1170566 pair of Rabbit Mites: Causes, Treatment And Prevention

Rabbit Mites: Causes, Treatment And Prevention

Mite infestation is not a rare scenario in rabbits. So you should definitely deal with this topic, so that you can act quickly and above all safely in an emergency.
In this article we will tell you how to recognize mite infestation immediately, what your first steps should be and what you should avoid at all costs.
Let’s go!

What are mites actually?

Mites are arachnids that have an enormous variety of species.
They can cause skin diseases in rabbits and also lead to other health problems. You should therefore combat the so-called ectoparasites immediately.
Why are mites dangerous for rabbits?
The parasites are hardly visible to the naked eye. Nevertheless, they can cause considerable damage to health.
Since they trigger a strong itching, the rabbit scratches itself frequently and intensively. In the process, fur may fall out. Bald spots and sharp or pointed claws are the basis for injuries on the skin.

Pathogens can penetrate through the scratches, causing infections. Purulent wounds, secondary inflammations and severe diseases are the result.

Because of the odor, insects can also be attracted, which lay eggs in the wounds.
This danger exists primarily in the summer and with external attitude, cannot be excluded however also with pure housing attitude.

In addition, mosquitoes can bite more quickly and easily due to the smell of blood and in areas that have already been scratched bare. Since these are potential disease carriers, there is therefore a further risk.
Nevertheless, the infections themselves are one of the biggest problems.

In addition, the animals often suffer from restlessness and overtiredness due to the intense itching. They can hardly relax and also often react more aggressively because they feel uncomfortable.

What mites are there in rabbits?

Rabbits can be infested with different types of mites. These include:

Burrowing mites
Hair follicle mites
Autumn grass mites
Fur mites
Predatory mites
Bird mites
Not all of them cause itching. However, changes in the coat and skin are clear indicators of an infestation that is getting out of hand.

How do rabbits get mites?

Nearly every rabbit has mites. They can be found in hay, straw, the bedding, and even on the green food.

So complete prevention of mite infestation is not possible in rabbits!

However, proper hygiene and a strong immune system will prevent them from spreading too much.

Recognizing mite infestation in rabbits
Since mites cannot be seen with the naked eye, an infestation is often noticed late.

Typical symptoms are:

scaly skin
bald spots
inflammations without apparent reason
loss of coat
Thickening of the skin
However, only an appropriate examination can bring information. For this purpose, some skin is scraped off at the veterinarian and examined microscopically.

Alternatively, an inspection with a magnifying glass may be sufficient.
Based on the localization, conclusions can already be drawn about the respective type of mites.

The subsequent treatment of your rabbit, however, does not differ by the type, but due to the respective effects and causes.

Fighting and treating mites

Once an infestation of mites has been detected, your rabbit will need to be treated in a number of ways.

Itching, inflammation and changes in the skin are the first approach. The mites are deterred and possibly killed by a repellent. This will eliminate the causes of the above symptoms.

In addition, treatment of the wounds may be necessary. This involves disinfection and, for example, application of wound ointment.

Since otherwise healthy rabbits usually do not have problems with mites, the trigger must be identified afterwards…

These are often husbandry errors that can be corrected, but weaken the immune system. Other diseases can also be involved and responsible.
These must also be treated to prevent a new infestation.

In addition, it may be necessary to heal infections caused by mites in the long term. Depending on the pathogen, antibiotics or antimycotics are used for this purpose.

To further support the healing process, your rabbit can be given supplements such as vitamins.
Intestinal rebuilding is also useful, as the intestines are critical to overall health. In addition, it is affected by antibiotics, as these not only kill the unwanted bacteria, but also negatively affect the intestinal flora.

Our tip: Have your rabbit examined carefully in case of a severe mite infestation. A previously undetected underlying disease is a frequent trigger. Your animal should therefore not only be checked externally. Eyes, ears, nose, mouth and genital area as well as palpation of the abdomen and taking the temperature are also important.

Successful prevention against mites

Now that you know how mites can get to the rabbit and what procedure is required for treatment, we come to the appropriate prevention.

Several factors are possible and important for this:

  1. strengthen immune system
    A species-appropriate attitude is very important in rabbits. This includes among other things:

the right diet
Occupation and workout
sufficient space
avoidance of stress
Fresh air, exercise, relaxation and a balanced diet are not only essential for humans. Your rabbits also need these factors for a healthy and long life.

Animals with a strong immune system are not only better protected against mites, they are also happier overall and less prone to infections as well as behavioral problems.

  1. maintain hygiene
    Keeping straw and hay completely free of mites is not possible.

However, regular changes of bedding and healthy cleanliness in the rabbit’s living area contribute to a strong immune system, for one thing. For another, they reduce exposure to parasites. This can also be a relief to other pets and yourself.

So frequent cleaning of the cage and grooming should definitely be part of the husbandry.

  1. carry out controls
    The sooner a severe infestation of mites is detected, the faster and easier the treatment will be.
    Therefore, it is best to check your rabbits daily for:

Changes in the skin
sticky fur
frequent scratching
bald spots
wound scratching
Also in the case of aggressive behavior, a visit to the vet makes sense. Especially with long-haired rabbits it is often noticed late that they suffer from mites.

Therefore, always check the skin on the whole body during grooming. 4.

  1. use repellents
    The use of repellents is not always necessary.

However, if an outbreak has already occurred, such agents can prevent or at least limit further transmission and thus protect other pets as well as yourself.

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