bid

Penicillin G procaine

*Only* as injection.

For the treatment of Treponematosis

20.000 – 60.000 IU/kg

SC, IM

q 48 h. to q once per week

Robenidine

.

50-66 mg/kg feed

.

.

Spiramycin

   (see: Remarks)

Recommended for difficult to treat URI

Cecal enlargement has been observed, with dosage of 200 and 400 mg/kg

1 ml/kg

25 mg/kg

SC, IM

.

Streptomycin

Depending on dosage: Ototoxicity

Nephrotoxic, neuromuscular block

50 mg/kg

IM

sid

Sulfadimidene

.

1 – 5 mg/ml water

.

..

Sulfamethazine

.

100-233 mg/l water

.

.

Tetracycline

May lead to a reduction of appetite.

50 mg/kg

PO

q 8-12 h.

Trimethoprim Sulfa

.

15 - 30 mg/kg

PO

bid

48 mg/kg

SC

bid

Toltrazuril

q 24 the first 2 days, repeat after 2 days

25 mg/kg

PO

q 24 h.

Tylosin

   (see: Remarks)

A test dose of 5 mg/kg should be give to check that no adverse reaction takes place.

10 mg/kg

PO, SC, IM

bid

 

for the meaning of the abbreviations, click here.

 

 

 

Further information

 

Dana G. Allen, J. K Pringle, Dale A. Smith, Handbook of Veterinary Drugs. Lippincott – Raven 1998.

Elizabeth V. Hillyer and Katherine E. Quesenberry, Ferrets, Rabbits, and Rodents: Clinical Medicine and Surgery. New York: WB Saunders Co. 1997.

Frances Harcourt-Brown, Rabbit Medicine and Surgery. Butterworth-Heinemann 2001.

Kathy Laber-Laird, Paul Flecknell and M. Michael Swindle, Handbook of Rodent and Rabbit Medicine. Oxford, UK: Pergamon Press 1996.

John E. Harkness and Joseph E. Wagner, The Biology and Medicine of Rabbits and Rodents. New York: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins 1995.

Paul Flecknell, BSAVA Manual of Rabbit Medicine and Surgery. British Small Animal Veterinary Association 2000.Virginia Richardson, Rabbits: Health, Husbandry and Disease, Blackwell Science Inc. 2000.

H. Schall, Kaninchen, In: Krankheiten der Heimtiere (K Gabrisch & P Zwart, eds), Schlütersche & Co, Hannover (D); pp 1-45, 1998

 

 

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