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Rabbits/coccidia, ponazuril, cleaning, gut rebuilding


Petra wrote at 2013-09-17 19:01:14
Since I can't ask a followup question since you are on vacation now, I'll post my reply here so others can at least see it.

There is no mistake. We have seen the oocysts with contents (before treatment) and empty (after ponazuril -- pretty cool). I asked several weeks ago how the yeast that is often confused with coccidia is distinguishable, and she explained and showed me under the microscope (she learned 20 years ago how to tell them apart).  She has also taken photos through the microscope and posted them to rabbit experts online for a second opinion on some of the contents she is unsure about. The most-affected rabbit's feces were "overrun" with the coccidia, while another just showed major yeast overgrowth with a few coccidia.

I suspect the ponazuril is burning their mouths and throats and perhaps causing blisters (a known side effect in horses), since they react immediately with pain and bloating and have trouble chewing a little while later. They learn quickly what it's hidden in and won't eat it the next time. But we used a suspension and then powder mixed in food, not the paste, so maybe that makes a difference.

The ages are 1-7, so I don't think they would all get ill with similar symptoms within a 6-month span due to aging.

Four bunnies have had xrays under anesthesia to check for teeth problems and other possible issues; two bunnies had teeth filed with no resolution of the intestinal problems.  

Since December, we've driven 2 hours (many times) to one of the best vets on that link you gave, and they never even did a fecal (even though I requested one twice). My local vet has done all the fecals, although we hear there is a lab in CO that is great for rabbit fecals and are thinking of sending some there to identify the type of coccidia and look for any other possible causes of their distress.  


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Dana Krempels, Ph.D.


I've lived with companion rabbits for more than 35 years, and consider them members of my family. I can answer any questions about the biology and health of rabbits, from the commonplace to the unusual. But please note:

RULE #1:

Find a rabbit vet at for immediate help, and don't risk your bunny's life by spending time asking questions online! If you can't get in touch with your vet, read these Emergency Sick Bunny Instructions.

If you have found a wild baby rabbit, please read these EMERGENCY INSTRUCTIONS FOR WILD BABY RABBITS and then use this link to FIND A LOCAL WILDLIFE REHABILITATOR who can give you the right advice.

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For all the best, most accurate rabbit health, care and behavior information, visit The House Rabbit Society.


I have been rescuing and rehabilitating domestic and wild rabbits for about 30 years. I have written articles for many rabbit rescue publications, as well as for the veterinary journal, Exotic DVM. I own EtherBun, the internet's largest listserve dedicated to health, care, and behavior of domestic rabbits.

Houserabbit Adoption, Rescue, and Education, Inc. (H.A.R.E., Inc.) president National House Rabbit Society (Board member)

Exotic DVM
Warren Peace (Journal of the House Rabbit Society of Miami)
Various newsletters of the House Rabbit Society, nationwide

Ph.D - Biology
B.S. - Biology
B.A. - English

Awards and Honors
Lightspan Academic Excellence Award for web site on rabbit health and biology

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