I have a domestic rabbit that we have raised - we have a large, gated backyard. He has since lived in the backyard for months, somewhat free. We feed him daily. He has become hard to catch. I bathed him and brought him in because my rooster and him have been fighting (both adult males now).

Can my rabbit carry a disease? He only goes under the shed to sleep then out in the day to layout and eat.

2 Answers 2


There are a number of infectious diseases that domestic rabbits can get and carry if they are outdoors:

  • Myxomatosis and viral hemorrhagic disease are fatal viral infections with available vaccines.
  • Encephalitozoon cuniculi is a common parasite that may cause serious harm but could also be sub-clinical, infecting areas that don't destroy significant tissue.
  • Snuffles is a respiratory infection caused by Pasteurella multocida, a bacteria that can be treated with antibiotics but can become severely dangerous if left untreated

More info here: https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/rabbits-infectious-disease

Of those listed, I believe only E. cuniculi is zoonotic (transmits between rabbits and humans).

  • 2
    It would be a great idea if you could include some of the more appropriate details from the linked webpage here. Not everyone likes to click on links (and web pages can die).
    – user8045
    Commented Aug 14, 2018 at 8:18

Yes, the can also also get parasites if only outdoors for a short time, even on a snowy day, personally we treat with Revolution Flea & Tick to address most parasites. We also take them to the vet for annual well bunny checks.

One risk is Encephalitozoon cuniculi occasionally called 'EC' which I discuss in this answer

Leaving a rabbit outside unsupervised has a lot of risk if Owls will attack small dogs then rabbits are also at risk.

Optimally the best place for your rabbit to live is in your bedroom

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    "Optimally the best place for your rabbit to live is in your bedroom" - There is no green and if it is not a very big bedroom, not enough place to life a rabbits live. If you enclose the rabbit trough the night, and they can hide at day in the garden, then there is no reason to "store" them indoors... Commented May 2, 2019 at 6:40

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