Rabbits with tapeworm larvae?


Clint C
December 10, 2008, 05:43 PM
Today I shot three rabbits.

When I was gutting these rabbits two of them had these things in them (these were in the lower intestine and in the lower part of the belly and two on the liver). They looked like clear sacks with a white or yellow dot in them(apparently the dot is a tapeworm head).

I later found out from the internet that these are tapeworm larvae.

According to everyone on the internet you can eat rabbit meat that have larvae in them. I guess the tapeworm just uses the rabbit as a transferor to dogs and cats. The tapeworm doesn't actually grow in the rabbit It just lives as a larvae in the belly and intestine.

When I was younger I would hunt rabbit all the time and I don't remmember ever seeing any of these. I just always looked at the liver for liver spots. I quit hunting rabbits because all the ones I would shoot had white spots on the liver and were inedible.

My question for all of you is, has anyone on here ever eaten rabbits with tapeworm larvae?

If you enjoyed reading about "Rabbits with tapeworm larvae?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
catfish hunter
December 10, 2008, 06:09 PM
I dont think i would...

December 10, 2008, 06:14 PM
They stay as larvae until they move into the next host, (that would be you)...depending on the type of TW it may or may not thrive in that enviroment.. so do, some don't.
Do NOT allow your pets to eat any of the rabbit..

December 10, 2008, 06:45 PM
If you cook the meat thoroughly there shouldn't be a problem, just a little extra worm protein.

An adult tapeworm consists of a ugly looking head(scolex) that has hooks and suckers, and a long chain body of repeating segments, called proglottids, which as they mature develop eggs, become loose and separate from the worm.

The sacs you mention were probably the proglottids (segments of the adult tapeworm containing eggs). When an animal ingests the eggs the larvae break out in the intestine and penetrate the intestinal mucosa. They then proceed to migrate to different tissues in the body where they develop into an encysted form called cysticercus. When a person eats undercooked meat that happens to come from infected animal, the cysticerci develop into the adult worm.

BTW pork and beef may also have tapeworm (Taenia soleum, T. saginata) larvae in the muscle tissue, that's why I tend to avoid rare, or medium rare when I eat.

December 10, 2008, 06:49 PM
here in NE it has been observed that during the summer they will make you sick, but after it gets cold there doesnt seem to be a problem. I dont really get how this works but thats the way it seems.

December 10, 2008, 07:17 PM


Rabbits are tasty but tapeworm larvae? :barf:

Clint C
December 10, 2008, 07:33 PM
No I wont let my pets eat any of the rabbit.

As far as the internet say the larvae are dog tapeworm larvae, and can not be transferred to humans unless you eat the rabbits feces. which I don't plan on doing.

I know that pigs have all kinds of things in them like ring worm, hook worm, and tapeworm, but since I don't gut them I don't see any signs of worms and eat them without thought. That sounds wierd to me after I typed it down.

I don't think I can eat the rabbits that had the worm larvae in them, even though I cleaned them all out.

I hate killing them and not eating them, but I guess better off safe than sorry.

December 10, 2008, 07:42 PM
unless you eat the rabbits feces. which I don't plan on doing.

Ah, natural Milkduds :D I would not eat those rabbits

December 10, 2008, 07:52 PM
I ran into something similar this weekend. I shot two rabbits and when I cut one open I got a big gush of clear fluid. Of course, my first thought was to check the liver and sure enough it was hard and fibrotic. Had to throw it out, and though I hate to waste a life it's some consolation to know the rabbit had liver failure and was probably not long for this world anyway.

Double Naught Spy
December 10, 2008, 08:03 PM
Well, about 90% or so are dead before reaching 2 years of age in the wild, so one way or the other, you, some other predator, or liver problems, it wasn't going to live a long life.

December 10, 2008, 08:18 PM
I have shot rabbits before that had tape worms inside of them. Full blown ones and not just the larvae. The larvae get in there somehow and that would be from other tape worms. I noticed the worms because I thought that there was still a heart beat in a rabbit that I was pretty sure was dead but when i pulled the fur off a tape worm was crawling out of the hole I left in the rabbit. Really gross.

December 10, 2008, 09:10 PM
From what I remember of Bio 101 each segment is an individual critter & they all make more critters...

December 10, 2008, 09:34 PM
If wormy, then it goes back to nature. Buzzards and coyotes to clean up.

December 10, 2008, 09:53 PM
My dog gets them regularly, I guess its cause he's a rabbit killin SOB.
The Vet says that fleas also carry the eggs and are transfered from the rabbits either through ingestion or contact.
He also said that eating butcher scraps from our deer and elk and road kill carrion may get him also but the intermuscular larve look like tomato seed in the meat and we have never seen this.
A couple yrs ago a neighbor shot an elk during bow season and I guess it had these larva so bad they threw it out and the DOW renewed his tag.
So far no human infestations so knock on wood.

December 11, 2008, 04:10 AM
If you're fatter go ahead and eat the tapeworm.

December 11, 2008, 07:22 AM
In the early 1900s drug stores actually sold tape worms as a way to slim down. How's that for Yucky? :barf:

Clint C
December 11, 2008, 10:04 AM
I have also seen tapeworms in fish. I don't eat fish here in Iowa but I was watching a friend clean some of his fish once and he was cutting out these small worms. They were yellow with a white head on them, and they are about 3/16 of an inch long. you can see them in the fish meat after you skin them.

I was told by someone else the fish get them from eating bird droppings.

December 11, 2008, 10:31 AM
Yucks ! Reminds me of the survivalist who eats maggots and dead carcass . Its on Discovery Channel, he is former Brit Special Forces.


Clint C
December 13, 2008, 11:53 AM
So I went rabbit hunting this morning, and got one. I started to gut it and slit the belly open all the way to the chest cavity. I grabed the liver to look at it and pulled on it, there I seen a tapeworm larvae. I went to show my friend and when I did, something fell out of the intestines. I knew what it was when I seen it fall. I said some choice words, and my friend started poking it with a stick.

It was a tapeworm, and it looked like a fettuccini noodle with segments. It was about 8-10 inches long.:barf:

I couldn't belive it I don't feel like I'm ever going to find an edible rabbit again. On line here everyone claims you can eat rabbit that have tapeworms in them, but untill I'm starving I'm going to pass.

I will keep hunting them but will always wear gloves when skinning and gutting them.

December 13, 2008, 01:46 PM
Rabbits have an affinity with tapeworms and vice versa.

December 16, 2008, 08:44 AM
Ditto Blakeney....
No "rare" or "medium rare" meat for me.

As a wildlife biologist, I can tell you a lot more about the game/fish you've killed and eaten. Pseudorabies in pork, tape worms, trichenosis, hookworms, and the list goes on, and on, and on...............

However, if you will only COOK WELL any game youv'e killed, you'll be OK. Temp's of over 195deg F will kill most parasites/infectious biota.

Just use rubber gloves when handling Rabbits and Pork. Even rabbits with Tularemia are OK to eat, IF you cook it well. When you handle the liver to "check" it, if you don't have gloves on, your're exposed already !!!

Be assured though that 10days of antibiotics will make you well again.

Just don't go see Dr. House!; he waits till your near dead or dead already to figure out what's wrong with you. Most any country MD if he knows you hunt or fish, will quickly figure out what ails you. Big City doctors however can go a whole career without seeing some of the bugs than normally infect/reside in our wildlife.

December 16, 2008, 12:05 PM
I wanted to know what they looked like so I did a google image search:


Since I've never actually gutted a rabbit, I'm not sure what everything is and whether everything is supposed to be there. Are the larvae those clearish/pearly balls right under the ruler?

Anyone else have any pics that you've taken?

Just use rubber gloves when handling Rabbits and Pork. Even rabbits with Tularemia are OK to eat, IF you cook it well. When you handle the liver to "check" it, if you don't have gloves on, your're exposed already !!!

Can you absorb tapeworm through the skin?

December 16, 2008, 12:12 PM
If you poke it with a stick and it moves , thats it. It sure looks gross .

Clint C
December 16, 2008, 01:20 PM
Those are the tape worm larvae. They are bigger than the ones that I have seen, and there are alot more than in the rabbits that I have shot. The larvae that I have seen are alittle smaller than a dime and only had one head in the clear sack, but the rabbits that I have seen were as fresh as they come, they may change alittle with some time for the rabbit to cool off and get air to the inards. Also the larvae that I have seen were mostly down by the pelvic area and a few on the liver.

The last rabbit that I shot was the one with the actual tape worm in it. I didn't think the grew in a rabbit, but only lived in them as larvae. Looks like I was wrong.

I had let the rabbit sit for about one and ahalf hours before I gutted it. when the tape worm fell out and hit the snow it didn't move at all. My friend was moving it around with a stick and it looked dead (not moving). The rabbit's meat was cold when I touched it, so maybe cold will also kill them. Anyone think this is possible?

So have you eaten these rabbits with tape worm larvae?

bobby n.
December 16, 2008, 08:03 PM
has anyone here ever heard of tularemia??? wasklys are full of parasites nowadays

January 6, 2009, 07:16 PM
i have eaten pleny of wabbits w/ tapworm and i am just fine.

January 10, 2009, 03:42 PM
has anyone here ever heard of tularemia??? wasklys are full of parasites nowadays

Yep; being from Tulare, CA., it is commonly known as a disease that was discovered in Jack Rabbits in Tulare County, California.

Friendly, Don't Fire!
January 10, 2009, 04:40 PM
Good way to lose weight!


Not FDA approved. Use at your own risk.

Evil Monkey
January 10, 2009, 04:59 PM
Good way to lose weight!


Hi I'm Dr. RipYouOff,

Tired of trying to lose weight the hard way!?


I've figured out a radical new system to losing weight!! Stop with the diets and non sense, and order our Tape-Tecs weight loss package!!!

Check out the testimonials!

"My name is Gena and I've been using Tape-Tecs for 3 weeks and went from being a healthy 180lbs, to a grimly 76lbs!! Thanks Tape-Tecs! Oooh, I feel dizzy...*THUD*"


On a more serious note, if what you kill to eat has a foreign creature inside, do yourself a favor and throw it aside. It just isn't worth the risk.

January 11, 2009, 02:21 PM
The only thing out there that can stand a good cooking are the prions. I don't know that I would eat the things, but my mind tells me that it will be fine properly cooked.

If you enjoyed reading about "Rabbits with tapeworm larvae?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!