Rabbits get a bit of a raw deal when it comes to parasites – mites, fleas, ticks and mosquitoes are all out to get them. And not only are they annoying to your pet, some actually carry quite serious diseases, including Myxomatosis.
But, as ever, the The Avenue experts in St Peters Avenue are here with information to help you identify these parasites and treat them when they make an appearance. Vaccinations are important to ward off Myxomatosis and our head nurse, will be happy to talk to you about these and any other rabbit-related questions you may have when you contact us.
Here’s how to recognise parasites that may attack your rabbit.
Mites are miniscule creatures that feed on skin and fur cells and cause irritation to your rabbit, although it may or may not seem itchy. They can also often be found in the ears.
Rabbits always carry some mites – it’s when they get too numerous that you need to act. A spot-on treatment will do the trick. If your rabbit does get a mite infestation it may have an underlying illness stopping its immune system from keeping them under control. If you suspect your rabbit is poorly just give us a call on 01536 512200.
Fleas are blood-sucking parasites that jump on and off the host and will lay their eggs in your furniture or carpets, or in the corners of hutches. So when you treat for fleas, you need to treat the environment too to kill off the eggs.
Ticks are also blood suckers. If you find a tick on your rabbit, you should contact our vet at The Avenue to help you with the correct preparation to kill it. Don’t pull off a tick while it’s feeding. If some of the mouth parts break off in the skin they can cause infection.
Mosquitoes drink the blood of their host, and are thought to be a major cause of the spread of Myxomatosis. If you have standing water in your garden pour it away. If there’s water you can’t remove, such as a pond, add a few drops of washing up liquid. It won’t hurt anything living in the pond, but will form a film on the water’s surface depriving mosquito larvae of oxygen.