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Thread: Can soil carry bunny diseases?

  1. #1

    Default Can soil carry bunny diseases?

    Hey everyone. Iím hoping that some of you might be able to help with this - Iíve looked online but I canít seem to find an answer.
    Iíve got two house rabbits and I want to make them a digging box with mud in it, but my garden often has wild rabbits in it, and Iím worried that any mud I bring in might be contaminated if any of the wild rabbits are ill. Is this something thatís likely? Or am I over-worrying?
    I did wonder if I could sterilise the mud by baking it in the oven or something, but I canít find anything online to see if that would then make it safe. Or for how long/what temp to cook it. Anyone know?
    Thanks very much for any help you can give.

    Teresa x

  2. #2
    Forum Buddy Liz47's Avatar
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    Are your bunnies vaccinated? I wouldn't worry as much if so. I keep giant African land snails and see people sterilise soil for them in the oven, I think at 200 degrees not sure how long for but can check. I buy a small bag of compost (must be fertiliser free) and use this for my indoor buns just to be safe

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  3. #3

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    Why not use sand that is used for children’s sand pits

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  4. #4
    Wise Old Thumper
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    If you do use sand you have to check Bunnies over when they finish playing in it, ie eyes, genitals etc.

  5. #5
    Mama Doe
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    If your rabbits are vaccinated for myxomatosis, RHD1 and RHD2, there is no additional risk from using garden soil. If they are not vaccinated, they really need doing (it's a single jab annually now) as they are still vulnerable to these deadly diseases.

    Compost and / or bark mulch would be a decent substitute. John Innes is a soil-based compost formula (but pick the basic one with no fertiliser). Shredded paper (as long as they don't eat it) or hay would also bo OK in a digging box.

    Sterilising soil is a very smelly process to do it properly - it's not really something you can do in your oven with guaranteed results.

  6. #6
    Young Bun AnjaSanja's Avatar
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    I would rather buy children's playsand. Otherwise-put some protective spot on treatment. It also depends where you live. If RHD1 and RHD2 are possible risk-vaccination first (and even that is not 100% guarantee).

  7. #7
    Mama Doe
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    Quote Originally Posted by AnjaSanja View Post
    I would rather buy children's playsand. Otherwise-put some protective spot on treatment. It also depends where you live. If RHD1 and RHD2 are possible risk-vaccination first (and even that is not 100% guarantee).
    In the UK, the 3 rabbit viruses are a significant risk to all unvaccinated rabbits. Close proximity to known wild rabbit population is a risk.

    Not sure what you hope to achieve by a spot-on treatment - they are only advised when specific infestations have been identified on a particular rabbit (eg mites). They are not recommended as a preventative measure, and garden soil should not be an issue here.

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