Sunday, August 18, 2013

Rabbit - parasites causing head tilt in rabbits - Encephalitozoon cuniculi

Head tilt is rabbits is a most common condition seen in practice. The causes may or may not be a intracellular protozoan parasite called Encephalitozoon cuniculi. It is passed in the urine. It is transmitted by ingestion of spores in food or water contaminated by urine.

Signs include head tilt, hind limb paraesis, urinary incontiennce, cataract, uveitis and death.

Diagnosis is difficult. Blood tests are required. 

Clinical signs - Oral 20mg/kg fenbandazole for 28 days once a day (e.g Panacur)

Prevention - above for 9 days.
Separate food and water from urine

Deworming of intestinal worms 3-4 times per year is best. 

Zoonosis - Some infected rabbit owners complained of being unwell.

Some references

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