Rhinitis in rabbits is an inflammation of the nasal mucous membrane. Sinusitis is quite similar; it is an inflammation of the air-filled spaces surrounding the rabbit's sinus or nasal cavity. Both of these conditions can cause respiratory problems and are often noticed because of the rabbit's excessive sneezing and nasal discharge.
There are both acute and chronic forms of rhinitis and sinusitis in rabbits. These can either be contagious, non-infectious, associated with allergies or other conditions, or due to an abnormal or deformed facial bone structure. Some common symptoms for sinusitis and rhinitis include:
There are many causes for sinusitis and rhinitis in rabbits, and they often are dependent on the type of condition (i.e., infectious or non-infectious form). The more common causes for the non-infectious forms of sinusitis and rhinitis include dental disease, trauma or injury to the face or nose, inhalation of foreign bodies including grass or seeds, allergies, and invasion of the nose by abnormal growth of cells, usually cancerous cells. The infectious forms of these two conditions may be due to bacterial, fungal or viral infections.
To diagnose sinusitis or rhinitis, a veterinarian will typically perform blood tests and imaging examinations (e.g., X-rays, ultrasounds) to detect pneumonia, as this is a common condition in rabbits for these two cases. Occasionally, bacterial rhinitis will show up in imaging studies.
Swabs and cultures are done from time to time, but may be hard to discern, as some of the organisms in the samples may not be directly responsible for the condition (or opportunistic). Your veterinarian may also make a diagnosis by identifying any bone structure abnormalities or deformities in the rabbit's face or mouth, the latter being a common sign of dental disease.
A medical condition; occurs when the sinus becomes inflamed
A cavity within a bone; may also indicate a flow or channel
A special type of tissue that exudes mucus
Term used to imply that a situation or condition is more severe than usual; also used to refer to a disease having run a short course or come on suddenly.
The ability to create a disease where a disease might not normally be found, usually due to an ill timed or unlikely weakness