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Rabbits/Chronically Ill 4 yr old Holland now says EC


Hi Holland lop has been a sickly little guy since I got him.  He has meibomian cysts that have to get laced every few months, he has continuous gi issues (not only stasis but the vet his stomach is too large even when his cecum is fine) he is not a big hay eater (but does not have tooth issues that would prevent him from eating hay)so I give him critical care every day to keep his gut moving
 He very suddenly developed cataracts and the vet immediately put him on pancur and assumed EC but did not do the blood test.  My question is this:  is it possible that EC is the cause of all his quirky health issues without him getting head tilt or weak back legs?  Also, should I insist that she do the EC test or doesn't it really matter?  Finally, is pancur really effective to fight ec and if so how many days should he be on it.  Or is ivermectin better?  Thank you so much.

Dear Dorothy,

Sorry for the delay.  The AllExperts sites seems to be down more than working these days, and every time I log on I seem to get a "try again later" message!

I'm sorry to hear about your bunny's chronic problems.

I honestly would be *sure* there is no dental problem, as Holland Lops are notorious for this.  It can take a real expert vet to detect spurs that are far back in the mouth, and might even require anesthesia to get in a take a really good look.  Molar spurs can be very hard to see when a rabbit is awake, and it really takes a vet who is experienced at looking for the right thing to determine if they are a problem, even if small.

Cataracts can be caused by things other than E cuniculi.  Although glaucoma doesn't *cause* cataracts, we often see bunnies with glaucoma also developing cataracts.  It might be a good idea to have your bunny's eyes evaluated by a boarded veterinary ophthalmologist, as a mammalian eye is a mammalian eye.  E. cuniculi creates very distincting cataracts, different from those of other causes, so be sure to mention the suspicion to the ophthalmologist so s/he will be aware that this is a possibility (if s/he doesn't see many rabbits).

I hope some of this will help.



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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.

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.


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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