So onto the crawlies. I am a phobic person when it comes to parasites or bed bugs or small icky things. So while reading an article on dogs and worms I encountered some interesting things. Interesting and horrifying. Both dog and cat feces can contain parasitic worm eggs. Often times owners will not notice. These eggs can lay in your lawn for different lengths of time. Then one nice spring day you decide to take your bunny out for some fresh grass and sunshine. While nibbling the grass they also nibble up some eggs which were just waiting for a perfect host to grow in. Voila, worm incubator complete. So for those of us who own both cats and dogs and share our back yard with our rabbits, this is a risk we are taking.
I researched further into the main types of worms rabbits can contract. Pinworms and Roundworms. The pin worms are not like some and can not be spread to humans. Roundworms however can be! YUCK. So me being paranoid began researching how to rid my yard of any possible worms. Well pinworm eggs aren't typically viable for very long so they aren't of huge concern. Roundworms however... can remain viable in your dirt and lawn for up to a year! And even worse the only way to kill them is by solarization. That means spreading a thin sheet of clear plastic over your entire lawn. Killing both the eggs and your grass. Lovely.
Now I feel confident I have taken care to treat my dogs. I don't feel like they have worms. And me being fairly anti-social, don't have many visitors who bring dogs into our yard. Cats however... they do as they please. Sometimes I have seen different cats making their way through our yard. So in the end it is a chance you take when placing your rabbit outside.
So now I made it through the normal possibilities of obtaining parasites. And that had me frantic enough to lock my rabbits in bubles for life. But then I came across something even more dreadful. The liver fluke. I'm sure it's rare. I hope it is anyways. But this parasite is spread by snails and ants! Well if I could eliminate them from my yard for life I surely would but so far I have failed. These larva are in grass and hay and general things our rabbits would graze on. Including hay we purchase to feed them. I have read a common way to get it is by feeding your rabbit watercress.
So in my conclusion I am leary to let my rabbits outside now. I will take extra precautions to clean any fresh hay, spinach, herbs, etc. And most of all, I will be doing as I have been all along. Inspecting fecal matter and making sure I have healthy rabbits. Making sure they have clean water at all times and clean housing!