Rabbit Mites – Symptoms & Treatment

Is your bunny scratching her ears? Rubbing her fur or shaking her head from side to side? If so, she may have rabbit mites.

So, what are rabbit mites?

Mites are a very diverse group of arachnids (closely related to spiders and scorpions) which feed on plants, animals, mould and dirt. In rabbits they live and breed in the ears, skin and fur. The two most common types found in bunnies are ear mites (Cpsoroptes cuniculi) and fur mites (usually Cheyletiella parasitovorax in the US)

Ear Mites

Symptoms

  • Reddish brown crusting in the ear canal
  • Scratching of ears
  • Shaking of head
  • One or both ears may droop (hard to detect in a lop-eared bun!)
  • Mites are sometimes visible amongst the crusting.
  • Mites may also be present on other parts of the body most commonly just above the tail.

Treatment

  • Both the rabbit and her environment must be treated.
  • Treat with mineral oil or miticides for cats or dogs. Always check with your vet that the miticide is safe for your bun.
  • Ivermectin (either orally or injection) is also traditionally used to control ear mites however recently applications of Revolution product (active ingredient selamectin) have been found to be safe and effective. See below for correct dosage for Revolution for rabbits.
  • NB: NEVER use Frontline as this contains a chemical which is toxic to your bunny.
  • It is recommended to leave the crusty scabs in the ears to fall out naturally as removing them is extremely painful for your bun.
  • Thoroughly clean and scrub all areas of your bun’s cage and immediate environment.

Fur Mites (Walking Dandruff)

Symptoms

  • Dandruff in fur (these mites are also known as walking dandruff but this is actual dandruff)
  • Patchy fur loss (differs from normal shedding which tends to be evenly distributed)
  • Dermatitis
  • Scratching
  • Sores or scabs on the neck and back of head

Treatment

  • Ivermectin (either orally or injection) is also traditionally used to control fur mites however as with ear mites, Revolution (active ingredient selamectin) has been found to be safe and effective. See below for correct dosage for Revolution for rabbits.
  • NB: NEVER use Frontline as this contains a chemical which is toxic to your bunny.
  • As with ear mites, both the rabbit and her environment must be treated.
  • Thoroughly clean and scrub all areas of your bun’s cage and immediate environment.

NB:  This advice is general only and as with any medical condition please see your vet if you suspect your bun has mites.

Revolution Dosage for Rabbits

  • Revolution comes in two concentrations – 120mg/ml and 60mg/ml
  • 120mg/ml is for average to large dogs and 60mg/ml is for smaller dogs, puppies, cats and kittens.
  • They are the same product just different concentrations.
  • Either can be used for your rabbit, you just need to know the concentration you are working with and the weight of your rabbit.
  • Revolution is usually dosed at 6mg/kg.

Step 1: Weigh your rabbit.

Step 2: Determine whether you have the 120 or 60 mg/ml product. This will be printed on the packet.

Step 3: Use the chart below to determine the correct amount of Revolution for your bun’s weight.

Step 4: Use a 1cc syringe from your vet (no needle) to draw up the correct amount and squirt it gently onto the back of your bun’s neck.

Note: Small syringes measure in units of cubic centimeters (cc). A cubic centimeter (cc) is the same as a milliliter (ml).

Step 5: Repeat in 2-4 weeks

Dosage of Revolution for Rabbits

Example

  • Crumbles weighs 5.5lb and her owner has a packet of Revolution at 120mg/ml concentration. Her weight in kg is 2.5kg (5.5lb = 2.5kg)
  • At 2.5 kg weight, Crumbles needs 0.125cc (ml) of Revolution at 120mg/ml concentration. That’s just 1/8th of a milliliter!

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