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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > DIET & CARE > Crud, Sir Rupert might have fleas
Last Post by Aylnine at 10/03/2012 10:48 AM (9 Replies)
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User is Offline Aylnine
60 posts Send Private Message
9/28/2012 7:56 AM

I was grooming (well, trying to -- he still doesn't like it and won't let me) Sir Rupert this morning and found something weird that I think might be a flea. There was kind of a weird sound when I brushed the flea off, which I'm not sure came from Rupert or the brush (Furminator), and then I saw a little thing in the brushed off fur that was kind of dark tan with reddish/beige tones. It was smaller than a strawberry seed but still pretty big, and had a "head" and a "body" that were differently colored. I've never had any pets before so I only have a slight idea of what fleas look like, and even then only those giant, gross enlarged pictures 

So first of all, I'm wondering if that was actually a flea? Rupert doesn't seem to scratch TOO much but he does scratch fairly often, and his ears and everything look fine and not raw. Could this also be why he doesn't like to be combed?

Rupert has always been an indoor bunny and he had a vet appointment a few weeks ago where I assumed she checked for fleas, although she may not have. My boyfriend who lives a few miles away has a cat who is both indoor and outdoor and does pick up fleas/have flea problems; could he or I have somehow passed fleas onto Rupert that way?

Halp!


User is Offline Malp_15
British Columbia, Canada
601 posts Send Private Message
9/28/2012 8:21 AM
Fleas could have been transferred via you or your boyfriend, or they could have been around the outside of your house from wild animals, stray cats, etc. and made they're own way inside. If your boyfriends cat has fleas and is inside, then his house will also have fleas. So while they don't commonly attack people, he could definitely be bringing them over in his clothes, etc.

The vet was probably not specifically looking for fleas in an indoor rabbit, and they are hard to see unless it's a pretty bad infestation. It's also possible that the fleas have moved in, since the vet visit.

If it is fleas and they are fairly new, then Rupert wouldn't be scratching too much because it hasn't been long enough/bad enough to make him REALLY irritated.

I recommend giving your vet a call. They will either tell you to come in and they will try and pull a flea from Rupert and look at it under a microscope, or they may be able to prescribe you a RABBIT SAFE flea treatment over the phone. They may even recommend doing preventative treatment, if your boyfriend is having flea problems with his cat.

User is Offline Malp_15
British Columbia, Canada
601 posts Send Private Message
9/28/2012 8:21 AM
Fleas could have been transferred via you or your boyfriend, or they could have been around the outside of your house from wild animals, stray cats, etc. and made they're own way inside. If your boyfriends cat has fleas and is inside, then his house will also have fleas. So while they don't commonly attack people, he could definitely be bringing them over in his clothes, etc.

The vet was probably not specifically looking for fleas in an indoor rabbit, and they are hard to see unless it's a pretty bad infestation. It's also possible that the fleas have moved in, since the vet visit.

If it is fleas and they are fairly new, then Rupert wouldn't be scratching too much because it hasn't been long enough/bad enough to make him REALLY irritated.

I recommend giving your vet a call. They will either tell you to come in and they will try and pull a flea from Rupert and look at it under a microscope, or they may be able to prescribe you a RABBIT SAFE flea treatment over the phone. They may even recommend doing preventative treatment, if your boyfriend is having flea problems with his cat.

User is Offline FrankieFlash
Michigan
1715 posts Send Private Message
9/28/2012 10:26 AM
I suggest calling your vet too. If you can, you should save the bug in a little container. That will be helpful when trying to figure out what it is. I can't tell a flea from a nat, from a tick so that's just my opinion.

User is Offline tobyluv
South Carolina
672 posts Send Private Message
9/28/2012 12:03 PM
Fleas are dark in color - brown to reddish brown, and I think that their heads and bodies are the same color. Since you saw different colors and mention tan or beige, I'm not sure that was a flea you saw. Do you see any flea dirt (dried blood and feces) in Rupert's fur?

One of my past bunnies got fleas once, and he never went outside. I think that my husband carried the fleas home from his mother's cats, or it's possible that one of us brought a flea inside just walking out in the lawn.

If you don't take Rupert to the vet right away, keep combing through his fur every day and see if you spot any fleas or flea dirt. The fleas do not stay on the animal all the time, they are often in the carpet or upholstered furniture (laying eggs), so if it turns out to be fleas, you will need to vacuum and clean the area thoroughly.

User is Offline Aylnine
60 posts Send Private Message
9/28/2012 12:32 PM
Hi all,

Thanks for your responses. I haven't had a chance to check for flea dirt yet, and I know there's a definite possibility that I'm freaking out about something that might be a treat flake or a booger. I scheduled an appointment with my vet just in case it is fleas or something else. I'm hoping it's neither... I have too much on my plate right now!

User is Offline Malp_15
British Columbia, Canada
601 posts Send Private Message
9/28/2012 12:57 PM
Even if it is fleas or a mite of some kind, don't feel bad!! This stuff happens to pets all the time! You are being proactive about it and being a good bunny mom

User is Offline Aylnine
60 posts Send Private Message
9/28/2012 3:46 PM
Thanks, that makes me feel a bit better Still hope it's nothing though hehe.

User is Offline Malp_15
British Columbia, Canada
601 posts Send Private Message
9/28/2012 5:49 PM
I'll keep my fingers crossed its nothing

If it makes you feel any better, my cat was trying to eat nails as I was hanging pictures last night :/ I was like really, are you purposely trying to cost me $3000 in vet bills

User is Offline Aylnine
60 posts Send Private Message
10/03/2012 10:48 AM
Nails?! Haha, you'd think they'd lick it and go ew, but they don't =p

So I didn't end up taking him to the vet and I did a skin/fur check with some grooming... I saw more flaky things but they look more like scabs or dirt flakes rather than bugs, and I don't have any fleas on myself (they love me and bite me any chance they get... I am the ultimate flea-o-meter), so I think we are safe for now.
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