ISSN 2398-2969      

Probiotics and intestinal health



  • Rabbits are herbivores whose diet contains large amounts of cellulose Nutrition: dietary requirements. The cellulose is mainly degraded by micro-organisms in the cecum. There are large numbers of both species and quantity of cecal microbiota, which directly affect rabbit health.
  • There are an estimated 400 different species of bacteria inhabiting the rabbit cecum, with 25 considered the most abundant.
  • In adult rabbits, strict anaerobes are the most prevalent bacteria and of these, Bacteroides species are considered dominant.
  • Stability and richness of the intestinal microbial community can be beneficial for rabbit health. Any imbalance of intestinal flora can result in alteration of pH, dysbiosis and proliferation of pathogens, with detrimental effects on the rabbit’s health.
  • Diarrhea Diarrhea: overview is a serious concern particularly in young rabbits, and it can be caused by conditions including a bacterial disorder (infection or dysbiosis), coccidial infection Coccidiosis, and nutritional problems such as feeding a low-fiber diet.
  • Probiotics are “live micro-organisms which when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit on the host”.
  • One of their most important effects is to compete with pathogenic bacteria.
  • Probiotics have proven efficacious in rabbits to improve immunity, improve intestinal health, fight bacterial and parasitic infections, and even alter some blood parameters (such as decreasing urea and creatinine).


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Administration and doses

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Further Reading


Refereed Papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Azimonti G, Bampidis V, Bastos M L et al (2019) Safety and efficacy of Probiotic Lactina® (Enterococcus faecium NBIMCC 8270, Lactobacillus acidophilus NBIMCC 8242, Lactobacillus helveticus NBIMCC 8269, Lactobacillus delbrueckii ssp. lactis NBIMCC 8250, Lactobacillus delbrueckii ssp. bulgaricus NBIMCC 8244 and Streptococcus thermophilus NBIMCC 8253) as a feed additive for chickens for fattening and suckling and weaned rabbits. EFSA J 17 (3), e05646 EFSA.
  • Liu L, Zeng D, Yang M et al (2019) Probiotic Clostridium butyricum improves the growth performance, immune function, and gut microbiota of weaning rex rabbits. Probiotics antimicro 11 (4), 1278-1292 PubMed.
  • Shafi A, Raja H N, Farooq U et al (2019) Antimicrobial and antidiabetic potential of synbiotic fermented milk: A functional dairy product. Int J Dairy Tech 72 (1), 15-22.
  • Xu Z, Li T, Zhou X et al (2019) The combined use of tea polyphenols and Lactobacillus Plantarum ST8SH Bacteriocin in a rabbit model of infection following femoral fracture with internal fixation. Med Sci Monitor 25, 312-317 PubMed.
  • Ayyat M S, Al-Sagheer A A, El-Latif K M A et al (2018) Organic selenium, probiotics, and prebiotics effects on growth, blood biochemistry, and carcass traits of growing rabbits during summer and winter seasons. Bio Trace Ele Res 186 (1), 162-173 PubMed.
  • Fayyaz I, Zahoor M A, Shahid M et al (2018) Effect of Lactobacillus casei on serum interleukins following enteropathogenic E. coli infection in experimental rabbits. Pak J Pharm Sci 31 (5), 2131-2136 PubMed.
  • Saputri F A, Kang D, Kusuma A S et al (2018) Lactobacillus plantarum IS-10506 probiotic administration increases amlodipine absorption in a rabbit model. J Int Med Res 46 (12), 5004-5010 PubMed.
  • Wang C, Zhu F, Li F et al (2017) The effect of Lactobacillus isolates on growth performance, immune response, intestinal bacterial community composition of growing Rex rabbits. J Anim Physiol Anim Nutr 101 (5), e1-e13 PubMed.
  • Zhou Y, Ni X, Wen B et al (2018) Appropriate dose of Lactobacillus buchneri supplement improves intestinal microbiota and prevents diarrhoea in weaning Rex rabbits. Beneficial microbes 9 (3), 401-416 PubMed.
  • Guo M, Wu F, Hao G et al (2017) Bacillus subtilis improves immunity and disease resistance in rabbits. Front Immunol 8, 354 PubMed.
  • Lauková A, Simonová M P, Chrastinová L et al (2017) Beneficial effect of bacteriocin-producing strain Enterococcus durans ED 26E/7 in model experiment using broiler rabbits. Czech J Anim Sci 62 (4), 168-177 VetMedResource.
  • Seyidoglu N & Peker S (2015) Effects of different doses of probiotic yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae on the duodenal mucosa in rabbits. Indian J Anim Res 49 (5), 602-606.
  • Benato L, Hastie P, O’Shaughnessy P et al (2014) Effects of probiotic Enterococcus faecium and Saccharomyces cerevisiae on the faecal microflora of pet rabbits. J Small Anim Pract 55 (9), 442-446 PubMed.

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