Rabbit Diseases - Fur mites

Fur mite in rabbit
  • Fur mites are quite common in rabbits and can be brought into your home in hay.
  • The most common type of rabbit mites are called cheyletiella and cannot be seen with the naked eye.
  • They may also be referred to as 'mange' mites.
  • They are most likely to be found in the nape of the neck area and/or on the back of the rabbit.
  • The mites live on the surface of the skin around the hair shaft and cause damage resulting in hair loss and a dandruff appearance which is also known as “walking dandruff”.
  • A rabbit with mites will pass the mites onto another rabbit simply by contact alone. The mites can also be passed to other animal as well as humans.
  • Feeding off on the keratin layer of the skin and in order to digest the skin, the mites secrete an enzyme that actually dissolves a small part of the skin. This is what causes the itchy, hair loss, scabs, and discomfort.

    • Signs and Symptoms:
    • chronic dandruff or "walking dandruff"
    • chronic scratching of the shoulders, nape of neck and along the back
    • sores or scabs
    • Redness of skin
    • hair loss

      Fur mite in rabbit Treatment
    • If you are concerned that your rabbit might have mites, please see an experienced rabbit vet for treatment. The vet will be able to check the presence of these tiny insects under the microscope.
    • Mites are transmitted by direct contact with the host, animal bedding, or hair and debris. Therefore, it is important to clean and treat the environment while treating the animal.
    • Treat any animals in contact with the infested animal even if they are not showing any signs.
    • Thoroughly clean and treat the areas where your pet sleeps and roams. This includes bedding, carpets, sofas, chairs and cushions, and stuffed toys.
    • At home you can safely use Revolution for puppies & kittens. It is the only safe flea treatment that we can use if our buns ever have mites.
    • For treatment of rabbit mites, NEVER use frontline or any goods that contain fipronil or permethrin, which are common ingredients in flea and mite treatments and insecticides.
    • Bathing is strongly discouraged as stress can cause serious health problems.
    • Never home treat or overdose a rabbit on medication if you are unsure. 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.
    • Combing your rabbit with a flea comb is rewarding both physically and psychologically for the rabbit, as most rabbits love being combed and having attention paid to them.
    • Classic treatment is with injectable or oral ivermectin, given in treatments two weeks apart.
    • Apply dusts and liquid topical treatments near the shoulder blades, back of neck, and on the rump. Prior to any application, read and follow all directions making sure the product is safe for rabbits.

    • Maintain a clean living environment for your pet rabbit by routinely cleaning and disinfecting the cages where the rabbits are housed.
    • Proper care, balanced nutrition, and protecting your bunny from stressful situations can also help toward preventing mite infestation.