House rabbits eat leafy green vegetables and they eat poop should I be concerned about warnings of e-coli on store bought leafy green vegetables?

2 Answers 2


Depends on whether your store imports food or buys food locally. Rabbits like all mammals already have several strains of e-coli in their stomach that is native to their area so they won't be harmed by it assuming the store you got the vegetables from gets their food locally which is often the case. If the vegetables have imported tag then you should be worried.

As an exception baby rabbits have weak immunity systems and they may not have gotten the strains from their mothers yet so if your rabbit has babies then those babies might be at the risk of e-coli.

  • Do you have any supporting references for your assertions? Apr 27, 2018 at 17:17

Will Can my rabbit be harmed by e-coli on Lettuce?

Probably not; the majority of store bought foods are safe. While there are risks, your bunny and you have about the same risk (assuming developed country) they really are not any higher or lower risk from food contamination then you are. Both you and your bunny have a gut populated by helpful bacteria including E-coli.

Can my rabbit be harmed by e-coli on Lettuce?

Yes, there are several different strains of E-coli (Escherichia coli) most are harmless and can found in intestines of warm blooded animals (including people) in many cases these are helpful bacteria. BUT some strains like Escherichia coli O157:H7 which is currently and often in the news is harmful. Results of infection in rabbits is much like that in humans; starting with diarrhea in 1 to 10 days, with other complications that can and do lead to death, particularly in the very young and old.

Rabbit can become infected with harmful strains of E-coli in the same ways as humans. As with humans they can also pass it to others. Rabbits and humans can pass the infection to each other.

It is important for the health of you and your rabbit that you take the same precautions when feeding them leafy greens, as you would take if you were consuming them yourself.

All the different strains of E-coli are spread by the same several ways; water, organic fertilizer, bird droppings, human handling, etc. The different strains are not regional, there are carriers of all them all around the world. While a particular regional source is often identified in news reports for mass events, every raw leafy green vegetable is potentially infected.



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