Rabbit Focus

Can Rabbits Get Lungworm?

As a pet owner, you might find relief in the fact that worms are less common in pet rabbits compared to dogs and cats. However, it doesn’t mean that they cannot pick up worms anymore.

Can Rabbits Get Lungworm?

This is why being familiar with the telltale signs you should watch out for is important. This will help you ensure that your rabbit will get the necessary treatment immediately and stay a healthy and happy fluffball even when they stumble upon these parasites.

With that said, what worms can rabbits get? Can rabbits get lungworm?

The good news is that rabbits are quite rare in rabbits. However, they can still occur. Symptoms of lungworms include rubbing the neck on objects and coughing. Your rabbit’s feces may also have tiny white worms without eyes. The vet can administer treatment although Panacur may be able to help.

What are Lungworms?

Lungworm is the common name used to refer to A. vasorum, a worm that infects dogs. Canines catch these worms when they come into contact with infected slugs and snails and their trails. When these worms are infested, they move through the body and live in the lungs and heart.

Lungworms can cause a severe inflammatory response in the animal’s lungs that resembles pneumonia or even result in internal bleeding. These two conditions can both be fatal for the infected animal.

Lungworms can also lead to some non-specific clinical signs, which depend on where the larvae are located in the body such as neurological symptoms like seizures. Sometimes, bleeding may only become apparent after performing surgery, such as after spaying.

Common Worms in Rabbits

Rabbits can pick up a plethora of different kinds of worms from the environment. But before your vet can treat an infected rabbit, they need to know first the specific type of worms that cause the infestation.

After this, the vet will administer the correct dewormer to your bunny for his parasites. Rabbits tend to pick up most of the same worms known to infest dogs and cats, so make sure that the rest of the pets in your home are also dewormed regularly.

Below are some of the common worms in rabbits:

Pinworms

Pinworms are quite common in bunnies. If your pet is infected with pinworms, make sure that you wash up after you treat your rabbit or clean the cages to ensure that the eggs don’t get transmitted to the rest of the cages or in some rare instances, even to yourself and your family.

The initial signs of pinworms in rabbits are weight loss or failure to at least gain weight properly. Pinworms can be quite risky for baby bunnies and might result in Waster Syndrome. Always keep an eye out for small rice grains in your pet’s feces because these are actually the eggs of pinworms.

To treat pinworms, always consult your vet for a wormer safe for your rabbits. Killing pinworm eggs is not easy so you need to treat your infected bunnies at an interval of 10 to 14 days so you can get rid of the rooms when they hatch. It is also important to schedule follow-up fecal exams to ensure that you have completely eradicated all the worms.

Stomach Worms, Whipworms, and Roundworms

Stomach worms, whipworms, and roundworms may be less common compared to pinworms, yet these are also often found in domesticated rabbits. These worms are seldom passed on to humans, but it is still possible, and the larval form in particular can be harmful to kids.

These worms are known to cause different health problems such as failure to gain weight or weight loss. You may also notice tiny white worm segments in the feces of your bunny in the event of heavy infestation.

Your vet will recommend the right worming medication depending on the health and age of your rabbit. Applicable warnings as similar to those stated above for the treatment of pinworms.

Tapeworms

While it is very rare for rabbits to get tapeworms, they can get it if they are kept with dogs, with the dogs passing on the worms to them. The rabbits may become an intermediate host for the tapeworms from dogs, it is not likely to pass these worms on to humans. However, tapeworms from dogs can be transferred to humans. Never allow your bunny to eat grass in areas where infected dogs often go.

The common sign of tapeworms is mainly weight loss since the worms consume the nutrients and take up space. Your vet may also administer something through subcutaneous injection like Praziquantel for getting rid of the tapeworms.

Take note that worm medications can kill rabbits when you overdose on them so always follow the instructions of your vet.

General Worm Symptoms in Rabbits

Rabbits infected with worms may look unkempt and thin with poor quality of coat. A bunny may also rub its anal area in an attempt to relieve itching that can lead to inflammation. It is also common to spot worms in the droppings of your bunny.

Although you might not see the actual worms, the brown mucous threads in the fecal matter imply their presence in the bunny’s gastrointestinal tract.

Once there is an excessive accumulation of worms, this may result in impaction. Some of the common symptoms of worms include too much gas and the inability to pass feces, which is a vet emergency. Sudden death is occasionally the only clue that your rabbit is already suffering from worm infestation.

Worm Diagnosis and Treatment in Rabbits

The vet will examine the fresh droppings to find any signs of eggs or worms or send them to a lab for diagnosis. Your vet will treat your bunny depending on the findings. Marketed under the Panacur brand, fenbendazole can get rid of most cuniculi and roundworms. Your vet may also suggest treating your rabbit with this wormer several times per year.

Mebendazole is a dewormer that can eliminate pinworms and tapeworms. Adding piperazine citrate to the drinking water of your rabbits for 2 weeks, giving them plain water for 2 weeks, and dosing them for 2 more weeks can get rid of pinworms, too.

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