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Worming your rabbit


Some experts don't believe rabbits get worms and as a result some vets don't recommend worming at all. 

However it is general practice among the breeders and rabbit show people to worm their rabbits. 

There is very little research that has been done on rabbits. 
Most medications used on rabbits today will not have rabbits or rabbit dosages listed on the labels. This is due to lack of research, and the need to have the medication approved for rabbit use by the proper authorities such as the USFDA. Rabbits are consider food so all kinds of testing would be needed to make a medication rabbit and human approved.  

Most breeders give a drop of
Ivermectin in the rabbit's mouth to prevent and kill all forms of Mites and other types internal worms

There are three types of mites.

- Fur mites appear as dandruff or little white specks on a rabbit's coat. 
You may notice a bald spot at the back of the rabbits neck around it's shoulder blades. This can be a mite problem or in young rabbits it may simply be molting.

- There is a variety of burrowing mite that leaves pimple like scabs and bumps under a bald patch of skin.

- Lastly Ear mites.
You should check your rabbits ears regularly for ear mites. 
You won't be able to see them unless under a microscope. 
However there are plenty of signs to detect ear mites. 
The rabbit's ears will appear dirty (dirty colored wax can be seen). 
The rabbit maybe be seen scratching at it's ears. 
In really bad cases of ear mites you'll see scabs inside the ears.

The Namebrand for Ivermectin is Ivomec. I was informed by the local feedmilI that Ivomec's patetent expired Jan 2008. There are now generic versions of Ivermectin that cost a fraction of the price as Ivomec does. I used to pay $65.00 and $76.00 per bottle of Ivomec. Now I use a brand called NOROMECTIN (which is ivermectin) made by Novapharm Ltd. It costs around $20.00 for the same size bottle. 
Ivomec has dropped it's price down to approx $40.00 to $45.00 per bottle but I've been using the Noromectin and have had no side effects and it's cheaper.

I buy the
injectable Ivermectin and give it to the rabbit oral (in the mouth with a 1cc sryinge and no needle 1/10 cc per pound).
My friend at the SPCA gives injectable Ivermectin orally to hundreds of cats a year and most rabbits breeders dose this way too.

Piperazine
(namebrand Wazine ) is used by many breeders for Pin Worms.
Ivomectine isn't supposed to be effective for Pin Worms, so when the pins bones on the rabbits butt can be felt I normally give them a dose of Piperazine. The Bony butt (pin Bones) are also a genetic trait so worming doesn't guaranty they'll get nice round hindquarters. You will likely have to do some selective breeding.

Giving too much or too concentrated a dose can make you rabbit ill and go off food and water.
Some rabbits get that reaction anyway. When worming a rabbit for the first time I give them a half dose, and wait 10 days and redo the dose.  

Ivomec and other wormers can cause some rabbits to molt. 

I plan my worming at a time when my rabbit is molting naturally. 
Hair loss can be a reaction to worming and is a sign of stress on the body. 
This doesn't mean all rabbits will react to worming medication by molting. Some rabbits don't. 
But if you're new to showing and have only a few bunnies, I wouldn't risk putting them into a molt by worming them unless I had to. If they molt during the show season then your show season is pretty much over.

I worm my brood does at least 10 days or more before I breed them. I do not worm pregnant does.
I only worm weaned kits. Again there's a lack of knowledge in this area, so I play it safe.

Ivomec does not kill the Coccidia parasite. 
I give my bunnies
Sulfamethazine (Sulmet is the common brand name) as a preventative against the Coccidia parasite
You can either put it in their water or I buy medicated Purina rabbit pellets from the feed mill. 

The feed has sulfamethazine added to it. It cost $2.00 more per bag and I feed it for 5 days. I do this twice a year (Spring and Fall) when the weather is damp and rainy. 

If you put sulfamethazine drops in their water, you're supposed to dump the water out daily, and put freshly medicated water in for a 5 day period. I found that a bit labor intensive when I have 20 e-z crocks to detach from the cages. 
I've also found that some rabbits with not eat or drink the sulfamethazine medication. 
I'm now using a 1cc syringe and force feeding
1/10 of a cc per pound to the rabbits
. I've had no ill effects by doing it this way and I know that the rabbits have received there full daily dosage.

If I'm getting mysterious deaths, poor weight gain in my kits, or weight loss in my rabbits, I treat for coccidia using sulfamethazine in the water for 5 days and then another 5 day treatment 7-10 days later.
Sulfamethazine cures a number of rabbit ailments so even if it isn't coccidia that is causing the trouble the sulfamethazine is a great answer to urinary infections, bacteria infections and a wide range of ailments.


As for the age to start Worming and the frequency that differs greatly from breeder to breeder.
I worm twice a year and I'm reluctant to worm young Juniors. I don't worm all three meds at the same time. However I know one top breeder who safely gives both Wazine and Ivomec at the same time and after every show. They've been in rabbits longer than me....

So again there is no right answer because none of these meds have been tested for rabbits by the companies that make them.

For Dosage information and side effects go to: Motz.com  http://www.morfz.com/


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