Eye problems

Conjunctivitis in Rabbits - Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

María Besteiros
By María Besteiros, Expert veterinary assistant and canine/feline hairdresser.. Updated: March 25, 2019
Conjunctivitis in Rabbits - Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

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Conjunctivitis in rabbits, known also as weepy eye, is a common rabbit eye infection. Conjunctivitis in rabbits can occur in one or both eyes and could be a indicative of a dental disorder, hence the importance of early veterinary assistance. If you notice any symptoms of conjunctivitis in your rabbit, treatment is mandatory.

For more about the symptoms, causes and treatment of conjunctivitis in rabbits, keep reading here at AnimalWised.

You may also be interested in: Red Eye in Rabbits - Causes and Treatment


  1. Rabbit eye problems: conjunctivitis
  2. Conjunctivitis in rabbits: symptoms
  3. Conjunctivitis in rabbits: treatment
  4. Conjunctivitis in rabbits: teeth problems
  5. Mucopurulent conjunctivitis in rabbits

Rabbit eye problems: conjunctivitis

Conjunctivitis in rabbits consists of an inflammation of the conjunctiva, which is the tissue that surrounds the eye. Conjunctivitis in rabbits causes can vary from presence of a foreign body or an infection to an allergic reaction. This rabbit eye infection can present itself as a mild inflammation which can then trigger a serious condition that, if left untreated, could cause irreparable damage to the affected eye or eyes.

Conjunctivitis predisposes the appearance of opportunistic, viral or bacterial infections. In the latter case, an abundant, thick and yellowish discharge is produced that must be treated with antibiotics. Keep reading for more about conjunctivitis in rabbits symptoms and conjunctivitis in rabbits treatment.

Conjunctivitis in rabbits: symptoms

Conjunctivitis in rabbits symptoms include:

  • Weepy eyes in rabbits: tearing.
  • Due to this excessive tearing in rabbits, you may notice that the hair around the eye(s) is wet. Due to this humidity around the eyes, dermatitis could occur, which causes itching and hair loss.
  • Inflammation of the eyelids: you may notice that your rabbit’s eyes may appear closed with accumulated secretions and pus.
  • Photophobia: intolerance to light.
  • Redness.
  • Some rabbits may appear more lethargic.
  • Decrease in appetite.
  • Eye rubbing.
  • When the lacrimation (flow of tears) becomes a thick secretion. it may cause a more severe and noticeable eye infection.

If you notice that your rabbit is unable to open its eyes, with evident pus or abundant sleep in/around its eyes. we recommend consulting a veterinarian as soon as possible.

For more we recommend reading our article about common diseases in rabbits.

Conjunctivitis in Rabbits - Causes, Symptoms and Treatment - Conjunctivitis in rabbits: symptoms

Conjunctivitis in rabbits: treatment

After examining your rabbit’s eye(s) and confirming a diagnosis, a veterinarian will prescribe the appropriate treatment accordingly. This treatment usually consists of antibiotics, painkillers and drops specific to treating conjunctivitis in rabbits. The composition of the drops will depend on your rabbit’s specific infection. If the cause is due to a foreign object, such as dust or hay, your vet may opt for intensive eye cleaning to eliminate the obstruction.

In some cases, ophthalmic ointments may also be prescribed.

Conjunctivitis in rabbits: home remedies

Are you looking for some home remedies for conjunctivitis in rabbits? The first thing to remember is that when it comes to conjunctivitis, veterinary treatment is 100% necessary, this is especially the case if you are dealing with conjunctivitis in baby rabbits.

Some veterinarians may suggest that if your rabbit is suffering from a foreign body present the eyes, you clean it out with saline water and change the hay in your rabbit’s cage. In addition, if your rabbit is allergic to anything in its vicinity, make sure you remove this object.

Remember that before applying any veterinary prescribed ointments or eye drops, you will have to clean the rabbit’s eye(s) from the inside to outside with a gauze or cotton wool (moistened in physiological saline or warm water). This cleaning process should be done gently and quickly to avoid unnecessary stress. Is your rabbit stressed or nervous? Find out by reading our article where we discuss everything you need to know about stress in rabbits.

Conjunctivitis in rabbits: teeth problems

Now that we know how to treat conjunctivitis in rabbits when caused by an eye infection, it’s important to know that weepy eyes in rabbits can also be caused by dental overgrowth. Did you know that a rabbit’s teeth never stop growing? This dental overgrowth in rabbits interferes with the nasolacrimal duct, which is what allows for excess tears to drain. If there is an obstruction in this duct, excess accumulates in the eyes. A veterinarian will be able to diagnose this problem accordingly with the use of a dental x-ray.

Treatment for this type of conjunctivitis in rabbits includes an the extraction of these pieces. One must make sure to always offer their rabbits adequate nutrition to wear down their teeth. In addition, we recommend periodically checking your rabbit’s mouth and teeth growth and if you notice that your rabbit is experiencing difficulty feeding, consult a veterinarian. If the cause of eye discharge in rabbits is due to the aforementioned dental problem, we recommend cleaning the eyes well with saline solution.

For more about this topic, read up about caring for rabbit teeth in our article where we look at abnormal rabbit teeth growth.

Mucopurulent conjunctivitis in rabbits

When conjunctivitis is characterized by the appearance of a very intense mucopurulent secretion, our rabbit could be suffering from myxomatosis. Myxomatosis in rabbits a viral disease in which tumors are produced in the mucous membranes. Symptoms of myxomatosis in rabbits include:

  • Lethargy.
  • Inflammation of the eyelids.
  • Anorexia.
  • Fever.
  • Head and face swelling.
  • Otitis in rabbits.
  • Difficulty moving and breathing.
  • Blindness.
  • Hemorrhages.
  • Seizures.

Chronic myxomatosis in rabbits, which is less common, is when myxomatosis is accompanied by blepharoconjunctivitis, causing an inflammation of the eyelids, conjunctiva and purulent ocular secretion. This disease is incredibly serious and can be potentially fatal if not treated in time. Prevention includes a proper vaccination schedule recommended by a veterinarian. For more, read our article about vaccinations for rabbits.

Conjunctivitis in Rabbits - Causes, Symptoms and Treatment - Mucopurulent conjunctivitis in rabbits

This article is purely informative. AnimalWised does not have the authority to prescribe any veterinary treatment or create a diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian if they are suffering from any condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to Conjunctivitis in Rabbits - Causes, Symptoms and Treatment, we recommend you visit our Eye problems category.

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Conjunctivitis in Rabbits - Causes, Symptoms and Treatment