GIARDIA ELISA TEST : HELP
We rescued 2 buns. Long story, They're flemmies and about 9/10lbs (for adoption too)
Treated them for coccidia and giardia.
We knocked out the coccidia but the retest shows the below for Giardia. If you understand these tests please confirm the below or correct if it's incorrect.
Appreciate. I did call the lab and spoke to someone that seemed knowledgeable but want to double-check to be sure.
Your answers greatly appreciated.
The Giardia Elisa test said positive
(I suppose that means there are antigens (or reactions to current giardia organisms)
Ova and Parasites negative
Its my understanding that while they may not have actually parasites they may be in the shedding stage. They have antigens and hence the Elisa came back positive.
And hence they need to be treated.
One vet prescribed .25 per 10lb bun daily of panacur(fenbendazole) but in the past another vet prescribed much more metronidazole and for a longer period of time, like 3 weeks.
I did not have confidence in the .25 Panacur for 5 days. Is panacur so much more potent that a smaller amount of it is enough to knock out the Giardia?
Does that seem like the correct dosage.
A 2nd vet would prescribe .8 two times a day for 2 weeks.
I know the buns can reinfect themselves and you have to keep the area free of fecal matters. I have knocked out Giardia about 5 times prior - changing the litter boxes like 3 to 4 times daily and keeping them fastidiously free of poops.
I just don't remember how much metronidazole we used.
Thanks in advance and wishing us a better year ahead.
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I am not a vet and only took a few parasitology courses in college and am a slightly neurotic bunny lover, so please do not take any of my input as medical advice.
Are your flemmies still having symptoms? Any diarrhea or unformed stool? It's my understanding that it not uncommon for rabbits to harbor giardia in their gut flora but giardiasis (illness caused by giardia) is much less common. If they are asymptomatic, you could end up doing more harm than good with a strong antiparasitic, as bunny tummies are so sensitive. I personally avoid taking metronidazole orally as a human because of its effects on gut flora.
It's also my understanding that metronidazole is the first line treatment for bunnies with giardiasis and that fenbendazole is primarily used to treat helminths (worms). I wish I knew more about how they compare for giardia treatment in rabbits or anything about dosage but I don't. I would press your vet about why they are prescribing fenbendazole rather than metronidazole.
You're right about the ELISA test being positive and testing for eggs and parasites being negative indicating that they could simply have the antigens and not a current infection but I know little about the rate of false negatives for this kind of testing.
Are your bunnies adults? They seem a little light for flemmies. Our flemmie boy is maybe 9 lbs now as an adult but he's also adopted so we don't know if he might be a mix. I only ask because diarrhea could decrease absorption of nutrients and I know we were worried about our little guy when he was very light for his approximate age. Since they're big guys, malnutrition during development could lead to weak bones and potential injury.
We clean the litterbox 2x/ week so 4x/day sounds like a lot of work and I'm impressed with your dedication to your new bun friends! I hope your baby giants - we call our flemmie, Philip, our "baby giant" and Eleanor, his holland lop partner, our "giant baby" 😆 - are feeling better! Wishing you the best during this stressful time and may the new year ring in good health and fortune for you and your buns!