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Rabbit Parasites

Like most other pets, rabbits can contract a number of different parasites. These can be both inside (endoparasites) and outside (exoparasites) your rabbit’s bodies.

While most endoparasites result in symptoms such as illness, exoparasites can sometimes be large enough to be seen by the owners. Some of the most common types of exoparasite are as follows:

Fleas

Fleas are small insects that like off the blood of other animals. These critters suck out the blood for their meals, and in return leave itchy and painful bite marks. They can also carry a number of nasty diseases, such as myxomatosis, so it’s wise to take action as fast as possible if you suspect that there has been an outbreak of fleas. Telltale signs of fleas are scratching, and a lot of brown material in the rabbit’s fur (this material then turns red on contact with water). Use a flea comb to check their hair for confirmation, then use a rabbit-friendly flea treatment, following the instructions carefully.


 Rabbit with myxomatosis
This rabbit has myxomatosis, a disease carried by fleas

Ticks

Ticks, much like fleas, are also blood sucking parasites. Ticks embed their mouths into the rabbits body and will suck their blood until they are full up. The longer a tick remains attached to the rabbit, the more visible it will be. Sometimes they can be the size of a pea or even larger. Like fleas, ticks can transfer lots of nasty diseases onto your pets, so it is best to try and prevent them. Any grass you offer your rabbits will need to be checked for parasites, and you can get rabbit-friendly tick prevention methods from your local veterinarian.

Mites

Mites can affect many pets, not only rabbits. Not only are they extra uncomfortable for the infested animal, but they can even pose a threat to your pet’s health. Because of this it is very important to deal with a mite infestation as soon as possible.

There are a number of different mite species that can live on your rabbits, ranging from ear mites to fur mites. You should be constantly on the look-out for scratching, as well as sores and brown material in the ears and white dandruff-like material in the coat. A vet will be able to deal with any of these problems easily, so don’t hesitate in seeking their advice. Some parasites burrow into your pets’ skin and really hurt them.

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