INFECTIOUS DISEASES (PART 1) – MITES
These creepy crawlers are not only gross but they can cause severe itch and excruciating pain! Mites are VERY common and are highly contagious between species, including humans. Mites can be categorized to burrowing and non-burrowing and here’s a few common types to look out for:
1. SCABIES (burrowing)
– Spread under the skin and form itchy crust on the face, nose, lips, ears and genitals. They cause skin sensitivity that even a gentle touch can be very painful!
2. EAR MITES (non-burrowing)
– Start in the ears but can spread to the rest of the body and cause severe irritation. If your rabbit shakes or scratches his ears more than usual, be suspicious!
3 FUR MITES (non-burrowing)
– Live on the skin and cause dandruff. These mites are visible like ‘pepper’ on light-colored rabbits and their eggs looks like ‘salt’ on dark-colored rabbits.
Diagnosis for mites can be visual but a vet will typically conduct skin scraping and examine under a microscope. Ivermectin is an effective treatment and selemectin (brandname: Revolution) is a safe over-the-counter prevention. These treatments are inexpensive but a full course is needed to eradicate the mites and eggs.
Prevention is difficult as mites are everywhere but keeping our rabbits indoor and practicing hygiene are great starting points!