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Fleas Infecting the Body in Rabbits




Eradicating and controlling exposure to fleas is currently the only means of therapy. You will need to treat all animals in the household as well as the household environment, and if possible, the environment outside of the home. Sprays and fumigators can be used to treat the living environment, both indoors and outdoors, but you will need to remove your pets and family members from the home before applying these chemicals, as they can be severely toxic for some animals and individuals.


There are specific powders and ointments that are made to kill fleas. Typically, boric acid, diatomaceous earth, and silica aerogel can be very safe and effective, as long as they are applied properly following the manufacturer's recommendations, but you may want to consider checking with your veterinarian before choosing a specific skin treatment. There may be some medications that are not indicated for your rabbit's particular age or size. Antibiotics may also be necessary for treating severe skin infections that have resulted from the flea infestation.


Living and Management


Use extreme caution when dipping or bathing rabbits in medicated flea-killing shampoos. Due to the high risk of skeletal fractures and excessive chilling, sudden death may occur. If you are applying topical spot-on products, make sure that the product has dried before allowing your rabbits freedom to groom themselves of their mates. The fleas and flea dirt should decrease with effective flea control. Itching and hair loss should decrease with effective flea control; if signs persist you will need to return to your veterinarian for an evaluation of other causes.


Instill measures for flea control for all other pets in the household, especially dogs and cats. If you are living in a year-round warm climate, be especially cautious of flea infestation all year long, beginning aggressive flea control as early as April or May.


Secondary bacterial infections and adverse reactions to flea-control products may occur. If any signs of toxicity are noted or if your rabbit should show any signs of behavioral or physical change, you should bath the rabbit thoroughly to remove any remaining chemicals and treat the rabbit appropriately. 


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