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Dealing with Internal &

External Parasites

in Pet Rabbits

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Rabbits, like all other animals, have a number of both
internal and external parasites that may infest them and
cause various diseases and disorders. Many times the only
sign that there is a problem is that the rabbit isn't
gaining weight as it should be, has occasional diarrhea or
its coat doesn't look as good and it might.

If you suspect that your pet rabbit has parasites, it is
important to figure out exactly what is causing the problem,
as different medications and treatments work on different
parasites, and some parasites are developing immunity to
particular medications and treatments.

External Parasites in Pet Rabbits

If your rabbit is scratching a lot, carefully part its fur
in the neck folds or under its legs and look carefully,
using a magnifying glass if necessary, for fleas, ticks or

Fleas will infest rabbits, and cause the same itching,
scratching and irritation symptoms as they do in cats and
dogs. If you look below the rabbit's hair at its skin you
may see the small black specks that are the flea's
droppings. These "flea specks" are a good way to be sure
that the problem is fleas rather than lice.

Lice also cause itching, scratching and inflammation, but
they lay small white eggs on the rabbit's hairs. The ears
are a good place to check for lice eggs and lice if you
suspect them.

Mites often attack a rabbit's ears, causing itching,
scratching, scabbing, discharge and inflammation. They also
can cause hair loss or scaly skin.

Although external parasites can often be treated at home by
an experienced rabbit keeper, if you are new to this
challenge or your rabbit is young, old, or weak, take it to
your veterinarian for confirmation and advice as to the best
treatment for your particular rabbit or rabbits.

Internal Parasites in Pet Rabbits

Rabbits are vulnerable to a number of internal parasites,
from worms to protozoa to viruses and bacteria.

The first thing to do if you think the parasites are
internal is to take a sample of the rabbit's feces to your
veterinarian for laboratory analysis. Your vet can then
prescribe the proper medications and treatments for the
parasites he or she discovers.

Once your rabbit is free of parasites, the best prevention
of a reoccurrence is to keep the rabbit and its environment
scrupulously clean. Use rabbit-safe disinfectant when you
clean and special anti-parasite spray on the hutch or rabbit
bed after you clean it.

Elsewhere on this web site you can find information about
the most common rabbit parasites, their symptoms, and the
most common treatments.

All about Worms in Pet Rabbits

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