Mites can be found in most rabbit stalls and enclosures, but they do not always have to be problematic. A large population of parasites is permanently found on many healthy animals, but these rarely cause trouble. However, if the predatory mites reproduce, they can sometimes affect the rabbits. Symptoms such as itching and hair loss are the result.
Causes of mites in rabbits
There are many different types of mites that can infect your rabbits, including fur mites, digging mites, predatory mites, hair follicle mites, bird mites, autumn grass mites and ear mites. Mite infestation can occur when rabbits struggle with a weakened immune system and are therefore susceptible. Poor housing conditions and poor hygiene can also cause mites to multiply explosively on rabbit skin. Another cause or factor that makes the rabbit-like susceptible to mites is stress, for example due to unfavorable socialization or as a result of a move.
Mite infestation in rabbits: recognize symptoms
Regardless of the type of mite, rabbits always suffer from mild to severe itching after an infestation, which you as a keeper can recognize by increased scratching. Unfortunately, scratching - particularly in the area of the ears - can cause injuries in which bacteria nest, which leads to inflammation. Other symptoms that are characteristic of mite infestation include rash (redness), dandruff and hair loss. Many infested rabbits are also restless and tired because the symptoms do not help them to rest.
A special feature of ear mites is that crusts and bark usually form on the animals; In the case of an infestation with the ear mites that accumulate in the skin folds of the auricle, one also speaks of the ear mange.
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Treat mites in rabbits
Go to the vet with a rabbit infested with mites. Fast treatment is important because the mites from rabbits can also be passed on to other species and to other pets and humans. Don't panic: since people are wrong hosts, normally no further problems apart from temporary reddening are to be expected. Important: If there is a mite infestation in the rabbit enclosure, you must always have the other rabbits treated in the enclosure or outdoor enclosure - even if they do not show any symptoms (yet).
In the case of mild mite infestation, treatment can be carried out with diatomaceous earth mite powder or silica powder from the drugstore. The advantage: The natural products do not require any chemical additives. The disadvantage: the dust can sometimes irritate the respiratory tract - in any case, discuss the treatment with your veterinarian. In the case of severe mite infestation, the veterinarian prescribes an appropriate remedy. The so-called "spot-on" agents are usually distributed around the neck of the rabbits. Tip: Most liquids are applied wet - simple spraying often does not achieve the desired success. Even distribution or rubbing in has also proven itself. Follow the veterinarian's instructions carefully during therapy.