Pet Rabbit Fleas: How to Treat It

Rabbits can get fleas like other animals, and it is important that you know how to treat them.

The longer your bunny’s fleas go untreated, the more at risk their overall health is.

There are numerous treatment options, but some of them tend to be better than others.

Signs of Fleas on a Rabbits

First you will need to know how to recognize fleas on your rabbit. There are a number of key things that you’ll want to pay attention for.

Some of the most common signs of fleas in rabbits include:

  • Bald patches (due to biting)
  • Scaly patches of skin
  • Licking or scratching themselves frequently
  • Bite marks on the skin

Fleas stay on the outside of animals, so you won’t be able to spot them in your rabbit’s feces. It is also very difficult to see fleas on your rabbit with the naked eye. If you notice these signs with your rabbit, you’ll want to get them to the vet as soon as possible.

You might notice red irritated marks of skin on your rabbit with bite marks. This is due to your rabbit chewing on itself to stop the flea bites. These wounds can quickly become infected, which can be life threatening for your bunny.

Consult Your Vet

Because rabbits are known for having very sensitive skin, you’ll need to consult your vet before using any treatment method to get rid of their fleas. Your veterinarian will likely prescribe a special medication that will effectively get rid of the fleas. You definitely don’t want to try using any home remedies on your rabbit without your vet’s approval.

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rabbit veterinary

How to Apply Flea Medications

When you get a flea medication from your veterinarian, it is important that you read the instructions on the label. If you are unclear about the instructions in any way, you will need to call your vet for clarification.

The main anti-flea ointments for rabbits on the market include Program, Advantage and Revolution. These ointments are very powerful and effective in a vast majority of cases. Most flea medications that are designed for rabbits are meant to be gently applied to their skin. 

You will need to rub the topical medication on your rabbit’s neck every day for a certain length of time. You should be able to get all of the information you need from the instructions on the label. It is important to put it on their neck so they cannot lick it, which can cause severe nausea.

Using a Flea Comb

You will also need to use a flea comb, which has a special design with metal prongs. These combs are available at most pet supply stores. Simply run the comb over your rabbit’s fur to expose and get the fleas.

You can use rubbing alcohol to submerge and kill each of the fleas that you get off your rabbit. Make sure that you run the comb under warm soapy water in between. This is a very effective way of getting these parasites off your fluffy friend.

Apply a Powder

There are powders that you can use to get rid of fleas as well. Again, you’ll need to make a point of consulting with your vet before getting any powder in particular. This will ensure that you don’t unintentionally harm your rabbit.

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You can also find sprays and dips in pet supply stores that are designed to treat fleas, but not all of them work well. When you speak with your veterinarian first, you will be able to get the necessary information to make the right choice.

rabbit sick

Tips for Choosing a Flea Treatment

There are certain types of anti-flea products that you’ll want to avoid using on your rabbit for one reason or another.

Flea Medications that are Bad for Rabbits

Both Sentinel and Frontline are two flea medications that are not good for rabbits, as they are simply too abrasive. There is a good chance that both of these topical products will do more harm than good to your rabbit.

Look at the Ingredients

You also need to make a point of looking at the flea ingredients in each product before making a decision. You’ll want to completely avoid any products that contain organophosphates or permethrin. Both of these ingredients are not safe for rabbits at all.

Do not use a Flea Collar

While it might seem like using a flea collar on your infested rabbit is a good idea, you should avoid doing so. This can do a lot of damage to your rabbit’s skin, so it should be avoided altogether. It is too easy for your bunny to hurt itself while wearing one of these collars.

Getting Rid of Fleas in Your Home

It is crucial that you get rid of all fleas that might be in your home so your rabbit does not become infested again. You can use flea bombs, which are readily available at lots of different stores.

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You might also want to try putting boric acid on the carpeting in your home. First vacuum the area and then distribute the powder over it. Allow the powder to really get into the carpeting for a half an hour before picking it up with the vacuum.

Conclusion

  • Some of the most common signs of fleas on a rabbit include bald spots, self-biting, red spots with bite marks, and scaly patches.
  • You should absolutely consult your veterinarian before using any treatment on particular for your rabbit’s fleas.
  • If you use a topical product on your rabbit, put it behind their neck so they cannot lick it.
  • Make sure that you apply the topical product gently, as rabbits have very sensitive skin.
  • Sentinel and Frontline are flea products you should never use any rabbits.
  • Avoid topical flea products that include organophosphates or permethrin.
  • Do not use a flea collar on your rabbit, as it could injure itself very easily.
  • Follow the instructions on the anti-flea product exactly.
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