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Snuffles or rhinitis is not a particular disease but a catch-all term for respiratory infections in a rabbit. The most common bacteria that is the cause of snuffles is Pasteurella, but other common causes include staphylococci and Bordetella.


  • Sneezing
  • Nasal discharge
  • Staining of the front paws
  • Bleeding from the nose (epistaxis).


  • Anaerobes such as Staphylococcus aureus, Bordetella bronchiseptica, Moraxella catarrhalis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Mycobacterium spp., and Pasteurella multocida.[1]
  • Anaerobic bacteria such as Fusobacterium nucleatum, Prevotella spp., Peptostreptococcus micros, Actinomyces israelii, and Arcanobacterium haemolyticum.[1]
  • Dental disease
  • Facial trauma
  • Foreign bodies such as inhaled vegetable matter.
  • Allergic or irritant such as inhaled pollen, moldy bedding, dusty hay or litter, or cigarette smoke
  • Cancers (neoplasia) such as squamous cell carcinoma, osteosarcoma, chondrosarcoma, and fibrosarcoma.

Rabbits can also be more prone to snuffles due to stress, concurrent disease or corticosteroid use. Poor husbandry such as dirty molding bedding, ammonia buildup from urine-soaked bedding, dusty cat litter, and cleaning agents can also increase the risk factor of snuffles. Lastly, diets too low in coarse fiber content (long-stemmed hay) can predispose a rabbit to dental disease and consequently snuffles symptoms.[1]

Further reading

See also