Encephalitozoon Cuniculi (e. cuniculi) is an obligate protozoal parasite. Little is known about its biology, but it is thought to be transferred from mother to offspring prior to birth, and possibly shed into the urine of infected rabbits. The organism is thought to travel through the body in white blood cells, the cells that normally fight disease, and may infect the tissues of the rabbit’s brain, kidney, spinal cord, heart, liver and lungs. It has also been known to cause damage to the eyes (uveitis).
The general drugs of choice to used to help control e. cuniculi, Fenbendazole, Oxibendazole and Albendazole, all benzimidazole derivatives, are de-wormers that are used on various species of animals (cats, dogs, horses) to rid them of intestinal parasites. They do their job by blocking the transport and uptake of glucose. Though e. cuniculi is a protozoal parasite, the thought is that it will have a similar effect. A positive tire for e. cuniculi means only that your rabbit has been exposed to the parasite at some point. Many rabbits who test positive for e. cuniculi never show any clinical signs.
Within the last six months three unrelated spayed female rabbits from different households have gone into bone marrow failure. Dr. Sari Kanfer, Zooh Corner’s medical director, believes that all three cases may have been related to administration of albendazole, fenbendazole or oxibendazole, the general drugs of choice used to treat rabbits with positive titres for e. cuniculi.
The presenting signs were acute onset of anorexia and GI stasis. Blood work showed that all three [rabbits] had EXTREMELY low numbers of white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets (all cells produced by the bone marrow). Says Dr. Kanfer, “These rabbits were not just anemic secondary to e. cuniculi-related kidney problems, note that they also were lacking platelets and white blood cells.” The additional lack of platelets and white blood cells is strongly suggestive of bone marrow failure.
Features of Fenbendazole For Rabbits
A broad-spectrum anthelmintic as an aid in the control of encephalitozoon cuniculi and intestinal worms in domestic rabbits. Syringe contains 5gm of an 18.75% oral paste formulation of fenbendazole as a ready to administer oral anthelmintic and anti-protozoal for domestic rabbits. Legal Category: SAES.
Uses/benefits of Fenbendazole For Rabbits
Panacur Rabbit has been developed to provide a single answer to the issue of worms and parasites such as E.cunicul. in a pleasant tasting paste allowing for easy dosing. Each syringe containing 5 g of an 18.75% oral paste formulation of fenbendazole as a ready to administer oral anthelmintic and anti-protozoal for domestic rabbits. 1 g contains 0.187 g active ingredient fenbendazole which should be administered orally by squeezing the paste from the syringe into the side of the mouth.
Dose: 1 syringe graduation per 2.5 kg bodyweight (20 mg/kg fenbendazole) daily for 9 consecutive days. Routine dosing of rabbits is recommended 2-4 times yearly. Dosing should also be considered during periods of higher risk, such as when the rabbit is acquired, prior to mating and when mixing with other rabbits. For single treatment course only.