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My girl (2 years old) just caught a rabbit - can I let her eat it? She's already chewed the ears off of it.
 

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there are too many variables for “the internet” to responsibly answer this question for you. rabbits can carry diseases just like many other wildlife.

is this a domestic rabbit, wild, how big, where are you located, how old is your dog, what’s your dogs general health, etc...

when in doubt, no.
the ears were enough of a treat.
 
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rabbits have fleas. Fleas have tapeworms. deworm your dog
 

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Discussion Starter #5
well, she already ate the rabbit (a wild rabbit foolish enough to come into our fenced yard). I will monitor her for a few days and consider worming her if its needed,
 

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I am assuming wild cottontail rabbit? A dog that caught an able bodied jackrabbit should have it mounted. Just kidding. They are speedier than most dogs.
When I was younger I hunted and ate wild rabbits occasionally. There was an old tale that after the first frost, they were safe to eat, no parasites. Because they are warm blooded, they can actually have internal parasites any time.
So you have to take it on a rabbit-by-rabbit basis, and you don‘t know if it is good meat until you dress it.
If they eat it fur and all, they might swallow fleas, other parasites in digestive tract. So I would take the trophy away.
 

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Worms could certainly be an issue. Tularemia and plague could be a bigger issue, depending on where you live. I've seen hunting dogs used to hunt squirrels be allowed to eat their heads as a reward, but I dunno...I personally wouldn't want my dog eating wild animals raw.

For what it's worth, and in case it's helpful for anyone else...canids are often definitive hosts for many tapeworm species, including Echinococcus, which can cause hydatid disease in humans if you get infected. The intermediate hosts for Echinococcus are deer/elk/moose/etc. (sylvatic type) and domestic sheep/goats (domestic type). The parasite rarely causes sickness in either host, unless it's an unusually heavy infection.

If a HUMAN eats a cyst from deer/sheep meat, you won't get sick. But if you feed that meat to your dog, it completes part of the life cycle inside the dog, who then poops out eggs. If you, say, pick up your dog's poop and get some of that on your hands, and then eat something...or if your dog rolls in infected poop and you pet him and then eat something...you could ingest those eggs, and THEY can make you sick when they develop into cysts.

So, moral of the story: don't feed your dog uncooked wild game meat, in general, unless you plan on frequent deworming. And washing your hands a lot.
 

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Freeze wild game for 3 weeks if you're concerned about parasites. Wash your hands before you eat if you're concerned about germs and parasites.

I'm of the opinion that wild game is the healthiest diet for a canid. I just put down an almost 16 year old dog that has been fed raw game for 12 years. I have never had a sick dog. Never had a worm. Plenty of bags of kibble carry toxins.

I'll take my chances with mother nature.
 

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To be clear... The tapeworms rarely cause the dog to be sick. They can cause YOU to be sick if you ingest the eggs. You could be riddled with hydatid cysts but don't know it. The domestic form -- transmitted by domestic livestock -- tends to be more dangerous than the wild type. Your risk is probably low. But still not one I'm willing to take.

Cooking meat to 160 degrees F is the only way to kill the worms. But to each his own. You do you.

But definitely wash your hands before you eat.
 

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I always freeze game for 3 weeks before feeding.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I am assuming wild cottontail rabbit? A dog that caught an able bodied jackrabbit should have it mounted. Just kidding. They are speedier than most dogs.
When I was younger I hunted and ate wild rabbits occasionally. There was an old tale that after the first frost, they were safe to eat, no parasites. Because they are warm blooded, they can actually have internal parasites any time.
So you have to take it on a rabbit-by-rabbit basis, and you don‘t know if it is good meat until you dress it.
If they eat it fur and all, they might swallow fleas, other parasites in digestive tract. So I would take the trophy away.
yes, it was a wild cottontail.
 
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