Rabbit Care Guide: Controlling and Treating Rabbit Fleas

Checking for rabbit fleas is one of the first things that a rabbit pet owner must look into when caring for rabbits other than bunny-proofing your home. This is a major problem when having rabbits as pets because a flea can infest other pets pretty quickly. It can jump from one pet to another such as cats and dogs. If the pet is untreated or you don’t do anything to control it, it will cause your rabbit to scratch more often wounding their skin and creating patches.
You know your pet is starting to become infested with rabbit fleas when:

• They start biting themselves and scratching excessively
• Bite marks start appearing on their skin as well as patches and scaling
• They start losing some of their fur
• They start looking anemic with pale mucous membranes
• Increased heart rate

Although fleas in general are not life-threatening, you wouldn’t want your pet hosting such parasites because too much fleas in their fur, sucking on their blood all at the same time can make your pet anemic. The only thing that makes fleas dangerous for rabbits is that when a flea carries the myxomatosis virus. This viral disease is fatal and causes the mucous membranes to swell. Rabbit fleas could also start to spread and crawl into your floor, cabinets, clothes, etc. It is important that you know how to get rid of these pests before it could wreak trouble in your household.

combing to remove rabbit fleas

Photo: Dennis Harper | Flickr

How to Prevent Rabbit Fleas

Before you try any form of treatment, whether buying a flea solution or over-the-counter rabbit flea treatment, it would be best to consult a veterinarian first. Having their opinion prior to performing anything on your pet is very important because caring for rabbits is different from caring for cats and dogs. Here are some useful tips for controlling rabbit fleas and treating your pet rabbit with fleas.

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• Start with home remedies first. The very first approach that we can try is to use flea combs. It could somehow help control minimal flea infestation but the main agenda in using this tool is to at least lessen the number of fleas on your pet. Dip the comb in warm water with alcohol so that the fleas you caught will let go of the comb and drown. Your rabbit will also love the strokes of the comb on their body. The eggs and baby fleas may not be scraped out so you can expect another batch of fleas after several days.

• As much as possible, do not give your pet rabbit a bath. It is very stressful for rabbits to take a bath. Giving them flea dip, especially when not properly done, can cause more stress than having fleas itself.

• Never use over-the-counter treatments on your rabbit such as Frontline drops and the likes. These are intended for dogs and may cause severe reactions on rabbits. Having them to wear flea collars is also not advisable as they will find a way to bite and chew on it consuming its high chemical contents.

• Some would resort to using flea powder, but a lot of expert rabbit pet owners wouldn’t want to recommend the use of this because it could poison your pet rabbit.

• Ask your veterinarian for the best prescription for medication that you can use to get rid of rabbit fleas. Do not decide on yourself without having an expert’s opinion because rabbits can be so delicate when it comes to medications. Most of the time veterinarians would prescribe topical solution for cats like Revolution, Advantage, or Program.

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Above all these tips mentioned, prevention is still the best key to control rabbit flea infestation on your pet rabbits or even any kind of pets that you have.

Prevention methods include:

• The use of flea bombs or flea spray on the areas of your home where fleas as well as their eggs could survive and multiply. Make sure to transfer your pet rabbit first to another place before doing this so they cannot inhale the chemicals.

• Flea comb your rabbit to catch large fleas. Do this on a regular basis because flea eggs hatch anytime.

• Get your pet rabbits to avoid contact with other animals particularly with cats and dogs as fleas could easily hop from one place to another.

• Clean your surroundings regularly to make it unfriendly to fleas and other pests.

Controlling and treating rabbit fleas could be quite an effort but it is also a rewarding experience when you have your rabbits free from these pests. Genuine love and care for rabbits requires protecting their body and whole well-being from any potential danger that comes their way and rabbit fleas are no exception.

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