Antibiotics are used to treat bacterial infections. When needed for treatment of an infection in a rabbit, these drugs should be prescribed only by a veterinarian well-versed in rabbit medicine. Infections caused by bacteria can occur anywhere in the body. The best way to determine which type of antibiotic will be most effective against a particular infection is to take a sample of infected tissue (for example, a small section of the wall of an abscess, or a surface swab of the affected area), and send it to a laboratory for culture and sensitivity testing. It is advisable to have both an aerobic and an anaerobic bacterial tests performed to best determine what medications will be most effective.
In some cases, the infection may occur in an difficult-to-access place, such as inside the respiratory tract, urinary tract, inside of the eye, intestinal tract or bone. In this case, the veterinarian may need to make a “best guess” about which antibiotic is best to treat the problem.
Certain antibiotics (e.g. clindamycin, lincomycin, ampicillin, amoxicillin, amoxicillin-clavulanate, cephalosporins, many penicillins, and erythromycin) can alter large bowel ecology, threaten favorable microorganisms, and promote bacterial pathogen growth (e.g., E coli and Clostridium) and toxin production. The resulting bacterial dysbiosis can lead to enteritis, enterotoxemia, and gastrointestinal (GI) stasis. Severe cases can be life-threatening. Antibiotic-associated dysbiosis may be avoided by using only appropriate broad-spectrum antibiotics (e.g., trimethoprim-sulfas, fluoroquinolones, chloramphenicol, aminoglycosides, azithromycin, and metronidazole).
Oral antibiotics are more likely to cause dysbiosis in rabbits than are injectable antibiotics. Good example: oral penicillins are strictly contraindicated in rabbits, but procaine + benzathine penicillin combination is safe and effective (especially for anaerobes/odontogenic abscesses) when administered as a subcutaneous (SC) injection.
Uses/benefits of Azithromycin For Rabbits
What is azithromycin used for in rabbits?Azithromycin is used in rabbits to treat susceptible infections, commonly Staphylococcus Osteo- myelitis. How does it work? Azithromycin is classed as a ‘bacteriostatic’ antibiotic. Effectively it penetrates bacteria and pre- vents it from reproducing.
Used for abscesses and osteomyelitis. Alternative to penicillin in allergic individuals as it has a similar, although not identical, antibacterial spectrum. It is active against Gram-positive cocci (some Staphylococcus species are resistant), Gram-positive bacilli, some Gram-negative bacilli (Haemophilus, Pasteurella), mycobacteria, obligate anaerobes, Chlamydophila, Mycoplasma and Toxoplasma. Some strains of Actinomyces, Nocardia and Rickettsia are also inhibited. Most strains of the Enterobacteriaceae (Pseudomonas, Escherichia coli, Klebsiella) are resistan
Dosage of Azithromycin For Rabbits
For syphilis: 4-5 mg/kg IM q48h for 7 days (Meredith, 2015)
For staphylococcal osteomyelitis: 50 mg/kg PO q24h with 40 mg/kg PO q12 rifamprin
15-50 mg/kg PO sid (Varga, 2013)
Treatment of anaerobic infections: 30 mg/kg PO once daily; can combine with metronidazole 20mg/kg q24h to q12h PO (Blackwells, 2011)
As broad spectrum antibacterial for consideration when safer alternatives have proved ineffective
In situations where penicillins might be considered in other species, but where the severe risks of penicillin use in rabbits prevent their use.
To assist in the management of rabbit abscesses, since it is particularly effective against the commonly associated bacteria (Pasteurella Pasteurella multocida ,Staphyloccocus Staphylococcus spp , anaerobes).
Management of respiratory tract infections.
Management of mild to moderate skin and soft tissue infection.
Treatment of non-tubercular mycobacterial infections.
In man is used as a single dose for treatment of genital chlamydial infections.
Active against gram positive cocci (except someStaphylococci), gram positive bacilli, some gram negative bacilli, (such asHaemophilusandPasteurellaspp)