How to Prevent Rabbit Mastitis | A Bacterial Infection


Rabbit Mastitis

Rabbit mastitis is an infection of the mammary glands, which is fortunately not common. The acute form is sometimes wrongly known as milk fever. The disease is caused by various bacteria, staphylococci usually being responsible for the chronic form, whilst streptococci are usually concerned in the acute form.



The teat or teats are swollen and painful, and in the acute form, there is usually a discharge. The doe has little appetite but is usually very thirsty. Treatment consists of bathing the affected parts with warm water containing an antiseptic. In most cases, one of the antibiotics may be used to effect a cure, but veterinary advice is necessary.


rabbit mastitis

Rabbit mastitis is a disease that generally occurs in lactating rabbits. It is caused by bacterial infection in mammary glands. Seldom seen in small rabbitries, this disease is curable but sometimes turns acute. In such a situation its treatment becomes very important. A daily inspection of each doe helps the early detection of the illnesses. Like this, the quick spread of the disease through the unit can be easily restricted.


Also known as milk fever, mastitis in rabbit is prominently visible by means of symptoms. These are:


Symptoms of rabbit mastitis:

  • Rabbit teats appear inflamed, feverish and turn blue.
  • Dehydration and burning.
  • Infected rabbit is usually seen hitting her breasts against the cage wall.
  • Abnormal increase in milk production.
  • Boil formation within breasts.
  • Blood tainted & stinking discharge from infected breast.

Causes of mastitis illness in rabbit:

Mastitis in rabbits is normally caused by various forms of bacteria. Staphylococci lead to chronic form while a streptococcus causes the acute form.


Treatment for rabbit mastitis:

Usage of a variety of antiseptics is generally advised by the veterinary professionals. Besides this, use of antibiotics like quinolones and penicillin is prescribed as an expert opinion. Dipping the infected body parts in sterile warm water is commonly practiced.



On the whole, a doe doesn’t get infected unless it is breeding. It is recommended to clean the rabbit’s old bedding with disinfectants before the birth of new offspring. However, the young ones need protection and require immediate separation from the mothers to avoid poison consumption. The newborns can be hand-fed and it is good to destroy the infected rabbits in order to protect the next generation.


Prevention of mastitis in the rabbit:

Prevention of any kind of disease is usually better than treatment. General hygiene and sanitation serve the cause most of the time. Mastitis in a rabbit cannot be cured completely but can be controlled to a large extent. Practicing good nutrition, enough moving space and plenty of ventilation also helps. Immediate consultation for expert opinion is highly beneficial during the initial stages of infection as it helps to prevent further severity of the disease.


Awareness about rabbit Mastitis in the female rabbit is very important for pet owners. Accordingly precautionary measures have to be adopted while breeding rabbits. A timely inspection at pet health care units proves beneficial as it provides useful information on the general well-being of rabbits.


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