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Mycotoxins are toxic metabolites of fungi such as Aspergillus spp. that causes a range of diseases in many species.[1]:53 Mycotoxicoses is the disease that is caused by a mycotoxin.

Aflatoxin is produced by Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus and may be found in moldy feeds, especially peanuts.[1]:53[2]:190 Aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) is of primary concern because it is the most abundant and the most toxic.[2]:190 The acute, oral median lethal dose of aflatoxin is about 0.3 mg/kg body weight.[2]:190

Zearalenone is an oestrogenic substance that is frequently recovered from maize and other grains contaminated by Fusarium graminearum.[2]:191

Trichothecenes, specifically T-2 toxin and vomitoxin, is another group of toxin produced by some strains of the fungus Fusarium tricinctum.[2]:191 It is relatively common in fibrous raw materials that have been harvested or stored in poor conditions.[2]:191 Administration per oz of 4 mg/kg body weight of T-2 toxin causes death within 24 hours.[2]:192 Vomitoxin (4-deoxynivalenol) may be found in cereal grains.[2]:192

Ochratoxin, a nephrotoxin, is produced by toxigenic strains of Aspergillus ochraceus.[2]:192

Citrinin, another nephrotoxin, is found in moldy cereals contaminated by various fungal species of Aspergillus and Penicillium. Some rabbits die less than 24 hours after oral administration of a single 100–130 mg/kg body weight dose.[2]:192


Mycotoxicoses appears in chronic and acute forms.[2]:190 The acute form is caused by a rapid ingestion of large amounts of toxins over a short period of time.

Some symptoms of aflatoxic poisoning in rabbits include the following:[2]:190-191

  • decreased feed intake (anorexia)
  • weight loss and emaciation
  • lesions in the liver
  • changes in blood constituents
  • jaundice (icterus) in the terminal stages

Some symptoms of zearalenone toxicity in rabbits include the following:[2]:191

  • hypertrophic development of the genital tract of the female rabbit
  • changes in blood serum enzyme activities

Some symptoms of T-2 toxin poisoning in rabbits include the following:[2]:192

  • feed refusal
  • lesions of the digestive tract
  • impairment of blood-clotting mechanisms
  • alteration of ovarian activity of sexually mature female rabbits

Some symptoms of vomitoxin toxicity in rabbits include the following:[2]:192

  • feed refusal
  • vomiting
  • fetal resorption in female rabbits

Some symptoms of citrinin toxicity in rabbits include the following:[2]:192

  • acute erosive gastritis
  • fluid diarrhea
  • renal damage with tubular dysfunction and necrosis


Mold growth can occur on stored grains or other raw materials because of non-hygenic storage conditions or in the field on standing crops or during the harvesting of feedstuffs due to certain fungi.[2]:190

Further reading

The following are some journal articles about mycotoxins and rabbits:

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 Varga, M. (2013). Textbook of rabbit medicine. (2nd ed.).
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 Mcnitt, J.I. et al. (2013). Rabbit production. (9th ed.).