Coccidiosis aka Coccidia

Always consult a Veterinarian for medical questions about your bunny!

Coccidiosis, aka Coccidia or Cocci is another protozoan parasite (eimeria) that rabbits can get. I have seen this in lots of different types of animals but rabbits seem to have a harder time bouncing back than any other animals I have experienced having Cocci.

There is good news though. There is a simple preventative measure that can be taken to save your herd from ever having coccidia! Scroll down to read about treatment and preventative.

First I am going to try and explain in layman terms what Coccidia actually is. Please remember, I am not a veterinarian or doctor of any sort. I saw how this parasite worked in dogs in a clean environment. I’ve worked off of different veterinarians advice for many years and now see how it can pop up in rabbits easily as well. So I will try to keep this simple and in my own words, explain what I believe it to be.

Coccidia is a parasite but before that it is a protozoa that is dormant in the digestive tract of an animal. Protozoa are microscopic one celled organisms that do NOT have to live off of something naturally. Different stressors can cause this protozoa to activate and start shedding spores and eating away at any tissue or organ in its path.

Rabbits can stress much easier than any other animal I have owned, I have found. They can fall over dead of a heart attack from loud noises (literally). So it doesn’t take much for them to get upset and the coccidia process begins. I want to add that it is highly contagious as well! The spores or oocysts (eggs) shed via feces and will contaminate everything from hay, floors, bedding, food and water. Remember, even healthy rabbits can carry this protozoa. They are just asymptomatic. I have read that the life cycle of coccidiosis is 4 – 14 days once ingested.

We like to keep on top of prevention so we don’t see any symptoms pop up in our herd. We use a product called Corid that can be purchased over the counter at most Tractor Supply stores, Rural King’s, farm and feed stores or online from many places. I like to use Chewy or Revival Animal Health for these sort of necessities when purchasing online. Cord can be added to the rabbit drinking water for 5 days consecutively. We use 5 cc per gallon of water which is what the directions say to dose for rabbits. Our rabbits get this in their water quarterly each year. We use Corid often because coccidia can be carried in on just about anything.

Even putting your rabbits out to graze in a nice, untreated pasture is a possible danger. All sorts of species of animals can carry and spread coccidia (rodents, squirrels, wild rabbits, birds, cats and dogs, etc…). More importantly, it is good to understand that it can lie dormant in any animal that is susceptible to coccidia.

I’m going to share some new information to me, maybe not new to other farmers or rabbitry owners. Drugs like Albon, Tribrissen, and Corid have all been effective in the treatment and prevention of coccidia. However they do NOT kill the protozoa. Rather, they inhibit the protozoan reproduction capabilities and eliminate the code from the intestines (not quickly though). Because it does inhibit the reproductive process, it can buy time for healing and possible natural immunity and rejection from the animal itself on removing the protozoan from the animal. Treatment is 5 days.

Something more that I have read is that nasty insects like cockroaches and flies can actually carry coccidia and spread it as well. This goes for rats and mice as well. Rodent control and cleanliness is of the utmost importance!

If you want a much more detailed explanation of what Coccidia is in rabbits. This is a very helpful website that we found with much more info and photos!

Another reference:


More recently, we have come across something I like to call the miracle drug! It is called Toltrazuril (a coccidiostat). It is not labeled for rabbits. However, it is used by MANY rabbit breeders and has saved rabbits that Corid has not! I purchased this when I started losing a kit every 3-4 days. Symptoms were mucous stool, very smelly and the kits died within 12-24 hours after the diarrhea onset. I sanitized and cleaned as best as I could and then it would happen again. Not only in one litter but two different litters. After about 4 or 5 dead 7-8 week old kits, I reached out for help from some very knowledgeable breeder friends. I had heard of Toltrazuril being used for enteritis. I cannot claim that this is accurate info but definitely worth a try when you have the other option of the bunny dying.

I tried Toltrazuril on a senior rabbit who had bloat and it did nothing. However, when you are at the point of losing a rabbit, not willing to spend hundreds of dollars at the vet, this is my “go-to” medication.

I also give a dose of this when I feel a rabbit could stress when moved (going home, transport). I give 0.2 cc to my kits orally. NOT 2 cc. Please do not give 2 entire cc…don’t misread this. What I did in the case of the sick litters was dose each bunny for two consecutive days and add probiotics in their water.

As for Coccidiosis, Toltrazuril does actually seem to kill the protozoan. It is a very good idea to make sure you have a lot of grass hay to help get bunnies eating better when dosing medications. Our favorite probiotic is Bene-bac.

Please refer to our Bunny Shop for locating all supplies and medications.

We share our experience but always recommend that you consult with your veterinarian for all medical advice and care for your English Angora rabbits and bunnies. We only document how we treat our problems in our own Rabbitry and are NOT veterinarians.