My niece decided to raise rabbits for her FFA project this year. She bought 3 does and 1 buck in August with the intention of breeding the does. None of them got pregnant and after numerous vet visits all four rabbits were diagnosed with pasteurella. They are being treated, and apparently the worst case has eye ulcers. Since they cannot be used for meat or breeding purposes, the vet recommends they be euthanized at a cost of $150 per rabbit.
My niece and her parents are continuing treatment, but don't want to see the rabbits suffer. Can you tell me more about this disease and its treatment? Is there any reason why rabbit euthanasia is so much more expensive than for a dog or cat? Also, should the hutches be destroyed or disinfected in some way if she decides to try again?
You can google pasteurella in rabbits and there's plenty of information. Seems that even though a rabbit is treated for the problem, it can continue to be a carrier to other rabbits and will often have relapses of coughing or respiratory infections. From what I read, bunnies with this disease can be kept but need to be isolated from healthy rabbits. Whether you can use the cages again, I'm not sure. Some things cannot be adequately disinfected. (I deal with raccoons that often carry Baylis, a type of roundworm, and we keep certain dishes and cages separated for raccoons only.)
As for the euthanasia, I don't understand why it would cost so much. We use the same drug at work for birds, raccoons, bunnies, etc. and it's not that expensive. Perhaps the cost is for disposal but again, I assume they'll incinerate.
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