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Rabbits/Epizootic Rabbit Enteropathy (ERE)

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Question
Is there a treatment for ERE? I have been treating my herd with Albon it keeps the ere symptoms at bay. Three or four days off fryers start to get sick and die. Also do you have an opinion on colony or free range for a commercial rabbitry

Answer
As of this writing, the cause of "ERE" is unknown.  No pathogen is associated with the enteritis and diarrhea characteristic of this disorder, as you can see here:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15955284

If you have been treating with Albon and having some success, I wonder if your problem is not ERE, but coccidiosis.  Eimeria generally do not spread throughout a group of rabbits unless there is a problem with husbandry, so be sure your cages are clean and sanitary, waste is removed constantly, and rabbits are kept in stress-free, peaceful, comfortable surroundings to keep immune systems strong.

As for your last question:  I am entirely opposed to commercial breeding of rabbits, as you probably can tell from my description.  I *rescue* and love these intelligent, wonderful animals, and find the practice of raising them as food as abhorrent and disgusting as raising dogs or cats as food.

That said, whatever enriches the lives of the rabbits is the best.  Free range is ideal, as long as the rabbits are in harmonious warrens where individuals do not fight.

Dana

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Dana Krempels, Ph.D.

Expertise

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:
THE INTERNET IS NOT THE PLACE TO SEEK HELP IN AN EMERGENCY.

...it is an EMERGENCY.

Find a rabbit vet at www.rabbit.org/vet 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.


RULE #2:
Help me help you! Please make your subject line informative if you have an urgent question. then LET ME KNOW IN THE SUBJECT LINE so I can give your question highest priority over non-urgent questions. If you don't do this, then I can't guarantee timely assistance!

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

Experience

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.

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

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

Education/Credentials
Ph.D - Biology
B.S. - Biology
B.A. - English

Awards and Honors
Lightspan Academic Excellence Award for web site on rabbit health and biology
(http://www.bio.miami.edu/hare)

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