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Grooming and preventative treatment are the absolute foundation for any bunny parent wishing to keep their much loved one free of bugs. Rabbits are fastidious little groomers but a daily check-over and regular use of the right products is the best way to catch any unwanted guests early and makes treatment much more straightforward. Whether you are concerned about which rabbit flea treatment to use, rabbit ticks, or rabbit worms, you should contact your veterinarian or book an appointment here for advice before you start any medication course. It is extremely important that your rabbit’s flea, tick, and worm preparations are specifically designed and manufactured for rabbits as human or other pet products can be harmful, even fatal.
Rabbit fleas are more common in outdoor rabbits but don't let that put you off allowing your bunny access to fresh grass in the garden - there is nothing better for them! The main issue is that they can carry two viral diseases - myxomatosis and rabbit hemorrhagic disease - both of which are frequently fatal. Your best line of defence is the regular use of rabbit flea treatment. This is usually a spot-on from your veterinarian. The great news is that you can also vaccinate against both diseases. As no vaccine is 100%, keeping bunny flea-free will greatly reduce their chance of catching any viruses. Signs of fleas may be subtle so use a flea comb frequently to get down to the roots of your rabbit's thick undercoat.
Ticks are more common in outdoor rabbits and are found on the face, ears, dewlap, and legs. Tick treatment may be a rabbit safe spot-on or an injection, but your veterinarian will help you decide. You can use a tick remover to remove the tick by hand. It is not possible to prevent ticks so a daily check and quick removal helps to minimise the risk of them giving your rabbit a disease. The longer a tick is attached the more time it has to pass on a serious disease, so quick removal is safest. Ticks can also bite and spread diseases to humans. Cutting long grass back can help.
Rabbits have a unique habit of eating their droppings to re-digest their food efficiently. Occasionally they may nibble or share with another rabbit - and this may pass on worms. It's very common for rabbits to pick pinworms and tapeworms as babies from the pet store or in a rescue centre. Pinworms in rabbits show up as an itchy bottom or white worms in the droppings. Worms are especially severe in young or rescue rabbits and can cause weight loss, messy coat, sleepiness, and diarrhoea. Tapeworms rarely cause issues. If you are concerned, take a poo sample for testing by your veterinarian who can advise you on rabbit worming treatment. Clearing up droppings daily and testing and/or treating all rabbits if one is affected will help to minimise getting or sharing worms.
E.cuniculi is a non-worm parasite that can cause serious disease in bunnies but is prevented and treated with the same wormer used for internal worms. Symptoms of this disease can include weight loss, seizures, circling, head tilt, and eye issues. It is a good idea to discuss treating any new rabbits before you introduce them to your existing bunnies.
This is a serious condition and needs immediate treatment. It is caused when flies lay eggs in rabbit wounds in damp fur and the maggots cause severe injuries.