Parasites in Rabbits: Fleas

At first glance, fleas may seem like harmless parasites, but they are often carriers of dangerous rabbit diseases such as myxomatosis and, if particularly badly infested, can also lead to anemia in rabbits.

Causes of Flea Infestation in Rabbits

Fleas are often brought into the household by other animals. The cat flea, in particular, is widespread and, since it is not host-specific, it also spreads to other animals such as rabbits. The rabbit flea only affects rabbits but is less common in pet ownership. In contrast, it is more common in wild rabbits. What is special about the rabbit flea is that it only reproduces when the female flea drinks the blood of very young or pregnant rabbits. The rabbit flea is also considered to be a carrier of myxomatosis.

Symptoms and Treatment

As with cats or dogs, rabbits when infected with fleas show severe signs of itching and often scratch and shake. In the case of fleas, you should immediately visit a veterinarian with your rabbits and have all animals treated. In addition to the special rabbit flea, rabbits can also become infected with the fleas of dogs or cats. Therefore, your other pets should also be treated regularly against fleas. In the event of a flea infestation, you have to clean your household, but also the rabbit enclosure and its furnishings particularly thoroughly. In the apartment, you should vacuum up upholstered furniture and carpets several times. In the case of an extreme infestation, the use of flea powder may be necessary.

For treatment, the veterinarian uses various agents that are placed directly on the rabbit’s neck.

Caution! As with mite infestation, the following applies: Do not use flea products that are actually intended for other animals such as dogs or cats. Some substances are safe for other pets but can be life-threatening for rabbits.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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