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Forum HOUSE RABBIT Q & A Can only one rabbit have mites?

  • This topic has 3sd replies, 2 voices, and was last updated 1 month ago by LBJ10.
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    • chally298
      Participant
      2 posts Send Private Message

      I have two bunnies, one male Holland lop one female lionhead (both fixed) that are bonded. They free roam and are indoor only, and I feed them oxbow pellets, Timothy hay, and a mix of veggies. They were rehomed to me in December, and had been separated due to the female biting the male. He had a small mostly healed bite wound on his side that had been seen to by a vet and was being covered with vaseline to keep it clean, and was slightly underweight and being fed alfalfa hay with his Timothy.  They have been successfully rebonded for several months now. I have a cat and small dog as well. The dog is kept separate, but the cat can jump over the baby gate.

      The male bunny has had small, hard, itchy bumps on his skin since I got them, along with dandruff and heavy shedding. I would swear that he has mites of some sort, but the female bunny has none of the symptoms, and neither do my cat and dog. I’ve been reluctant to use a flea/mite treatment on him if he doesn’t need it, but I can’t find any information on what else it could be. A vet isn’t an option right now because they’re closed due to covid.

      Does anyone have any ideas on what it could be? He’s fine other than the skin issues. He eats like a pig and is active and alert. He doesn’t even scratch that much unless something irritates the bumps, like when I give him pets. His weight went up with the alfalfa, but it did go down again slightly when I stopped feeding it to him. And like I said, my other rabbit has absolutely none of these issues. I been keeping a close eye on her to make sure that whatever it is hasn’t spread. If it was a parasite or something I can’t see how she wouldn’t get it with how much time they spend snuggled up together.


    • LBJ10
      Moderator
      15038 posts Send Private Message

      Rabbits can be asymptomatic carriers of fur mites. If they become stressed or ill, their immune system weakens somewhat and the fur mites are no longer kept in check. So it’s definitely possible that both of your rabbits have fur mites and your male has simply become overrun with them. You said he was like this when you got him, so who knows what caused the outbreak. Treating them both for fur mites certainly won’t hurt anything. If things don’t improve though, more investigation would be needed to determine the cause of his ailment. Fur mites can be treated with Ivermectin or Selamectin (aka Revolution). Advantage/Advantage II are ineffective against fur mites. And, of course, as a PSA we always want to remind people that fipronil products (ex: Frontline) should never be used on rabbits. It’s toxic to them and can cause seizures and even death.

      Dogs and cats can have fur mites, but the species often associated with dogs and cats are different from the one often associated with rabbits. This doesn’t mean rabbit fur mites don’t find their way onto dogs and cats… but it isn’t unusual for adult animals to be asymptomatic.


    • chally298
      Participant
      2 posts Send Private Message

      That’s good to know, I had no idea they could be asymptomatic. I’ll treat them both for mites and go from there. Thank you!


    • LBJ10
      Moderator
      15038 posts Send Private Message

      Yep, your best bet would be to treat for mites. If the treatment doesn’t resolve the issue, then you can start looking into other possibilities.

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Forum HOUSE RABBIT Q & A Can only one rabbit have mites?