Fleas, Mites, Lice and Worms
Just like cats and dogs, rabbits also suffer from parasites. Fleas, mites, lice and worms are all prevalent in rabbits and you need a regular treatment cycle to ensure that your rabbit is not affected by these.
Treating rabbits for Fleas
As well as being able to pick up both cat and dog fleas, rabbits have their own species of flea - Spilopsyllus cuniculi. These fleas, specific to rabbits, can carry myxomatosis which can be fatal to rabbits.
Fleas will lay eggs in the environment they find themselves in, so if you find fleas or flea dirt (small black specks) on your rabbit then you will need to treat them as well as thoroughly clean out their hutch.
Change all their bedding, clean out and scrub their hutch and use a flea treatment suitable for rabbits to treat it before putting the rabbit back in.
If you have other pets, you should treat them for fleas at the same time.
To prevent fleas, try and keep up a good treatment routine. This usually involves treating your rabbits for fleas each month.
You can speak to your Best Friends Vet about the best treatments for fleas. They can recommend treatment and advise you on the dosage based on your rabbit’s age and size.
Treating rabbits for Mites
Mites are tiny creatures, not usually seen by the eye, which live in the fur of your rabbit. Your rabbit might have some mites in their fur but when these get out of control, they can cause an infection which needs to be treated.
If your rabbit has mites, they could be itchy, and they will have white dandruff in their fur.
The treatment for mites is easy, it is a liquid applied to the rabbit’s skin. However, you must only use products that are for rabbits, as those for other animals (dogs or cats) can be toxic for rabbits.
Left untreated mites can weaken your rabbit’s health. In some instance mites can also be an indication of other health problems for your rabbit, so always get them checked out by your Best Friends Vet who can recommend the best treatment and give your rabbit an overall check-up.
Treating rabbits for Lice
Rabbits can get lice and rabbit biting lice are the species Haemodipsus ventricosus.
If your rabbit has lice, you might notice patches of fur missing or thinning on your rabbit and they will be irritable and stressed by the increased scratching. Adult lice are visible to the naked eye and you will be able to see them moving around.
If your rabbit has these symptoms or you see lice, then do take your rabbit to your local Best Friends Branch where the Vet will advise you on treatment. If untreated lice can cause more serious health issues in your rabbit, like anaemia.
Treating worms in rabbits
Worms are rare in rabbits, and it isn’t necessary to treat them regularly like you do with cats and dogs. If you have other pets, make sure that they are treated regularly and you pick up after them in the garden so that your rabbits don’t come into contact with any faeces from other animals if they are able to roam. Cleaning out their hutch regularly also helps.
It is a good idea to know what to look for though, in case they do become infected with them. If your rabbit is losing weight, or their fur is not in a good condition then it is a good idea to take them to your Best Friends Vet to be checked as worms could be an issue.
Whatever the problem, with parasites or your rabbit’s health in general, we can advise on the right treatments so always consult with your Best Friends Vet.
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