Rabbit Information

Rabbit care

Pg. 26 Head Tilt

There are several causes of Head Tilt

(1) Injury

(2) Stroke

(3) Ear infection. Vet will treat with antibiotics

(4) Ear mites

 (5) Encephalitzoon Cuniculi (E Cuniculi )

E Cuniculi is caused by a parasite which attacks the brain and central nervous system.

At first sign of head tilt, ask your vet to start treatment for E Cuniculi even before pathology tests come through, as delay could allow the parasite to do irreparable damage.

The treatment won't do any harm, and an antibiotic will prevent any opportunistic bacteria from attacking damaged cells. 

 The spore of the encephalitzoon parasite is excreted in the urine of an infected rabbit. Then it can be ingested or breathed in, to then infect another rabbit.

It is advisable to take your bunny to the vet at the first sign of head tilt 

Foxes, rats, and dogs can carry and spread this parasite, without themselves being sick.

It can be picked up in the hay, or from a rat getting into the food, or even in the grass where a rabbit grazes.

To prevent spread of the encephalatzoon (E Cuniculi ) to other rabbits, clean food bowls, toilets and hutches with bleach

CLEANING the hutch

The hutch should be sprayed with 1 % bleach/water solution after each cleaning day.

To make up this 1% Bleach cleaning solution use

2 teaspoons (10ml.) bleach to 1 litre water.


 When purchasing a second hand Hutch

Use a 5 % bleach solution when you first purchase a second hand hutch.

(50ml.bleach to 1litre water.)

This is too strong to use on a regular basis as it will gradually corrode the wire.

This will kill fungus, parasites, bacteria, and viruses.

It is advisable to wear mask when using this strong solution to protect your lungs from the fumes.

After cleaning with this stronger solution, rinse the hutch out with water before use.


Use this 5% solution for cleaning the rabbit toilets/litter trays for a rabbit with head tilt .