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Rabbits/Suspected EC, want to protect exposed rabbits


QUESTION: Hello! Thank you for being available to help me. I am a member of a rabbit rescue, and we recently took in a new rabbit, only to discover signs of EC two days later. He is in my home, along with 4 other rabbits. I was initially not careful enough not to cross contaminate, because I didn't know he had EC. My question is, how do I protect the other 4 rabbits? My inclination is to treat EVERYONE with panacur for 28 days. Is this safe? Thank you!

ANSWER: Bethany,

I understand your desire for an abundance of caution and I thoroughly respect that, however with bunnies systems being so sensitive in general, it's best not to treat them for anything that's unnecessary as it could lead to other complications later and, at the very least, cause undue stress and a flurry of bunny butts and cold shoulders during treatment. Is there a chance you can bring them all in to a vet to test and be sure none of them have contracted it? Obviously I'd take trips to keep from further risk of cross-contamination, but if you call your vet and explain the situation I'm sure they'll work with you on that.
In the mean time, I would take all the normal precautions - keep this bun quarantined, don't mix cages/liter boxes/water bottles/etc. until cleaned with a warm water and bleach solution, and wash your hands thoroughly during handling times. In fact, I might also recommend changing any clothing after handling your EC bun but before handling your non-EC bunnies.

Hope this helps. Best of luck!

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks!! Can I ask one more question? I had understood that oat hay is good to give. I give half oat hay half Timothy. I do the half oat because several bunnies I care for are prone to dental issues, and the oat helps keep their teeth a good length for a little longer. But I just read that oat hay has too much calcium and protein to be given all the time. Is that true? Thank you!


Oat hay is not one I would recommend to give daily - maybe once or twice a week. A suggestion to replace the oat hay is to seek out any small animal rescue where you can source first cut hay - it's more coarse and will lend itself to wearing down the teeth better than the willowy floppy stuff you find in pet stores. Any chance they would like any of the following to chew on? All are safe and also lend themselves to wearing down chompers.

Alder, Birch, Spruce, Rowan, Hawthorn, Aspen, Ash, Willow, Maple, Goat Willow, Poplar, Hazel, Juniper, Gooseberry, Redcurrant, Apple Tree, Pear Tree, Black Currant


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Christine Whetstone


I am not an expert on wild rabbits, only domesticated rabbits. I can answer questions regarding habitats, behavior, diet, health, pairing/bonding - pretty much anything having to do with owning a rabbit.


I've owned indoor rabbits for the last 10 years. During that time I've gained experience in areas like bonding exercises, understanding behavior, warning signs of sick bunnies, how to handle more serious illnesses (GI stasis, abscesses, eye problems, etc.) and more. It's rare that I come across an inquiry that I do not already know the answer to.

House Rabbit Society, supporter of local rabbit rescues


Personal experience beats the pants off of a degree, in my opinion.

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