This is strange when I walk my yorkie she sniffs in the grass and gets sooooooo excited when she finds a bunny poop she eats it as quick as she can, while I frantically try to pull her away. It has gotten to where I don't walk her as ofter because I am afraid she will get sick or worms or something. Can anyone tell me if this could be a dangerous behavior? She is such a small yorkie, less than 3 lbs and so I worry about everything she puts in her mouth.
I doubt if eating bunny poop will harm her. All it basically is, -grass and chewed plants that have been through a bunny's guts. That's not going to harm her in itself.
Wild hunting animals -which dogs used to be before they developed a taste for being waited on hand and foot by gullible humans ;-).....nearly always managed to eat some stomach contents, and probably a few poopy-pellets as well, with their bunny meat.
Yuck! I know!
Unfortunately if she has developed a bit of an ingrained habit it might be more difficult to stop her if you still can't bear the thought of her doing this. I'm not the Dog Behaviour Expert around here at all, but I think any distractions while on a walk will help, such as playing ball, frisbee, or if it's a leash walk, keeping her moving by keeping control of that leash and not letting her do exactly as she wants (except of course for poop/pee stops!)
Don't restrict her walks or outside time. A tiny dog like her doesn't need a marathon, but she does need some walks and some of the great outdoors. A bored frustrated dog who hasn't burned off their energy is more likely to do destructive things, or find SOME mischief to get up to! (maybe including eating bunny-poop!)
Worms are a different matter. I don't honestly know if it's possible to get worms from rabbits' feces or not. I do know it is possible to get worms from eating fieldmice and suchlike (because that happens to my dog sometimes) The best solution to that I have found is to make sure she gets a broad-spectrum prescription wormer from the vet, and dose every couple of months, or as the vet advises.
It is possible, but not likely, to get a bacterial infection called coccidia (hope I spelled it right!) from wid animal feces, including rabbit. Your dog would have diarrhea and a bit of stomach upset. The infection often passes without treatment, but it does show up on a stool sample slide at the vet and can be treated with medication. All my terriers have indulged on occassion, and they get run ragged, so it's definitely not from boredom. After a couple decades of terriers, I've only had one case of coccidia and nothing else from them eating rabbit poop.
See, bunny poop is one of my dog's favourite things to find! I have a bichon/shih tzu mix, but I also have 5 bunnies. It's definitely a normal behaviour for dogs. We highly discourage it because quite frankly, we find it disgusting, even though as ginger899 pointed out, its just grass and other plantes (in our case, hay and pellets).
I don't see it as being a health problem. As long as your dog is routinely checked by the vet. And I'm sure you'd notice if something was unusual in your dogs' behaviour or droppings. I would discourage the behaviour and maybe bring some treats on your walks as a distraction?
The coccidia infection that Aire Scottie mentioned has probably less chance of happening if they are your own rabbits I think, than if they were wild ones. Yours will be well cared for, well fed, get veterinary attention when needed, and have most likely got strong immune systems.
My white pomeranian also loves rabbit poop and we stop her when we see her but she's very fast and loves to play outside. My newest problem though is that she can't stop scratching and licking her skin which is getting very pink, and has some stomach issues. I remembered that our yard was recently fertilized, (supposedly organic), but even so, the rabbits are eating all the new green grass and so my dog must be getting large doses of nitrogen in the droppings. Has anyone else had this problem and could this cause her issues?
Even organic fertilizer could cause some upset in animals. I wouldn't let animals eat the grass, or get the fertilizer on their feet and then lick their feet...for about a week after applying this fertilizer.
"Organic" means it's approved by the Soil Association. It doesn't necessarily mean it's fine for animals to ingest.
The fleas and ticks that rabbits carry are more hazard to dogs than any bunny poop. Lots of dogs eat rabbit poop with no obvious cost to their health beyond bad breath, lol. That said, eating bunny poop can give your dog: (1) a nasty giardia infection ( giardia is a microscopic parasite) that can cause recurrent gastric upset, diarrhea and weight loss, or (2) they can get a bacterial infection called coccidia. Like always, see a vet if your dog has diarrhea for more than a two days, or is seeming weak or unexpectedly loosing weight. There is no pet store product to treat giardia. Rx only.
Dogs cannot get worms directly from rabbit poop. Tapeworm infections require an intermediate host, fleas, or the direct eatting of an infected rodent (yum, mice for lunch). The worm larvae actually must develop in the fleas, and then only after the dog eats those FLEAS (like when he bites and cleans himself) can the dog develop a tapeworm infection. Ticks spread lymes disease to dogs, just like in humans. So... if there is bunny poop, your dog should be getting regular flea and tick protection. Ask your vet.
oh yeh and my buddy at the same time was also dx'd with a slow progression of paralysis in his back legs...i took him to another vet which im hoping he is right. He said the weakness in the back of his legs could also be from his perianal hernia pushing up against a nerve so after the surgery hopefully it will resolve. When the other vet gave me this dx i thought someone might have to put me in a straight jacket!! They also said that the prognosis was very poor and i would hv to put my best friend to sleep...wth!!! really!!!
Yes we have had the same exact problem. New baby rabbits were born in our yard and also our lawn comp. treated our lawn with a organic treatment. Our little peke has been very sick now for a week. We took her to the vet and she gave her some meds for the diarrhea and vomiting. It is so sad and we are so afraid the we are going to lose her. She is better today and has not thrown up or had diarrhea so far today. We suspected the lawn treatment but just put the two together today and I was looking it up and show your post. Thank you for posting it has helped us.
Boy - you guys are WAY out in left field (no offense) - but YES... your dog is at risk after eating bunny poop found in your yard or when on walks. There are 3 major infections (bacterial and parasitic) that your dog can contract, and it can get icky.. diarrhea, lethargy, abdominal pain, kidney damage, etc. As well, if you think parasites are nothing -- think again. Tapeworm, round worm, etc -- not fun for your dog (or for you). If your dog regularly eats the poo of another animal (especially rodents) - talk to your vet about preventive steps you can take (antibiotics, anti-parasitic, anti-fungal, etc).
I just asked my vet last week and she said no..... Now I am in no way contradicting you.... IN FACT, Buddy had just left 6 days in the hospital on IVs (and antibiotics, started with another vets urging for possible lepto) at least he tested neg for the Lepto.
His symptoms are exactly what you just described, even kidney values non readable as they were off the chart. Luckily the values came down in 6 days of IV.
The thing is he came right back from the hospital and started eating bunny crunchies AGAIN.....that's when I called to ask her if they could have made him sick!
What doc kept insisting..... WE must have poisoned him, accidentally of course, by leaving antifreeze etc etc, something we let him get into....nope, this is like a grand baby to me, my husband and I both dont leave anything down for him to ingest.
I never thought I would love a dog this much.
The vet, after my Pug's first stool sample showed a parasite (worm) from bunny poop, they did tell me it does pass on it's own, but to try to discourage her from eating it. I can tell when she has gotten some, she loses weight, doesn't each as much for a couple of days, and I know PERSONALLY I sure don't want my dog to constantly get a new parasite from eating bunny poop. I do everything I can to keep her away from it, which brought me here, trying to keep the bunnies away somehow, but I must say, all of these answers would be wrong in my book. Do you want your dog to get a new parasite every week? I don't,
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