Coccidia in pet rabbits claims the life of many each year. But it is possible to treat and even to prevent this serious disease.
Coccidia in Pet Rabbits
The parasite Coccidia causes Coccidia in Pet Rabbits, a very serious problem in pets.. Rabbits might get coccidiosis if they consume contaminated feed or water. It is possible for rabbits to contract this disease from as many as 25 different species. In some cases, the parasite may cause trauma and illness to the rabbit, although many rabbits carry it without symptoms. Spores enter the rabbit’s intestinal wall after it consumes fecal matter containing oocytes, usually through food or water sources.
Coccidia is transmitted from one rabbit to another by feces, and bunnies can contract the disease by directly consuming an infected animal’s feces or contaminated food or water. Hence, feed or soil contaminated with infected feces may contain coccidia oocysts and cause illness in your bunny. The oocyst can stay for a long time on the soil because of its tough shell.
The type of Eimeria, the size and age of the rabbit, and the environmental factors that the bunny is exposed to, all affect how severe the coccidia infection will be. Young, immunocompromised rabbits in bad environmental circumstances may surrender to infection and die. On the other hand, strong adult rabbits housed in ideal surroundings may experience temporary effects.
Follow the full article to get to know all about coccidiosis in pet rabbits.
The existence and migration of coccidia in the intestines and liver cause damage that manifests as signs of sickness. There are two types of coccidiosis in rabbits which we are going to describe below.
Parasites that cause coccidiosis to reproduce in the intestine and make infective cysts that can spread to other animals. Intestinal coccidiosis is caused by different Eimeria species. The most virulent E. strains are E. Flavescens and E. Intestinalis. Despite excellent care and good sanitation, rabbits can develop this condition. Weaned rabbits, especially those that are a few weeks old to 5 months, are more susceptible to this disease.
Parasites ingested by rabbits may remain in the intestines, but they can also spread to the liver in some rabbits. The causative agent of hepatic coccidiosis is Eimeria stiedae.
Poor sanitation is known to contribute to the transmission of this condition. The indications of this type of coccidiosis are identical to those of intestinal coccidiosis, despite its rarity. There is no limit to the infection in this form of the disease. As a result, the liver, gallbladder, and bile ducts can be distended. The possibility of secondary bacterial infection also exists in some cases.
In the first seven days after infection, signs of coccidia in pet rabbits are not always easy to spot because they are not particularly obvious. So, clinical signs of coccidia in pet rabbits become evident in 7-10 days.
Coccidia can be present in the gut of healthy adult rabbits without causing any symptoms in them. However, they can still infect other rabbits when they shed coccidia in their droppings. The signs of coccidiosis in a rabbit can range from mild to severe and may include some or all of the following:
- Pale gums
- Lack of appetite
- Painful tummy
- Weight loss
- Not drinking enough water
- Mucous or blood in their feces
The vet will carefully examine your bunny who will also review its medical history with you. Coccidiosis frequently results in disturbance in the liver and digestive system function that can be observed on a physical examination, although early and exact diagnosis is frequently challenging.
Coccidia or its cysts can typically be detected by examining a fecal smear under a microscope or performing a fecal float test. Even when the bunny is infected, the parasite may not always be present in a fecal sample, which could lead to a false-negative test result. The easiest way to diagnose an acute E. Stiedae infection may be to examine the bile or look for coccidia in hepatic lesions.
Radiographs may be obtained to look for fluid buildup if a severe infection is suspected.
hen rabbits develop severe coccidiosis; especially if treatment is not initiated early enough, the condition can be fatal. In the event that your rabbit’s diarrhea becomes moderate to severe, your veterinarian may decide to hospitalize it for supportive care until your bunny is healthy enough to go home.
Oral medications may also be recommended by your veterinarian for treatment at home. Your rabbit must continue to consume a healthy diet during this period. If your bunny isn’t eating or drinking, you should needle-feed it to ensure it doesn’t become dehydrated.
For hepatic coccidiosis, oral portions of antiprotozoal drugs, for example, sulfaquinoxaline, is managed into either in the feed for 20 days or in the drinking water for 30 days. This is quite effective in decreasing the intensity of clinical signs and complete eradication of parasites. Even though acutely ill or immature bunnies may struggle to recover from a serious infection, treatment is typically well tolerated in older rabbits.
Coccidiosis is a parasitic problem so your rabbit will contract it only when it comes in contact with an infected pet. It is very much preventable through proper care. Below are some preventive measures you can take to keep your rabbits safe from coccidiosis.
- Routinely clean your bunny’s surroundings.
- Get bedding from a trustworthy provider as coccidiosis can be communicated in bed sheet material.
- Make sure your rabbit is not overcrowded, vulnerable to predators, or experiencing environmental changes to lessen stressors for it.
- Give your bunny a diet that is full of nutrients and supports its digestive system.
- Feed hay from racks instead of the ground to lower the possibility of ingesting infected hay.
Start with a healthy rabbit to help prevent Coccidia in Pet Rabbits
It is less likely that your new rabbit will arrive with coccidiosis if you adopt or buy it from a reputable breeder or rescue facility with high quarantine and cleanliness standards. The risk of the spread of coccidia in pet rabbits can be decreased by quarantining and evaluating any new members before exposing them to your existing rabbits.