Antibiotics are used to treat bacterial infections. When needed for treatment of an infection in a rabbit, these drugs should be prescribed only by a veterinarian well-versed in rabbit medicine. Infections caused by bacteria can occur anywhere in the body. The best way to determine which type of antibiotic will be most effective against a particular infection is to take a sample of infected tissue (for example, a small section of the wall of an abscess, or a surface swab of the affected area), and send it to a laboratory for culture and sensitivity testing. It is advisable to have both an aerobic and an anaerobic bacterial tests performed to best determine what medications will be most effective.

In some cases, the infection may occur in an difficult-to-access place, such as inside the respiratory tract, urinary tract, inside of the eye, intestinal tract or bone. In this case, the veterinarian may need to make a “best guess” about which antibiotic is best to treat the problem.


Chloramphenicol represents the product of years of antibiotic development. Due to its pH, it shines above most other antibiotics in terms of ability to penetrate into infected tissues and tissues with biological barriers. Chloramphenicol can easily pass deeply through purulent material (pus) to the organisms hiding within, through cell membranes to attack parasites living within, and into organs where other antibiotics cannot go.

Chloramphenicol acts on the protein manufacturing system of bacteria (the cell’s ribosomes) yet does not affect mammalian, reptilian, or avian ribosomes. With protein manufacture being highly crucial for metabolism, disrupting a cell’s ability to make protein is disastrous. Highly susceptible bacteria are killed outright while others are merely rendered unable to divide and the host’s immune system then destroys them upon discovery. Chloramphenicol has an especially broad spectrum of activity against numerous aerobic bacteria, mycoplasma, chlamydial organisms, anaerobic bacteria, and even methicillin-resistant Staphylococci.

Features of Chloramphenicol Eye Drops For Rabbits

hloramphenicol is a very effective drug against a wide variety of bacteria and is very safe when used properly. But….I don’t think I would use the ocular drops in the nose. Would it be possible to get a nasal culture there? A culture is a culture no matter what the species…the only concern would be if the vet had a small enough swab. I would suspect that you are thinking upper respiratory infection. I rarely use antibiotics without a culture.I would rather have an infection confirmed in lieu of using an antibioticwithout proper cause. But if you use Chloramphenicol for a URI….it should be administered orally. It seems to be very effective against pasteurella…which is the most common bacteria causing a URI.

One side note about Chloramphenicol…there is a small risk of aserious side effect…not so much for the rabbit but for the humans handling this drug. While it is still used extensively in many third world countries since it is cheap andeffective, ithas fallen from favorwith western doctors due to the very small possibility of a condition known as aplastic anemia aka bone marrow suppression. When I use this drug, I use gloves and properly wash off any of the drug that comes in contact with skin.

Uses/benefits of Chloramphenicol Eye Drops For Rabbits

  • Antibiotic eye drops to treat kill any bacteria.
  • Artificial tears to keep the eyes moist while they heal.
  • Anti-inflammatory pain relief if their eyes are very sore or inflamed.
  • Regularly bathing your rabbit’s eyes to remove discharge.
  • Most importantly, to prevent problems returning, your vet will want to investigate and treat the cause of your rabbit’s eye infection (especially if it keeps coming back).

Side Effects   

In some individuals, chloramphenicol use may induce what are called blood dyscrasias. This means that abnormal blood cells can be produced or that production of normal cells can be halted due to an action of chloramphenicol on patient bone marrow. This reaction is especially of concern in cats and chloramphenicol should be used with caution in this species (special dosing, perhaps even some blood monitoring).

Chloramphenicol use may accumulate to toxic levels in very young animals (in the first few weeks of life) and as they are not able to remove it from their bodies as effectively as adult animals. For this reason, it is best not to give this medication during pregnancy or lactation.Nausea, diarrhea, and appetite loss are relatively common (and usually minor) side effects of this medication but if they occur, another medication can be selected.

Prices of Chloramphenicol Eye Drops For Rabbits

$17.10 – $35.90

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