You stumble on your dog eating rabbit pellets like if there's no tomorrow, and a few hours later your dog has the runs, so now you are wondering whether dogs can get diarrhea from eating rabbit poop. This is a good question considering that rabbit poop is something that's not normally part of a dogs diet, and dogs tend to get digestive issues when they ingest anything new. On top of that, you may have heard that dogs can get diseases from eating rabbit poop, but how true is that? Veterinarian Dr. Ivana Vukasinovic clears facts from fiction.
Can Dogs Get Diarrhea From Eating Rabbit Poop?
By Dr. Ivana Vukasinovic DVM
Rabbits produce two types of poop. First, pellet-type is just undigested hay and grass, and dogs are attracted to this type of poop although it is smell-less. This type of poop is just fibers that can scavenge the digestive tract as dead weight. Second type of poop is not feces per se and are called cecotropes, grape-like nutrition packages produced by rabbits at night.
First of all, some dogs can get diarrhea just from changes in their diet, or from eating too much of rabbit poop that is voluminous and different from their usual diet.
Myths of Dogs Eating Rabbit Poop
There are some myths about dogs-eating-rabbit-poop;
- Tapeworm can only establish in a dog's body if the dog eats the actual rabbit.
- Rabbit form of coccidia is not the same type of coccidia that can affect dogs, and it just simply passes through the dogs body.
- Parasites that potentially could be transmitted from rabbits to dogs are Cryptosporidia and Giardia. However, the majority of dogs infected with Giardia do not have any symptoms but they should be checked regularly if they have access to rabbits poop.
In essence, you should not be afraid of infection transmitted by rabbits, but it is necessary to to take your dog to the vet if h seems sick or on a regular annual basis.
"Rabbits have their own kind of coccidia, they actually look very similar to canine coccidia. So, I'd make sure your vet is seeing dog coccidia and not rabbit coccidia. Rabbit coccidia is just passing through, not contagious to other dogs."~Dr. B. veterinarian
"Although there are many types of coccidia, they are usually species specific and do not cross infect other species. They can be consumed by another species and show up in a fecal float exam, but they are no infection or reproducing in the non related species."~Dr. Cheri, veterinarian
About the Author
DVM Ivana Vukasinovic is a veterinarian in Belgrade, capital city of Serbia.
She received her B.S from University of Belgrade in 2012, and her master’s degree from Veterinary University, Belgrade.
Before eventually becoming director of Vetanima Doo, company that sells animal food, medicine and supplements, she have worked in many different fields of sales.
After finishing college, she started working as sales person in biggest Serbian bookshop chain, and being passionate about books, she had reached the position of publisher.
After leaving this field, she started working as a veterinary commercialist, and then landing a job as veterinarian at veterinary pharmacy, in the same company in which she is now acting as director.
When she is not working, she is either glued to some fantasy book or cooking for friends. She currently resides in Belgrade with her cat Mile.