Can Rabbits Get E Coli and What Are Their Symptoms?


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can rabbits get e coli

You must be wondering what is e coli, and can rabbits get e coli too? Encephalitozoon Cuniculi (E Coli) was probably unrecognized as the cause of the disease in domestic rabbits until a few years ago. Today, widely available among domestic rabbits, affected rabbit owners want to learn as much as possible to give their rabbits the best possible care. However, this disease is not specific and there is still a lot we do not understand about it, so it needs some explanation to understand what it is, what it does and how it is currently being treated.

What is Encephalitozoon Cuniculi (E Coli)?

can rabbits get e coli
can rabbits get e coli

Encephalitozoon Cuniculi (E. Cuniculi) is a protozoal parasite. The parasite mainly affects rabbits but shows parasites in sheep, goats, dogs, cats, monkeys, pigs, foxes, pigs and humans as well. It is a well-known zoonosis, but the risk of zoonotic disease appears to be minimal for people with health that maintains basic hygiene.

To date, there have been no reported cases of direct infection from a rabbit to a human. However, those people who do not have a great immune system should use strict hygiene. If possible, avoid animals that are suspected of having E. Cuniculi also no doubt sought medical advice from their doctor.

What symptoms and disease processes does it cause in rabbits?

One study showed that about 52% of healthy rabbits in the UK carry Encephalitozoon Cuniculi (e coli) parasites, but many do not show any clinical signs. We do not yet understand why some rabbits have this disease and others do not, but it may be related to their immune system.

If you have a rabbit you are infected with E. Coli also shows clinical signs, you can show any, one or all of the following:

  • Hind limb paresis (weakness of the hind limbs)
  • Head tilt (torticollis)
  • Paralysis
  • Urinary incontinence and/or scalding
  • Tremors
  • Cataracts and lens-induced uveitis 
  • Collapse
  • Renal failure
  • Death


These clinical symptoms are caused by the body’s response to the breakdown of infected cells, particularly in the nervous system and kidneys. However, many of these symptoms can be linked to other processes of the disease, so diagnoses are not usually limited to clinical symptoms.

Can rabbits get e coli, and how is it diagnosed?

If you have a rabbit, and it is showing clinical signs that may be an E. Cuniculi, your veterinarian will probably recommend a blood test. Today, the most commonly used test is the ELISA test that measures serum antibody levels. This finds out that the rabbit has been exposed to a parasite.

How can I stop my rabbit from getting E Coli?

First, you need to be 100% sure that the rabbit is not infected with parasites. Ask your veterinarian if he or she would agree to a blood test for your rabbit. If the result is negative, the best way to protect yourself is to stop your rabbit from meeting any other rabbit, be it a pet or a wild one.

As mentioned earlier, spores from the parasite are mainly transmitted to the urine of infected rabbits, so removing this transmission is the best way to protect your rabbit. Hygiene is important as grains, It can easily kill common antibiotics.

Can I vaccinate my rabbit against E. Coli?

E. Cuniculi is a parasite, not a virus. Therefore, there is no vaccine for E. Cuniculi. Therefore, rabbits can get e coli easily.

What is the outlook for Rabbits with E Coli?

This depends on the rabbit’s response to treatment and the frequency and severity of any outbreaks.
In general, most rabbits have problems with E. Cuniculi can continue to function well and live full lives, but treatment should be expedited, otherwise, the parasite will cause serious damage and clinical symptoms will be severe.

Quality of life

It is important to keep your rabbit’s health in mind when working against E. Cuniculi. For example, if your rabbit has a tilted head but eats, drinks and can walk, you are probably very happy. Rabbits do not worry about their appearance; this greatly worries the owner.

In short, you should aim at providing supportive care and parasite control. You can achieve controlling of disease transmission by removing germs from the area by disinfection and by removing or separating infected rabbits from uninfected rabbits living in a group or group. You wanted to know about can rabbits get e coli like other animals? I hope you may get the answer to your doubts through this article.

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