Rabbit Diseases - Fleas

Fleas in rabbit
  • Flea infestation occurs as the result of the common flea inhabiting the body of the rabbit and reproducing.
  • The occurrence varies with weather conditions, and clinical signs will depend on each animal’s individual reaction to the infestation.
  • Fleas carry all sorts of diseases and for rabbits this includes myxomatosis.
  • When fleas feed on blood they inject their saliva into the host to stop the animals' blood from clotting as they suck it out, and this is when all sorts of diseases can be transmitted.
  • Because fleas feed on blood, heavy infestations may cause anemia especially in young rabbits.
  • Rabbits can also develop a hypersensitive reaction to fleabite, with excessive scratching and itching that can sometimes lead to lesions on the skin's surface and skin infections.

    • Signs and Symptoms:
    • Self- biting or chewing
    • Excessive scratching, licking
    • Visible bite marks or evidence of fleas (e.g., larvae, flea dirt, etc.)
    • Hair loss
    • Scaling on the skin
    • Pale mucous membranes, increased heart rate (in anemic animals)
    • Secondary bacterial infections ( sometimes seen)

      Fleas image Treatment
    • Sprays and fumigators can be used to treat the living environment, both indoors and outdoors, but you will need to remove your pets and family members from the home before applying these chemicals, as they can be severely toxic for some animals and individuals.
    • There are specific powders and ointments that are made to kill fleas. Typically, boric acid, diatomaceous earth, and silica aerogel can be very safe and effective, as long as they are applied properly following the manufacturer's recommendations, but you may want to consider checking with your veterinarian before choosing a specific skin treatment.
    • Advantage (imidacloprid) or Revolution, both used at a kitten dose or cat dose depending on the size of the rabbit, applied topically once a month have been used quite successfully.
    • The rabbit's environment must also be treated. Environmental treatment with insect growth regulators (IGRs) and insecticide sprays has proven safe as long as the rabbits are removed until the product has dried.
    • NEVER use frontline or any goods that contain fipronil or permethrin, which are common ingredients in flea and mite treatments and insecticides.
    • Do not use powders or flea collars. These are dangerous to rabbits.
    • Please do not use the other flea spot on treatments. Some are toxic & fatal to rabbits.
    • Use a flea comb as a supplement to the main method of treatment.

    • The best way to ensure your rabbit is flea-free is prevention.
    • The best way to do this is to groom your rabbit regularly.
    • Use room sprays or flea bombs to rid your home of fleas.
    • You can also apply boric acid such as Fleabusters to the carpet. Just be sure to keep your bunny out of the treated area for at least 24 hours after applying any environmental flea treatment.