Shedding problem? Excessive scratching!? Fur loss!?
If you notice your bunny shedding excessively, leaving heaps of fur on your clothes after carrying or stroking, having constant blotchy fur or bald patches, couple with constant scratching, shaking of head… you should take a closer check on your pet. A healthy clean rabbit will not shed all year round, their hair is much like human hair, only dropping a few strands a day. They only go into full coat of shedding once or twice a year, and this lasts from 1-2months. If your rabbit has been shedding since forever, your pet likely has mites.
Here I’ll explain about the common external parasites found in Singapore’s bunny. Due to our warm and humid weather, these pesky external parasites are happy to thrive and flourish. These mites/ticks/fleas can come from external environments – grass patch, gardens, floor, other pets or simply from our clothes. These creatures have strong grip on our clothes and could accidentally transfer from our clothes when we get into contact with other infested pets environment, and pass onto our pets. They may come from hay or just about anything. It is really very common. More than half of the bunnies that come for grooming are down with fur mites and many owners are unaware of it. So I hope this serves as a form of awareness so that you’ll keep your pet in check and in health.
tick pic from http://medirabbit.com/
Serious conditions associated with heavy infestations of these mites include permanent wry neck, malnutrition, scarred bodies. With regards to malnutrition, I noticed that some bunnies in severe cases of mites infection (maybe the bunny had some form of internal parasites as well), they don’t grow fat no matter how much they eat, and the bones of the spines can be felt, though the stomach is bloated
These are the most commonly diagnosed parasites in rabbits that I have came across. Spreads really fast, but very easy to rid off. Their size is as large as 1 pen ink dot. They appear off-white on dark coloured fur and brownish/maroon on light coloured fur or either way. Part the rabbit’s fur and when u stare carefully, you’ll find these specks clinging to strands of fur, or crawling at the skin. THEY MOVE. Fur mites infestation actually causes dandruff-like skin, and this is what causes the excessive shedding. Remember! A rabbit does NOT shed all the time (only when in moult). The insect feeds on the skin and plasma of your pet, causes itch, skin flakes and drops, hair drops, new hair grows, new skin grows, skin gets eaten and hair drops again.. so you see why your bunny is shedding, and scratching non-stop?
"Frequency of Fur/Skin/Ear Mites
Found commonly in wild and pet populations of rabbits and rats, more common in mice. Almost universal in hamsters.
Mites are transmitted by direct contact with an infested animal or the environment of that animals (bedding, incompletely cleaned cage" - Charles River Laboratories International Inc 2009
if you have little hamsters, they most likely carry little mites and may pass them onto your bunnies
dandruff pic from http://www.yourpetshealth.co.uk/page15.htm
These are mainly found in the ears of bunnies. The ear mites deposit brownish fecal matter into the ear and causes a lot of itching and buildup in the ear – lop owners please take extra care. Your bunnies will tend to shake its head a lot. Inflammation and infection can cause wry neck, it’s a permanent damage to the nerves in the neck/ear. Ear mites infestation in the ears will cause the ear to swell, and cause permanent thickening of the ears.
ear mites pic from http://bananasforbunnies.org/
This is very easy to spot. If you notice the edges of ears, nose, tail and feet of your bunny are dry and flaky, and overtime it forms crust and growth and have a bit of dried blood. And when peeled off causes bleeding, your rabbit has scabies/mange. Regular doses of ivermectin (commonly used to treat mites) are not very effective against this type of sarcoptic mites. In my expereince revolution is most effective against this. In severe cases, the ears get chipped off at the edges, the nose look like it is going to drop off… Every edge of the bunny look like it is falling off..
mange pic from http://www.bio.miami.edu/hare/furloss.html
*Mites/Ticks don’t exactly harm or feed on humans. The common ones just feed on pet’s dander and skin. So don’t worry.. the ticks just craw around like ants, but it is really a pest issue. Fleas that can jump may be a bit of an issue though..
** These parasites WILL SPREAD! So if you notice one of your pet has it, do a thorough cleaning and treat all pets in the house. When your rabbits scratch, some of the mites fall off and move in search of a new host
***FRET NOT! I have the solution for you! Revolution Drip-on! For puppies/kittens, safe for use on rabbits/guinea pigs. This is by far the most effective against all sorts of parasites internal and external, including scabies.
This medication is only applied externally on a small portion of the skin of your pet. The medication enters the blood stream and will kill a good range of internal parasites and external parasites that feed on the blood of your pet. Do contact us at 98770772 for purchase and information on usage as well as dosage. $44 per box of 3 tubes of Revolution. I have tried all other safe treatments like spray ons, drip ons, application items, and none works as effectively as revolution.
You may purchase Revolution for your rabbits HERE
PLEASE DO NOT USE FRONTLINE ON RABBITS. IT IS DANGEROUS/POISONOUS.