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Can Dogs Get Sick From Eating Rabbit Poop? (2023 Guide)

Can Dogs Get Sick From Eating Rabbit Poop

Seeing your dog and rabbit in harmony is heartwarming.

Not until you caught Fido munching on your bunny’s poop.

And now, you ask:

“Should I worry about that?”

Continue reading to discover:

  • If dogs can get parvovirus from munching on rabbit droppings.
  • 3 concerning diseases dogs can get from consuming bunny feces.
  • The type of worms you can find in rabbit poop (and whether or not they’re dangerous).
  • And many more…

Can dogs get sick from eating rabbit poop?

Dogs can get sick from eating rabbit poop. The most common one that they could acquire is giardiasis. Sometimes, bunny droppings contain pathogens or disease-causing bacteria. Other times, germs from the floor can transfer to the poop. An example of both is E. coli.

What diseases can dogs get from eating rabbit poop?

The diseases dogs can get from eating rabbit poop are due to parasites or pathogens.

Moreover, bunny droppings contain many of those disease-causing organisms. 

However, most of them are species-specific

That means even when a dog ingests rabbit poop contaminated with it…

The microorganism wouldn’t affect the canine. 

It would simply pass through their GI tract. Then, the pooch will expel it.

An example of such is coccidia. 

Bunny droppings that contain that bacteria can only make another rabbit sick. Not any other animal.

That said, how about those that can get a dog ill? A few of those are:

#1: E. coli

This one’s in the bacterial hall of fame.

First of all, animals and humans have some E. coli in their intestines. But those strains are normally harmless. 

On the other hand, some kinds of these bacteria make an individual sick. A specific one is E. coli O157. 

Fact: More than 300 million illnesses are caused by E. coli each year. Along with that are 200,000 deaths annually. That’s the report from WHO Global Burden of Foodborne Diseases.

Now, that bacteria can be present in rabbit poop.

And when a dog eats the said feces, it can be fatal for the pooch. 

For one, E. coli causes the disease colibacillosis. And according to PetMD, that could cause:

  • Vomiting.
  • Lethargy.
  • Cold skin.
  • Depression.
  • Dehydration.
  • (Watery) diarrhea.

Warning: Both dogs and rabbits can pass E. coli to you. It’s a zoonotic bacteria. That means transmission between humans and animals is possible.

In this news report, wild rabbits infected 10 children and 2 adults with the strain. Which is worrying as colibacillosis is more vicious in kids.

You might also want to know: 5 Real Reasons Why You Should Never Eat Rabbit Poop

#2: Salmonella

Dogs Can Get Salmonella From Eating Rabbit Poop

Yet another bacteria that might be attached to rabbit feces.

Salmonella is a pathogen that causes salmonellosis. Sometimes, it can also bring typhoid fever.

And scientists tell us the mode of transmission of this bacteria is:

Ingesting contaminated feces, food, or fomites.

So when a dog consumes tainted bunny poop…

They’ll get sick from salmonella. 

When that happens, the CDC says the canine will show these symptoms: 

  • Fever.
  • Vomiting.
  • Lethargy.
  • Bloody diarrhea.

Warning: Bunnies and dogs can spread salmonella to you. So, ensure that you clean their poop properly. Then, wash your hands after doing so.

Continue reading: Are Rabbits Harmful To Humans? 11 Potential Risks 

#3: Campylobacter

Like E. coli, certain strains of campylobacter can be harmless. 

That’s why even if a rabbit has it in their system…

The bunny will be alright as they show no symptoms.

However, it’s still a dangerous pathogen. 

Campylobacter jejuni and Campylobacter upsaliensis are types that cause infection. Which is called campylobacteriosis.

And vets say:

Dogs can get affected by that infection through eating contaminated feces.

So, when the pup eats that rabbit poop and they get the bacteria…

They’ll show these signs of campylobacteriosis:

  • Fever.
  • Lethargy.
  • Abdominal pain.
  • Watery to mucoid diarrhea. 

Note: Humans can get campylobacter from rabbits too. However, the only way of transmission is through eating the carrier rabbit.

Can dogs get worms from eating rabbit poop?

Dogs could get worms from eating rabbit poop.  Although, most of those present in bunny droppings won’t affect canines. If ever that’s to happen, it’ll only be a rare event. 

That’s due to the worms’ species-specific natures. 

As I mentioned, that means the transmission is only possible for the same animals. Thus rabbits would only infect their fellow bunnies. 

And some examples of worms that you can find in rabbit poop are:

#1: Pinworms

This one is difficult to treat among rabbits. 

That’s because pinworms are transmitted through the fecal-oral route. 

Unfortunately, rabbits are known to eat their poop as well.

So no matter how many times they expel the worms…

The wiggly parasites come back to the bunny’s GI tract.

As for dogs, they won’t have to worry.

Pinworms are only contagious among bunnies. 

So when a pooch eats rabbit feces tainted with them, the canine won’t be affected.

#2: Tapeworms

Did you know that tapeworms are more common in dogs than rabbits?

According to vets, these worms rarely create an infestation among bunnies. 

But when they do, they develop into cysts. Then, that causes extreme discomfort to the bunny.

Now, if we were to look at what tapeworms do to a dog…

Getting infected through rabbit poop is uncommon for them.

The only time the pupper can be affected by the parasite is if they eat the rabbit’s meat. That’s because the cyst I mentioned earlier clings to the muscle tissues.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can a dog get leptospirosis from eating rabbit poop?

Dogs can’t get leptospirosis from eating rabbit poop. However, the latter can still transmit the bacteria to the canine. But that would only be through exposure to contaminated bunny urine and not poop.

According to MSD Vet Manual, the bacteria called leptospira is behind the disease.

And when your rabbit has the infection, they won’t transmit it through their poo.

Instead, they’ll spread the leptospira through their bodily fluids. That includes urine or blood, but not saliva.

That’s why dogs won’t get leptospirosis by eating rabbit poop.

Unless only the bunny pees in the same area they take a poo. 

With that, the 2 get mixed up, and leptospira contaminates the spot.

Note: The oral route isn’t this bacteria’s only entry point. They can also penetrate the body through the following:

  • Eyes.
  • Nose.
  • Exposed or open wounds.

Warning: Leptospirosis is zoonotic. And as I mentioned, that means you can get the disease as well. 

Read further: Can A Dog Get Leptospirosis From Eating Rabbit Poop?

Can dogs get parvo from rabbit poop?

Dogs can’t get parvo from rabbit poop. Both animals can be affected by the disease. But they can’t spread it to one another as parvovirus is species-specific.

Now, parvovirus strains in rabbits vary. 

But for dogs, VCA Hospitals reveal 2 strains that cause the illness:

  • CPV-2a.
  • CPV-2b.

Can dogs get giardia from eating rabbit poop?

Dogs can get giardia from eating rabbit poop. Then, they’ll face the disease it brings called giardiasis

For rabbits with giardia, they might not show any concerning signs. That means they’re asymptomatic

But when they show clinical symptoms, it’ll mostly be varying severity of diarrhea. And the worse it gets, the more the rabbit is prone to death.

As for dogs, they could have asymptomatic giardiasis as well. 

If not, VCA Hospitals say the canine will experience:

  • Vomiting. 
  • Weight loss.
  • Foul-smelling diarrhea.

That said, giardiasis is different in rabbits and dogs. 

However, they can exchange this bacteria. And not just through eating the poop of the other, but also through:

  • Sniffing the ground.
  • Drinking giardia-contaminated water.

Moreover, research warns us that infected rabbits pose a threat to humans. 

Yes. It’s a zoonotic disease

So ensure that you wash your hands after you clean up after your bunny or dog.