All pets sooner or later overtake such a misfortune as fleas. Not an exception and rabbits, in which painful bites of tiny bloodsucking cause a lot of trouble and trouble. Do not think that the attack of these insects is absolutely safe for an eared friend, that you can let such an unpleasant phenomenon take its course. Flea bites contribute to severe irritation and itching, which causes the animal to constantly itch, and this inevitably leads to the formation of wounds.
Description and features of fleas
According to available data, fleas appeared several million years ago. They live no more than 90-100 days, and the environmental conditions directly affect the duration of their life cycle. In an adverse environment, insects can fall into sleep mode and go without food for several weeks, but after awakening, their need for blood increases significantly.
Before using all kinds of flea remedies, you should understand what this pest is. A flea is a small blood-sucking insect that has a dark brown or black body compressed on the sides, no more than 8 mm long. Setae are located on it, which help the parasite to firmly establish itself in the coat of the animal. On the head and in the chest area there are special ridges that perform a similar fixing function.
Interesting! Since the abdomen of the insect has a peculiarity to grow, up to 0.1 ml of blood can fit in it. Fleas do not have wings, but they are fully replaced by three pairs of powerful limbs, allowing the bloodsucker to jump up to 1 meter in height.
The oral apparatus of the insect is represented by a piercing-sucking subtype, and a kind of proboscis performs the function of the jaws. With it, blood is extracted from the skin faster and easier.
Interesting. A feature of fleas is the presence of an abdominal sensillium – an organ that allows you to capture even minor fluctuations in air and determine the presence of carbon dioxide in it. The latter is a sign that potential food is somewhere nearby.
Female fleas do not create special nests for hatching: they simply lay fertilized eggs on the host’s body or in its habitat. Subsequent development of larvae occurs independently.
What types of fleas infect rabbits
Rabbits can be affected by two types of bloodsuckers:
- fleas that live only in rabbit hair;
- fleas that can live in the hair of rabbits and cats.
Every day, a female flea can lay up to 50 eggs, which can be found in a variety of places: on the floor, in carpets, and even in upholstered furniture. This ubiquity is fraught with repeated contact with the hair and legs of the pet and its further infection.
In the fight against such pests, it should be remembered that adult fleas located in rabbit hair are only one side of the problem. In fact, about 90% of fleas can be found on an animal in the form of eggs, pupae, and larvae.
The most vulnerable parts of the body for bites are the spine and withers of the rabbit. After the attack of bloodsuckers, the animals are tormented by continuous itching, preventing them from living quietly. The animals fall into an excited state and constantly comb the affected areas, as with an ear mite, which in no case should be allowed.
Combing bites can cause:
- extensive damage to affected areas of the skin, the appearance of long healing ulcers, sometimes accompanied by the release of pus;
- secondary infection as a result of the entry of pathogens into the bite site.
Often, thoroughbred rabbits affected by fleas are depreciating in the market, so it is extremely important for owners to start timely treatment and rid their pet of these pests.
Fleas are also dangerous because they are carriers of rabbit myxomatosis, purulent conjunctivitis, as well as deadly viral hemorrhagic rabbit disease. In addition, blood-sucking larvae feed on helminths, and if these fleas are swallowed, the animal can become infected with worms.
What is a flea bite dangerous?
Biting its victim, a flea injects saliva into the wound, which is designed to coagulate blood. At this moment, the likelihood of transmitting all kinds of infections and dangerous diseases is high. Detecting fleas in a rabbit is not easy, therefore, untimely treatment can cause the rapid multiplication of these pests, which means that the risk of infection of the animal with other diseases also increases.
Signs of the presence of fleas
Owners of rabbits who have at least once encountered a flea problem remember very well what these unpleasant insects look like. The constant movement of small blood-sucking pests along the hair, accompanied by bites, gives the pet discomfort. He begins to rush about the cell and constantly itch. With prolonged infection, hair loss may occur.
Important! You can not write off all manifestations of scabies for fleas. A rabbit can occasionally itch as a result of an allergy or mosquito bites, or maybe it just wants to walk. Therefore, before proceeding with the treatment of fleas, you need to make sure that the cause of the itch lies in them.
The presence of fleas can be checked independently by spreading the wool on the back and withers.
After flea bites, scratches and redness form on the skin of the rabbit.
Carefully examining the covers of the animal, you can see:
- eggs of fleas or adults;
- a scattering of black grains, which are insect excrement (they can also be seen at the place where the rabbit just sat or lay);
- bites in the form of small red dots.
How to bring fleas in a rabbit
To find out how to get a flea out of your pet, you should visit your veterinarian. Treatment should be carried out using specially designed products that are adapted to the delicate immune system of rabbits. Using drugs intended for other animals can be harmful to rabbits.
Anti-parasitic shampoos that have an insecticidal effect have proven themselves well in the fight against parasites. Before using shampoo, you should read the instructions and choose the right dosage. As a rule, the product is distributed over the rabbit’s hair with soft movements for 15-20 minutes, after which it is thoroughly washed off with warm water. After 7-10 days, the treatment is repeated. Today, Neguvon and Bolfo shampoos are widely used.
Neguvon can be used to process rabbits.
Many owners buy collars for their decorative rabbits, but opinions on the safety of their use are still divided. The fact is that the animal can easily stick its paws into it and even cripple it. In addition, there is a high risk of an insecticide entering the body of the animal, which contributes to its intoxication.
Attention. It is better to use a collar as a preventive measure: wear it before a walk, and then immediately remove it. The age of the animal should also be taken into account, as individuals under four months of age are not allowed to wear such collars.
Traditional medicine treatment
To remove fleas, the veterinarian may prescribe some medications, among which drops and insecticidal solutions are especially popular.
Drops are the most effective flea remedy that can be used both for therapeutic and prophylactic purposes. The drug is applied in the area of the withers so that the animal could not lick it, otherwise severe poisoning cannot be avoided.
To achieve a good result, it is forbidden for rabbits to bathe the first 2 days after applying the product and avoid walking in the fresh air on the first day. Re-treatment is carried out after 1-2 months. Today, Frontline and Advantage are considered the most effective flea drops.
To get rid of fleas, it is allowed to use insecticidal solutions, for example Brommocyclin. The drug is distributed throughout the coat of the animal and aged for about 10-15 minutes.
After that, the product is thoroughly washed off with warm water, the hair is combed and wiped with a towel. The procedure is carried out every 7-10 days for a month.
Treatment with folk remedies
Rabbits are very sensitive and gentle animals, so when choosing folk methods for getting rid of fleas, these features should be taken into account. To control pests, you can try the following method: dissolve salt in a bowl of warm water and dip the rabbit in the neck, stand for 5-10 minutes, then wipe it dry and comb it with a comb and comb.
Alternatively, you can rub the animal with a decoction of wormwood, tansy inflorescences, celandine, eucalyptus or pine sawdust. It would not be superfluous to build a litter of fresh sawdust in a cage, and to spread branches of wormwood and calamus in all rooms. Pungent odors scare off the parasites and soon they will disappear.
Timely prevention is the best way to get rid of fleas. To prevent them from appearing not only in the rabbit, but throughout the house, the following measures should be taken:
- regularly inspect the hairline of the pet and look after its fur;
- carry out regular cleaning in the house, often clean the cage and change the litter;
- limit contact with other pets that may be flea carriers;
- periodically wash the animal with flea shampoos.
The video shows how to quickly rid a rabbit of fleas: