Worming and Flea Treatment

The rabbit flea (Spilopsyllus cuniculi)

Rabbits, like many other household pets are affected by external and internal parasites. As with cats and dogs, there are medicatons available that can prevent infestations.

 

The most common external parasites are fleas and mites, particularly Cheyletiella mites which are responsible for an extremely uncomfortable condition known as "walking dandruff".  Another common mite is the rabbit ear mite Psoroptes cuniculi which causes large scabs to form on the inside of the ear canal and can lead to extreme discomfort and serious complications if left untreated.

 

Fleas are of concern because they carry the deadly disease myxomatosis.  To learn more about transmission and prevention, visit our rabbit vaccination page.

 

Treatment for mites and fleas is possible via spot ons or by injection. The most commonly used spot ons contain ivermectin which kills both external parasites and some internal worms. When used as a spot on it is not always effective so in cases where symptoms persist after spot-on treatment, injections are sometimes necessary.

 

Worms are not generally a big concern in healthy rabbits but on the subject of wormers, it is well worth considering a different kind of parasite known as a protozoan. The most important species in rabbits is Encephalitozoon cuniculi or E. cuniculi for short. CLICK HERE to learn more about E. cuniculi.