Rabbit parasites: what they get and what to do about it

Stephen Curtis's picture
2 white rabbits on straw

Rabbits are an increasingly common pet in Australia, along with their teddy bear looks, they have a wide spectrum of personalities and eccentricities that endear them to their owners. While not requiring routine intestinal worming, like dogs and cats, they can be affected by a number of external parasites. Outside rabbits are more prone to parasites however even inside bunnies are not immune, as the little critters often hitchhike on feed and bedding. As well as causing skin irritation, blood sucking insects can transmit myxomatosis and calicivirus, even more reason to keep your bunny comfy.

Fleas

The perennial pest that will even feed on people in a pinch. Dog and cat fleas can and will infest rabbits, causing intense irritation. They (or their poo) are usually found around the face and ears. Revolution kitten or cat (depending on size) can be used from 8 weeks of age, to treat these pests on your pet. Remember to treat all your pets and the environment, to avoid rapid re-infestation.

Rabbit Fur Mites

Like fleas, these little crawlers can also bite people, so if handling your bunny is producing a rash on your arms or abdomen, then a closer look at the fur with a microscope is in order. Most rabbits with a mite infestation will have dandruff and itchy skin, mainly over their back, between their shoulder blades and above their tail. Often rabbits with fur mite infestations will have an underlying issue, so a vet check up is a good idea. Revolution will treat these nasties and decontamination of the environment is advised.

Rabbit Ear Mites

Ear mites mainly affect the ears but can also affect other body areas. In the ears they often cause severe crusting inside the ear and signs of irritation, like ear scratching and head shaking. Many affected rabbits will develops sores from scratching themselves, these in turn may become infected with bacteria. Revolution will also treat ear mites, it’s best to treat all in contact rabbits and thoroughly clean cages as well.

 

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