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Thread: Coccidiosis- All Rabbit Owners Should be Aware of This

  1. #11
    Wise Old Thumper HS's Avatar
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    Thanks Jane. It's vital that we know of any risk to our bunnies, how to prevent and treat if necessary. Something I didn't know much about.


    Binky free Squidgy, Salt, Pepper, Ruby, Nougat, Patch, Bobby and Flopsy. Hope you are all having fun at the bridge.

  2. #12
    Mama Doe molly35's Avatar
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    Well I have learnt something new today and I'm always happy to increase my knowledge - as far as I am concerned post away
    Mum to Buzz, Lady, Alfie and Midnight
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  3. #13
    Wise Old Thumper Santa's Avatar
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    So much useful information in those links - thought it might also be useful to add a bit from my own experience of cocci: fortunately not my own rabbits but horribly tragic nonetheless

    Sometimes cocci does not show up straight away in the faecal tests (especially if it is the hepatic type). Just because you get a negative faecal test it does not mean you can rule out cocci. If there are other factors which suggest it, keep pushing your vet because by the time it's diagnosed later, it could be too late. Similarly, Post mortem (again especially of the hepatic type) does not necessarily show the organism, it dies within an hour of the rabbit dying so again, if your vet does a pm any time other than immediately after death and tells you there's no cocci there, it doesn't necessarily mean that's not the cause. If other factors point towards cocci even without a firm diagnosis, I would ask your vet for treatment anyway.

    The cysts take 48 hours to become infective, so the single most important thing you can do to prevent its spread is to clean out thoroughly daily. Use different brushes/pans between buns or dip them fully in boiling water or Jeyes fluid between uses. When cleaning out, make sure that not a single poop or piece of hay gets missed. Especially if it's windy, all it takes is some stray litter to get to another bun's hutch and you've potentially transferred it to another bun. Ideally, wash the accommodation down with boiling water/jeyes fluid but obviously common sense is necessary here: Jeyes fluid is highly toxic so can only be done if you have the space, time and accommodation to do it safely, rinse it completely and not put any buns back in until it is completely dry and smell-free.

    Try and minimise the risk of buns reinfecting themselves (e.g. by eating hay they have pooped on) by taking all hay off the floor and putting it in hay in hay racks off the ground and using bowls for food/veg if you don't usually. It will make the place look a bit sparse and boring but it's only temporary and better to be safe than sorry. If it's winter and you need to provide cosy bedding, use something like a cardboard box stuffed with straw to minimise the risk of them eating so much of it.

    If you have lots of buns and have a suspected/confirmed case of cocci, I would suggest complete quarantine: no buns in or out for at least 21 days after the last case of illness. Do not accept any buns for boarding/bonding etc and do not let any buns go to new homes, even if they seem fine. It has quite a long incubation period and you could just be spreading it about.

    According to Sharon Redrobe, the Harcourt-Brown book has a mis-calculated dosage for toltrazuril. She says it is (off the top of my head) listed at a 10* overdose in the FHB book, caused by a mis-translation from ppm to mg/kg. She says that at the correct dose, toltrazuril is the most effective treatment but some vets are shying away from using it because they have heard of it causing problems - but it is likely that these problems have been caused because of the overdose. Your vet may be able to get in touch with Sharon via the Nottingham vet school (or via the RWA as she spoke about it at an RWA conference a couple of years ago) to confirm this if they are unsure of doses.

    Obviously I'm not a vet but I would push for treatment for all buns whether showing illness or not - the long incubation period means that it could easily be harboured by some who are currently well. If they are all treated at the same time you have more chance of containing any outbreak and ensuring that no more buns get sick, imo.
    Last edited by Santa; 28-12-2010 at 11:42 AM.
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  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Santa View Post
    So much useful information in those links - thought it might also be useful to add a bit from my own experience of cocci: fortunately not my own rabbits but horribly tragic nonetheless

    Sometimes cocci does not show up straight away in the faecal tests (especially if it is the hepatic type). Just because you get a negative faecal test it does not mean you can rule out cocci. If there are other factors which suggest it, keep pushing your vet because by the time it's diagnosed later, it could be too late. Similarly, Post mortem (again especially of the hepatic type) does not necessarily show the organism, it dies within an hour of the rabbit dying so again, if your vet does a pm any time other than immediately after death and tells you there's no cocci there, it doesn't necessarily mean that's not the cause. If other factors point towards cocci even without a firm diagnosis, I would ask your vet for treatment anyway.

    The cysts take 48 hours to become infective, so the single most important thing you can do to prevent its spread is to clean out thoroughly daily. Use different brushes/pans between buns or dip them fully in boiling water or Jeyes fluid between uses. When cleaning out, make sure that not a single poop or piece of hay gets missed. Especially if it's windy, all it takes is some stray litter to get to another bun's hutch and you've potentially transferred it to another bun. Ideally, wash the accommodation down with boiling water/jeyes fluid but obviously common sense is necessary here: Jeyes fluid is highly toxic so can only be done if you have the space, time and accommodation to do it safely, rinse it completely and not put any buns back in until it is completely dry and smell-free.

    Try and minimise the risk of buns reinfecting themselves (e.g. by eating hay they have pooped on) by taking all hay off the floor and putting it in hay in hay racks off the ground and using bowls for food/veg if you don't usually. It will make the place look a bit sparse and boring but it's only temporary and better to be safe than sorry. If it's winter and you need to provide cosy bedding, use something like a cardboard box stuffed with straw to minimise the risk of them eating so much of it.

    If you have lots of buns and have a suspected/confirmed case of cocci, I would suggest complete quarantine: no buns in or out for at least 21 days after the last case of illness. Do not accept any buns for boarding/bonding etc and do not let any buns go to new homes, even if they seem fine. It has quite a long incubation period and you could just be spreading it about.

    According to Sharon Redrobe, the Harcourt-Brown book has a mis-calculated dosage for toltrazuril. She says it is (off the top of my head) listed at a 10* overdose in the FHB book, caused by a mis-translation from ppm to mg/kg. She says that at the correct dose, toltrazuril is the most effective treatment but some vets are shying away from using it because they have heard of it causing problems - but it is likely that these problems have been caused because of the overdose. Your vet may be able to get in touch with Sharon via the Nottingham vet school (or via the RWA as she spoke about it at an RWA conference a couple of years ago) to confirm this if they are unsure of doses.

    Obviously I'm not a vet but I would push for treatment for all buns whether showing illness or not - the long incubation period means that it could easily be harboured by some who are currently well. If they are all treated at the same time you have more chance of containing any outbreak and ensuring that no more buns get sick, imo.
    Thanks so much for that really useful post Santa xx

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  5. #15
    Young Bun Suzy B's Avatar
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    I was told Panacur could help coccidiosis but then another vet said there was no evidence. I took a poo sample to my vets for some tests and they said they do not do tests on poo. I have printed the info for my file thankyou.



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  6. #16
    Wise Old Thumper Santa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Suzy B View Post
    I was told Panacur could help coccidiosis but then another vet said there was no evidence.
    Interesting point - I've not heard of panacur being given to bunnies for coccidiosis but it seems that it is given to dogs. I wonder why - anyone know? Is it because the strains differ and are resistant, or because the mode of action differs in bunnies, or because they're trying to keep panacur for e.cuniculi, or simply because they think the other drugs like toltrazuril are better? Or something else...

    Anyone know??
    Looking for RHD2 vaccine or want more info? Join our Facebook group:
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    To view reported cases of RHD2 or vets reported to have RHD2 vaccine: http://rhd2map.ajltech.co.uk
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  7. #17
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    After quite recently having two seperate cases of coccidia (totaly unrelated as different strains) in our rescue buns i agree that this is something anyone keeping rabbits should be aware of

    However ... i MUST stress that with good quarentine and cleanliness (we used steam cleaning and boiling water ) It is resonably easy to eradicate . BUT all rabbits , even low risk ones must be treat at the same time .

    It seems that ..as with EC , coccidia is present in the intestines of all rabbits and only causes a problem when the amount gets too great ..eg. in dirty conditions or a rabbit that has other problems which means the numbers of coccidia present in the gut/organs multiply as the rabbits immune system cannot cope .

    stress and illness can be contributing factors ... our vet also thinks sudden temperature changes can also be a factor .

    The truth is ..coccidosis could flare up at any time in any rabbit given the right conditions . It could possibly be one of the biggest causes of stasis .

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Santa View Post
    Interesting point - I've not heard of panacur being given to bunnies for coccidiosis but it seems that it is given to dogs. I wonder why - anyone know? Is it because the strains differ and are resistant, or because the mode of action differs in bunnies, or because they're trying to keep panacur for e.cuniculi, or simply because they think the other drugs like toltrazuril are better? Or something else...

    Anyone know??
    no idea ... we treat with septrin .

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Santa View Post
    Interesting point - I've not heard of panacur being given to bunnies for coccidiosis but it seems that it is given to dogs. I wonder why - anyone know? Is it because the strains differ and are resistant, or because the mode of action differs in bunnies, or because they're trying to keep panacur for e.cuniculi, or simply because they think the other drugs like toltrazuril are better? Or something else...

    Anyone know??
    Could it be that a different strain of coccidia effects herbivores than the one that effects carnivores

    For up-to-date information about RHD2
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    To view reported cases of RHD2 and Vets reported to stock the RHD2 Vaccine

    http://rhd2map.buntools.org.uk/

    Shop Online and raise money for Animal Rescue + Care (ARC)

    https://animalrescueandcare.org.uk/home/giving-machine/

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack's-Jane View Post
    Could it be that a different strain of coccidia effects herbivores than the one that effects carnivores
    Yes its different .. coccidia is species specific ..

    coccidia also affects cats , cows , sheep , chickens etc .. ..but each has its own strains .. and each species has several different ones .. i think there are 12 which affect rabbits ..but these dont effect other animals .

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