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Thread: Rabbit livers.

  1. #1

    Rabbit livers.

    Hi Morena, over my lifetime I have handled thousands and thousands of rabbits, quite a number of these have had cysts on their livers some just the odd one, others pickled in them! Also some livers have been enlarged and pale in colour. Is this a tubercular problem? I have noticed that certain areas seem worse than others. There used to be a variety of reasons for these abnormal livers, its about time I knew what it actually is, never too old to learn

  2. #2
    I have found the same in Grey Squirrels. Some of the livers have a mottled yellow covering, very unpleasant looking.

  3. #3
    Hi Oldkeeper,
    What you are describing is intermediate stage of dog tapeworms usually Taenia spp. Most common in areas where a lot of dog walkers exercise their dogs but don't worm them regularly. There is another tapeworm Echinococcus granulosis which is not nice as can infect humans getting into bones,lungs etc requiring surgical removal, quite common in Wales You may also have noticed small white spots on or in the liver and this is coccidiosis Eimeria Stiediae. Mainly found in rabbits reared for meat although we did find it in one bury that was heavily populated until the ferrets went to work. As for the discoloured livers no idea same applies to squirrels. Sorry.
    Did you know they are selling squirrel dishes in restaurants in London as tree rabbits 15 a portion. Stick to my squirrel casseroles via the aga.

  4. #4

    spotty livers

    I was under the impression that rabbits got spots on thier livers in the early stages of mixi, is this not the case?


  5. #5
    When my dogs bring me myxi rabbits have never opened one up as just too happy to leave them on hedges, high up etc out of dog reach otherwise they keep on retrieving. If they survive some rabbits develop lumps on nose ears and fore paws. Next one I get will open to see and report back.

  6. #6

    Rabbit livers

    Thanks for the info Morena. Now that you mention it I recall that coccidiosis has been mentioned before. Am I right in saying the tapeworm cysts you mention are in little sacs with a lymph like fluid in them and little white ojects floating therein? These are usually situated in various parts of the body cavity. Is coccidosis debilitating? Whilst on the subject of "horrids" I recently had a rabbit and when I came to remove the heart and lungs the chest cavity was solid with a white material, really hard and fibrous, could this have been a cancer or TB. Finally. having paunched many rabbits with myxy, their internals dont seem to show abnormal signs, apart that is, from a drastic weight loss. Why paunch myxy rabbits? food for the ferrets. As a tip, I always freeze the carcases I use for the ferrets for at least a couple of weeks, this kills off fleas, ticks and other nasties.

  7. #7
    Old Keeper,
    You are correct the little white spots are the infective part (scolex). As for cocci. in high infections seems to knock out some of the youngsters but most recover to become carriers. In rabbitries they just don't do so well. As for white in the chest no idea. If it had a definite shape could be tumour. Rabbit abscesses are a thick tooth paste consistency, very gooey. Thanks for the answer on myxi rabbits. Didn't fancy opening one but science must.

    Completely off key most rabbit meat in this country is imported form China. We export most of our venison to Germany and then import it from NZ ????

  8. #8
    I shoot a lot of rabbits on a riding school and surrounding land where there is not a lot of dog walking and i too have noticed that a lot of the livers are covered in white spots. It has been mentioned that in areas where dogs are walked it is seen regularly, could a high density of horses produce a similar reaction in rabbits.
    I have not seen this on other areas i shoot.

  9. #9
    Hi Tony,
    Not aware of anything significant going from horses to rabbits. Could you post some good close up photos of the livers both sides. Not just the one liver please ? Thanks.

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