Fur mites are a term no rabbit breeder wants to hear. Unfortunately, coming in contact with an infected rabbit at a show is all it takes to get them. Removing fur mites from your herd can also be quite a challenge.
Fur mites typically appear in rabbits with spring and milder weather. Its presence in rabbits can be difficult to determine. When seen, they will most likely be found in the are of the neck and back. The presence of fur mites may cause the rabbit to have dandruff in the infected area. Occassionally lesions may form with severe infections. Rabbits will often scratch the infected area. Some fur mites can be passed to humans.
There are a few types of fur mites. Each type has there own distinct symptoms. For example some fur mites actually will burrow deep into the skin. They leave small round areas of missing fur and sores in the area that appear like holes.
There are two ares of treament to be concerned about. The first is the rabbit itself and the second is the living area around the rabbit. Ivermectin is effective in treating your rabbit for fur mites. Because of the life cycle of the mites, the rabbit should be treated three times, at intervals of 10-14 days. Ivermectin can be give orally, injected, or the medication can be applied directly to infected areas. Although fipronil, made by Frontline, will kill fur mites, it should not be used on rabbits, as it can cause convulsions, and death.
The area around your rabbits living quarters must also be treated for the fur mites. There are several products on the market that can be used for this purpose. Do not use a steam cleaner to clean carpets, as the humidity may actually increase the problem with the mites. Be sure to keep your rabbit away from areas treated with chemicals, the chemicals used may be harmful to the rabbit.
Although fur mites can be quite a difficult to remove from your herd, committed effort to medicating your rabbits, and sterilizing the environment will be very effective in removing them.
Three Little Ladies Rabbitry