Encephalitozoonosis in Rabbits

By Link the Bun
Published on: October 18th, 2020

If you believe your rabbit is sick, please contact your closest veterinary immediately. Symptoms can include not pooping or eating within the last 12-24 hours. Loud breathing noises and pain noises.

The Encephalitozoonosis disease, despite its incredibly long name, sounds just as confusing as it is. There’s a lot of misconception with Encephalitozoonosis in rabbits.

For example, it’s still unknown if Encephalitozoonosis can be caught by humans as well as rabbits. There have been some rarely seen cases but nothing in a study fully confirming it was transferred via rabbit.

Link the Rabbit

Key Points

  • Encephalitozoonosis in Rabbits will affect kidneys, eyes and nervous system
  • Encephalitozoonosis comes from E. cuniculi which is a small parasite
  • Encephalitozoonosis can affect rabbits, hamsters, mice, dogs, cats and some rare cases of humans
  • It can be contracted via the urine of another infected animal. Whether this is from spores on food or in your rabbits home.
  • Encephalitozoonosis can be passed down from a mother during a utero infection.


Unfortunately, Encephalitozoonosis in Rabbits can lay dormant without symptoms for a very long time, this means that symptoms can start to appear once triggered via stress, getting older and even having their immune system compromised (immunocompromised).

However, the symptoms when developed are very obvious:

  • White Cataracts in either or both eyes
  • Twitching Eyes
  • Difficulty Walking
  • Anorexia (Lack of Appetite)
  • Tremors or Seizures
  • Head Tilt

Can it be prevented?

Unfortunately, if there’s any trace of Encephalitozoonosis it will need decontaminating. So you should regularly keep the environment clean by regularly cleaning up and washing any mess.

What should I do if I think my rabbit has Encephalitozoonosis?

Take your rabbit to the veterinary practice as an emergency appointment, once your rabbit is in the hands of your vet, if you’re able to leave, go home and clean their entire area out. This includes cleaning, disinfecting and replacing all toilets and play areas.

Unfortunately, not all treatments are effective. You may find that humane euthanasia is a better option for your loved one to pass peacefully without pain or inconvenience.

If the only outcome is cataracts, these can be surgically removed but may result in blindness.

Do I have to worry about contracting Encephalitozoonosis?

Encephalitozoonosis has been reported in a very small number of people of all ages and conditions; Elderly, Young and immunocompromised individuals. The same rule for this disease applies to all diseases:

Wash your hands regularly after handing an animal or before eating

Don't forget to share this post!