Rabbits are active herbivores whose common diet contains mainly pellets, hay, and grass. Also, you can feed your rabbits with other treats like frozen vegetables, mangoes, and carrots all in moderation.
However, a lot of caregivers can’t stop wondering if rabbits really eat worms. Well, the answer is yes. Your rabbits can come in contact with worms by eating foods that have lasted more than a day in their feeding bowl.
Further, in this article, we will look at how to diagnose your rabbits with worms and how to prevent them from excessive eating of worms. Let’s dive in!
Do Rabbits Eat Worms?
Rabbits are popularly known as herbivores. So, it’s quite uncommon to stock up their meals with high amounts of worms.
With that being said, so many pet researchers have over time found out that some worms can be highly healthy for bunnies, so long as they do not take more than the required amount.
For example, earthworms are likely to replace a certain percentage of protein supplements in a growing bunnies’ diet without resulting in any physiological problems.
Since worms are not the rabbit’s common meal, you must ensure that they consume them in very little quantities.
Do Rabbits Enjoy Mealworms?
Yes, rabbits enjoy eating mealworms and do desire to get them from their caregivers. As a rabbit caregiver, ensure you serve them a small portion of mealworms and do not give it to them always.
The reason why you must ensure moderate consumption as large quantities of mealworms can cause damage to your rabbit’s digestive system.
Do Rabbits Eat Earthworms?
Rabbits can eat earthworms while eating grass. The fact that earthworms are beneficial for rabbits may surprise you. According to a study report, bunnies can benefit from eating earthworms, especially if they do so in small amounts.
Earthworms are sometimes fed to rabbits to fulfill their protein requirements. It’s important that you do this under the vet’s supervision to prevent physical issues.
Additionally, earthworms can increase rabbit digestibility up to a certain level.
What are the Common Types Of Worms That Can Harm Rabbits?
Here, we will explain the two most common types of worms that are likely toxic to your rabbit’s health.
Tapeworm is one of the most common types of worms that can cause damage to your rabbit if proper care is not taken. The Cittotaenia Variabilis is the main source of tapeworm infestation in rabbits.
Your bunny might come in contact with the tapeworm when eating contaminated hay; it starts from the larval form, develops in the stomach and liver, and then finally gets to the mature stage to continue living in the rabbit’s intestine.
If your rabbit consumes a lot of raw tapeworms, it can transfer infections to you or other humans around. That’s why as a rabbit caregiver, monitoring tapeworm consumption is as vital as everything else.
The pinworm is also one of the most widespread worm species that can infect your rabbits. Eating the droppings of another sick rabbit can cause pinworm infection in bunnies.
Usually, the exposure could come through the caregiver, the pet dealer, the breeders, or the shelter where your bunnies are kept.
Pinworms, which can dwell in your rabbit unnoticed and may likely spread to humans, are not a severe health danger to its caregiver unless he/she eats undercooked Infected rabbit meat. Also, remember that they may cause swelling and irritation near your rabbit’s bottom.
To accurately tell if your rabbits have contracted pinworms, you should take them to a qualified veterinarian. The vet will have to pass your pet’s feces through a fecal smear using a microscope. That way, he can tell the rabbit had pinworm eggs living in their eggs.
Considering the fact that rabbits are quite coprophagic, it can be difficult to permanently eliminate pinworms in their system.
Some Early Signs That Show Your Bunny Have Worms
There are certain signs that when you begin to see them in your rabbits, it is an indication that your rabbit has worms and they are at their early stage.
Most times, these worms are contracted through excessive consumption of worms. Let’s see what some of them are below:
- Irritated skin towards the hind and excessive scratching and biting
- Tender bunnies can be severely infected. This can happen mostly when they are being weaned and has signs that are not far from diarrhea, significant weight loss, and lack of appetite
- Excessive weight loss
- You will notice small white worms around the rabbit’s anus and in their faces
- Poor coat condition
How to Prevent Worms For Your Rabbits
To keep your rabbits from eating worms, there are some precautions you must put in place.
First, you want to keep their environment as healthy as possible. Once the rabbit’s dwelling is neat, there would be fewer chances of finding worms around them.
Also, if your rabbit shares space with other pets, you must try to clear up the other pet’s dirt as soon as you find them. You should remove foxes from your home garden or any part of your environment where your rabbit grazes.
Secondly, take note of any leftover grass, pellets, or Timothy hay; ensure to take them out and replace them after a few days. That’s because rabbits tend to go back to eat their waste after a while.
Sadly, this implies that after a preliminary deworming, they can still re-infect themself, thus maintaining a regular deworming regimen is essential.
How To Diagnosis Your Rabbits For Worms
To quickly diagnose your rabbits to know if they have worm infection, first, check through their droppings for strands and If it’s there, then take them to the vet.
Additionally, the most effective course of action is to take your rabbit to the nearest veterinarian for a professional health check. If your rabbit does indeed have worms, a routine deworming regimen suggested by your veterinarian is typically sufficient to address the issue.
Rabbits may require further supportive care in more severe or advanced conditions, particularly if they have had stomach discomfort or lost interest in food. The treatment below can help.
Worm Treatment For Your Bunnies
Antiparasitic medications, which can be given when your bunny is diagnosed with a worm infestation and the condition persists despite a deforming therapy, can frequently be dispensed by mixing it with either water or food.
These include topical applications of ivermectin, food-dosed fenbendazole, and piperazine. To destroy all worms and their larvae completely, the treatment program might need to be repeated.
Some antiparasitic medications can also be hazardous for certain different breeds of bunnies. Discuss these concerns with your veterinarian if they are a worry because it can also increase the risk of abnormal behavior and fertility in treated animals.
Lastly, if you notice any negative changes in your rabbit’s behavior, do not hesitate to notify your veterinarian for an immediate check-up. They can be dewormed if it’s not severe.
However, if it’s life-threatening, other treatments can be conducted. Ensure that their huts and feeding bowl are kept clean at all times.
When a wild rabbit eats an earthworm, there’s no need to panic but do not permit too much of it if you’re in the position to do so.