I live in Massachusetts and possess a harlequin Mini Rex rabbit named Tristan. He just turned annually old in March. I was petting him last night after he'd been out for around thirty minutes playing around, and I noticed that his nostrils were wet, and the fur under each nostril seemed to be damp. They didn’t have colored discharge coming out, the fur around and under his nose was not discolored or crusty. The production wasn’t thick or gooey, it had been clear and basically just like water. I haven’t seen him sneeze at all, the fur on his front paws is smooth, soft and not matted whatsoever. He is his normal little self, eating, drinking, going to the bathroom regularly, and racing around and playing whenever he comes out. His droppings are formed and look healthy. He is getting vegetables and greens every day, and the cage is cleaned every day. At this time he is shedding, and that i brush him regularly.

Later that night, after he'd been put back in his cage and before I visited bed, I visited pet him, and also the fur under his nostrils was not damp anymore. I pressed my finger to his nose, also it wasn’t wet.

If I parted his nostrils just a little and then touched my finger to his nose, my finger came away just a little damp, but it was clear, and my finger didn’t get this amazing drop of liquid onto it, it had been just moist. Today as i was emptying his cat litter box and changing his food, the fur around and under his nose was still being dry. Used to do the same test I had the night before, and again my finger only came away moist. I let him out a little later, and also the fur around and under his nose was dry. After he ran around for around one hour, I sat down and began to pet him, and I noticed that the fur under each nostril was damp, like it had been the night time before. It looked exactly as it had the night before. So when I put my finger to his nose, it came away with clear liquid, just like water on my small finger, not a lot, just a little bit. I know that it's not water, both times he was without any water.

Is this OK? I really don’t get sound advice, because he isn't acting sick in the least. I would be fretting about a respiratory infection, except he isn't sneezing, there is no trouble breathing, there aren't any mats on his front paws or legs, the production, when it is there, is clear, and not sticky, gooey, and isn't leaving any type of crusty residue on his fur. He's eating like normal, and drinking like normal as well. His droppings all look healthy, and there is the typical quantity of them.

He gets neutered within three weeks, so I brought him to his veterinarian a week ago to have a checkup, as well as for his veterinarian to provide him the OK for surgery.

I’m just a little worried reading all the problem reports online about rabbits with the snuffles and rabbits with respiratory infections. One other thing to mention is that I acquired him in May of 2010, and also, since then every once in awhile I realized that his nose was a little damp after he had been out with me for some time. I possibly could never know if it was damp as soon as I let him out, while he doesn’t like to be petted or snuggled until after he has raced around and explored for some time. Irrrve never really considered it until yesterday. Is this OK? Does he have to be seen? I just don’t get sound advice, and that i don’t wish to bring him in unless I must because the vet’s office does see sick animals, and I don’t want to expose him to anything unless I absolutely have to.


As you probably know, respiratory disease in pet rabbits is extremely, common. We don't know all of the reasons for this. We do realize that many rabbits have respiratory ailment that is nearly unapparent, we call this “subclinical,” and we worry about those patients whenever we do anesthesia once we might be unacquainted with how sick they really are.

For your rabbit, it may be that there is respiratory ailment that is subclinical as the rabbit does not appear sick most of the time, has signs that are only seen occasionally, and when your rabbit demonstrates signs of disease, it gets better on its own.

What you describe may also be a normal reaction to the environment. Maybe when you're seeing the little amount of discharge, environmental surroundings is becoming too filled with particulate matter as can happen when a central air system begins and also the ducts are dusty. The rabbit's response to the increased dust within the environment would be to produce copious levels of mucous, as evidenced by some wetness close to the nostrils.

Based on everything you wrote, it is more probably your rabbit is responding to environmental surroundings instead of respiratory disease. But, which is important, because nasal discharge can represent early and subclinical disease, whenever you next check this out occurring to your rabbit, please call your veterinarian and describe what's happening and let your veterinarian determine if this problem warrants a visit to the hospital.