Original Article

Ultrasonographic diagnosis of hepatic coccidiosis in rabbits

  • M. Huismans
  • K. Hermans
  • E. Stock


Eimeria (E.) stiedae is a protozoan parasite causing hepatic coccidiosis in rabbits. It mostly infects younger animals and causes nonspecific signs like stunted growth, weakness, dehydration, diarrhea and anorexia. Macroscopically, the liver has a typical appearance. It is enlarged, showing firm yellow-white lesions on the surface. These lesions are enlarged bile ducts filled with bile and necrotic debris. Although all diagnostic tools for hepatic coccidiosis in live animals are currently impracticable or inconclusive, ultrasound might be useful for the diagnosis of hepatic coccidiosis. However, the appearance of liver changes associated with E. stiedae on ultrasonography has poorly been described in the literature. In this study, ex-vivo ultrasound of 24 livers was performed, i.e. the livers of two healthy rabbits and 22 livers of rabbits with suspected liver coccidiosis. Hyperechoic lesions of variable size and shape were found in all affected livers. In some of these livers, other signs of hepatic disease were detected: heterogenous liver parenchyma, appearance of hepatomegaly with round edges, gallbladder sludge and thickening of the gallbladder wall.

How to Cite:

Huismans, M. & Hermans, K. & Stock, E., (2022) “Ultrasonographic diagnosis of hepatic coccidiosis in rabbits”, Vlaams Diergeneeskundig Tijdschrift 91(2), 55–61. doi: https://doi.org/10.21825/vdt.84795

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Published on
30 Apr 2022
Peer Reviewed