More rabbit neocropsy results from MSU

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by chinbunny, Nov 10, 2009.

  1. chinbunny

    chinbunny In a hutch

    Aug 24, 2009
    Got the final neocropsy results in today. However, this is not going to be the last of it. Still waiting on toxicology on the feed tests, and viral tests for calcivirus, and whatever else could be causing it. The original is seven pages long. Since I don't want to type the whole thing, I am just going to post the basic findings.

    I think, by doing
    research on the net, that one of the findings means a lung, or rare lung, or
    heart infection/damage. Another means they could have had a viral type of e coli. Someone on the meat rabbitslist said that heart damage can be caused by bad feed. So we will see.

    Laboratory findings:(from page 2)

    Fecal examination: few coccidial oocysts
    Respiratory culture: Few morganella morganii, rare enterococcus faecalis
    Liver: Rare oligella areolytica

    Page 3: Rabbit B: (rabbit B was the one with the broken back from the first
    neocropsy report)

    Heart: severe diffuse mycocardial loss and fibrosis
    Lung: Moderate diffuse serofribrinous interstitial pneomonia
    Kidney: Focal pygranuloma
    spinal cord: Moderate locally extensive vacuolar myelopathy

    Rabbit A:
    Heart: focal mild mycocardial loos and fibrosis

    Final diagnosis
    Rabbit B:
    Hepetatic necrosis(cause undetermined)
    Bacterial septecemia(suspected)
    Severe mycrocardial degeneration
    Vertebral fracture with subsequent spinal cord degeneration

    Rabbit A
    mild mycrocardial degeneration

    The most significant changes are within the liver. Possible differentials at
    this time include viral infection (such as by calcivirus) and acute
    aflatoxicosis. The changes within the lungs in addition to the pygranulomas
    within the liver and kidney suggest underlying bacteria septecemia: however, the
    bacteria cultured are most consistant with postmortem contaminants or
    opportunistic overgrowth rather that the the inciting cause. This may be due to
    antibiotic treatment prior to death. (dummy me gave them an accidental dose of

    A clear cause of the mycocardial degeneration, seen in both rabbits, or its
    relation to the other lesions observed was not found. Vitamin E/selenium
    deficiency in rabbits is not clealry defined.

    Also goes on to say that virology tests are pending. So are feed tests.

    Page 5 talks about the bacteria culture in the lungs, and the antibiotics
    susceptible to it.

    page 6-7 says they found Escherichia coli in the intestine culture. No growth of
    samonella. Goes on to talk about the drugs suseptible to it.

    So according to that there may be a vriral test on its way, am I correct? I
    still doubt its the calcivirus. You'd think I'd still be seeing problems with
    them by now. I haven't had another death since they were dosed with
    oxytetracycline, and put on purina rabbit chow.

    Hopefully that right there has cleared up a lot that could be causing our
    animals to die. Thoughts anyone?

    So far I have got no response from the ARBA on the situation yet. However, one of the rabbit and cavy health commitee members (who is also a rabbit vet) saw my posts on the email lists and has been in contact with me over it. So through that person I assume they are aware of what is going on.

    The person who was supposed to send theirs for a neocropsy at Perdue(SP?), never followed through with it. They wanted to treat their herd with albon. I think I finally convinced them today that they need to forget about the albon, and get the dead bunnies tested. Their vet is sending one in a couple of days. I think the mention of the calcivirus, and the e coli strain may have changed their mind.
  2. gypsy2621

    gypsy2621 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 29, 2008
    New Hampshire
    This is the same findings as before.
    Ecoli: I am surprised there was no mention of Botulismm, One of the last Necrospys I saw mentioned both bacteria.
    contaminated feed sources, yet Feed Companies and Mills refuse to do anything about it.

    I hope the other Breeder sends hers in for necropsy also..
    Feed Companies are not going to take this seriously or correct the issues unless everyone who has been having these deaths report it.

    The same lot numbers of the same feed are not all affected. it seems that you can get 20 bags of Lot # XYZ and be fine, the next 20 bags from XYZ will be contaminated.
    now the question begs, is it coming from the Mills , Transportation, from Feed Stores lacking in handling, storage, safety precautions.
    It seems the Feed Companies would get to the bottom of all this, its insane how many rabbits have died from this problem just in the last 2 years that people have been speaking out.
    I cringe at the thought how many died in the years before people realized the issue was with contaminated feed.

    Have you Faxed the whole report to the Person at ARBA? maybe with the whole report they will actually start making waves and getting this corrected?
    well thats the hope anyway.
  3. chinbunny

    chinbunny In a hutch

    Aug 24, 2009
    Yes I sent her the whole report.

    well, if it is feed, I am going to ask the MSU lab techs to deal with them. Maybe they willlisten to major university instead of a breeder.

    The e coli mentioned is something that is viral so it may not be feed causing it. Look it up. The description it says it works kind of like the snuffles.
  4. chinbunny

    chinbunny In a hutch

    Aug 24, 2009

    is the type of e coli they found. They never specified what strain it was though.

    Escherichia coli as a cause of rabbit diarrhea has been confused by the circumstance that E coli often proliferate when rabbits develop diarrhea for any reason. Enteropathogenic strains of E coli (serotype O103) commonly express the eae gene, which codes for intimin, an outer membrane protein associated with the attaching and effacing lesions. Serotypes O15:H, O109:H2, O103:H2, O128, and O132 are also important. Normal healthy rabbits do not have E coli of any strain associated with their GI tract.
    Two types of colibacillosis are seen in rabbits, depending on age. Rabbits 1-2 wk old develop a severe yellowish diarrhea that results in high mortality. It is common for entire litters to succumb to this disease. In weaned rabbits 4-6 wk old, a diarrheal disease very similar to that described for enterotoxemia is seen. The intestines are fluid filled, with petechial hemorrhages on the serosal surface, similar to the pathology described for both Tyzzer’s disease and enterotoxemia (see above). Death occurs in 5-14 days, or rabbits are left stunted and unthrifty. Diagnosis is made by isolating E coli on blood agar and then having the isolate biotyped or serotyped. Electron micrographs of E coli attached to the mucosa are also helpful. In severe cases, treatment is not successful; in mild cases, antibiotics are of value. Severely affected rabbits should be culled, and facilities thoroughly sanitized. High-fiber diets appear to help prevent the disease in weaned rabbits.
  5. chinbunny

    chinbunny In a hutch

    Aug 24, 2009
    Got this this morning off the rarebreed rabbit list. This is from someone from the Mini lop rabbit club of america(national specialty club for mini lop rabbits), on the mysterious enteritis illness. willis plank is a kent feed rep, and a very well know rabbit breeder and ARBA Judge (one of the best, IMHO). I actually spoke with him at a show(didn't take any rabbits), when I first started having problems. Very nice, informative guy, who seems to have a lot of connections. I know he's also working on getting a rabbit savy vet from Illinios to come up and give a speech about this Enteritis problem we are seeing at the Michigan State Rabbit breeders convention and show. Didn't know he also had someone on it in ohio. [​IMG]

    Please pass this on to all rabbit breeders

    Jeff Simmons

    I just received this information from Donna Mallory the Zone 8 Director of the Mini Lop Club of America. This was sent to inform people of what is going on. Please pass this on. Thanks.


    Date: Tuesday, November 10, 2009, 8:56 PM

    Hi Everyone,

    As your friend and District 8 Director for the Mini Lop Club of America I feel it is my duty to keep you updated.

    Be aware that a STRAIN of MUCOID ENTERITIS is running rapid througout the United States. It is believed that this is air borne although the exact cause is undetermined.

    I have been in contact with Willis Plank my Kent Feed Consumer Product Manager. He has informed me of his knowledge and the knowlege of a veternarian he is working with in Ohio. I wish to pass it onto you.

    We have outbreaks in Ohio, Michigan and Indiana.

    I can speak from personal knowledge. I have been battling something for the past week and a half in my own herd. I have spent hours trying everything not being able to pin point the exact name until today.

    The symptoms can vary from rabbit to rabbit which made it difficult to diagnose. We are looking at about a three week time from start to finish in your herd.

    First the rabbit goes off feed and sits quietly in the corner. Their hair and coat go haywire. Some have diaherra with jelly secretion and others simply stop pooping. Some won't drink. Others will sit with feet in water and drink continuously.

    They will nibble at hay while others beat the cage door down to get it. Some will ignore the feed pellets yet eat conditioner.

    Some act as though they are starving for something.

    They squent their eyes and sit as though they are doubled up with stomach cramps. In the final stages the eyes will become cloudy.

    The stomach is bloated. Some will grind their teeth. Bottom line their intestinal tract shuts down and they die.

    So here are some suggestions to aid you in the event it begins in your herd.

    Give them all the hay and straw they can eat. If they won't eat that, try steamed rolled barley.

    Keep them hydrated by inserting full syringe of water down throat several times daily..

    Teramycin powder (broad spectrum antibotic) into the water is recommended by the Raising Better Rabbit and Cavy Guide Book to prevent futher infection.

    I went to my local veternarian and purchased Reglan (gut motility medicine). Reglan is also given orally down the throat 2-3 times daily. (1cc per pound of body weight)

    Another recommended product is Nutra Drops. I believe Vannachecks sell it. If caught in the earliest stages it helps get them back on tract.

    Do whatever you can to keep your rabbit eating, drinking and their intestines functioning.

    They lose flesh very quickly so be pepared.

    So far I have only had one senior get it and I lost her. The rest have been 10 week to 4 month juniors.

    I opend up the body cavity of the deceased senior to search for obivious signs and found her intestinal track was non functioning . The feces in the intestional tract were hard like small stones and part of the intestines were shrunk down to the size of small thread.

    I have managed to save four young juniors and three more came down with it today. So hang in there my friends and pray for all of our precious bunnies.

    Remember I am not a veternarian. I can only pass along information given to me and give you my first hand experience. Please keep me posted on whats happening with your herd and pass this along to your whom you can.

    Thanks, Donna Mallory
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2009
  6. gypsy2621

    gypsy2621 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 29, 2008
    New Hampshire
    Ok I dont get one thing, the Woman who wrote that says weeks but I have known it to kill with in hours of first symptoms.
    especially in 4 to 12 week old kits.
    I have to wonder if there isnt 2 or more instances of what ever this is in effect?

    One that kills slowly and one that kills very quickly?
    Is it the breeders are not catching it in the early stages and its appearing to kill with in hours.

    this is insane I have never seen something run so rampant in so many years and no one can get a handle on it.
    This has basically been going on for 2 years and still no real definition to what it really is. very frustrating to say the least.

    The Ecoli question, there are so many different types of Ecoli, I really wish they had specified which one they found.
    some slow acting some very fast acting. where are the rabbits picking it up from , I cant believe they are all airborn, some has to be found in food or on hay, in bedding, somewhere.

    ach, give me a bit I think my heads going to explode, lol.
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2009
  7. chinbunny

    chinbunny In a hutch

    Aug 24, 2009
    They did. Its Escherichia coli. They found it post mortem. Its possible it may have started growing after the rabbit died. But anything I have read on it so far says its viral. They said in the report they didn't find any disease associated with it. So it could be because the rabbit was healing too.

    Most of my rabbits took a week to die, if I didn't put them down myself. Only a few died within 24 hours. one older jr, and a few babies. I think she was basing that on Willis planks description of it. Possibly her own experiences. The first time mine slowed down was at about the three week period. Then it tried hitting again.

    Now one thing I noticed is that she noted some of them wouldn't touch their pellets, but would eat their grains.

    However, I am feed rep is on the case and doing his best to help out.

    See I didn't know it was going on for two years. I have never seen so many emails asking for help over the past two years, like I have in the past month. Whatever it is is hitting fast and right now.

    I asked the guy that sent this to have that lady email me. Maybe I can help her out a little bit.

    What is driving me nuts is the Idiots that continue to show their rabbits despite having problems with it! There are some on ISRBA yahoo list that are swearing they picked this up from a show.
  8. gypsy2621

    gypsy2621 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 29, 2008
    New Hampshire
    I am not sure staying away from shows will solve the issue honestly,
    I dont think its something being picked up solely from shows,
    reason being there has been instances where Non showing barns have contracted it.

    See when this all started 2 years ago, Feed Companies were quick to squash it with the threats of lawsuits.
    which makes me wonder if it isnt a feed issue or even a partial feed issue. I dont know but it seemed strange at the time.

    I know more testing of infected rabbits is going to be needed, unfortunately the rabbits will have to be caught early on in the illness and dispatched to see where and what is the cause of this. I am not sure if it is something that is even do~able.
    Rabbits are so tricky about hiding the problems its going to be very hard to catch in time to get a handle on.
  9. chinbunny

    chinbunny In a hutch

    Aug 24, 2009
    Well, now there are people on the ISRBA list telling everyone that I should quit trying to scare them for posting the MSU neocropsy results. They seem to be convinced that this is non contagious, and is not a feed problem, because the main vet with ARBA says its a coincidence, and non contagious. He is trying to write it off as regular M.E. And has emailed everyone that has contacted him the description of the symptoms that does not fit what we are seeing at all. But we can we expect from him right now. Of course he's going to think that because he is in japan right now. They also seem to be convinced that this only effecting the midwest. When its not. The two breeders I got into it with are still showing their rabbits despite losing large numbers of them per day. They didn't even bother to try and treat the poor rabbits for it. They just let them go because apparently those were the weak animals that deserved to die, and it makes the rest of the herd stonger. I say they need to stay home and do somethng for those poor rabbits. what a way to let an animal die. *Facepalm.*
  10. chinbunny

    chinbunny In a hutch

    Aug 24, 2009
    Also, I don't think this is something that is just picked up at shows either. Willis plank has suggested that this is something going around that may be airborn.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by