pros / cons to deworming rabbits

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Happy Hollands

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What are the pros / cons of deworming rabbits, especially babies?
I have only dewormed a few of my adult rabbits before in the past, but for some young rabbits I am going to keep (currently 4 weeks old) is it worth it to deworm them (and when should I start if so)? What are the benefits of this, and is it necessary?
If so, what brands of deworming would you prefer and what's the best method? I currently have Panacur on hand, and I have also considered Corid. I would appreciate any and all advice, thank you!
 

majorv

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Some breeders regularly deworm but many don’t. When we got into breeding we were told that as long as our rabbits were kept off the ground there’s no need to do regular deworming. We did not let ours run through our yard for exercise...we brought them in the house to run around. We had one rabbit get cocci but Albon cleared it up. We also had one develop EC for which we used Safeguard/Panacur. Unfortunately, she only got worse and she had to be euthanized. So, we had very few problems with worms/parasites.

If you deworm then you need to rotate wormers to prevent them developing a resistance to one wormer.
 

Happy Hollands

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Some breeders regularly deworm but many don’t. When we got into breeding we were told that as long as our rabbits were kept off the ground there’s no need to do regular deworming. We did not let ours run through our yard for exercise...we brought them in the house to run around. We had one rabbit get cocci but Albon cleared it up. We also had one develop EC for which we used Safeguard/Panacur. Unfortunately, she only got worse and she had to be euthanized. So, we had very few problems with worms/parasites.

If you deworm then you need to rotate wormers to prevent them developing a resistance to one wormer.
thank you! our bunnies do get exercise time in the grass when weather permits, and we only recently tried moving their exercise area indoors but they left us a big mess to clean up and it didn't seem worth it (they love sunshine too!). our rabbitry is located in our garage, so the only time they have access to grass is when they are let outside to have exercise. are you agreeing it isn't worth it to deworm, or are the risks too high not to?
 

Debbie Medina

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mmh i think ive only dewormed mine twice in the time ive had them (about a year) only cause they spend time both outdoors and indoors and the looovee to make tunnels play & hope on plant pots and just about anything where there is soil..
I mostly deworm cause one time i found something like a worm crawling in the fur and she was trying eat that thing so i freaked out and got me some fenbendazole, I suggest deworming if they play in soil/grass type of yard
 

Happy Hollands

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thank you all for the informative opinions! for my young rabbits, when is the earliest age they should be allowed to have play time and start to eat the grass? I recently had a local breeder criticize me for letting seven week olds experience it for the first time before going to the new homes. 😓 is around 2 to 3 months a good age to introduce them to the world outside? thank you!
 

Happy Hollands

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also, I live in Washington State, and I believe there is not a huge risk of RHDV2? should this in any way impact my rabbit's abilities to go outside and enjoy the nice weather? there's quite a few wild bunnies hopping around my neighborhood, but I try to leave the exercise pens set up in the same area so my bunnies are not necessarily eating the same grass and being in the same area as them. I will admit I am not as well educated as I should be on RHDV2, but I would love to learn more and make sure there's no risk towards my bunnies' health.
 

majorv

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thank you! our bunnies do get exercise time in the grass when weather permits, and we only recently tried moving their exercise area indoors but they left us a big mess to clean up and it didn't seem worth it (they love sunshine too!). our rabbitry is located in our garage, so the only time they have access to grass is when they are let outside to have exercise. are you agreeing it isn't worth it to deworm, or are the risks too high not to?
That would be a judgement call you’d have to make. Are they on the grass every day? If so, you might consider it but I don’t think I’d let the young ones on the grass until they’re older.
We put our youngsters in a room without carpet so it was easy to clean. We let the adults on the carpet. They rarely peed inside and it was no big deal to pick up the poop, but again we restricted them to one big room.
 

Happy Hollands

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That would be a judgement call you’d have to make. Are they on the grass every day? If so, you might consider it but I don’t think I’d let the young ones on the grass until they’re older.
We put our youngsters in a room without carpet so it was easy to clean. We let the adults on the carpet. They rarely peed inside and it was no big deal to pick up the poop, but again we restricted them to one big room.
they are in grass every other day if weather permits! for the adults that is. my current 5-week-old babies have not been introduced to the grass yet! when is the earliest you would recommend letting them experience outdoors the first time? thanks!
 

majorv

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Is there a way you can set up an exercise pen on the garage floor and let the younger ones run around until they’re older, say 8 weeks?
 

Happy Hollands

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Is there a way you can set up an exercise pen on the garage floor and let the younger ones run around until they’re older, say 8 weeks?
so funny you mentioned that, that is exactly what I have started doing! It was previously inside the house, but I found room in the garage to have a nice little play area. they really enjoy it because there's lots of enrichment toys and some treats. for the adults, one of mine is partially free room and the other one is mainly just in her cage for now with lots of snuggles and time with me!

are you implying that around 8 weeks of age they can be introduced to fresh grass / the outdoors? without being dewormed or risk of complications / health problems popping up? I usually sell my youngsters, and do not have to worry about that awkward in between age from a baby to an adult. this is actually my first time keeping a homebred baby! I am so excited...

thank you!
 

Sam_

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I believe RHDV2 has only been found on Orcas island and not on the mainland.
I just have my rabbits graze my backyard in a rabbit safe harness while I'm supervising.
 

majorv

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so funny you mentioned that, that is exactly what I have started doing! It was previously inside the house, but I found room in the garage to have a nice little play area. they really enjoy it because there's lots of enrichment toys and some treats. for the adults, one of mine is partially free room and the other one is mainly just in her cage for now with lots of snuggles and time with me!

are you implying that around 8 weeks of age they can be introduced to fresh grass / the outdoors? without being dewormed or risk of complications / health problems popping up? I usually sell my youngsters, and do not have to worry about that awkward in between age from a baby to an adult. this is actually my first time keeping a homebred baby! I am so excited...

thank you!
In our experience youngsters up to about 12 weeks are at risk of developing gastrointestinal stress (enteritis). After that their gut has usually developed enough to handle stress and new things. If you want to be careful with this one I’d suggest keeping it off the grass just so you don’t have to worry about worms. Like I mentioned, we never had to worry about it, but we showed our rabbits and didn’t want to risk any issues since going to shows can be stressful on them anyway.
 
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