White spots on liver

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by 2doordad, Mar 27, 2012.

  1. 2doordad

    2doordad Mantastic

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    I processed five rabiits yesterday, all from the same litter all in the same cage. They were kept off the ground. The last one I did which was the biggest and had the most fat around it's kidneys, also had some whit spots and streaks on it's liver. I checked them all very good and non had anything else. I pitched the others anyway, but has anyone else seen that. I'm assuming the meat is still O.K. to eat.
     
  2. MaggieJ

    MaggieJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The white spots could be liver coccidiosis. I had a litter years ago where perhaps half the youngsters were affected. The livers should not be eaten, but the meat is fine for human consumption. There are other things that can cause white spots on the liver, but coccidiosis is the most common cause. I suggest disinfecting the cage the rabbits were in before using it again, also the water and food crocks.
     

  3. 2doordad

    2doordad Mantastic

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    That's kinda what I assumed. I'm curios as to how they would get it though.
     
  4. akane

    akane Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Cocci is everywhere. It just takes something moist to feed on. Wet hay or feed. Extra droppings that are damp not going through the bars. Over crowding so there are constant feces hitting the bars and everything else. A cage that just hasn't been cleaned often enough so there is buildup being peed on.
     
  5. MaggieJ

    MaggieJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    When I had the problem with that one litter, I culled the doe as well as the fryers. Although she had large litters and raised nearly every kit, there were other reasons why I didn't want to keep her. I have not seen any sign of coccidiosis in my rabbits since. I understand that there are treatments for liver coccidiosis and you might want to look into them.
     
  6. 2doordad

    2doordad Mantastic

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    This is the first time I have seen it and I've raised several litters. This doe has raised several as well.
    Ive got another litter that backs cages with this one, and they are for meat. I really wouldn't be able to completly sanitize untill after they are gone. I just wanted to make sure I could use the meat before I clean it all out.
     
  7. volchitsa

    volchitsa Well-Known Member

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    Although I have not yet experienced white spots on livers, to my knowledge there is several potential causes. I would say coccidiosis is the most likely, as I've heard coccidia are a common protozoan. Another is tularemia, but it rare in domesticated rabbits, but if your rabbits are somehow in contact with wild ones, it's a possibility. I've also heard tapeworms can cause white spots, and one way to tell is to open the liver and look for a worm (ick!). Try to disinfect the cages more often and maybe offer water in a bottle so that it is not contaminated by feces. As previously mentioned by akane, coccidia thrive in damp conditions, and with this weather (or at least where I am), it is easy for hay or pellets to get a little damp. Maybe have a vet look for coccidia in the feces of other rabbits? I think coccidia also infects the intestines as well as the liver.
    I'm confused as to why the largest rabbit would have white spots, because coccidiosis generally stunts the animal's growth.
    I'm also confused why the liver should be discarded, if thoroughly cooked, shouldn't the protozoa die, therefore the liver be harmless to consume? I also thought that coccidia are species specific, so the type of coccidia that affects rabbits shouldn't infect a human?
    Good luck getting rid of whatever is causing it
     
  8. Somerhill

    Somerhill Well-Known Member

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    Last time I had some rabbits butchered, my butcher had to discard them due to white spots. He told me the meat inspector said this is very common, and in fact, half or more of livers are condemned due to spots. And yes, the meat is safe to eat - the rabbits themselves passed inspection and were packaged for resale.

    Lisa
    Somerhill Farm
     
  9. 2doordad

    2doordad Mantastic

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    I've heard the same thing as well.
     
  10. o&itw

    o&itw aka avdpas77 Supporter

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    There are several diseases that manifest in the liver. I wouldn't worry about the muscle meat as long as it is cooked well. Usually coccidosis spots are yellowish and sort of like nodules, harder than the surrounding tissue. A few spots here and there don't seem to hurt the rabbits growth. Those that I have found "skinny" have many spots.

    I guess I am lucky, the only rabbits that I have had with coccidiosis are the ones raised in a colony setting I trialed. My caged rabbits have never had any trouble.

    I have had a few rabbits, that didn't have spots, but the liver was sort of "cloudy" I don't know what caused it... if anyone can shed some light on that manifestation, it would be great. The affected rabbits seemed healthy in all other respects. It only occurred in a few rabbits from one litter.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2012
  11. akane

    akane Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If I overcrowd in growout I get livers that are just a little "off" in color that could explain cloudiness or lighter livers. They seemed fine but twice now when the cage had a few more than usual in it some had livers that were not bright red.