The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : Zoonoses Associated with Rabbits

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Zoonoses Associated with Rabbits

This document provides information on diseases that can be passed from rabbits and related lagomorphs to people. Often these diseases do not make the animal appear sick but can cause serious illness in humans. Persons with specific medical conditions such as a chronic illness, immunodeficiency and pregnancy may be at higher risk of developing disease or complications from a zoonotic disease and should consult with their physician before working with animals.

The majority of rabbits housed at WSU are bred and raised under strict hygienic conditions and are free of pathogens that could be transferred to people. These rabbits are called “specific pathogen-free” or “SPF” rabbits. Rabbits that are housed outdoors, captured from wild populations or that are purchased from a pet store may carry zoonotic diseases. Zoonotic diseases specifically associated with rabbits include pasteurellosis, ringworm, mycobacteriosis, cryptosporidiosis and external parasites.

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