Thursday, 9 August 2012
E.Cuniculi in rabbits
Two million pet rabbits may have a fatal disease?
It is estimated that up to four million pet rabbits are kept in the UK and over half of these may have been
infected by E.Cuniculi
Q What is this ?
A E . Cuniculi is a tiny protozoan parasite which is spread from rabbit to rabbit by contaminated urine or
to unborn rabbits during pregnancy
Q Does it do any harm ?
A Yes- it can cause paralysis, tilted head, weakness of the back legs and eye disease
Q Does every infected rabbit get these symptoms ?
A No– and often the disease only shows up in later life.
Q Does the disease only affect rabbits ?
A–No– Cats, dogs and many other animals as well as humans can become infected
Q-How can I protect my children then ?
A Good hygiene is essential so using a good disinfectant when cleaning out the hutch is important and so is is washing hands thoroughly
Q Is there a vaccine for rabbits ?
A No– but there are several effective products to prevent or treat E.cuniculi and which are also effective wormers. Rabbits need a routine worming four times a year.
Q What are they ?
Two very effective products containing Fenbendazole are Lepufen and Panacur rabbit paste
Lepifen is tasteless and easy to give straight into the mouth
Q How are they used ?
A When buying a rabbit it should be treated at once. If this is the only rabbit in the household only one
treatment should be necessary unless it comes into contact with other animals.
If there are other rabbits in the household all should be treated.
If there are signs of disease then regular treatment perhaps combined with antibiotics may be necessary.