Rabbit Focus

Can Rabbits Get Hookworms?

Unlike in dogs or cats, worms are much less common in rabbits. But your cute balls of fluff may still pick up these wriggly and nasty parasites. By knowing the signs that you should watch out for, your bunny can receive treatment right away and help them stay in top health.

Can Rabbits Get Hookworms?

What kinds of worms can your rabbit get, then? Can rabbits get hookworms, too?

Hookworm infestation is mostly recorded in dogs and cats. But despite this, it doesn’t mean that your rabbits are safe from worms. Read on below to know more about the worms that rabbits can get.

What are Hookworms?

Hookworms, just like roundworms and tapeworms, are intestinal parasites that grow and live in the digestive systems of dogs or cats. The hookworm will attach to the intestinal wall’s lining and feed on the blood of the animals. The eggs of hookworm are then expelled into the digestive tract the passed to the environment through the feces of the infected animal.

The young hookworms or larvae that hatch from the eggs can live in the soil. It is these larvae that can infect a dog or cat through simple contact and penetration of the animal’s skin. They can also end up eating the larvae during their routine cleaning or licking or every time they ingest dirt.

What Types of Worms Can Rabbits Get?

The pinworm is the main type of worm bunnies can get. Rabbits can pick up pinworms if they eat the droppings of an infected rabbit. Just so know, eating droppings is a critical part of the normal digestive cycle and diet of rabbits. They will often be exposed through the parents, the breeder, or at the pet shop or rescue center.


Pinworms in rabbits don’t often cause any serious health issues in these fluffballs and may even remain undetected for quite some time. The bad news here is that pinworms can cause discomfort and itching around the bottom of your rabbit.

Stomach Worms

It is a bit rare for rabbits to get stomach worms. These worms can be found in the mucus layer of the stomach of rabbits. Signs of stomach worm infestation in rabbits may include visible worms in the animal’s feces as well as weight loss.

However, these mainly happen if the rabbit is already suffering from a serious case of stomach worms. In such instances, the vet might be able to diagnose the presence of stomach worms when they conduct fecal floatation and identify the eggs in the animal’s feces.


It is very rare for rabbits to be infected with tapeworms. Bunnies cannot pass on these worms, except when a predator preys on them. This is because the life cycle of tapeworms cannot be completed in rabbits. But the only concern here is that tapeworms can make rabbits develop liver and skin cysts.

Symptoms and Signs of Worms in Rabbits

Most of the time, worms in rabbits only have very mild symptoms or none at all. You might notice your bunny biting and scratching a lot around the area of its bottom. You may also see small white worms on its feces or around the anus. Poor fur condition and weight loss may also be signs that a rabbit already has a worm infestation.

Kits or baby rabbits often suffer more severe effects from worms than adult ones. The most common signs can include diarrhea, substantial weight loss, and lethargy.

How to Get Rid of Worms in Rabbits

As far as worm treatment and prevention in rabbits is concerned, you can actually deal with the problem in several ways.

To treat worms in an infected rabbit, you need the help of an anti-parasitic worm treatment. The vet would typically prescribe these medications to rabbits with a worm infestation. These treatments are often dosed on their food and water.

What are Worming Treatments?

A worming treatment is a form of antiparasitic agent that typically kills both the eggs and live worms. Administering this treatment is easy and will not cause any discomfort to your pet rabbit.

Aside from giving your rabbit a worming treatment, it is also important that you clean the play area and hutch of your rabbit to get rid of all the feces until the worm infestation has been completely cleared up. It is also a must to be extra watchful of wild rabbits that might get access to your garden, particularly if they can also get into the areas where your pets are located.

Why Should You Give Worming Treatment to Your Rabbit?

Unlike dogs and cats, rabbits don’t require a worming treatment regularly since getting worms is less common for them than other domesticated pets. If you think that your rabbits have worms, make sure that you confirm it with the help of your vet who will then prescribe the correct course of treatment.

Most parasiticide products might have some consequences to the environment that you should try to reduce in the best way you can. You can talk to your vet about the different ways that can help lessen the detrimental effects of these products. Some parasites might also resist some medications. The vet can also advise you on what will suit your pet the most.

Normally, a simple course of deworming is already enough to address any issues. However, if the worm problem is severe to the point that your bunny even stopped eating, more ongoing support may be necessary.

How Should You Worm a Rabbit?

The worming treatment is frequently given to a rabbit in a paste form that you will squeeze into the mouth of your pet. This may also come as a powder or liquid that you can just mix in with their water or food. Your vet will also advise you about the correct worming treatment option according to the specific rabbit species you own.

How Often Should You Worm Rabbits?

While most pets, with rabbits included, don’t require regular routines for worming, it is best to treat them at least thrice a year. The frequency depends on what challenges you are dealing with. Again, talk to your vet to understand things better.

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